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Old Sep 10th, 2009, 10:49 PM   #1
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Another thread about the flashing question mark

Hi All,

I'm new to Mac's and trying to fix an iMac for a friend (I've had lots of experience fixing PC's)

The model on the bottom says A1200 with a date of 2006. It has the famous flashing folder with a question mark.

He has a retail disc for OS X 10.5.6 Leopard. When I insert the disc, it spins and sounds like it's reading, but even after leaving it for 15 mins, the disc keeps reading and the question mark keeps flashing. The same thing happens if I hold down "c" after pressing the power button.

I've read about some other options, like flashing the PRAM or going into a boot menu, but the trick is I don't have a Apple keyboard. Is it possible to do any of these things with a PC keyboard? And should I even need to do these things? What would prevent the retail DVD from booting?

I'm wondering if maybe the hard drive is bad, but would that stop the DVD from booting?

Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
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Old Sep 10th, 2009, 11:22 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leth View Post
've read about some other options, like flashing the PRAM or going into a boot menu, but the trick is I don't have a Apple keyboard. Is it possible to do any of these things with a PC keyboard?
Yes. Basically the Mac keyboard and PC keyboard are more-or-less the same with ONE notable exception. When we say "command," we mean the "Control" key on a Win keyboard, and when we say "Option" we mean the "Alt" key.

So a command like command-option-P-R (to reset PRAM) would be control-alt-p-r on a Windows keyboard.

Quote:
What would prevent the retail DVD from booting?
This machine clearly has problems, but is it possible that this 2006 computer came with only a CD-only drive? (some educational models may have only come with a CD-R drive).

I believe that's the 24" iMac 2.16GHz Core2Duo you're talking about (we don't refer to them by model number, Apple refers to them by size and introduction date, so this one would be called the "24-inch Late 2006" model. Apple sometimes does give them codenames, but not this one). I was kind of shocked when I looked that up and saw it was a Core2Duo, those chips have been around longer than I remembered!!

Anyway, this is an easy problem to get around: just hook up any external DVD drive via the USB2 ports and off you go (if the hard drive is salvageable, obviously).

Load that baby up with 3GB of RAM (you can put 4GB in but it will only "see" 3GB of it) and you still have a fairly state-of-art machine. You can upgrade it to Snow Leopard for ~$35CAD, if you max the RAM and have a big HD that could be a very nice little machine.
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Old Sep 11th, 2009, 01:19 AM   #3
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Thanks for the info; I was able to boot the disc and I'm on my way to installing Leopard
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Old Sep 11th, 2009, 06:54 AM   #4
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Woot!
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