Tag Archives: imac

Slow, but sure


I am finally getting my iMac working again after the system crash. Though I do have backups, there was some recent data that I wanted to retrieve, and as I do manual backups of the data (I know)my preference was to restore the drive as is, rather than rebuild from scratch. The simple way would have been format and then resinstall my apps and data.

Initially I was able to get the drive to “appear” using Firewire Target Disk Mode using another Mac. So my first approach was to “fix” the drive using the OS X Drive Utiity. This failed and the error message wasn’t that helpful, which was format and reinstall! I could mount the drive and read the files on the iMac, but couldn’t write to the drive or delete files.

My second approach was then to clone the drive onto an external Firewire drive, however this just didn’t work, in the main as I have a large full 1TB hard drive. So I went with manually copying over the files, but as I was copying from Firewire to Firewire through an old Mac, this was slow. When Finder said it was going to take 720 days (yes days not hours) to coop over 200GB of data, I knew that this approach wasn’t going to work.

So I created a boot drive using a spare external Firewire drive and installed OS X onto that. I then booted the iMac using the external Firewire drive as the startup drive. Success, however, though when using another Mac I could see the internal drive, when booting the iMac from an external drive the OS wouldn’t let me mount or see the internal drive.

Using the Google I searched on the Disk Utility Error Messages and the response across the web was to use DiskWarrior. I was a little hesitant as I suspected now that the drive problem wasn’t file system or OS based, but was a hardware problem (based on my previous experience).

In the end I did decide to buy DiskWarrior and once installed I got it going to let it do its work.

It took a fair few minutes to get going, but alas it couldn’t fix the directory problems and confirmed that there was a hardware issue with the drive and it would need to be replaced. However it also created a temporary file structure, which allowed me to copy files off the drive onto the replacement external hard drive and importantly do this quite quickly.

I was unable to clone the drive, but as I could copy files I was able to confirm I had the most recent copies, as well as checking system files.

So at the moment I am using an external drive, I will be taking the iMac to the Apple Store as I am disappointed that the replacement drive didn’t last very long, even though I am out of AppleCare.

It’s crashed, it’s crashed…

Well maybe I should have been expecting it to do that, but my four year old iMac last night decided to throw a wobbly and fail to restart after crashing out.

Despite some attempts to start in safe mode, reset the PRAM, in the end I started it off in Firewire Target Disk Mode and connected it to another Mac. The result it looks like the hard drive is on the edge of failure. This is annoying as this was only recently replaced under AppleCare. My iMac is now out of AppleCare, so I am not sure what to do. The SuperDrive has also stopped working properly, well maybe it stopped working ages ago, I rarely use it, so perhaps I didn’t notice.

I am not sure what to do next, I do want to still use the iMac, but should I repair the drive or look to replace it. I would like to probably upgrade it to an SDD and then replace the SuperDrive with a standard HDD, but not sure if there is someone who can do that for me, or how easy it is to do myself.

Safari Crashing

Safari Crashing

Over the last few weeks I have had an annoying bug when using Safari on my iMac running Lion. Now and then when I add a new tab (to paste in an URL, or opening a link or image in a new tab) Safari just quits.

If I restart Safari it “kindly” re-opens all the pages I had open, not always convenient if I was logged into an e-mail service or my blog.

It must be a bug with Safari as more often than not I am opening a blank tab, not clicking on a particular link or something similar.

At the moment it is annoying and a search of the internet tubes seems that I am not alone. However there doesn’t appear to be a solution either.

Hmmm, too hot?

Having done some further research on my kernel panicing iMac I am wondering if it is getting too hot?

I had the hard disk replaced recently under Applecare and there are a few posts on the Apple Discussions Forums that show a few people are having a similar problem to me. Alas there is no simple or easy solution, which is frustrating.

I am now trying to work out what is causing the iMac to work too hard so it gets too hot and it appears that Flash may be part of the problem.

I am not sure what to do next, I think I might see if I can improve the airflow around the iMac, and also if there is a way to force the on board fans to start running at a lower temperature, ie before it gets too hot and then crashes.

Longer term I might replace the hard drive, 1TB is too small anyhow, so I would put in a bigger disk, tempted to put in a small SSD and then replace the DVD-R drive with a traditional hard drive. Might lengthen the life of the iMac for another couple of years. It is an i7 with 8GB of RAM so it is still very powerful.

Blue Screen of Death on a Mac


I am getting very annoyed with my iMac at the moment. It is on a too regular basis having a kernel panic and freezing.

The symptoms are that though I can still move the mouse cursor, everything else is frozen, can’t click, right click or use the keyboard.

Generally it happens without me doing anything, though it did happen this morning for the first time with me in front of the computer. I was just scrolling through Safari.

The only solution at the moment is to power down and reboot. The Lion OS does then restore all my applications, but sometimes it corrupts the iPhoto library and this has to be rebuilt.

I actually thought it might be a problem with iPhoto or iTunes, but the most recent episode happened when those two applications weren’t running.

I have done a PRAM reset, and that doesn’t appear to have resolved the issue.

It has only been happening since I upgraded to Lion, but it is happening much more now, five times in the last three days, whereas before it was about once a week.

I am not sure if this is a hardware issue or a software issue. Doesn’t help (typically) that the iMac is now just over three years old and is out of AppleCare.

I am not sure where to go next. I am thinking about upgrading to Mountain Lion to see if that makes a difference, or go back to Snow Leopard.

By the way why is the title of the blog “Blue Screen of Death on a Mac” well when I once tried to sleep the Mac and then moved the mouse to wake it, the result was a blue screen!

Blue Screen on an iMac