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Will my iMac be expensive to repair?


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#1 of 11 Jack Briggs

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Posted September 21 2005 - 09:48 AM

About two months ago, I was on a strange Website that seemed to be "refusing" to let me log off of it. The site kept spamming me with its splash page plus other pages. This would all settle down, but restart when I tried logging off.

As a result, when the pages again "settled" I simply tried quitting out of Internet Explorer. At this point, the computer crashed, froze.

Then, in frustration, I cut off the power and planned to log on again after a minute or so. (I had encountered this problem before, so what could such a big deal, eh?)

When I tried restarting the iMac, I instead encountered a question-mark icon as opposed to the usual Mac O/S icon. The machine also made a clicking noise.

Initially, I installed Norton Utilities and at least determined that my hard drive appeared OK; all the files I tried to open appeared fine.

But I could not boot up the machine independently.

A few days later, when I got the time, I called a couple of area Apple stores and both told me that the diagnostic alone would run $80. And, after that, I would have to pay for whatever was required to fix the machine. They could not, of course, give me any ballpark figures, but the one time I previously had to have my iMac repaired cost around $300.

By my description of the problem, can any Mac enthusiasts give me an idea what I may be experiencing and how much it may cost to be repaired?

A new computer is out of the question; my current machine must be repaired or I am out of business for at least six months (or more).

Any ideas?

#2 of 11 Glenn

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Posted September 21 2005 - 02:07 PM

Hi Jack,

>>When I tried restarting the iMac, I instead encountered a question-mark icon as opposed to the usual Mac O/S icon. The machine also made a clicking noise.

Did you try to startup your iMac with a system disc? The question mark icon means that it cannot find an operating system on your hard drive. If your computer started up with the norton disc or a system disc then that is probably the problem.

I would try reinstalling your Mac system software.

If you are able to reinstall the system on your hard drive you might be in luck. However the clicking noise usually means a bad hard drive, but not always.

What iMac model are you taking about? If it is at least a couple of years old you should also replace the small backup battery for a few bucks. That can also cause startup problems.

Good luck,
Glenn
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#3 of 11 Mike Fassler

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Posted September 21 2005 - 03:45 PM

Im not too familiar with mac systems but on a pc I would say you were infected with some kind of virus or some harcore spyware. if you dont have a whole ton of stuff to backup or have backups handy a OS reinstall should give you back normal syatem stability.

#4 of 11 Michael_K_Sr

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Posted September 21 2005 - 04:56 PM

The clicking sound is rather ominous and I have little faith in Norton Utilities ability to diagnose hardware issues. The iMac should have come with a hardware test CD with the System software. That will check the integrity of the hard drive, the RAM, VRAM, etc. My best guess is that the hard drive has failed. Short of running Apple's own hardware test, you can probably boot the machine from the System CD (is this OS 9 or OS X, Jack?) and run Disk First Aid or the Disk Utility application.

#5 of 11 Bob_Chase

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Posted September 22 2005 - 05:45 AM

Jack,

I don't know about the clicking sound but Glenn is correct on recommending the reinstall of the system software.

I would recommend starting up with the original CD, connecting an external drive and backing up any critical or personal data onto the external drive then do your reinstall.

Bob

#6 of 11 Jack Briggs

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Posted September 22 2005 - 07:39 AM

From what I am reading here I get the feeling I am about to pay another $200-$300 to get this iMac fixed.

#7 of 11 Glenn

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Posted September 22 2005 - 09:56 AM

Jack,

>>From what I am reading here I get the feeling I am about to pay another $200-$300 to get this iMac fixed.

Not necessarily. You have to provide us a little more info and be willing to attempt easy repairs yourself.

What model iMac is it and how old? Do you have the original install discs? Any other Mac OS install discs available?

Where are you located? Maybe you can find a Mac user group near you. There are usually people willing to work on Macs in the user groups for way less than the Apple stores?

Glenn
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#8 of 11 Mike Selis

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Posted September 26 2005 - 12:30 PM

It is not going to be a virus or spyware as Mac OS is fairly safe from them as the spy programs and viruses are normally written for Windows. It is probably the hard drive. The replacement hard drive should be about $100, and the labor might be as much as $150.

#9 of 11 Pamela

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Posted September 26 2005 - 04:30 PM

Hi Jack-

The first thing I would try is reformatting the hard drive and reinstalling the system OS. Are you on OS9? If you need to take your files off and don't have a back up drive, get your self a jump drive for $60 or less. A handy thing to have in any case.

If it is still acting up, I'm inclined to think the hard drive. You can pick up a hard drive for less than $100. The only problem is, it's more difficult to replace a hard drive in an iMac. Here is an article on the process:

http://www.macworld....0/bc/howtoimac/

There are other articles on this. I will try to find them.

Do you know anyone with Techtools or Disk Warrior? Chances are, if you took it somewhere for diagnostics, that's what they would run. Forget Norton's. Big ol' piece of poo! Disk First Aid was never much help, but it doesn't hurt to try it out. I will put on my Mac thinking cap and ponder your symptoms.

-Pam

P.S. Remember last time, when the logic board went? It clicked then, too. Hmmmm . . .

#10 of 11 JeremyErwin

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Posted September 27 2005 - 01:34 AM

another vote for diskwarrior. It may seem like a lot to pay for limited functionality, but it is very good at what it does.

#11 of 11 rob-h

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Posted September 27 2005 - 01:39 AM

Hmm, at those prices you are half way to a mac mini...........