imac won't start up properly

Apr 9, 2017
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As of last night, my iMac (circa 2010), which has functioned fine until now, was restarted and no longer can get past the grey loading screen. The bar does not indicate anything is loading.

I attempted to open the OS X utilities / disk utility but when I tried to run first aid on Macintosh HD it read "First Aid process failed. if possible back up the data on this volume. Click done to continue."

My main concern is rescuing the data. I have months worth of work on their that I cannot reproduce. Is there any way to back it up? And what steps can I take to attempt to fix my computer?

I wouldn't consider myself to be too tech savvy, but if someone is patient with me, I should be able to understand what I need to do.

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much.
Sep 17, 2014
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What Mac OS are you using?

Also, sounds like you have never made a backup to an external device. And I suspect you have never done any disk cleanup/maintenance/repairs, from a software perspective.

And, do you remember what were the last few activities you were doing with your machine before the issue arose?

Do you have access to another Mac (maybe a friend has one)? If you do, and if you could let us know the exact Mac model it is (also will need your exact iMac model), there could be a way to get out of this mess.


Jun 13, 2007
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You might try pressing the D key as you boot your Mac to run the Apple Hardware Test. When you ran Disk Utilities was that from Recovery Mode (Command R at bootup)?

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