iMac problems ? please HELP!!!

in Genius Bar edited January 2014

I have a 2 month old Aluminum 24" iMac, 24.Ghz, 500GB HD, 3GB RAM (2GB of which is Crucial RAM). I'm running OSX 10.5.1. I've had zero problems until I tried to start it up when I got home from work last night and it just wouldn't boot up.

When I try to boot it up it takes about 20 minutes to get past the grey Apple logo screen and then it just sits on the blue screen and that's it. I can leave it for an hour and nothing else happens. I've booted it up from the Leopard disc and verified the disc with disc utility and I've done the quick Apple Hardware Test, both of which say there are no errors. I've even zapped the PRAM and reset the disc permissions.

I did manage to boot up in Safe Mode, but it took an hour before it finally booted up and then it was very slow. Taking 5 minutes to open a folder etc. I finished at 1am in the morning without any luck.

It's 10.30am in the UK and I'm at work now, so I can't get to look at it again until this evening, when I intend to do the full Apple Hardware Test and if that still brings up no errors then I'll take out the Crucial RAM and try again.

If all of this fails then I'll have no choice but to phone Apple. Obviously I could of called them last night, but I am an experienced Apple user (about 16 years) so wanted to try and get it sorted myself before Apple sent me through everything I've already tried.

Does anyone know what the problem might be and if they have a solution or if it is a matter of calling support, does anyone know how to get my iMac serial number for them because I can't boot it up and I know they'll want it? I've never had one single problem with this iMac before and I've never not been able to fix a software issue out before but this is quite perplexing. On the G5 you could reset the NVRAM but you can no longer do that with Intel Macs and I don't really know if there's anything that's replaced that command line.

I'd really appreciate someone's help before I get home tonight to call Apple

Just to add; I've already been to: FAQ: Check here first if you have problems! and apart from reseating the RAM (which considering I've been using it for two months without a problem and I haven't moved my Mac I wouldn't have thought there'd be a problem there), I've done everything else.



  • Reply 1 of 4
    What happened when you booted from the install CD? Booting from a CD always takes a while, but did it take forever also? If it started up in a reasonable amount of time (for a CD!) then you can rule out ram and mobo problems.
  • Reply 2 of 4
    It booted up fine from the boot cd. No speed issues at all and Apple Hardware Test was quick too.
  • Reply 3 of 4
    Yeah, too quick I bet, not long enough to do a surface scan on the drive. I almost bet it's the drive. If you have / had Applecare on any machine, you can download a disk image and burn to CD or use the TechTool Deluxe disk that came with the plan in order to do a full surface scan on the HDD. I've lost 7 drives in the last couple years, I know trouble when I see it. Otherwise, a local service center can do it as well.

    Just got my 13 month MBP back: yep, did the same thing and it was the drive!

    Got an extra external around? Install OS X and see what happens. Chances are Finder will hang like crazy trying to mount the drive.
  • Reply 4 of 4
    I've sorted it out now. I pretty much did everything until in the end all I ad left was to phone Apple support. It was, as I suspected, a System error, so I did an Archive and Install with Leopard and everything now works fine.

    Looking back, I don't think I could have done anything differently as I would rather go through everything than just go right ahead and install a new system. The only thing I'd say is it just shows that even new systems can get corrupt very quickly. What does amaze me is all my software is legit, and I don't have much in the way of third-party software either. But there must have been something I installed that corrupted my system.

    Cheers anyway guys.
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