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Undermeind asked on

Help me diagnose eMac hardware

I'm working on a eMac (model: A1002) for a friend. It's running OS X.  I know a pretty good bit about PC's but I'm lost with this machine and Mac's period.

The owner says (and i have observed) the machine boots up fine. However, he's lost the password(s). He says (and i haven't observed) that once you do log in, it freezes up completely once you log in.  I'm not really clear on at what point it freezes, just that it does. I can't log in because he forgot the password (it's been sitting around for awhile).

What I'd like to do is some general diagnosis of the hardware. While I know the freeze-up-upon-login sounds distinctly like software issues, I'd like to know how to diagnose/verify the hardware in the process too. Is there a bootable disk out there that can check all a Macs hardware easily?
Apple Hardware

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8/22/2022 - Mon

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I'll ask him about the upgrades later today. And, I'm interested if the O/S has ever functioned beyond login for that matter. Perhaps this is just an install that never functioned. As you can tell, I've gotten very little information from him.

About diagnosing the hardware: I haven't asked yet, but I'm almost positive he wouldn't have the original hardware diagnosis disk. Is there an alternative, universal Mac diagnostic boot disk. Something along the lines of Hiren's boot disk etc?  i.e. something that can simply tell me the hardware specs and do basic hardware tests.

Also, if I were able to get an image of a OS X disk, how could I burn it with a PC in a format that would boots on the Mac?



There is nothing that is free. A good commercial produce is TechToolPro:


The cost of that might be more than a 5 year old computer is worth.

You are clearly going to need a boot disk of some sort and these are not free. Hopefully your friend has a system CD of some sort.

It is possible that this computer has both OS 9 and OS X on it. You might try booting it while holding down the option key until the boot selector comes up. This will give you the option of booting into OS 9 if it is installed as well. The computer might well boot in OS 9 if OS X is corrupt. If it does, you can find a copy of Disk First Aid in the OS 9 Utilities folder and use it to see if you have disk directory corruption.

Let us know how you manage.

A couple of other options:

Try booting while holding down the shift key. This will boot the computer in OS X, but with all extensions turned off (sort of like booting a PC in safe mode). It might in fact boot in that mode. Also make sure all external peripherals are disconnected.

Also see:  http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=106464
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Walt Forbes

I got the original disks and am using them to diagnose the problem further. The various key tricks during boot were very helpful too. Thanks.