Lovely large screen, sadly this imac doesn't boot

Lovely large screen, sadly this imac doesn’t boot

Robert phoned us, as his iMac wouldnt start. Robert was quite concerned about his data (photos, files and emails) as he runs a small business from home, and hadn’t backed up in quite some time. We invited Robert to bring his iMac into our service centre so we could take a look, and find out why the iMac wouldn’t boot.


Robert brought it in the next day, and we began our diagnosis. Externally the iMac was in great condition. On attempting to turn the iMac on, it was unresponsive. The hard drive would have to be removed to determine if this was the cause.

Inside the 27 inch iMac

Inside the 27 inch iMac

By removing the hard drive and attaching it to one of our work shop computers machines, we could test if there was data to be recovered, check if the operating system was intact, and run further diagnostic tests. We also put in a workshop hard drive into the iMac to check if the system board would boot from this. The iMac booted with the new disk in place. This was great, as it indicated the issue was with the hard drive. Either the physical hard drive itself, or the operating system.

The first check of the hard drive determined the operating system was corrupt, the testing at this point indicated the hard drive was okay. There were no viruses present (yes Mac’s do get viruses!). We could see that Robert had photos, emails and documents, on the hard drive which could be salvaged.

From our diagnosis, our recommendation to Robert, was to perform data recovery, and reinstall the latest operating system (Sierra OSX). When an operating system is reinstalled the hard disk is wiped clean. This would mean anything saved on the disk would be lost. Data recovery is a process where the information (usually photos, email and documents) is saved to another device, which enables the data to be put back onto the hard drive once the operating system has been reinstalled. Data recovery doesn’t save programs, as these need to be reinstalled after the operating system is in place. Robert was happy to reinstall his programs himself, once the iMac went home.

Happy iMac - working well!

Happy iMac – working well!

Unfortunately, during the process of installing the new operating system, the hard drive wouldn’t accept the installation. There was a fault on the disk, which only became apparent whilst we were installing the operating system. The iMac needed a new hard drive!

Due to the amount of data Robert had, he would need a 1TB hard drive. Sierra (the latest Apple operating system) was then installed onto the new disk, and all the data was recovered.

Robert’s iMac was now functioning well again and ready to go home.

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