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imac won't start up

Posted on 2004-08-22
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Last Modified: 2013-11-24
my imac won't start up. It gets to a screen that has a computer face (smiling) and a beach ball spinng. It won't go past this point. I have tried holding keys command+s at start up but nothing happened except lines of code on the screen. It would not accept typing more info. Any suggestions?
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Question by:rmontjoy
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by:weed
ID: 11866515
What OS version? What happened to the machine just before it had this problem?
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by:njxbean
ID: 11871012
boot with the os disk and repair the disk and repair permissions a couple times.  then try booting up.
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by:rmontjoy
ID: 11873152
Hi Weed,
OS version is X (10.X?) I'm not sure. I'm not a mac guy. (The imac is my daughter's.) Just before the problem everything was OK. Nothing out of the ordinary, as far as I know. We don't have virus protection. Could it be a virus?

njxbean,
I can't get it to boot with any disk. I have tried all the ones I have. No good.

Should I reformat the hard drive. If so how?
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by:weed
ID: 11873173
There are no virii for OS X.

You cant even boot from the OS X installer disc?
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by:njxbean
ID: 11873525
try zapping the p-ram.  Hold apple + option + P +R while booting the computer.  Wait untill u hear 3 chimes then let go.  However, you should be able to boot with a cd.  
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by:idarmadi
ID: 11878356
rmontjoy,

To boot from your CD.

- Power On your computer, immidiately insert the CD, and press and hold C.  If you do it quick enough, it will boot from your CD-ROM.  Else, with the CD still inside, restart the Mac and press and hold C.

OR

- Press and hold OPTION key, and turn on your computer.  It will enter a special boot page.  Insert your boot CD.  Click on that CD and click the RIGHT ARROW on the lower right of the screen.

OSX has no virus... (at least for the moment). :)  I think you'll just need to do what njxbean suggestion (repair the disk and the permission).

Good Luck.
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by:rmontjoy
ID: 11882694
Thanks for the suggestions, guys. I'll try and let you know.
Ray
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by:rmontjoy
ID: 11893590
Good Morning,

I have tried all the above suggestions and nothing works.

Any more ideas? Is this a throw away?

Ray
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by:weed
ID: 11893687
What happens when you try to boot from the installer CD?
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by:njxbean
ID: 11893693
You should try to be a bit more descriptive as to what happens when it doesnt work.  So you cant boot with ANY cd?  what cd's are you trying to boot with?  Do you have another mac?  you can try booting it into target disk mode and then repairing the permissions that way.
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by:rmontjoy
ID: 11905145
Thanks for your replies,

It will not boot from any cd. I have tried the OSX cd, the os 9 cd, and one other one that came with the computer. None of them works.

Everything I have tried results in the same outcome-- a smiling computer face in the middle of the screen and a rotating "beachball" in the upper left corner of the screen.

The "optioon" key hold down during start up did produce a screen that gave me a chioce of booting fron the hard drive or a cd. I selected the cd option, with the OSX cd in the drvie but got the smiling computer screen--nothing after that.
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njxbean earned 125 total points
ID: 11905682
When you boot with the os 9 cd, you see the computer and a "spinning beach ball"?   YOu might wanna try target disk mode at this point.
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by:rmontjoy
ID: 11914260
Hi njxbean,

Thanks for your reply.

I don't understand target disk mode. Please explain.

Ray
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by:njxbean
ID: 11914377
oh.  Sorry for not explaining it.  What you need to do is connect the imac to another mac using a firewire cable.  Then, boot the imac up while holding "T".  You should see a firewire sign on the screen of the imac.  Then, on the other macintosh, you should see the imac harddrive mount to the desktop.  Once that is mounted, you can try repairing permissions or running diskwarrior.  If need be, backup your data, then format and reinstall the os on that drive.  
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by:idarmadi
ID: 11919177
Rmonjoy,

Have you ever wait for how long does the 'rotating beachball' last?  For some mac, it will took a while to boot from CD (and I really mean a while like around 4-5 minutes or even more if you have a scratched CD, a dirty or old CD DRIVE, or a CD-R disc.  On one of my eMac (new), it refuses to boot from a CDR boot disk, but other eMac got no problem.).

Have you try to boot with Apple Hardware Test CD?  Use this CD to check your Mac hardware.

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Expert Comment

by:rodneylim
ID: 12290135
Hi Ray!

i had the same problem as well and twice it had happened to me! talk about bad luck! but luckily I was still on warrenty so I took it to the apple care centre and I was there for about half a day as i wanted to see what they do as well. The CD that comes with the Mac will do the trick. It will boot up but like what idarmadi said it takes very long. You will have to wait. Like what njxbean said...repair the permissions! Hope this helps!

Rodney
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