Bamboozled By Mac

Oh lord, the shit done hit the fan. Our firstgen Intel iMac which we bought in January of this year has decided to commit digital suicide — it went from running perfectly fine to zip, nada, zilch, exorcist style within hours. Upon startup we now get the dreaded flashing folder with question mark. Yes: we have tried starting up from a proper OS X install disk; yes: we have tried hooking up directly via Firewire to another Mac — we do not even get to see the hard disk in both cases. Any Mac guru’s out there that could help us out?

11 thoughts on “Bamboozled By Mac”

  1. Boot up holding the Option (“alt”) key – this will show you what working bootable OS’s are on your machine – you can then select and launch.

    If that fails, see if you can boot from the original install CD – hold down the ‘C’ key, then – DO NOT RUN INSTALLER – but from the File menu select the Disk Utility programme and see if you can verify and/or repair disk permissions (a common error in such instances)… hotcha

    Some useful keyb/d solos/short cuts:

    Press X during startup
    = force Mac OS X startup

    Press Option(Alt)+Command(Apple)+Shift+Delete during startup
    = bypass primary startup volume and seek a different startup volume (such as a CD or external disk)

    Press C during startup
    = start up from a CD that has a system folder

    Press N during startup
    = attempt to start up from a compatible network server (NetBoot)

    Press T during startup
    = start up in FireWire Target Disk mode (when computer connected to another OSX machine by firewire cable)

    Press Shift during startup
    = start up in Safe Boot mode and temporarily disable login items and non-essential kernel extension files (Mac OSX 10.2 and later)

  2. Ian, thanks much for the tips. So far I’ve started up with:
    – alt key: does not show me any bootable OS (blank screen)
    – c key + install CD > Disk Utility: shows a “WDC ROM” volume, reports it to have 0 bytes volume. All repair buttons within Disk Utility are greyed out when selecting it.
    – x key: gets me to the flashing question mark screen
    – t key / firewire: the “good” mac doesn’t show the iMac on the desktop.
    – safe mode: doesn’t work, I get the question mark flashing screen again.
    – tried data rescue to see if it could locate the bad drive — can’t see the volume.

    There’s a nasty ticking sound when i start the iMac up — I think the hard drive is officially a “late hard drive”… :(

  3. I just bought myself an external LaCie firewire disk — along with SuperDuper software. This shit is never, ever going to happen to me again, I can tell you that much. My advice: back up, back up, and back up again…

  4. I’m a Macophile, but I always wait at least 3 months after new computers are released to avoid these things. I’m glad that things seem to have worked themselves out, and if they haven’t then I’m hoping for the best.

  5. Mac vs PC

    It’s like being snobby about working in a junk yard as opposed to being a garbage man.

  6. They warned on the TV news about this virus thing on the iPods with video screen. Mac’s response: Windows did it.

    Good to see that the Apple people have a proper response to their troubles LOL

  7. I read this this post only today (11/02…). Did you resolve? At work I have a newer version of DiskWarrior, the best disk utility for MacOs X now out, I think . If you need it, I can make a copy and send to you; it lets you start the Mac from the CD (better yet if you install the program on a FW external disc and boot from it), and then you can run the utilities to (try and) repair your startup disk…

  8. Hey Renzo, sorry your comment got thrown in the junk folder by WordPress. Thanks for the kind offer (I may take you up on it to prevent future calamities). However by now the iMac is in the hands of an Apple reseller for fixing. It’s still under guarantee luckily, but they will be charging me 50 euros for data recovery. Fingers crossed…

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