Trying to erase hard drive on late 2009 iMac. Guessing there is a hardware Issue.


wideyes

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Hi Everyone

This is my first post as I have been trying for a while now to erase the hard drive on an old iMac.

The trouble is that the computer will not start with any key-commands being held down. The normal way to do this is to start with cmd-R and erase the drive. I also spent time creating a bootable OS on a flash drive, but this also won't work as you have to start the computer holding option (darn!)

The computer starts fine without any key commands, this is why I did not realize there was anything wrong with it when I decided to sell it.

Is there any other way to erase/reformat the drive without starting the mac in any special mode?

Thanks.
 
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Cory Cooper

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Hello and welcome.

-Which exact model iMac?
-Which version of OS X/macOS?
-Is the keyboard wired or wireless?
-Do you have an external drive that you could instal OS X/macOS on?

C
 

wideyes

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Hi there Cory and thanks for your reply.

It's a 21.5 inch, late 2009 model, 3.06 Ghz Intel core duo.

It currently has OS High Sierra 10.13.6

I'm using a wired keyboard (one meant for windows but it works fine).

Yes and I have prepared a flash drive with an operating system (works fine to boot up on my newer mac), but it wont work on the the mac in question as it wont seem to boot up with any key command held down. And as far as I know you need to hold option to boot up from external drive.
 

Cory Cooper

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No worries.

I have the same iMac. Yes, holding the Option key should present the Startup Manager, so not sure why it isn't. I do know that some PC keyboard use the Alt key as the Option key on Macs. Try holding the Alt key and see if that works.

As for the Recovery partition, try Windows-R keys.

C
 

wideyes

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Thanks again Cory and I apologize for the delay to get back to you.

Where I'm at now with it is that it has started in recovery, i.e cmd-R and I have erased the disk.

However, now I cannot re-install the operating system. First of all, it will not work from the remote server option, available through recovery mode. Secondly, it won't start in startup manager mode, option key, so I cannot use my USB installer on it.

This computer just keeps throwing up more spanners.
 

Cory Cooper

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OK, thanks.

-Did you try using the Alt key to access the Startup Manager?
-Do you have a way of using Ethernet instead of Wi-Fi - might help the Recovery reinstall.
-How did you make the USB installer?

C
 
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wideyes

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Hey Cory,

- Yes, to clarify, I've been trying to access the Startup Manager, by using the Alt key, however, the computer fails to start and is stuck at white screen when trying to do so.

- I will try using ethernet and get back to you. It's typical that I can't find an ethernet cable when I need one!

- I made the USB installer by following a tutorial. like this: http://osxdaily.com/2018/09/26/make-macos-mojave-boot-usb-installer/
 

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