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macOS High Sierra Boot Failure on iMac Apple 21.5

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#1 Prosigoj


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Posted 17 December 2017 - 06:24 PM

Few weeks ago, on an Apple 21.5” iMac Desktop Computer (4th-Generation, late 2013), I installed the just released macOS High Sierra v.10.13.1. I’ve recognized that on November 29, 2017, Apple Released a Security Update for macOS High Sierra and installed it on the iMac in the background (without consent). During the next weekend I’ve Shut Down the computer, then turned it off with the power button and unplug the power cord overnight. When I reconnected the power cord and turned on the iMac with the power button on the next morning, I could see the log-in screen, enter the password, and then a muddy picture with a unusually slow moving progress bar, which run (filled) completely, but the screen did not progress, as typically, to open a functional Desktop (picture) with the Dock. After waiting for about an hour, I’ve tried to Force Shutdown the computer by pressing and holding the power button, then restart the iMac with the power button, but only got the same muddy picture with the slowly moving progress bar, which, again, after running till the end, the computer did not progress to opening a functional Desktop with a Dock. 


I restarted several more times, unsuccessfully, then I contacted Apple Support and talked on the phone to few advisors (Case ID: 100370008105). In order to correct this situation, together, or I myself, did several times the following: 

1.      Manual restart [https://support.apple.com/kb/PH25410?locale=en_US&viewlocale=en_US] 

2.      Start up in Safe Mode [https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201262] 

3.      Reset the System Management Controller (SMC)[https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201295] 

4.      Reset the Nonvolatile Random-Access Memory (NVRAM)[https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204063] 

5.      In Single-User Mode, a “senior” advisor from Apple Support wanted me to run the following commands (without further explanation): 


mount -uw /
rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone


However, after the log-in screen asking for the password, we have always ended up at the following GRAY SCREEN: user account picture, user account name, and progress bar (initially “filling” fast until the middle, and then slowing down, “filled” completely, till the end, after about 20 minutes). But NO visible progress to open the Desktop with the Dock (when waiting for several hours). 


Since I could not recognize whether the computer could communicate with the original wireless keyboard and mouse in Bluetooth, I’ve replaced them and connected an Apple wired keyboard and mouse to the iMac. 


Starting up from macOS Recovery [https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204904; https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201314], I’ve been able several times to

1.      “Install the latest macOS that was installed on your Mac, without upgrading to a later version” using Command ()-R 

2.      “Upgrade to the latest macOS that is compatible with your Mac,” macOS High Sierra v.10.13.2, using Option-Command-R  

3.      “Install the macOS that came with your Mac, or the version closest to it that is still available” using Shift-Option-Command-R


Options 1 and 2 download and installation had always run (apparently) without problems, until I’ve ended up, again, at the same GRAY SCREEN. Option 3 could NOT be completed: “OS X Mavericks cannot be installed on “Macintosh HD” because a newer OS was installed. 


Current Startup Disk: 

Macintosh HD 

OS X, 10.13.2 


The iMac’s hardware (hard drive) appeared NOT damaged:  

1.      Starting up in Single-User Mode [https://support.apple.com/kb/PH25359?locale=en_US&viewlocale=en_US] and running a disk check [sbin/fsck -fy], showed “The volume Macintosh HD appears to be OK.” 

2.      The Apple Diagnostics and Apple Hardware Test [https://support.apple.com/kb/PH25696?locale=en_US&viewlocale=en_US] showed “No issues found” 

3.      Running the Disk Utility [https://support.apple.com/guide/disk-utility/welcome; https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201639] displayed “Operation successful” 


The only issue I’ve able to identify was after a start up in Verbose Mode [https://support.apple.com/kb/PH25625?locale=en_US&viewlocale=en_US] and using the key combination Command-V. It did display “indefinitely” the following message: “Process [x] crashed: opendirectoryd. Too many corpses being created.” After several hours it went from Process [187] to Process [1379], when I’ve lost patience and did a Force Shutdown. 


I appeal to all iGeeks to show their prowess and assist me in fixing the (software, macOS) issue on this iMac, so I can use it again before the Holidays, and thanks in advance for your contemplation. 

Edited by Chris Cosgrove, 18 December 2017 - 06:24 PM.
Moved from Apple iOS to MacOS

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#2 Buddyme2


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Posted 19 December 2017 - 01:09 AM

Would you be willing to spend a $120 on DiskWarrior? It may not fix the problem but that's what I'd try after exhausting all other options.

#3 sflatechguy


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Posted 24 December 2017 - 09:29 AM

It appears you have posted this on multiple forums. As was noted here, https://discussions.apple.com/thread/8199572, your only remaining option is to wipe the drive and do a fresh install.


The update you refer to was to resolve a security vulnerability that would allow users to elevate themselves to root with being prompted for a password. Apple's policy on these kinds of updates is to install them and not prompt the user. I can't say if that update is what caused your hard drive and/or OS to fail.

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