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iMac Target Mode

Posted on 2011-02-25
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hello,

I am having a real issue here and would love some help! I have a gray iMac, that is getting stuck on the gray apple. I tried a PRAM reset, and then cmd s and fsdk -- which found an error but failed to repair it. I am going to reinstall the OS instead of playing around with it, but want to get the users pictures off first.

I booted the device into target mode and attached it into my white imacs firewire port however the device is not seen on the machine!

Please help! I need to get these pictures, I was thinking of taking the hard drive out and mounting directly using my sata to USB. Prefer an easier way though.
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Question by:Phelms215
12 Comments
 
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by:roylong
ID: 34985092
Presumably you get the FireWire icon on the screen of the problem iMac?

Have you double checked the FireWire cable connecting the two iMacs?

Does the external drive appear in the disk utility on the White iMac once in target disk mode and connected?  If so, have you tried clicking on it a then Mount in the tool bar?

Also, if it does appear in disk utility, have you tried disk repair from here?
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Expert Comment

by:roylong
ID: 34985102
Just a thought, open a new finder window and see if it's there.. ..you may have the show external drives on desktop deselected in the finder preferences.
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Author Comment

by:Phelms215
ID: 34985106
Yes, the firewire icon appears. It does not display anything in disk utility, that is the issue - I cannot do disk repair from their without the disk showing up.

I am believing it is the logic board, considering I tried to boot to CD and it gets stuck at the gray apple as well.

any thing else I can try?
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Expert Comment

by:roylong
ID: 34985117
In that case, if it boots to target disk mode correctly.. ..you may have a dodgy disk or logic board.

Have you tried taking out the memory to see if this is the issue?
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Author Comment

by:Phelms215
ID: 34985200
No i will try that now, not sure if its 2 chips or one. I'll let you know how that turns out
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Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 34985339
Your problem is almost certainly that you have disk directory corruption serious enough that the volume will not mount.

To recover the data, download a good data recovery program to the good Mac.

Data Rescue III is the best, but costs $99:  http://www.prosofteng.com/products/data_rescue.php

There is a freeware one you might try first:  http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/35373/disk-drill

Once you download the recovery software to the new Mac, connect the old Mac and boot in Target Disk Mode.

Assuming you can recover the data, the next step is to decide if the disk itself is kaput. Run disk utility from the good Mac and check the S.M.A.R.T. status of the other Mac's drive, again using Target Disk Mode. If it show "verified", your drive's hardware is good. If it shows anything else, pitch the drive.

If the drive shows as verified, there is still no point in re-installing the OS. You first have to re-initialize (i.e. reformat) the drive.  Format the drive as Apple Extended Format (Journalled). If your iMac is an Intel chip iMac, you will have to set the partition map to GUID. Otherwise set it to Apple Partition Map. Once the drive is reformatted, you can re-install the OS.
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Author Comment

by:Phelms215
ID: 34985391
strung, why would  a data program see the drive when I mount it to the other iMac if disk utility wont? seems like a waste of money, as disk utility works the same way.
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Author Comment

by:Phelms215
ID: 34985417
I was able to get the device to mount, once I upgrade the white iMac to 10.6.3 everything went beautifully. I wonder if there is an issue mounting 10.6 in 10.5 ?
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Expert Comment

by:roylong
ID: 34986711
That's interesting.. ..the White iMac should've just seen it as a disk. One possible explanation could be that the firmware on the newer problem macintosh was incompatible with the older iMac.  I'll remember that, though as it may be useful down the line.. ..I may do a couple of tests on older equipment next week.
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Expert Comment

by:nappy_d
ID: 34986916
Try this boot you Mac holding CMD+S a black screen should appear.

Type "fsck -fy" without the quotes and press enter.

If all is successful and it finds issues with the file system, it should repair them.

When the process completes, type "exit" and it should hopefully boot properly.
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Accepted Solution

by:
mmoore82 earned 2000 total points
ID: 34987605
It should have mounted on any Mac running 10.4 or later.. When a drive is in really bad shape, weird things can happen though..  I've always had better luck pulling the drive from the system rather than using target mode.  The drive has to be pulled anyway if it's failing.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Phelms215
ID: 34989302
Though I was able to see it once I upgraded it failed about 4 times, I'm thinking the drive is just going bad.

I pulled it and got all the pictures, home videos etc off of it. Heck maybe I can sell them a backup solution with the new hard drive! :)
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