Where's my hard drive gone????

Discussion in 'Mac Desktops' started by MacChocaholic, Apr 4, 2018.

  1. MacChocaholic

    MacChocaholic New Member

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    Hello

    Wondering if anyone can help please? My old iMac was seeming very slow so I rebooted it, however when it rebooted it wouldn't start up. I got an image of a folder with a question mark, it seems it couldn't find the start up folder. I rebooted in safe mode. when it gets to the point it asks where you want to reboot from there's no picture of an hard drive, it's just vanished! I tried to find the disks that came with it and put the first one in it wouldn't reboot from disk either and now the disk won't eject either.

    I've tried a few solutions I've seen online but it seems I can't get past selecting the language because the part to select your hard drive image on the screen is not possible because there isn't one! It seems my iMac has suddenly completely lost its hard drive and seems unable to recognise there is one!!

    Any ideas please?
     
    MacChocaholic, Apr 4, 2018
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  2. MacChocaholic

    honestone New Member

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    Need to ask some questions:

    1. What exact iMac model do you have?

    2. What exact Mac OS are you using?

    3. Have you ever done an disk cleanup/maintenance/repairs, from a software perspective? By that I mean have you ever run any disk-related software to help with those tasks? There are some excellent products available (both free and commercial) that can help you with that.

    4. This is critical: are you making backups to an external device? If yo are, what software are you using for that?

    5. How are you making posts here? If it's another Mac, what exact model is it, and what exact Mac OS are you using on that machine?

    6. What specific solutions have you tried?

    If you have a backup, then there are some things that you can try. But if you don't have a backup, such solutions are somewhat "risky".
     
    honestone, Apr 4, 2018
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  3. MacChocaholic

    MacChocaholic New Member

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    ok its the 24"iMac desktop I bought it around 2006/2007. it was snow leopard the last update. I've never done anything to it. I never had a back up drive either though I had transferrred all my photo's via an ipad and itunes to my Macbook before the desktop had broke down.

    • I have 2 other Macbooks a Macbook Pro running 10.9.5 and a rose gold macbook (the slim ones with no USB) running 10.12.2 (sierra)
    • I can't find the same page again but it was telling me how to reboot or something about ctrl + (another key) + V or something. I know none of them worked cos as soon as it got to the point where it said to select the hard drive on your screen I couldn't do that because there wasn't one showing at all!
    It's been disconnected but I'm sorting the room its in and was just wondering what to do with it and whether there was any chance I could get it working again? ..or whether to just get myself a new one? The photo's were the most important to me as there was some of family members who had since passed and I'd managed to transfer them to both macbooks.

    Thanks
     
    MacChocaholic, Apr 5, 2018
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  4. MacChocaholic

    honestone New Member

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    OK, first thing is that you really need to 1) start doing disk cleanup/maintenance/repairs, from a software perspective, 2) start doing backups. For #1, taking care of a Mac is just like taking care of an automobile. Yes, Macs are reliable machines, as are cars made by Honda or Toyota. But just like an automobile, if one neglects to have maintenance performed, one is just asking for trouble. And for #2, it is essential to have a backup in case one needs to recover from a disaster.

    For #1, you actually can do a good amount of disk cleanup on your own (ie, get rid of files/folders you don't need any longer, get rid of duplicate files/folders, etc.). Also, here are some excellent freeware products available that help with disk cleanup/maintenance/repairs:

    Onyx - Available from here: https://www.titanium-software.fr/en/onyx.html

    Rock Solid, has been around a long, long time, and has had many positive reviews. I use it religiously (along with a commercial program entitled Tech Tool Pro). I would not be without either of them. In fact, I will not upgrade to a new Mac OS until there are compatible versions of both of them for the new OS (along with 4 other critical programs that I have). Note that there are different versions of Onyx available, for each different Mac OS. You would need to get the correct version for the Mac OS you are using..

    AppCleaner - Available from here: https://freemacsoft.net/appcleaner/

    Another stellar performer! As you can see via that link, it will get rid of most stuff associated with an application that you wish to delete.

