How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ashik Your Own Question
Ashik, Mac Technician
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 10842
Experience:  Bachelor of Computer Application (BCA), 9+ Years of Experience in troubleshooting Macs, iPhone, iPad, iPod etc
Type Your Mac Question Here...
Ashik is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

27" iMac OS 10.6.4 wont start up properly. I can see the hard

This answer was rated:

27" iMac OS 10.6.4 won't start up properly. I can see the hard disc and the finder on the top line to left but all the items to the right: the clock, spotlight etc won't load. The screen goes blue every 15 secs or so as if it's trying to start up again. Obviously no programs or folders will open. I've used /sbin/fsck -fy and it says there's nothing wrong with the HD.
What to do? The machine was in sleep when there was a brief power cut and it started up on it's own some time later not being able to find the clock etc...
Hi and Welcome. My Name is XXXXX XXXXX I look forward to assisting you today with your question.

Do you have the Mac OS X installation discs ?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Great ! We probably will need the discs to fix the problem. This usually happens if the system files are corrupted. We can try some basic troubleshooting steps and see if that works or not. First we can reset the PRAM and NVRAM of your Mac.

Reset PRAM and NVRAM

  1. Turn off your Mac
  2. Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command(Apple), Option, P, and R.
  3. Turn it back on and immediately hold down the Command(Apple)-Option-P-R keys.
  4. Release the keys when you hear the startup/chime sound for 3 times.
  5. Let the Mac boot up.

If that didn’t work, then restart your Mac in Safe Mode. Booting in to Safe Mode will do some limited repairs to the system files. To boot into Safe Mode, turn off your Mac. Turn it back on and immediately hold down the Shift key on your Keyboard. Release the Shift key when you see the gray Apple and progress indicator. Let the Mac boot up to Safe Mode.

Please let me know if that didn't work, so we can continue troubleshooting.

Best Regards,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Sadly neither thing did anything: all I get is a blue screen

Chris, then we will have to reinstall your Mac OS X. You can reinstall your OS X with the discs came with your Mac. Put the OS X Disc 1 to your Mac. Restart your Mac and immediately hold down C key on your Keyboard. Keep it held down until it boots into the disc. It may take upto 15 minutes to boot into the disc. Once it booted to disc, follow the onscreen to reinstall your Mac OS X. Reinstalling OS X won't delete any of your files. It will just replace the corrupted system files with new one. It will take a while to reinstall the OS X. So please let me know how it goes...

Best Regards,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yes it's installing - I'll get back to you in 45 mins or so ...

Thanks Chris :)
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Well. What that did I'm not sure. No clock. The machine is still recycling to a blue screen. The wireless mouse is disabled. The OS X disc mounts on the desktop and then disappears as the blue screen comes on and off.

Turn off your Mac and unplug the Power cable too. Wait 5 minutes, put it back and then turn it on. Does it boot into desktop ?
Chris, do you have the files backed up ?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Most of them yes. I'm a filmmaker and rely on After Effects but I have the discs to reinstall CS5 if I need too...

It seems like your system files are corrupted. Since reinstalling OS X didn't work, we will have to do an erase and install. This will erase everything from your Mac and install fresh OS X. Can we do that ?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

We're getting down the drastic end now! Ok tell us what to do next.

Chris, if you have the backup of your files, then boot into the OS X disc 1. In the installation screen, click on Utilities menu and select Disk Utility. In Disk Utility, select your hard disk in the left column. Under Erase tab, select your hard disk and click Erase. This will erase everything from your Mac. Then close it and continue installation. Please let me know how it goes.

Best Regards,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes! Back to year zero. Now the fun starts putting everything back the way it was!

I'm really sorry Chris. I know its very frustrating to start over, but erase and install was our only option. If you had Time Machine backup, then you could've just restored them easily.

If you have any questions or would like any additional information, please don't hesitate to ask.

