An office iMac will not boot - it sits at the gray startup screen with the progress circle spinning continuously. I have tried:

Booting in safe mode (same result)

Booting in recovery mode (same result)

Changing all peripherals (same result)

Booting in internet recovery mode (same result)

Resetting the PRAM (worked, but same result)

Resetting the SMC (can't tell whether it worked, but same result)

Booting with alt (Can select Macintosh HD, so that works, but still stuck following that)

Is this certainly a hardware issue at this point, or are there more steps I can take to diagnose and deal with the problem myself? The computer contains valuable scientific data, though much of it is backed up externally.

I am unsure as to the specific model and operating system of the machine, as I'm somewhat unfamiliar with it. I believe it's running either 10.5 or 10.6.

Attached is an image of the screen after being booted in Verbose mode. Apologies for the quality and for the copious amount of Vs I added before realizing I could let go of command-V.

Verbose Output

  • Boot whilst holding ⌘V for verbose mode — what's the last few lines of output before it freezes? (This should also show the version of OS X, fyi)
    – grg
    Commented May 22, 2014 at 19:40
  • launch_msg(): Socket is not connected Commented May 22, 2014 at 19:44
  • then a few minutes later, le: no such file or directory, then BootCacheControl: could not write playlist Commented May 22, 2014 at 19:45
  • Seems something's broken on the drive: "Crucial filesystem check: path not present" numerous times definitely isn't a good sign. It might just be the disk is corrupt rather than a hardware problem — do you have an external install media or any other bootable disk?
    – grg
    Commented May 22, 2014 at 20:10
  • I threw the Recovery Disk Assistant on a 16GB USB stick, and that at least let me get into Disk Utility. Where to from here? Commented May 22, 2014 at 20:21

1 Answer 1


It looks like your HDD has a problem,

I would suggest to use a Target Disk mode and get the information of that disk.

Then try reformatting it and reinstalling the OS.

  • Is there any way to back up the data on the hard drive before I format it? Commented May 22, 2014 at 20:24
  • YES, see using Target Disk mode in apple support. support.apple.com/kb/ph3838
    – Ruskes
    Commented May 22, 2014 at 20:26

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