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Old Jan 29th, 2020, 09:11 PM   #1
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Exclamation iMac problem - looking for guidance/ideas

My (93 year-old) Dad's iMac has suddenly stopped going out to the internet. I suspect that some System file has been corrupted.

It is a 2012 iMac, 2TB internal, 4GB RAM, running El Capitan (10.11.6) - I believe that's the last OS that will run on this hardware.

The network setting in the System Prefs shows that ethernet (wired) and WiFi are working fine. I tried FaceTime from my phone and it rang on the computer - which tells me that the basic connectivity appears OK.

However, apps that need the internet, just don't work. Browsers, SpeedTest, FaceTime calls out, Skype, WhatsApp - all don't work.

I tried switching users but got the same result - apps that need to go out to the internet just don't work.

I tried using my (USB stick with) El Capitan installer (to reinstall the OS) but I think the certificate has expired so the error message said to re-download the installer. I went to my computer to do that but the .dmg file gives an error ("Invalid checksum").

I went to OSXDaily (found via search) and followed the link to re-download the installer only to end up with an error (apparently from Apple) that the download is not available in Canada.

So I'm stuck and wondering if anyone has some ideas/suggestions on how I can get my Dad back online. At his age, he really looks forward to checking his email and WhatsApping family around the world - so there is some urgency to my request.

Grateful for any help ... thank you very much.
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Old Jan 29th, 2020, 11:49 PM   #2
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Try opening his Network System Preference > Help me > Diagnostics and follow directions.

It sounds like his Mac isn't even connecting to any WAN server.

The connection status lights should be green if connected properly.

If nothing else, call his ISP tech support folks.

Patrick
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Old Jan 30th, 2020, 07:08 AM   #3
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First step would be Command-R to boot into the Recover partition and reinstall El Capitan from there.

Or, here's Apple's own link to re-download El Capitan.

Before doing so, however, I'd install and run MalwareBytes for Mac and someone also suggested DetectX to ensure it's not a malware issue. You note that these apps "aren't connecting" to the internet, but details & screenshots might point out a specific cause.
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Old Jan 30th, 2020, 07:38 AM   #4
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I would start with the simple things: Power down the Mac, then the router. Power up the router, wait for it to be stable. If possible test it with another device (say a smartphone.) If that works, power up the iMac, log back in and see how it goes.

What kind of router is it, by the way?
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Old Jan 30th, 2020, 10:31 AM   #5
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Thanks for your helpful suggestions and ideas, Folks.

Patrick - other computers on the same network are working fine. His is the only one not going out.

CubaMark - thanks (smacks face) ... I completely forgot about the Cmd-R option. I will try that before all else. I did run Malwarebytes (it's installed on the computer). I'll try and post some screenshots - I didn't do that earlier because they are not very helpful.

polywog - I did do that last evening (power down the iMac and router) but it made no difference. The router is an Apple Extreme.

Much appreciate the help.
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Old Jan 30th, 2020, 11:39 AM   #6
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AirPort Extreme is a good answer, but I haven't used one in a while. What does Airport Utility say? There's a good internet connection?
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Old Feb 6th, 2020, 09:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polywog View Post
AirPort Extreme is a good answer, but I haven't used one in a while. What does Airport Utility say? There's a good internet connection?
Yup. Internet connection is good.

To close the loop on this one ... Dad's iMac mysteriously began working as if nothing had happened!!

I have no clue what happened but I am most grateful for all who took the time and trouble to help out. Thank you very much.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2020, 01:58 AM   #8
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One other thought for the future - is he using a VPN ? Does it have a kill switch ? This has happened to me in the past. turn off the kill switch , then turn it back on .
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