Won't boot to login

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My older iMac won't boot to the login screen. I have to cycle the power 7 or 8 times to get it to boot to login. Once I get there it boots ok. Any idea's?
 
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You may not have a startup disk selected.

2 ways to do this are
1. In the system preferences make sure that you have your hard drive selected as the startup disk.
2. Startup while holding the Option key. When it comes to the boot picker and hold down the Control key and click on the curved arrow under your startup disk.
 
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I will check but as I mentioned it does boot it just takes several power cycles to get it to work. I would think that if no disk was selected it would never boot. I was thinking maybe an internal battery, I know PC's have them that can cause problems over time. The Mac is about 15 years old.
 
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I checked and the startup disk is the HD. I am running 10.6.3. Not sure how much newer of an os I can run on my old tool.
 
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I believe that your thoughts are correct that you need a new battery,

I believe that the battery in the old white iMacs is a CR2032.

There should be instructional videos on how to do this on www.ifixit.com.
 
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Replaced the battery but still no luck. Old battery was still good reading just over 3 vdc. BTW, it was a 2032. Replaced anyways because it was 15 years old. Also blew out all the dust and reseated some cables and boards. Same problem, I need to cycle the power many times before I get the login screen to show. Once I get that I can log in and finish the boot everytime.
 
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Replaced the battery but still no luck. Old battery was still good reading just over 3 vdc. BTW, it was a 2032. Replaced anyways because it was 15 years old. Also blew out all the dust and reseated some cables and boards. Same problem, I need to cycle the power many times before I get the login screen to show. Once I get that I can log in and finish the boot everytime.
It might not be a hardware problem. Maybe a reinstall of OS X will help. If your iMac is a 2009 model, you should be able to update to OS X 10.11.6 (El Capitan). Updating the operating system is not that difficult or dangerous, as long as you have good backup, preferably Time Machine.
 
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I couldn't download El Capitan because my browser is outdated but I did find and reinstall my Snow Leopard disk. I don't want to shut it down in case in doesn't work because it can take almost an hour to get it booted. I will update the thread next time I need to boot it up again. BTW, my Mac is a 2007. I only use it for working out because I can go online or run DVD's depending on which program I'm following. Also, the large screen is a nice option.
 
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I couldn't download El Capitan because my browser is outdated but I did find and reinstall my Snow Leopard disk. I don't want to shut it down in case in doesn't work because it can take almost an hour to get it booted. I will update the thread next time I need to boot it up again. BTW, my Mac is a 2007. I only use it for working out because I can go online or run DVD's depending on which program I'm following. Also, the large screen is a nice option.
Try using the App Store to obtain El Capitan. From the  menu, go to App Store. In the search field (upper left) type in “OS X El Capitan.” If a category for El Capitan opens up, click on the title until you get a new window with the GET button. Click on that and it should start downloading the installer into your Applications folder. If it automatically starts and brings up the installer window, QUIT to abort the installation. In Finder, copy the installer file from Applications to another location on the Mac.

Then, if you feel that a reboot (vs. shutdown-start up) will work, do the reboot and immediately hold down the Shift key in order to boot into Safe Mode. Then open the Applications folder and launch the installer. If successful, it should come back now running El Capitan. Good luck!
 

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