Ask Mac Questions and Get Answers from Experts ASAP
I have an imac 2009. I rebooted it and it blue screened. I think it must have been an update that didn't agree with it. The iMac did not come with any system discs. I am an IT engineer and have some UNIX knowledge but I am stuck because I have no boot disc to try and boot the hard drive from. Is there anywhere I ca get one? I the minimum I want to retrieve my data. I would really appreciate some help. Thank you very much. Bronwen
p.s. bit confused about the charging structure. I don't want membership, I just need help with this question. Am I paying $33 just for the answer to this question?
Hello, My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am an expert with JustAnswer.com. Thank you so much for using our services. I am sorry your having trouble today and understand your frustration. Hopefully we can resolve your problem together.
If you do not have the system disks with this then you will have to use a method called Single User Mode. If your a windows guy this is like Safe Mode with Command Prompt
Lets try to do a Disk Repair in Single User Mode
Start or restart your Mac. As soon as you hear the startup tone, press and hold Command-S on the keyboard. Keep holding down those keys until you see a black screen with white lettering. This is called “booting into Single User Mode.” As soon as you see the black screen with white lettering, you can release the keys.
As the Mac boots in this mode, the screen reports each step of the process. Wait until the scrolling white text stops. The last line should end in root#.
Right after the root# prompt, enter the following:
Press the Return key.
It will take a few minutes. At the end, if your drive was OK, the screen will say “The volume (name of your hard drive) appears to be OK”. If any repair was made, you’ll see the prompt, “FILE SYSTEM WAS MODIFIED”. Then, you’ll see the root# prompt again.
Right after the root# prompt, enter the following:
Press the Return key. Your Mac should restart normally.
If this does not work then you need to follow the Support Article by Apple http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1411#symp1
In the Article is asks you to go in safe mode which we already know it will not go. So skip to the sections for Single User Mode methods
Did it say the disk was ok?
I think the easiest way would be to get this mac up and running and get your files that way
did you try the options given in http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1411#symp1
If not the next method would be to take the hard drive out and either get a dock for it to plug in to another mac or add it as a slave drive to a mac to retrieve the files
If it is a Sata drive I use http://www.amazon.com/Thermaltake-Sata-HDD-Docking-Station/dp/B0012Z3MKW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1321709072&sr=8-1
Basically you can turn this drive in to an external drive
The hard drive dock is windows and mac compatible
and is plug and play.
fastest way I know to get files off a Sata drive
Hey John, thank you. I am just trying the first article. Do you know how I can find out exactly what version of MAC OS I am running from the prompt? Thank you
I never had anyone ask that question let me see if I can find out for you
I am not seeing a way to get that info from FSCK
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1758 maybe we can determine it by model. go to the link and see which one is yours. then we can find out what was installed on it
If you are satisfied with my help please take the time and give me a good service rating. If your not satisfied please ask for more help if needed. I would be glad to answer any follow up questions you might have.
Hi John, thank you. I think it is imac 10,1 from late 2009. I have tried the second section of single user mode in the first article you gave me. The MAC responded by saying that it could not find the Preferences3 file. I will continue with the next stage of the article. I still have a blue screen.
Thank you for keeping me posted
Hi John, when I do the UNIX move command as instructed in the first article I get the response that 'Caches old' and 'Preferences old' does not exist. I am still getting the blue screen. THe fsck says the disc is fine and I am not seeing anything to say that there is anything wrong with it. Any more ideas?
Also, do I have to take the disc out of the computer to get the data off it? That seems pretty drastic. Are there no commands to get it to see the USB drive?
THank you very much
Yes if there is no way to get the OS running you would need to remove the hard drive and use alternative methods to retrieve the data
I am looking to see if there is more to do
Did this Mac have OS9 on it?
Lets shutdown the computer
Hold the option key down then turn it on
this should invoke the bootmanager
see what your choices are
John Ive gone into Dev and it sees my USB drive. Will let you know if I can copy to it.
Hi John, I take it back! It isn't there :-(
John - what does the option key look like?
it looks like the infinity symbol I believe or almost a four leaf clover
is it the alt key - just looked at Wiki and it said it is next to Command key?
I just did the same thing
command then option then apple key
Ok, I have a piccie on the screen saying Macintosh HD and an arrow underneath it
mouse arrow too
so you only have the mac hd correct
then os 9 is not on there
I was hoping os 9 was there to boot to.
but no luck
arh, I see. Should I click on the arrow?
