help! My imac is stuck in the gray screen!

Posted:
in Genius Bar edited June 2015
Hi. I have a 3 yr old imac G4. All of a sudden, last night when I clicked restart, it goes to the gray screen with the apple on it, and just spins that gray circle for hours and will not go to the login screen.

If I try to turn it off in the back, it will not. If I try to open the cd drive to put in a recovery disk, it will not open.

If I try a safe boot by unplugging it then turning it back on holding the shift key, it will not do it.



I do not know what to do. ANY help will be appreciated...my applecare just ran out last month. Am I doomed??



Thank you in advanced for any help.



Respectfully, Frank D.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    meelashmeelash Posts: 1,045member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by faithfulFrank

    Hi. I have a 3 yr old imac G4. All of a sudden, last night when I clicked restart, it goes to the gray screen with the apple on it, and just spins that gray circle for hours and will not go to the login screen.

    If I try to turn it off in the back, it will not. If I try to open the cd drive to put in a recovery disk, it will not open.

    If I try a safe boot by unplugging it then turning it back on holding the shift key, it will not do it.



    I do not know what to do. ANY help will be appreciated...my applecare just ran out last month. Am I doomed??



    Thank you in advanced for any help.



    Respectfully, Frank D.






    Have you tried zapping PRAM... Search for it on the apple support site, you'll find instructions.
  • Reply 2 of 21
    Quote:

    Originally posted by meelash

    Have you tried zapping PRAM... Search for it on the apple support site, you'll find instructions.



    Yes, I just tried that, but it still just does the gray spinning wheel.....



    frank D.
  • Reply 3 of 21
    ebbyebby Posts: 3,110member
    Hold down the mouse button and restart. This will (should) open the CD drive so you can try to boot off the cd. (Hold down option) Often with a hang like this your computer is trying to look for a hard drive but for some reason the disk won't mount and it just sits there.
  • Reply 4 of 21
    thanks........I just tried that also, but it did not work.

    If I could just get the cd drive open I could do an archive and install......unless this is a hardware problem.....



    Frank D.
  • Reply 5 of 21
    pressing the apple + t key did not work either.



    Frank D
  • Reply 6 of 21
    ok, something different just happened!

    I did apple s again, and a black screen just came upwith alot of stuff on it.

    towards the bottom it says;

    If you wish to make modifacations to files:

    /sbin/fsck -fy

    /sbin/mount -uw /



    If you wish to boot the system, but stay in single user mode:

    sh /etc/rc

    localhost:/ root# (white square like a cursor )



    What do I do next??



    Frank D.
  • Reply 7 of 21
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,700member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by faithfulFrank

    ok, something different just happened!

    I did apple s again, and a black screen just came upwith alot of stuff on it.

    towards the bottom it says;

    If you wish to make modifacations to files:

    /sbin/fsck -fy

    /sbin/mount -uw /



    If you wish to boot the system, but stay in single user mode:

    sh /etc/rc

    localhost:/ root# (white square like a cursor )



    What do I do next??



    Frank D.




    That's called single-user mode. This is kind of a good sign, because it means that your Mac can still see its hard drive. However, I would say that the problems you've been having suggest that the HDD is about to fail / is in the process of failing. If that's the case, it shouldn't be too much trouble to replace the HDD with a new one.



    Basically, in single-user mode, pretty much only the kernel and a few other tasks are running, the file system hasn't even been mounted.



    If you boot into single-user mode (apple-s, as above), will the CD-ROM drawer open then?
  • Reply 8 of 21
    thank you.......the last line says localhost:/root#



    it wants me to type something............do I type sh /etc/rc then hit enter?



    Frank D.
  • Reply 9 of 21
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,700member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by faithfulFrank

    thank you.......the last line says localhost:/root#



    it wants me to type something............do I type sh /etc/rc then hit enter?



    Frank D.




    Don't type anything yet.



    Will the CD-ROM drawer open when booted into single-user mode? (i.e., when all that text is on the screen and the last line says "localhost:/root#", and you haven't typed anything)
  • Reply 10 of 21
    no, it will not.



    Frank D.
  • Reply 11 of 21
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,700member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by faithfulFrank

    no, it will not.



    Frank D.




    Hmmm... the mysterious case of the non-opening CD-ROM drive.



    Let's ignore it for now and hope it doesn't matter.



    Boot into single-user mode, and when the command prompt is ready (it says "localhost:/root#"), type "/sbin/fsck -fy", whithout the quotes, and press return. This will do a check of your file system.



    Let us know what happens.
  • Reply 12 of 21
    thank you. I just did that, and it is checking a lot of stuff.

    7th line down it said keys out of order, rebuilding catolog B-tree.

    still checking a lot of stuff.



    now it is checking and repairing volumes, said there were invalid volume file counts....



    ok, now at the bottom it says



    *The volume imac was repaired successfully.



