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Old 04-07-2012, 07:56 AM   #1
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iMac Intel - Assistance please

I have encountered a problem with my IMAC Intel, it no longer boots pass the white apple logo, tried to boot from an apple installation disc thinking I could reload (leopard OS), it went through 80% of the installation and frooze, tried couple of times, but in vain.

I reckon my hard disk is on its last legs, but before i assume anything else, i thought i post this query to all imac guru's out here, has anyone encountered anthing similar, if so any assistance or advise would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:14 AM   #2
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If the OS installer DVD boots up and works without fault, but can't complete the installation, then I would say that sounds like the hard drive is toast.

How old is the Mac?
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:33 PM   #3
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Yes. It's a typical symptom of hard drive failures or impending failures. My own hard drive was doing the same thing. We bought a tool called Scannerz (http://www.scsc-online.com for more info) and it pretty much told us that the "early" sectors of the HD (critical) were either toast or in the process of becoming toast.

With that said, however, you should be able to completely boot from the DVD. It sounds like you've done that and tried reloading the OS. According to the Scannerz manual I believe they recommend attempting a full format of the drive with the "zero disk" security option selected. That will force the drive to map bad sectors out and replace them with spare sectors (if it has any left). A simple format won't cut it. Zeroing, depending on the size of the drive, can take hours and it's done with diskutility. If diskutility can't successfully zero out your drive, then it means the drive is probably dead. If diskutility does successfully appear to zero it out, that may not mean that it's really fixed either. We had a firewire drive that was giving us problems, used diskutility on it, and thought it was fixed. We ran Scannerz on it and it failed the drive! You could actually watch Scannerz struggle to read certain sectors....they WERE readable...if you call taking 20 seconds to read a single sector a success (a sector should be read in milliseconds).

Personally, I suspect my own drive is probably repairable. I could follow the Scannerz manual advice, reformat, do this, do that, and I might be able to have a working drive back, BUT, the drive is 6 years old and I've used it a lot. Hard drives (not SSDs) are cheap and you have to ask yourself how much hassle you're willing to put up with attempting to get a bad drive working again since it's already showing signs of failure.

I've been considering SSDs (and posted as much on another site) but I'd really, really, really check them out carefully before committing. I did a brief survey of their reliability on the web yesterday and wasn't impressed with what I found.

Hope this helps.....

Last edited by bsd5tu1; 04-13-2012 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:36 AM   #4
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Hopefully you've got backups, as what you describe sounds like HDD failure.
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