You can select the mac hd but it sounds like it is already selected to boot to
mouse not working anyway.
use the enter key or just restart
I just hit return and it is just booting. Blue screen - again.
lets get back in to Single User Mode
ROger that, will just do it now..
interestingly, my Buffalo terra drive has a blue light on it on bootup. I am guessing it is power only getting to it - what do you reckon?
Yes it probably only has power
ok, am in single user mode.
just running an fsck -fy
type /sbin/fsck -y and do this repeatedly until you get two consecutive clean reports
if you notice it mention a problem with a plist file make note of it
it says i need to do a -f to force it
ok then fsck -fy
what does the y do John?
its like error check in windows
I get the msg back saying 'The volume Macintosh HD appears to be OK'
OK lets type this
mount -uw /
mv /Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences.plist /Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences.plist.dead
there is a space between mv and /library
and a space between GlobalPreferences.plist and /Library in the middle
We are renaming the GlobalPreferences.plist to GlobalPreferences.plist.dead
its come back with REad-only file system at the end of the rename command
k hold on
trying to find out how to make that not read only
Just to let you know, I have a Preferences.old and a Preferences2.old
see if it says xml ok or if you see garbage
it is saying 'no such file or directory' Ive checked my syntax and it is right
gone into preferences directory
forgot the .
the earlier told us it was read only so we know its there lol
ah, now I have bah blah may be a binary file. See it anyway? msg
it should of said XML ok
So it sounds like it is garbage correct
it doesn't! any ideas?
this Plist seems to be our problem
what is plist?
we need to rename this sucker and I think it will reboot
plist is preference files that mac osx uses
eek!! now getting excited!
plist could be considered the same thing as registry entries in windows
I see, Ive learned something here thank you
The difference is when you remove or rename a plist file then on restart Mac OSX will recreate a new one thus repairing or self healing itself
every program has a plist file on a mac
so we need to get in read write mode
Reckon you could be right on this one being the cause! Lets do it!
mount -o update /
Need your help to do this for sure!
it says 'Removed 1 orphaned / unliked files and 0 directories
its back at root now
awesome so it took this time with no error correct?
just done it!
crossing my fingers
cross your fingers!
Just typed same thing!!
great minds think alike lol
apple has appeared...
did it do that before?
NOOOO blue screen :-(
back to single user mode?
is it still thinking though
it might be creating the new file
oh crumbs, I just switched it off and back on again
was that bad?
back to white screen again.
apple has appeared agian
Sometimes they can normally hang at the blue screen before going to the log in or desktop
blue screen is back - shall I leave it a while?
so let it boot for a few minutes and see if it fixes itself
yes lets wait a few minutes
screen still blue :-(
Hey John, any more ideas?
Well I am looking here
me here too
lets go back in to Single User Mode
ok just doing it now
/usr/sbin/diskutil repairPermissions /
it says 'unable to run because unable to use the Diskmgt ramework
continues to say..
common reasons include but are not limited to, the Diskarbitration framework being unavailable due to being booted in single user mode
/sbin/mount -uw /cd /private/var/dbrm .AppleSetupDonehalt
The mac should shut off. Now power on - you will get played the normal welcome screen. Make a new user (try not to re-use one of the old names - "rescue account" might be a good choice). You can then go to the preference pane and see what happened to the users.
done this and the screen has gone black...
did it power off?
ok just switching on
what I am hoping to do is create a another user
should I start in single user mode?
apple is on screen
let it boot up normally and see if you can create a new user account
blue screen again
now a grey screen has appeard with the mouse arrow in the corner
still grey screen with mouse arrow. Arrow does move when i move mouse
Its an older computer might take a little bit of time
I wished you knew where your osx disk was
we could do an archive and install
If you can believe it, it did not come with any. I would have done this otherwise.
I thought it so bizarre that I checked with the store and they said it didn't come with any. How bad is that?
My MacBook did and I had to rebuild that 3 years ago, it is still running fine.
They have always came with disks until the last version
I don't have them and never did - I know, hard to belive but true. I didn't thin to ask at the time.
Still not doing anything
You said you had 10.1 correct?
