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Fixing A "frozen" Imac 20" With A Stuck-in Dvd


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#1 mike18xx

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 01:33 PM

I have one of the newer iMac flat-screens with the following problem:

* Won't launch beyond the black apple/white background.
* Won't launch my OSX boot DVD by holding down C (or shift-C or Command-C or anything-C).
* Won't eject the OSX boot DVD (and this model doesn't have the paper-clip pinhole to force-eject).

Tried solutions which didn't work:

* Moving the ram module from one slot to the other.
* Command-Option-PR ("zap PRam") -- made machine "re-bong" like it should, but no other progress.
* Command-Option-OF (firmware reset) -- no apparent effect.

The machine is out of warranty, and having it sit in some repair place for weeks and then get a $400 bill is not an option.

-- The apparent problem appears to be simple file-corruption (of the sort that would be easily fixed if I could get my DiskWarrior DVD in the drive and launching), or if I could remove the hard-drive and add it to the chain of my G4 tower (I have a laptop-to-IDE connector).

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#2 TVT

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 03:11 PM

If I remember correctly, holding return on boot will eject the disc
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#3 Buddyme2

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 03:16 AM

To Force Eject a Stuck CD or DVD try one or all of these.

# Shut down the computer and start up whilst holding down the mouse button. This may take some time, but keep your finger on the mouse button right up until the disc comes out or the log-in screen has appeared.

# Restart the computer while holding down Command-Option-O-F, to enter the Open Firmware prompt. Type "eject cd" without the quotes, and press return. The disk ought to eject. To start into OS X, type "mac-boot" without the quotes. Press return, and the computer will continue with the startup. (This will not work on an Intel Mac. There is no Open Firmware on Intel Macs. )

# If your computer has an eject button on the keyboard, restart the computer holding down the Option key. When the startup disk selection screen appears, let go of the option key and press the keyboard's eject button.

After ejecting the disc, I would try a Safe Boot then reboot regularly. A SB disables a few things, one of them is the login items which might be causing the hang you are experiencing. While in Safe Boot you could delete them just to see if you could reboot fine without them.
Another would be to boot off the Install DVD to Repair Disk using Disk Utility. If you still can't boot from the Install DVD you could try booting to Single-User Mode to run fsck.

Instead of removing the drive, first try the Firewire Target Disk Mode option so you can use DW on the iMac with the G4.

#4 mike18xx

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 01:04 PM

While we're on the subject, is there a key combo that will force-boot from an external USB or Flash drive (assuming you have one properly partitioned and with the correct OS)?

#5 TVT

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 02:50 PM

If you hold down option during start up, it will give you a list of all possible drive to boot from
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#6 mike18xx

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 05:35 PM

(Thanks.)

Latest update:

Thanks to the hold-down-Option trick, I can get to the stage where I saw the hard-drive, the stuck DVD, and my USB drive -- and got the DVD to eject.

Remaining problem: The iMac will not boot past the black apple logo no matter what (the "spinner" does NOT appear)-- even though all three of the devices I listed have the correct OS for that model.

Things I have tried:

* Command-Option-O-F to enter open-firmware doesn't work. (the Option key, the Eject key, and Command-Option-P-R work, so I've no reason to believe there's anything wrong with the keyboard).

* Shift while starting ....nothing happens.

* Command-V ...creates a half-screen worth of geek code that I don't understand. Last two lines are "Waiting on (long line of stuff)" and "USB caused wake event" (the keyboard was the only device connected).

* Left it on all night multiple times.

* Swapping ram with a stick from an identical machine. (That machine boots with bad machine's stick, so I gather the ram was OK; bad machine refuses to boot past the logo.)

* The USB drive will boot an identical iMac properly, so I know it's OK. The USB drive was installed with the OS on the DVD, and the both the drive and the DVD will boot the identical iMac -- so I know they're OK.

* Moved the bad iMac to the identical (good) iMac's location and started it with the other machine's keyboard and mouse. ...no dice.

* Held my hand on on it to judge if it was warmer than the other (good) iMac (which might indicate an overheating problem). It wasn't any warmer than the other three machines in the office.



....any other ideas I can try before burning big bales of money?

Edited by mike18xx, 09 April 2008 - 06:52 PM.


#7 Buddyme2

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 07:00 PM

Have you tried connecting it to the good Mac via firewire? If the HDD icon shows up on the good Macs Desktop you should see if Disk Utility or Disk Warrior can repair the drive.

Some basic trouble shooting you can try.
http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?sto...004011205473937
http://forums.osxfaq.com/viewtopic.php?t=7269
http://thexlab.com/faqs/faqs.html

#8 mike18xx

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 09:43 PM

I haven't tried that yet (we'll see about it at work tomorrow), but the flaw in that theory is that the iMac isn't booting from an install DVD or USB-drive either -- so I can't see a drive problem as the cause unless it's something so bizarre that it merely spinning up causes the whole machine to freeze, and at exactly the same point every time.

-- It's a pity these things are an even bigger pain to get into than the laptops.

Edited by mike18xx, 09 April 2008 - 09:45 PM.


#9 Buddyme2

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Posted 10 April 2008 - 05:27 PM

If it doesn't work then it must be a hardware problem in which case you will need to spend some bux in order to get it fixed. If it has Applecare, it should be fixed under warranty.
CreativeTechs My Mac Won't Start! A Tiny Guide.

#10 TVT

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Posted 10 April 2008 - 06:52 PM

-- It's a pity these things are an even bigger pain to get into than the laptops.

Heres 2 take apart guides of sorts for the new aluminum iMacs.

Guide 1
Guide 2

Looking at that guide(which is really nice btw) it seems like everything but target disk mode and possibly single user mode have been tried.
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#11 mike18xx

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Posted 10 April 2008 - 11:45 PM

I really am very curious as to your theory of what might prevent ever getting the "spinner" after the logo appears, especially with an assortment of boot devices as diverse as the hard-drive, a DVD, and a USB-drive.

Edited by mike18xx, 10 April 2008 - 11:46 PM.


#12 TVT

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 01:02 PM

This is just a guess, but the only thing I could think of is that the EFI firmware took a crap. THat would explain why nothing is booting up.

Just out of curiosity, did you do any updates before this started happening? Or was it random?

One thing that seems certain is that this is a hardware issue. The only thing left I can think of to confirm this is to remove the hard drive and try and boot off it via USB on the other mac.
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#13 mike18xx

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 02:31 PM

No updates...unless Apple did something automatically overnight. (Now there WAS a firmware update available about this time, which, on the other machines, required the user to hold down the power button until a long, weird squeak was made. I did try this on the broke machine, but it didn't solve the problem.)

BTW, I also tried looking at the drive with the iMac firewire-attached to the other (working) iMac. There didn't appear to be anything wrong with the drive, according to the Disk Utility, and nothing appears missing.

Edited by mike18xx, 11 April 2008 - 05:36 PM.


#14 TVT

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 07:26 PM

So it boots into target mode, but nothing else, right?
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#15 mike18xx

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 02:44 PM

So it boots into target mode, but nothing else, right?

If by "boot" you mean get-a-white-screen-with-firewire-logo (and see the drive mount on the other machine) -- that's correct.

Anything else....nada.




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