    GrandPerspective - Available from here: http://grandperspectiv.sourceforge.net/

    Nifty graphical way to see which files are on your drive. Good way to identify large ones that you might not need.

    Malwarebytes - Available from here: https://www.malwarebytes.com/mac/

    Good to use if you see adware and/or suspect you might have a virus. It also is good to run it every so often, even if nothing is wrong.

    ClamXAv - Available from here: https://www.clamxav.com/

    More extensive than Malwarebytes in terms of finding viruses. You can use it in demo mode, and it still has just about full functionality.

    Then of course you can use Disk Utility to check out your drive and/or do repairs. It's not as extensive as Tech Tool Pro (https://www.micromat.com/products/techtool-pro), Disk Warrior (https://www.alsoft.com/diskwarrior/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI9qzeqcSF2gIViWp-Ch0NngwsEAAYASAAEgJg7_D_BwE), or Drive Genius (https://www.prosofteng.com/drive-genius-mac-protection-software/), but it gets the job "mostly" done. I use Tech Tool Pro, and in fact it is the only third party one so far that is fully compatible with High Sierra (that's the OS I use on both of my Macs).

    As for backups, you will first need to purchase an external drive. Next, the Mac OS comes delivered with Time Machine, which is OK for backups. But the other method is to use software that makes a bootable backup/clone of your system. The 2 excellent products that do that are SuperDuper! (I use it), and Carbon Copy Cloner. Note that I said bootable. Time Machine backups are not bootable. It's almost like having another computer. This thread I started back in November, along with excellent comments by others, would be good for you to read:

    https://www.mac-help.com/threads/backups-backups-backups.223959/

    Now, assuming you have had your iMac since 2006/2007, it is a definite possibility that the internal drive is going/has gone bad. Your choices are 1) try and diagnose the issue, and replace the internal drive, or 2) get a new machine. For #1, it is possible to get it working again, but it will take some effort to do that (you would basically use one of your laptops to analyze the iMac that is booted in "Target Disk Mode"). To do that, you will need to purchase at least one Firewire 800 cable, and possibly an adapter. If you want some guidance how to do that, you will need to let us know the exact model designation for the iMac and the Macbook Pro (by the way, how is it running? Again, performing disk cleanup/maintenance/repairs, and doing backups, are essential tasks for that machine also).
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
    honestone, Apr 5, 2018
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  5. MacChocaholic

    MacChocaholic New Member

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    That sounds way too complicated! I was going to consider a new one but I've also been trying to transfer photo's from an old iphone 4 to my current macbooks and having problems. when I plug in the USB it shows the iphone is there in iPhoto but no photos. going through finder it doesn't even recognise anything is connected via USB at all! This is the same on both macbooks. The pink one that I used for iTunes when I tried it via iTunes said it can synch photos from my computer to my phone but doesn't seem to be able to do it the other way round it says to use iphoto to transfer photo's from phone but nothing is showing at all and there must be 5,000 photo's on the phone as it contained every single photo that was on my IMac which it did work with originally but as that one won't boot up or recognise it has an hard drive I can't even get that one to the desktop screen. It seems Apple have made them selves obselete and are only supporting the very latest versions of operating systems so looks like I might be switching back to a windows laptop to see if that will recognise there's a phone connected and transfer everything across. Certainly not going to be paying £2,000 for a computer that won't work with anything older than 1 yr old!
     
    MacChocaholic, Apr 10, 2018
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  6. MacChocaholic

    honestone New Member

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    Well, if you don't want to try and use your MacBook Pro to analyze the hard drive on the iMac, then there is not much you can do regarding that situation with the iMac. It is really not that difficult.

    Also, this is another example of what happens when one does not give "TLC" to their Mac. Once again, I use the analogy of maintaining and caring for automobiles. Just like the reputation for reliability that Macs have, the same is true for vehicles manufactured by Toyota and Honda. Most of the vehicles made by those companies are rock solid, and reliable. But they still need "TLC" in terms to maintenance. The same is true for Macs.
     
    honestone, Apr 10, 2018
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