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Ashik
Ashik, Mac Technician
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 10818
Experience:  Bachelor of Computer Application (BCA), 9+ Years of Experience in troubleshooting Macs, iPhone, iPad, iPod etc
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My iMac will not reboot (gray screen with Apple logo and wheel

Customer Question

My iMac will not reboot (gray screen with Apple logo and wheel turning).
I saw your answers at http://www.justanswer.com/mac-computers/6r3gy-mac-osx-snow-leopard-will-not-start-logo-screen.html but none of them have worked (PRAM, csafe mode, single user). What other options do I have?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
Hi and Welcome. My Name is ***** ***** I look forward to assisting you today with your question. What version of Mac OS X are you using ?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I believe it is OSX Snow Leopard 10.6.5.
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
Are you sure ? Do you remember upgrading to any latest version ?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I believe that's the latest because I was just comparing it to my laptop version (OSX Mavericks 10.9.5) a few days ago.
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
Restart and immediately hold down Command and R keys for 10 seconds and does it boot into Mac OS X Utilities screen ?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Did it. Let's see.
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
Let me know how it goes
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have the original OSX Snow Leopard disk, if that helps. So far, nothing except the startup wheel...
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Nope, nothing so far.
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
If it is not booting into Mac OS X Utilities screen, then you are using 10.6 or lower version. Since you already tried all basic troubleshooting steps, the only option left is reinstallation of OS X. Insert the Mac OS X Disc 1 to your Mac. Then restart and immediately hold down C key on your keyboard. This will boot your Mac into the Snow Leopard installation screen. Follow the onscreen instructions 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 and that should fix the problem. Please let me know if that didn't work, so we can continue troubleshooting.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It ejected the disk. Try again?
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
Clean the disc and put it back. Then turn off your Mac. Then unplug everything and wait 2 minutes. Then put it back and immediately hold down C key for 10 seconds. Does that boot into the disc ?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'll try. Please wait.
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
Take your time.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ejected the disk again.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
:(
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
Macs usually ejects the disc if it can't read or recognize it. Restart your Mac and immediately hold down Option key on your keyboard and this will boot into startup manager screen. What disks do you see there ?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Should I reinsert the disk first? Sorry, old school here, lol.
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
No, try without the disc first.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok, I see my hard drive.
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
Only one drive ?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes.
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
Insert the disc 1, boot into startup manager and can you see the disc there ?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Advise again as to how to boot into startup manager again, please.
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
Restart your Mac and immediately hold down Option key.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Same deal, just the hard drive. Disk ejected again. The DVD R/W on this machine isn't great.
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
That's the reason it is ejecting the disc. Is there any way to get an external DVD drive ?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I JUST bought one for my MacBook Air. Let me connect it to the iMac.
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
Okay
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I never installed the driver software on the iMac though. I'm thinking that could be a problem. How do/can I proceed?
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
External DVD drives doesn't require any drivers or software. Connect it to your Mac, put the disc 1 to the external drive and boot into start up manager (option key). Can you see the Installer disc there ?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Still only sees my HD, I'll try one more time.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
See the disk!
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
Great ! Select it and press return. This will boot into the disc.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I hear the DVD working, but nothing quite yet.
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
Let it boot. It will take some time to boot
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok, got a screen asking for language. Will select English at top.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Next?
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
Yes, follow the onscreen instructions to reinstall the OS X.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Arrow at bottom right, I assume?
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
Yes.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Seems to be installing...
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
Good luck. It may take upto 2 hours to finish the process.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
What should I do afterwards? (Besides "backup, backup, backup"? :)
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
Nothing. Reinstalling the OS X will just overwrite the old system files with new one by preserving your documents, files etc. So you won't lose anything and hence no need to restore from time machine or backup.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Question: CAN I backup to my DVD burner, since I'm now running off of it? Do I just restart regularly, remove the OS X disk and then burn a backup to the DVD burner?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Oops, "Install Failed"...
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Restarting
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The disk is pretty clean.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm a fussy person about keeping disks clean, but I bought this one used. Still, no dirt or scratches.
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
No, you can't backup to your DVD burner. It won't work that way. I believe the partition of your hard drive is corrupted.
Do you have the backup of your files ?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok. In the meantime, should I select "Disk Utility" from the "Utilities" menu?
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
Do you have the backup of your files ?
Yes, try repairing your hard disk with Disk Utility.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Unfortunately, I was just about to do a first backup when the machine died. So, no, I have no COMPLETE backup. All my music, etc. is stored here (not Cloud yet). Luckily, I transferred all my graphics files to my laptop yesterday.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Should I go ahead with Disk Utility in that case?
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
We may need to erase the hard drive and install a fresh version of OS X. If you erase the hard drive, you will lose everything from it. Let me know what you think.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
"Oh crap", sorry... :(
I'd appreciate any attempts to avoid that, of course.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Let me just confirm that running Disk Utility won't erase anything.
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
No, it won't. Repairing Disk in Disk Utility is safe. It will try to fix the hard drive.
If the disc is ok and if Disk Utility can't fix it, then I believe the partition of the hard drive is corrupted.
