My sick iMac

Discussion of general issues, not related to a specific Mac or iDevice operating system.
anne murray
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Re: My sick iMac

Post by anne murray » Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:20 pm

My iMac is 21.5" IC13/3/06 4GB/500 SD. I'm sure it is Lion compatible. I also have a new MacBook Air.

The only thing plugged into the computer is the keyboard. However, I did not disable my wireless modem.

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Stephen Hart
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Re: My sick iMac

Post by Stephen Hart » Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:46 pm

Do you have the hardware serial number on paperwork? You should be able to use that to find the actual model identifier, which should look something like iMac11,3.

Also, do you have the two gray DVDs that came with your iMac?
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
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anne murray
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Re: My sick iMac

Post by anne murray » Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:23 pm

I think this is the data you're requesting, Steve.

Apple iMac "Core i3" 3.06 21.5-Inch (Mid-2010) Specs
Identifiers: Mid-2010 - MC508LL/A - iMac11,2 - A1311 - 2389

Yes, I have the disks. However, the start-up disk is now inside the computer because I tried Richard's suggestion of starting up from it. I don't know how to get it out.

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Stephen Hart
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Re: My sick iMac

Post by Stephen Hart » Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:07 pm

Your iMac will start up with Mountain Lion.
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5444?view ... cale=en_US

I can bring a startup hard drive over and see if I can help. Drop me an e-mail at stephenhart@mac.com and we can figure out a time.

If the startup DVD is in the slot, you could try again starting up from it:

First make sure the iMac is shut down.

Now press the power button and...

Press and hold C during startup: start up from the install DVD

If the Hardware Test starts up, set it going and leave it. That might detect a problem, and Apple will pay attention to that.

Press and hold D during startup: start up from the Apple Hardware Test on the same DVD

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1533
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
Steve Jobs

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Richard Serkes
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Re: My sick iMac

Post by Richard Serkes » Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:20 pm

anne murray wrote:
Yes, I have the disks. However, the start-up disk is now inside the computer because I tried Richard's suggestion of starting up from it. I don't know how to get it out.
Actually, that was Jerry's idea and a good one. The next time you boot your iMac try using the EJECT key. It's the one that looks like an arrowhead pointing up. That should get the SuperDrive to eject the DVD.
---
Always burn your bridges. You never know who's coming up from behind.

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JerryFreilich
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Re: My sick iMac

Post by JerryFreilich » Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:26 am

Do not go to the Apple Store and do not get into a sweat about this. I will come to your place this afternoon and have a look at things if necessary. Call me on my iPhone 477-3338.

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Stephen Hart
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Re: My sick iMac

Post by Stephen Hart » Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:11 pm

JerryFreilich wrote:Do not go to the Apple Store and do not get into a sweat about this. I will come to your place this afternoon and have a look at things if necessary. Call me on my iPhone 477-3338.
I was planning to go over tomorrow afternoon, but if you can figure out what's going on, Jerry, that'd be excellent.
I was just going to try target mode to see if the hard drive is visible, and if so run Disk Warrior. Alternatively, I'd try a known-good startup drive.
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
Steve Jobs

anne murray
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Diagnosing and Repairing a sick iMac

Post by anne murray » Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:54 pm

I returned from a trip to find my iMac frozen with a black box in the middle of the screen telling me in 5 languages that I needed to restart the computer. I have now learned that this is called a “kernel panic.” When I attempted to restart the computer, it turned on and gave me the familiar gray screen and Apple logo but would not boot. Here are the steps I took with the help of the SMUG forum and ultimately Stephen Hart.

Attempted to startup from the Installation CD. (Hold down the C key)
Attempted to startup from a connected back-up drive. (Hold down the Option key and select the desired drive.)

Stephen then came over and took the following steps:

Connected my computer to an external hard drive with an operating system on it and tried to start up my iMac from his drive . (Hold down the Option key during startup.)

Connected my computer to a MacBook Pro and started up the iMac in Target mode. My computer started up in Target mode, but he could not see the iMac’s drive in the MacBook Pro’s Finder.

Started DiskWarrior software within which he could rebuild my Directory. DiskWarrior successfully rebuilt the directory reporting only minor errors, so that indicated either a CPU problem or another hardware problem.

Ran a hardware test on my computer by restarting from the Installation CD holding down the D key. Bingo! That indicated faulty RAM.

I ordered new RAM from Other World Computing, installed it myself with support. I now have a wonderfully functioning computer and double the amount of RAM. What a great and generous group of experts we have.

P.S. In a crisis it is very, very helpful to have a second computer to research Apple’s website and communicate with SMUG.

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Stephen Hart
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Re: My sick iMac

Post by Stephen Hart » Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:20 pm

I'll add a couple of notes:

Hardware Test, which is hidden on all Apple install disks, is not a panacea. If it indicates a hardware error, Apple will generally accept that and fix or replace the hardware. But if it doesn't detect any problem, that's not a clean bill of health.

In this case, when I--finally--figured out I should try the Hardware Test, it gave us a defective RAM message in a few seconds. I switched the RAM to a different set of slots and got the same result. That was enough evidence to suggest replacing the RAM.

Hardware Test probably runs a RAM test first. Failing a quick result, you may need to let Hardware Test run for a long time, or a very, very long time. Apple may ask you to set up Hardware Test to run repeatedly and then leave it going overnight.

Here's Apple's tech note about how do use Hardware Test if your Mac didn't come with any disks:
It's basically the same procedure: hold down the D key while restarting.
http://support.apple.com/kb/PH11342
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
Steve Jobs

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