Emac will not boot

I have an eMac running OSX (most likely Tiger, but I've never booted the system so I can't be sure) that we swapped the hard drive on, it is now hanging during boot. During a new normal boot the eMac starts to load the desktop (wallpaper appears) but then hangs, during a safe boot it hangs at 'Loading Login Window'. The progress bar animates so I know it's not frozen, but it's been sitting there for like 4 hours now. Any advice?

Thanks
lcsserviceAsked:
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greedjCommented:
Did you image the old drive to the new drive or was it a fresh install? If you imaged, did you use superduper? Was the old drive failing? You might have duplicated corrupt files.
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lcsserviceAuthor Commented:
The drive was directly swapped from the old machine the new(er) one, nothing was changed on the OS. As far as I know the drive was not failing.
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greedjCommented:
Oh, you swapped machines. Is it the EXACT same mode machine?
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greedjCommented:
I meant to say Model not mode.
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lcsserviceAuthor Commented:
I'm being told we ordered the same model number but were not certain if the hardware is EXACTLY the same.
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greedjCommented:
That can be tricky on a MAC. The model can be the same on the bottom but the insides can differ.

Why did you swap the machine, was the old machine damaged? Are you sure the hard drive has not been corrupted on the old machine?
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lcsserviceAuthor Commented:
There was a small electrical fire at the office the Mac resides in, this Mac stopped booting after that. I don't believe it was near the outlet that had the fire.
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greedjCommented:
Hmm, it sounds like you might just have 2 slightly different macs.
Can you put the origional drive back into the new mac and hook the hard drive from the broken mac to the new pc via a usb adapter and copy your data off?
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greedjCommented:
I said PC, I meant MAC ;^)
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strungCommented:
Macs will typically not boot from a system older than the one they shipped with. If the drive came out of an older eMac, the system software on it may be too old to boot the newer eMac.

Can you put the drive back into the older eMac and see if it will boot that machine? If it does, and it is running 10.4.x, then update to 10.4.11 using the combo updater found here:  http://support.apple.com/kb/DL170 and you then might well be able to boot the newer eMac.
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strungCommented:
Re Greedj's comment, you need a firewire cable, not a USB cable, to copy from Mac to Mac. This is called Firewire Target Disk Mode. See:

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=Mac/10.6/en/8443.html
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greedjCommented:
Re: Strung comment. I was not talking about target disk mode. I was talking about putting the HD that came with the new mac back into the new mac and using a USB <> Sata adapter to copy the user files from the broken mac drive to the new mac using the booted new mac OS.
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strungCommented:
Yes, of course that would work. I misunderstood what you were suggesting.
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lcsserviceAuthor Commented:
Ok, so it seems like I'll have to go about this a different way, is there anyway I can verify which version of OSX I'm running before going into the main OS? I'll have to see if we have an IDE -> USB dock around, if it comes down to it we can try to copy the data over.
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strungCommented:
Try booting into single user mode by booting while holding down the Command-S key combination. Then at the command prompt type

SW_VERS

that should then echo back the system software version.
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strungCommented:
By the way, did you try resetting the PRAM by cold booting while holding down the command-option-p-r key combination until you hear the startup chime a third time?
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strungCommented:
P.S. while in single user mode, after getting the system software version, type:

fsck -y

to do a disk directory repair.
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lcsserviceAuthor Commented:
Some new info:

It's running OSX version 10.3.4, clearing the PRAM didn't help and doing the directory repair didn't help. Any other ideas?
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strungCommented:
You could try updating to 10.3.9:  http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2464?viewlocale=en_US
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strungCommented:
Here are more troubleshooting suggestions: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1411
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strungCommented:
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lcsserviceAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your input, unfortunately I am unable to run the update as I can't mount my USB drive in single user mode. Tomorrow I'm swapping the working hard drive back in and I'll attempt to copy the data over that way. I'll post here and let you know how it turns out.
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lcsserviceAuthor Commented:
Update:

Unfortunately we were unable to get the Mac to boot so I'm going to close the question and award points accordingly. Thanks for all the help!
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lcsserviceAuthor Commented:
Were unable to get the Mac to boot due to hardware differences.
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