Best Regards,
Ashik and 4 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, more fun than I really wanted. Do I just log out now?

If you are satisfied with my service, please rate me Positively Chris. Then only I will get credit for helping you.

Add a bookmark of this page, so you can get back to me any time you want if you need any more help with this without paying again.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask

Best Regards,
Hi Chris,
It's me Ashik again. It has been a few days, so I am just checking in with you to see if you still need help, and if not to say Thanks for using JustAnswer.

I want you to be happy with the service I am providing, so if we still need to work on this let me know. If you have new questions now or in the future please do not hesitate to ask them.

Thanks and Have a great day,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yes it seems to be not only working well but faster than it did. The OS, I get the feeling started to fall apart from last year. Two things though 1) I don't seem to have iMovie anymore - I thought that came with the system! And in After Effects when I drag footage to the timeline it doesn't go to the current time anymore but to the start of the composition. I keep thinking there must be something in preferences I can modify but I can't find anything! Nothing else though, it renders effects heavy compositions 30% faster than it did!
Hi Chris,
About iMovie, do you have iPhoto and iDVD on your Mac ?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have a DVD player - I would have noticed that! Hard to check a DVD without it but no iPhoto.

Do have iTunes though.

Sorry for the delay. Don't you have the Original installation discs came with your Mac ? Or do you have the Mac OS Application install dvd ?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have a Mac OSX install DVD and another disc 'Applications Install DVD' I tried installing the second disc but installation failed for an unknown reason perhaps iMovie was on there? Although the icons seemed to be the programs I had already...

iMovie is on the second installation disc or in the Application install DVD. Put the Application install DVD and double click on the Optional Install ? What happens ?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I've looked at the optional Install items - iMovie is not there.

It is supposed to be there. Download the application named Pacifist from here : (just use the trial version)

Open Pacifist and load the Application DVD in Pacifist. Can you see iMovie in the list ?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I'll have a go but it's not possible at the moment. I'm using an old G5 Mac (don't ask why!) to Email and it doesn't have an airport card so I'd have to shut both machines down and switch the Enet cable over. The iMac is rendering a composition at the moment and will be some time. A friend of mine has a selection of OSX discs and a recent copy of iLife so I could try them but not until tomorrow.

Ok Chris. iLife discs will work. If possible, get the iLife discs from your friend and install it on your Mac.

Best Regards,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have a S/H Macbook that has the same problem, I thought for a moment that I'd used the wrong disc on the clean install but no the iMac is 10.6.4 and the Macbook is 10.6.3. iLife wouldn't install iMovie on the Macbook! (Not that I care! I can get by capturing video with Premier Pro)

FYI The discs of iMac won't work on Macbook and vice versa. They are machine specific discs and won't work on other Mac unless they are Retail. iLife will work on all Macs. Update your both Macs from Apple > Software Update to 10.6.8 version.

If you have iMovie on your other Mac, then can you try to copy it to your Mac ?

Also are you able to install iPhoto and iDVD ?

Re After Effects : Drag the Video to the Composition window rather than to the Timeline and does it still does to the begining ?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No I didn't get iPhoto, iDVD, or iMovie with the MacBook and iLife failed to install them for an 'unknown reason'

No it still doesn't go to the current time if you drag to the composition window. Alt, click, In does move it to the current time but that makes composing a time lapse sequence even more laborious.

Could you please give me the hardware specs of your Macbook ? And what version of iLife is this ?

I'm sorry, but I think I'm not so sure about the After Effects problem. Can you turn on Live Update and see that works or not ?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Macbook 2.1, Intel Core 2 Duo, 2.16 GHz, L2 cache 4MB, Bus Speed 667 MHz.


No time to do anything else today!

Get back to you later...

Your Macbook is Powerful enough to support iLife 11 (the latest one). So it should install properly. Are you sure the iLife disc is not damaged ?

Ok Chris. We can continue later.

Best Regards,

Related Mac Questions