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Daniel, Mac Genius
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 4770
Experience:  Apple certified on desktop and portable, help desk qualified. Have owned and used Macs since 1989.
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iMac not booting past Apple screen - "disk full error" reported

Customer Question

iMac not booting past Apple screen - "disk full error" reported in single-user mode
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Daniel replied 4 years ago.
Hello, my name is Dan.
I will do my best to help you, the only stupid question is the unasked one.

Unfortunately you seem to have passed a point that it will not boot from that disk without first repairing it. In fact it may not even be repairable.
Having said that there is hope, slim hope but hope nonetheless.

What happened is the internal hard drive that the OS is on along with all your stuff is full to the point that the OS cannot boot.
I assume that you saw warnings that the disk was getting full and you looked and thought that a few MB of room was enough.
It is not, OS X needs about 10% of drive capacity to operate without which it reaches a point that it locks up and all data can be lost.
Photos, music, documents, movies iTunes and iPhoto libraries, etc.
The repair s both costly and time consuming. It will require , at a minimum, Disk Warrior.
That may be enough to repair the drive. It will also require an external hard drive with a bootable OS X that will run your Mac so that room can be made on the full drive.
This is the only way this can be fixed and save your data other than sending it to a data recovery service and that will cost much, much more.

If you have two Macs and a cable to connect them (like a Firewire/Thunderbolt, depends on what models you have) then it becomes a little easier.

That is the best answer I can give you, hope it helps.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Dan,


I have now rectified this issue myself using the target disk mode function and a firewire link between my machines.


I'd suggest that the purchase of a firewire cable would be a somewhat cheaper fix than buying a $100 piece of software that only 'may' be enough to fix the problem.


As this particular solution didn't cost me a cent, I'm not overly satisfied with your recommendation of purchasing software or engaging data recovery services.


Suffice to say I won't be using again.



PS - Whilst I'm sure your religious beliefs are important to you, there's really no need to inform others about them in completely unrelated forums.


Yours in atheism,