You now have three options. First is, buy a third party application like Disk Warrior (powerful disk utility application) and try to repair your hard disk or recover your files with it. If it is unable to fix the hard drive, then it will atleast help you to recover the files that are readable and let you save them to an external drive. Get it from here : http://www.alsoft.com/diskwarrior/
Disk Warrior is costly. If you don't want to recover any files, then you don't have to buy Disk Warrior. It is not worth it if you don't have any important files on it.
Second is, you can erase the hard drive and try to do a fresh version of Mac OS X in it. This will erase everything from your hard disk unfortunately. Boot into the Mac OS X Utilities screen just like you did before. In there, select Disk Utility. In Disk Utility, select your hard disk and erase it. Then close Disk Utility and continue installation. This is the quickest solution if you don't mind losing the files in it.
Third is, you can take the Mac to the Apple Store. They will recover the files using their tools and then reinstall Mac OS X for you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Disk Warrior sounds like a reasonable option to potentially replace all my music files. I don't use Cloud on iTunes. A lot of old music from CDs from way back when... About how much is it and how would I install it?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
"The volume appears to be ok" after verifying.
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
Disk Warrior comes in bootable flash drive as well as digital download. You can directly boot into Disk Warrior flash drive (like you boot into install disc by holding down Option at startup), then it allow you to browse through your files in the hard drive and allow you to backup to external hard drives.
It is $119.95
Remember, DiskWarrior will not work if the hard drive has failed (hardware issue). In this case, I don't think it is an hardware issue. See this article --> http://www.alsoft.com/DiskWarrior/index.html
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
"Updating boot support partitions for the volume as required."
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
That was after "Repair Disk".
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
That is not an error, but a message to do it. Repair the hard disk one more time and also repair permission. Then do a normal restart. If you are lucky, this will boot into desktop.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Repairing the hard disk one more time.
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
Then repair permission and restart your Mac.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
"Repair Disk Permissions" is grayed out, though.
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
Restart your Mac after repairing completed.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Without doing permissions (it won't let me do that)?
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
Yes.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Before I do that, FYI, it still says "Updating boot support partitions..."
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
Let it complete.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Seems to be taking some time, but that's ok.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok, how long should I wait for this to finish?
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
It should be finished by now. Just restart and see if it boot into desktop.
If it still not working, then you will have to get Disk Warrior. If you take it to the Apple store, they will recover the files for you via their tools or Target Disk Mode.
If you have another Mac with firewire port (I assume your iMac has the firewire port), then you can use target disk mode to copy the files to another Mac. Refer this article --> https://support.apple.com/kb/PH10725?locale=en_US
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Just a regular restart?
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
Yes
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Same thing. :(Again, should I wait?
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
No, it might not help. It is the partition/structure of the hard drive that is corrupted. Disk Utility is not capable of doing that much advanced repairs.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So you advise Disk Warrior then?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I've gone through our previous steps and am now reinstalling Snow Leopard from the disk.
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
Yes, or you can take it to the Apple Store. I'd recommend to take it to the Apple Store and check it before investing in Disk Warrior. You can make appointment from here --> https://www.apple.com/retail/geniusbar/
I'm being honest with you. I can't guarantee Disk Warrior will work for you. The reason is that, Disk Warrior will not work for hardware issues i.e if the hard drive is physically failing or if the structure has completely failed. We are not completely sure whether it is hardware or software, but I believe it is only software related.
But if it (Disk Warrior) can see the hard disk, it will try to repair it and if it can't repair, then it will allow you to recover the files to an external hard drive. I've personally tried Disk Warrior before and it had worked for me in the past, even for a failing hard drive.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I understand. There is an Apple Store about 5 minutes away, but they're kind of a pain, lol. If that's what I need to do, then I'll do that. Thanks very much.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Is there any way I can copy or download our conversation?
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
I know. You can get buy Disk Warrior then, but you need an external hard drive to move/recover the files from internal hard drive using Disk Warrior.
Disk Warrior is really worth the investment.
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
You can just copy and paste the entire conversation to a document.
Or add a bookmark of this page or add this page to your favorites, so you can access this page or get back to me anytime you want without paying again.
If you are getting Disk Warrior, then don't forget to add a bookmark of this page. So if you ever need my help, you can directly get back to me via this page without any additional charge.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sounds like an external HD is worth it as well, lol. I really have to thank you for your patience. Still waiting for the system to be reinstalled. About another 25 minutes. Thank you.
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
Of course it is worth it. The moment you got it working again, setup Time Machine with the external hard drive. Refer this article --> https://support.apple.com/en-in/HT201250
You are welcome and I'm really sorry that I couldn't solve your problem.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you so much. Do I need to log out?
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
Terry, it is very late in here, 2:30 AM IST. So I need to sign off soon. But if you have any questions or would like any additional information, please post a reply here and I will get back to you ASAP. This question will not be closed. You can get back to me at anytime you want.
I hope the installation will be successful this time. Good Luck.
If you are satisfied with my service, please don't forget to rate me positively as OK Service or higher.
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
No need to log out. You can just close this page without logging out. So you can get back to me later via this page if you need any further help, without paying again.
Don't forget to rate my service as OK Service or higher OR 3 stars or higher before you leave.
If you have any questions or would like any additional information, please don't hesitate to ask.
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
Hi Terry, I'm just checking. How the reinstallation process went out ?
Expert:  Ashik replied 2 years ago.
Hi Terry,
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. 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.

If you are satisfied with my service, please rate me as Good or Excellent service. Then only I will get credit for helping. You will not be charged anything additionally.

Thanks and Have a great day,
Ashik

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