Mac OS forum


tried everything, iMac won't boot up

by juliangibbard / February 9, 2013 8:16 PM PST

I have an imac 21.5in purchased january 2010. Upgraded to OSX snow leopard. I have the original OSX (10.6.1) installation disc and snow leopard update disc. I have backed up recently onto my time machine and disconnected everything but for a wired keyboard and mouse. Now for the problem!
I think I accidentally sent the applications to the trash. Now, when I start the computer from the back button, a grey screen comes up with an alternating fast flashing of logo/file/crossed circle.
I have tried inserting the snow leopard disc while pressing C, only for it to ejected. I have also tried with the original disc.
Also tried: command + R, command + shift + V, command + S, and command + option + P + R.
What else can I try to get past the grey screen and flashing stuff, and hear the bell?

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All Answers

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Try This;
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / February 9, 2013 11:23 PM PST

Power it down
Remove the power cord and leave out for 15 seconds or so

If No, insert the original OS X disc and shut down the iMac
Hold down the Option key and power it up. Keep the key down.
You should get an option of which drive to boot from.


Shut down the iMac, then restart while holding down the Shift Key. Keep it down.
iMac should start up in Safe Mode.
Did it?

If No.
Shut down the iMac
Remove the keyboard and the mouse.
If it works this time, then either your mouse or keyboard is causing the problem.
You may want to try this first


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Picture of hard drive
by juliangibbard / February 10, 2013 1:31 AM PST
In reply to: Try This;

Hello P, thanks so much for responding. I did the disc in/ hold down opt. proceedure,
then heard the gong and a picture of the hard drive with an arrow underneath it. I clicked on the
arrow and the flashing stuff came on like before and the disc was ejected. Can you help further,
please? Best wishes, Julian

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Do that again but this time,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / February 10, 2013 7:12 AM PST
In reply to: Picture of hard drive

choose the DVD option.

You should then be able to run Disk Utility on that disk and, hopefully, fix the problem


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What option?
by juliangibbard / February 10, 2013 4:28 PM PST

Hello P, The screen only shows a picture of a hard drive with an arrow, below it, pointing upwards. There is no other option! What do you think? Best, Julian

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to be absolutely sure we are all on the same page,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / February 10, 2013 8:57 PM PST
In reply to: What option?

can you confirm that you have the OS X installation disc in the optical drive before you start up the machine and hold down the option key?


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Same Page/Same Rage!
by juliangibbard / February 11, 2013 12:42 AM PST

Hello P, Yes. Best Julian

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So we can assume, rightly or wrongly,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / February 11, 2013 7:14 AM PST
In reply to: Same Page/Same Rage!

that either the DVD is useless or the Optical drive no longer works.

Do you get the same result from both of the DVD's, supposedly bootable, that you have?

It is not unusual for the Optical drive to fail but sometimes it is just a dirty laser lens.

Try a DVD cleaner and see if that makes any difference.


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by juliangibbard / February 11, 2013 6:54 PM PST

Hello P, I used a DVD cleaner as you suggested and still both DVDs were ejected leaving the HD picture as before. I really appreciate your patience and input. Best, Julian

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Any chance you have an external Optical drive
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / February 11, 2013 8:48 PM PST
In reply to: Cleaned

or another Mac laying around?

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Yes I do,
by juliangibbard / February 11, 2013 10:28 PM PST

Hello P, I had the same thought and tried the discs with it but still no difference. Best, Julian

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2 Macs?
by juliangibbard / February 11, 2013 10:31 PM PST

Wish I had 2, julian

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by juliangibbard / February 11, 2013 10:39 PM PST
In reply to: 2 Macs?

Hello P, Sorry to confuse. I tried an external drive with no better results
and sadly don't have two Macs. I would bet you do! Best, Julian

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Well that just about covers it.
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / February 12, 2013 7:09 AM PST
In reply to: Oops

No success with two different OS X retail installation discs in the optical drive of the iMac and, apparently, no success with an external optical drive either.

Not sure what direction to go from here.

Time for a little more pondering


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