SOLVED Mid-2010 iMac - How to "start over"?


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1. Noticed mid-2010 mac not being very speedy a few months ago. I had still been running Mountain Lion as of last summer (I know, I know), so I knew it needed to be updated. Up until that point everything was working like a charm for a 9-year-old computer.
2. Updated to High Sierra. Was very slow in doing this, and realized that something else may be wrong. Did a diagnostic and found that the hard drive was failing.
3. Completed High Sierra install and successfully made time machine backup to external drive. (This was long and painful.)
4. Installed new SSD and added ram.
5. Mac started up and "acted" like it was going somewhere. Recognized and formatted new drive. Tried installing OS through internet recovery, seemed like it was working, but then just stopped. Tried several times with the same result.
6. Tried to load OS from original CD. Same result.
7. Unplugged for several days and tried again, except mac now stuck on apple screen "forever." Briefly was able to get into disk utility, tried starting from time machine, also no luck.
8. Took to repair shop. Technician did several tests and said logic board/motherboard is bad. He said to buy a new computer.
9. Ordered "new" board matched with correct processor, model year, etc. Replaced successfully.
10. Started with new SSD, no luck. Put in original hard drive, no luck.
11. Realized that mac is probably not communicating with bluetooth keyboard, as keyboard light is blinking and not responding to any commands. Also "flashing folder" screen, no apple logo. Also, CD is trapped in the drive because keyboard isn't connecting.
12. I've ordered a wired keyboard.
13. Thoughts: Firmware on the board is now different than the drives? They can't communicate with each other? Is the keyboard the magic solution? I'm not in urgent need of this computer, it's just frustrating that there are new/working components that don't seem to be communicating...and I want them to get along! It seems there should be a solution to this puzzle, I just don't know what it is. I'm getting overwhelmed by the research!

I'm a novice and everything that has been done so far has been by watching videos and reading forums and trial & error. I'm sure I've done something wrong/ridiculous! It's not so important that I can run off of the time machine as I have the files saved elsewhere. Just want the computer to run...if possible. I hate throwing things away that could be fixed. Thank you for reading, and I'd be happy to clarify information.
 
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Cory Cooper

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Hello and welcome.

Normally, the logic board in an iMac is not a user-replaceable part, as it is quite an involved repair. Other internal components can easily be damaged without the proper experience and procedures.

That said, here are a few thoughts/responses:
-A wired keyboard and mouse might be the best to use to get it up and running, will help to get the disc out
-The firmware should affect anything with the SSD and RAM, as long as they are compatible
-You could try using only the original RAM sticks, as third-party RAM can sometimes cause install issues
-It may be best to make a USB flash drive installer using DiskMaker X on another Mac

C
 
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Problem solved!

-Wired keyboard arrived and allowed the commands to be read.
-Somehow ran across a different install CD while looking through things in a box. This was key!
-New SSD/new RAM/"new" logic board are all happy together and we're currently running High Sierra with no problems. Hopefully will get at least a couple more years out of the computer. It was a learning experience!

The logic board (at least on this model) wasn't too bad to replace. It was a big help that the correct one was sent to us in the first place!
 

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