This is what I am not sure about - I think it must be as we bought it late 2009
Lets boot back in single user mode
returns operating system info
Ive typed it in and it has gone back to root
I wonder if we need to mount the drive first
says removed 1 orphaned /ilinked files and 0 directories
did you do the system_profiler command
ah no, sorry didn't see that will do now
and finally... MAC OS X 10.6.8
So we know it is 10.6 then
much newer then you thought
Here is my botXXXXX XXXXXne on this.
two options which I would do the first option myself
Find a 10.6 disk and do an archive install which will preserver your data
Out of interest, I just checked and I have the same version on my MAC book
I have those discs too
Where is your 10.6 disk for that?
I tried them the other night and couldn't get it to work but that may have been my ineptitude!
I have them right here!
Try putting in the 10.6 os disk which should be disk 1 not 2
Then shutdown the computer
hold your C key down and turn it on
just the C?
actually once your hear the bong then hold the C key down
this will force to boot to CD
doing that now
good to know that - thx
I have been a PC Tech since early 90's but I had the honor to work for apple for 1.5 years
cd whirring, blue screen came up, now grey screen, cd stopped whirring mouse arrow top left of screen.
arrow doesn't move when I move mouse
hmmm I wonder if it did not boot to cd then
if you think it did not boot to cd then lets try the boot manager which you would hold the option key down after the bong on startup
I wish we had the windows F12 function!
ok will try the alt key
I am curious to see if the CD shows up in boot manager
no, but it is whirring
yes!! just appeared!!!!
Shall I arrow to it and hit return?
same again, blue screen then grey with mouse arrow top left hand corner. CD has stopped whirring
hmm you have the correct disk in right
yeh, Disc 1 Macbook
it actually says MAC os X on it
I wonder if that disk is designed just for the Macbook so it knows it
Big diff in hardware etc
that makes sense
reckon i need to get the right cd for imac as you say
Yes you do I am researching that now
how do I get the cd out?!
we did say 10.6 correct
The only thing that concerns me is you would need the applicaiton disk also I believe but I do not see it
That installs the applications back but you might be able to use your second disk from your macbook
ok, maybe a daft question but what does that have on it?
will I be able to retain my data? it wont do a reformat and load?
No you want to do what they call archive and install
which in the PC world is the same as Repair Install
ok, assume it gives me the choice on boot up?
I can give you the article for that
do you have another Mac onsite?
yes, I've my Macbook
after I asked that I slapped myself lol
no worries at all. You have been fantastic!
Well here is what I am reading about 10.6. There is no archive install like in prev version but it is suppose to auto detect and preserve the previous files
But as in the Tech world you do not take chances
You can use a Firewire cable and connect the two computers together
Then put the Imac in Target Disk Mode
Then the good Mac can see it as a drive
Then you can copy your files over to be safe before you do the install with the new 10.6 disk
ok John, that sounds really sensible. You have been absolutely fantastic. Thank you so much for your help and patience.
Quick question, Do I automatically get monthly subscription as I didn't select it
http://support.apple.com/kb/PH10725 explains the Target Disk Mode
I am not sure about the subscription stuff. If you did not select it I would not think it would happen. But I can get a phone number for JA customer support to make sure you only get charged for this session if you like
JUst thinking, I could probably do a disc image from utilities and that should give me a full back up shouldnt it?
i am in the UK
United Kingdom 0808-189-0970
Customer service will be able to look at your account and tell you exactly what you chose.
I just get paid to answer questions when the customer gives me a good service rating
If the customer does not give a good rating then I dont get paid for that question
I joke because it can be like a waitress some tip and some dont lol
So the game plan is get your Disk coming to you from apple
in the mean time connect the two computers via firewire and use the article I gave you to put it in Target Disk Mode and transfer your data over to the good computer to be safe
Once the disk comes then do an Install and get the Imac back and running.
2009 is not that old so I would get it back up and running
Hey John. Thank you so much again. I will make sure you get paid. It is tough in IT, I am in IT myself - an Ops mgr and we only get abuse we never get told 'good job' when things work!! Just about to say your excellent, you couldn't have helped me more than you have. All best to you :-) Bronwen from Guernsey in the channel isles.
you have a great holiday coming up and I wish the best for you and your family
If you need my help on future problems you can find me by going to http://www.justanswer.com/computer/expert-john-stinehelfer/ please save this link for future use.
Thanks JOhn, have a great Christmas too. I will deffo keep your details. All best