sometimes does not find hard drive.

Imac started to freeze, then would not reboot when restarted. Would start from install disc, Sometime I would see my hard drive, sometimes not. I replaced the hard drive, and at first it did not show up another time it did. I have not been able to install OS on it yet. The Imac will start no problem from an external firewire drive.

The original drive seem fine, and I do not think it is a hard drive problem. Might just need to run the iMac from an external drive. Any ideas what might be wrong.?

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Hard drives failing to mount can be caused by several things… other than physical failure corruption of the MBD on the volume might be a cause.

To identify, fix or eliminate volume corruption you must boot from some other source (OEM install or repair disks are excellent). Use Disk Tools-> Disk Utility->Disk FIrst Aid:repair disk (until it reports no problems) then - since you're there anyway do a repair permissions.

If this does not solve your problem you have hardware issues. If it does solve your problem you can not repeatedly crash or force restart you machine without MBD corruption occurring over time.

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Thank you for your response. Since I replaced the hard drive, and ran utilities on the original hard drive and found no problems, it is apparent that it is not a hard drive issue but a hardware issue. Any ideas what that issue might be. The computer works fine when booted from an external firewire drive.

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SATA data Cable or connector if your certain it's not the HD.

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Thanks. I will try a new SATA data cable. As I mentioned, I removed the old hard drive it works fine. I installed a new 1 TB drive which I formated prior to installation. The installed drive has shown up on occasion, but when I restart from the install disc to load the OS, it cannot find the drive. I checked the LEDs behind the right speaker, and 3 are green and 4th is not lit, which I read is normal.

I have also read that these machines are prone to capacitor problems. Since the machine starts and runs, albiet slow, from an external firewire drive, it makes sense that the problem is the connection with the interal drive. If the new cable does not fix it, I guess it could be a problem with something on the logic board.

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This era machine was notorious for having bad capacitors. Open it up and examine the (cans) capacitors for swelling and corrosion or leakage.

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Finally got an new data cable for the hard drive and installed it. Still cannot find the hard drive. The computer seems work work fine from the external drive. On occasion, prior to installing the new data cable, the computer could find the internal drive, but when I would reboot to install the OS, the drive disappeared.

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Mayer - could the bad caps cause the issue he's having? Booting OK from external drive, but failing to boot from it internally?

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I have not have not looked at the capacitors yet. When I was installing the data cable, I did not remove the logic board entirely because some of the wires connected to the logic board from the optical drive looked fragile and I did not want to risk damaging them. Since I did not remove the logic board entirely I did not get to check the capacitors. Also I noticed that even though I can boot up no problem from an external drive, the imac no longer recognizes the addition RAM in the slot. I tired reseating several times and tried other RAM. Also there is no chime at startup. Are these all signs pointing to capacitors? Is the replacing the capacitors something I even want to get involved in?

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studio58 will be eternally grateful.
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