problems booting old (2009) iMac

in Genius Bar edited August 2015

My late 2009 iMac (i7, 16 GB RAM, OS Yosemite) suddenly shut down and "rebooted" - but only gives me a blank black (not grey) screen. I can hear the re-boot chime and hear the hard drive running, but that's it.

I tried resetting SMC, tried restarting in recovery mode - no luck. 

Then I tried resetting PRAM and voila it worked - BUT only for a couple of hours. Then it shut down spontaneously and rebooted to nothingness. This time resetting PRAM doesn't work. 

Any idea what the problem is? I don't want to take it in for a repair if the likely problem is expensive to fix, but would take it in if it's only a couple of hundred dollars.  

I know I'm due for a new desktop, but it'd be great if I could wait for Skylake chips.

Thanks for any suggestions...


(BTW - fortunately I had full backup. While desktop is down I'm using my 12" MacBook for everything crucial, and have been pleasantly surprised at how well it performs.


  • Reply 1 of 2
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,412member
    Video card went out?
  • Reply 2 of 2
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 929member

    Definitely sounds like a hardware problem. Could be any of a number of things, with the most likely being bad RAM, video, power supply, or motherboard. Does it seem to boot up? With no video it's hard to tell, but being able to observe the caps lock light respond to presses after you've waited long enough for a boot would be a good indicator.

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