so i have an early 2009 imac. i had el capitan installed and working like a dream... then got the dumbest idea to do that hack to install sierra. and it worked and i had it running smoothly for about 3-4 months.
then out of the blue it would flicker the screen, then the odd time would freeze up.... then i started getting the restarting issues saying there was a problem with my computer and it had restarted. and then finally it wouldn't stay on when i turned it on, it would self shut down after about 5 mins.
i quickly backed up my files to an external drive and tried to do a fresh install of el capitan but nothing is working. i was able to format the drive through the disk utilities so that it was ready for a clean install, but none of the usb bootable drives i make seem to work.
i started with 10.6 and i was able to get to the start up screen to start an installation but it stops about 3/4 the way saying it cannot install on this computer. so then i read that it has to be 10.7.5 so i tried that and it did the same.... i jumped up to 10.8 and i just get a blank grey screen with a mouse pointer. so i though i would try 10.5 and when i click to start the install it just keeps rebooting the imac.
i'm literally pulling my hair out and frustrated beyond belief at how incredibly hard it is to get a damn imac back up and running when you have an issue that needs you to reinstall the OS. i've never had this much trouble when i deal with a windows based PC... why can't apple simply have a window that pops up saying please use this method or disc to reinstall ??? my guess, another cash grab at the "genius" bar....
anyway, i apologize for my rant as i'm just past my calm stage. i'm stuck using this crappy slow ass windows chromebook that is like molasses and would appreciate any help someone can give.
i have access to a burner as i did hear my system is older and you need to use a disc instead of the usb method.... but i'm getting short on blank media and don't want to waste discs if i can help it. so is that correct that i has to be a disc based re-install ? or will the usb method work ?
and what version of OS do i use ? i read that i may have updated my system to only accept 10.7.5 and upward, but can i just install El Capitan and avoid the lengthy updating/patching steps.
Do you have a time machine backup that you can restore from an earlier date that is maybe free of whatever is causing the problem?
Not sure if it has to be disc based but I would certainly give that a try as with the older versions of Mac OSX they all came on discs. Might be an issue with the USB for the installer. USB would be pretty slow as well, though not sure how much faster, if any, a installer disc would be.
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. Bishop Desmond Tutu
While there are a number of possibilities, I am leaning towards a bad HD. Figure the odds to be at 75%+.
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ok, so after some trial and errors i was able to get it back up and running.... typing this on it now. so from articles i found there was an update to make some imacs and other macs not able to use anything under 10.6.3, so i borrowed a friends retail disc and tried 10.6.3 and it didn't work....
so put out an sos on my local FB forum and was able to get ahold of 10.7/10.8 and still no luck... 10.7 would show up but would tell me it could not be installed on this machine, 10.8 just spun up in the drive but would not show up.. then i thought what about 10.5 it doesn't hurt ! and broke out my own retail copy from an older mac i once owned and bingo ! it was recognized and even installed.
so either my mac didn't get that 10.6.3 update delete or for some odd reason it just ignored the update. either way it installed and then i did that AHT and it passed as well... so it must not have been a hardware issue. i updated the imac to 10.6.8 then jumped to 10.11.6 El Capitan and so far it's been running fine.
although while using chrome it did that restart again and popped that "your computer had to restart" message.... but i don't know if it was actually chrome as i was in the process of installing tunnelblick VPN when it happened so i uninstalled tunnelblick and it's been running fine for over 3 hrs now.
i also did the time machine to a spare usb drive i have that will be used exclusively for that reason and updated every morning in case of a fail. i would do a hdd update to a much larger one but not sure how that works with that sensor that attaches to the drive... or how even get into this imac.
but thanks for all the help everyone ! it is more than appreciated.