iMac huge problems

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
we own an iMac 17" G4

now, there were already problems and we thought it was HD related. But now returning from Canada, the iMac won't even boot!

Well, that is... no sound, 1 hr to reach the desktop, then another 30 to 45 minutes to populate the desktop. 5 to 10 minutes for any action after the mouse click....

i have reseted the PRAM, took the extra memory out, pushed the reset button inside close to the memory bank...

what else can i do? No certified engineer on this 'wonderfull' island called Curacao....


  • Reply 1 of 5
    voxappsvoxapps Posts: 236member
    Yikes! Your problem could be either hardware or software. Here are some testing ideas to start with:

    1) If you have a MacOS installation CD, can you boot from it? (With the CD in the drive, restart while holding down the "c" key until you see the OS X startup screen. It may take several minutes.) If you can't boot from the CD, which should bypass the hard drive, your hard drive probably isn't the problem. If you *can* boot from the CD, start the OS X installer, but instead of installing, go to the menus and select Disk Utility. Select your hard drive (assuming it shows up) from the left-hand column and click on the "Repair Disk" button. This will run a file-system check and perhaps identify, or even fix, the problem.

    If Disk Utility says there are directory problems it can't fix, you should try Disk Warrior software. If you can't buy it on Curacao (or get it quickly from the mainland), you can buy it and download from Of course, you'll need a functioning computer to download it and burn to a CD.

    2) If you don't have a MacOS CD, try launching Disk Utility from your hard drive. If you can get it to run, look at the bottom of the Disk Utility window where it says "S.M.A.R.T. status". If it says "Verified," your hard drive is probably OK. Anything else and it's probably time to get a new drive.

    Another way to get into Disk Utility is to reboot your Mac and immediately hold down the Command and "S" keys. After a few seconds, you should see a bunch of ASCII characters on a black screen. When the screen stops scrolling, type (without quotes) "fsck -y -f" and press Return. After a while, you will see some text messages on the screen. If the last message is "system was modified", re-run the fsck command until you get an "OK" message. Once you get OK, type "reboot" and press Return. If you never get OK, you need to try Disk Warrior.

    3) If you can find an external FireWire drive, you could install OS X on it and boot from it, bypassing your internal drive entirely. Not sure how feasible this is from your location.

    Good luck!
  • Reply 2 of 5
    sparhawksparhawk Posts: 134member
    thanks for the help here.

    the superdrive is also done for, maybe cleaning the lens might help. But I have heard it's not uncommon for the superdrive to die after 1.5 years...thanks Sony!

    Tried the command S and this is what i got....

    unable to repair : disk0s3: I/O error

    I guy picked the iMac up today. He will probably tell us that repairing the whole thing is more then buying a new one. And then hopefully the insurance company pays for it (it all started with the moving company dropping the iMac....)

    but we will see.

    again thanks for the tips. I didn't see the command S option in the FAQ. Maybe handy to add that one in there....
  • Reply 3 of 5
    sunilramansunilraman Posts: 8,133member

    Originally posted by sparhawk

    thanks for the help here.

    ..... (it all started with the moving company dropping the iMac....)


    umm.. you didn't mention that in your first post

    sorry to hear that
  • Reply 4 of 5
    aquamacaquamac Posts: 585member

    Originally posted by sunilraman

    umm.. you didn't mention that in your first post

    sorry to hear that

    Yes, When asking for help please include any physical trauma to the Mac. This is important and tends to point to the hardware as the problem. The HDD and SuperDrive are most likely damaged. Never try to clean a cd or DVD lens in a computer. I doubt that it will be more expensive to repair then replace. A new HDD and superdrive should not be that much. Any professional computer repairman should be able to install them. Good Luck, and sorry for your troubles. . A q u a M a c .
  • Reply 5 of 5
    sparhawksparhawk Posts: 134member
    thanks for the replies here.

    The iMac is under repair, so far the superdrive, hd, modem and the arm are done for. So probably a totall loss, luckily still an insurance case.... so lets see what they will have to pay us (how about a new mac?)

    thing is now, my wife wants the same type of iMac, the G4.

    The G5 iMac, she thinks it's a giant Etch a Sketch hehe
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