    ****FILE SYSTEM WAS MODIFIED****



    ****REBOOT NOW*****



    Now what do I do.?



    You can see I am a novice..I really appreciate the help...



    Frank D.
  • Reply 13 of 21
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,700member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by faithfulFrank

    thank you. I just did that, and it is checking a lot of stuff.

    7th line down it said keys out of order, rebuilding catolog B-tree.

    still checking a lot of stuff.



    now it is checking and repairing volumes, said there were invalid volume file counts....



    ok, now at the bottom it says



    ****FILE SYSTEM WAS MODIFIED****



    ****REBOOT NOW*****



    Now what do I do.?



    You can see I am a novice..I really appreciate the help...



    Frank D.




    Did it go back to the command prompt? (i.e., does the last line say "localhost:/root#"?). If so, run the "/sbin/fsck -fy" command again.
  • Reply 14 of 21
    I'm running that fsck thing again.



    now it says at the bottom



    **The volume imac appears to be ok.

    localhost:/ root#



    I think this good, but I don't know what to do next.



    Frank D.
  • Reply 15 of 21
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,700member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by faithfulFrank

    I'm running that fsck thing again.



    now it says at the bottom



    **The volume imac appears to be ok.

    localhost:/ root#



    I think this good, but I don't know what to do next.



    Frank D.




    type "reboot", without the quotes, and hit return
  • Reply 16 of 21
    WOW.......it booted up just right.......like it did before it got stuck!



    Thank you so much for the kind help.



    Now, I wonder how that happened? Is my HD going bad?



    Should I have done any maintence? It's worked so well for so long.

    I did repair permissions a few weeks ago when my mail kept closing and itunes would not open, that fixed everything.



    I guess my question is, should I do anything so this does not happen again?



    Thank you!!!!!!!!!



    Frank D.
  • Reply 17 of 21
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,700member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by faithfulFrank

    WOW.......it booted up just right.......like it did before it got stuck!



    Thank you so much for the kind help.



    Now, I wonder how that happened? Is my HD going bad?



    Should I have done any maintence? It's worked so well for so long.

    I did repair permissions a few weeks ago when my mail kept closing and itunes would not open, that fixed everything.



    I guess my question is, should I do anything so this does not happen again?



    Thank you!!!!!!!!!



    Frank D.




    Good stuff .



    Since what we've done fixed the problem, I'm not so worried about the state of your hard drive.



    Sometimes it just happens without one really knowing why. Have you ever had to force-quit an application? Or force turn-off the computer?



    Does your CD-ROM drive open now?
  • Reply 18 of 21
    Yes, I have had to force quit some things lately....never had to before.

    Yes, my CD drive now opens.



    I'm so glad my son is back from college and I had his powerbook to use to get help from you.



    My airport express wireless router does not seem to want to work now, but compared to this, (it's flashing yellow instead of being green) ,but that should be an easy fix.



    I really do not know what maintence I should do to prevent this to happen....my few mac buddies just say....."Go buy tech tool....."



    Thank you so much again for taking the time to help.

    respectfully,



    Frank D........(boy typing on a 12 inch powerbook is different then my imac...)
  • Reply 19 of 21

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post





    type "reboot", without the quotes, and hit return


     Mr.H  greetings.im Robert i live in London but currently in U.S. seeing relatives..i have a Powerbook g4..yes i know its probably obsolete but its the only laptop i have and its very precious to me and my laptop is the only link i have with family, friends,. while im here in U.S.(i unfortunately left behind the operating discCD back in London to be able to do a disk repair etc.software etc. to at least go into safe mode..)one day i had my laptop plugged in and i had a dvd starting in drive..unfortunately the plug socket came out of the wall.. and laptop switched off...i tried to turn on laptop.. i manged to eject disk but then i was left with a blue screen after loading....everything has occured same as to faithful frank has happened to me,i followed all the instructions same as frank..but my problem is i am faced with a endless blue screen..i  cant see my beloved icons/folders... i manage to make it past the chime,the gray apple logo/spinning wheel/onto loading mac osx only to be faced with an endless blue screen even when i try to boot into safe mode encountered when upon load into safe boot..no icons no options..just a blue screen that goes nowhere..i tried resetting pram/nvram/ even the command+s onto the black screen with txt..followed these instructions as well./sbin/fsck -fy to check for errors and repairing files..its ends with this message//


    ** The volume mac 4 appears to be OK.localhost:/ root(hash etc)i typed reboot but only to encounter same blue screen. so im hoping its not the hard drive thats damaged?i dont want to risk resetting PMU for fear of losing all my precious files....can you help me pls?*A Londoner stranded in U.S. with no laptop*

  • Reply 20 of 21






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