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I have a 24" iMac running 10.6.6 that will not boot if anything is connected to the usb ports on the back. If they are removed, it boots fine. It has been to the Genius bar once but they did not find anything wrong hardware-wise.

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But did the machine boot with a USB device in it at the genius Bar? –  Mark Jan 25 '11 at 15:07
    
Supposedly yes but I can replicate it consistently. –  john busteed Jan 25 '11 at 16:11
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Have you tried with a new cable - also what exactly do you mean by not boot? –  Mark Jan 25 '11 at 17:08
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If you can replicate it show the replication to the Genius –  Mark Jan 25 '11 at 23:20
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1) what devices are connected? 2) where does it stall when booting with them connected? 3) If you try a verbose boot (command-v when starting) what are the last few lines that show up? –  Christian L Jan 26 '11 at 7:20

2 Answers 2

Try holding down the Opt key (aka Alt) when you are booting. This should give the option of choosing a boot device. If you see anything in addition to the hard disk then it is probably because one of the USB devices has a mass-storage mode. This might make the Mac try and boot off that instead of the hard disk.

You can also go to Startup Disk in System Preferences to see if anything invalid has been selected by mistake.

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Had not thought of that. Will give it a try. Genius bar ran the mac through many tests and the good news is that it passed just fine. The bad news is that it continues... –  john busteed Feb 3 '11 at 15:10

I had tht once with an earlier version, but it was fixed by unplugging the power cord for an hour or so. I mean really disconnecting, not just leaving it switched off. As you have been to the Genius bar already, seems that this was already the case once... try starting in verse mode with Cmd + v when you hear the startup chime. Perhaps that leads to helpful log output on the screen.

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