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My iMac (27-inch, mid-2010) crashed and refused to reboot. I was able to reboot it from an external drive and attempted to erase and resurrect the internal drive; after several attempts, the drive ceased to be visible to Disk Utility and am afraid it may be physically defective. Is there a way of mounting the disk and confirming its status?

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It does sound like your hard drive has failed.

Have you tried booting up and using Apple Hardware Test? To do this hold the D key down while booting up.

If AHT doesn't load, you can also trying running it from the internet by holding down the Option D keys while booting up.

Give this a try and let us know how you go.

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You can try to open disk utility and repair the partition on the physical unit that is not booting.

If the unit is making strange noises I'd take it to a qualified center to clone the content of the unit to an SSD unit.

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