Model A1225 / Mid 2007 and Early 2008 / 2.4, 2.8, or 3.06 GHz Core 2 Duo processor

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white screen no logo start up noise then clicking

My 2009 iMac has a big problem. on turning the power on the deep base boot noise sounds, the screen goes white but the logo does not appear. There is then a loud repetitive clicking noise from the iMac.

The 4 lcds on the motherboard are all it. The hard drive has been replaced as I originally thought this was the problem. Sadly the problem remains.

Prior to this problem, the DVD drive has intermittently stopped working, and then completely ceased working but the machine has always booted normally and performed well with an external DVD.

Can anyone help?

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To start with here is a good writeup on the boot up process (Apple TN): Intel-based Mac: Startup sequence and error codes, symbols.

First try disconnecting all your external connections (except the keyboard & mouse). See if you have something there messing you up when you restart your system.

Did you try fixing your built-in optical drive? If you can get a CD/DVD cleaner disk which has a micro brush to wipe away the dust on the lens. If you've already tried this and it didn't help your drive maybe gone. Why I press on getting the internal optical disk drive working is you need to boot up from the systems recovery disk unless you have a bootable FireWire hard drive.

From what it sounds like you have a bad USB device driver or a corrupted boot sector on the HD.

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The white screen and the clicking ( search head on the drive going back & forth), indicate a failed hard drive to me. Were you ever able to format and put a system on the new drive? To verify, disconnect the hard drive data cable and see if it will boot from the system installation DVD. Here's how: iMac Intel 24" EMC 2134 and 2211 Hard Drive Replacement

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I have now been able to replace the optical drive. The hdd is also new. The boot still hangs after the proper deep base note sounded at start up and a white screen. There is then a much reduced intermittent click from deep in the bowels of the machine.

All 4 LEDs remain lit at the appropriate times.

A shame as this seems close to being fixed but falling at the last hurdle.

I'm away to look for my copy sof OS X that it came with to see if I can boot from it....

Any thoughts?

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Sadly the boot article has disappeared from online. I have not yet be enable to try and boot from the optical drive. I shall try that next...here's hoping

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This gets more bizarre. Optical drive (new) appears to try and read. Boot hangs with a white screen and no logo.

On a whim I put the old hdd back in. The same clicking ? Hdd seeking occurs for a couple of seconds, then it pauses and tries to boot from the optical drive (OS disc loade). The imac the tries to boot, the logo appears, and the load appears to start and hangs part way with the timer/clock face frozen, still with a white screen and the logo. This process takes an awfully long time (maybe a couple of minutes) until it freezes.

I'm now completely nonplussed. Any thoughts...

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Ian - Can you disconnect the HD (both data & power connections) and then with just the Apple logo'ed CD/DVD see if it will boot up. If that fails can you tell us what the OS version is on the CD/DVD and describe it (color and what it has on the labels). Your symptom reminds me of an issue I've seen before with the Apple OS CD/DVD disk and optical drive compatibility problem. What happen here is some CD/DVD disks are dual layered and the optical drive couldn't handle it.

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See if you can get an external FireWire drive and working with a friends get it prepped with Snow Leopard or Lion as a bootable drive from your friends Mac. Then give that a try with your system. Are you able to boot up with it?

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try the cable from the optical drive to the mother board replace. I've worked on several '07 models that somehow burned out that cable. The 09' cables are different from the 07-08. Make sure to install some kind of fan control to keep the heat at bay. If you are that deep into the iMac you might as well replace the thermal paste on the cpu. (leave the white t-paste it is ok) Your '09 might not have a gpu heat sink, you can tell because when you instal the fan control it says you have a northbridge that runs at about 51 c. and there seems to be a gap between the CPU heatsink and the power supply

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will - Ian is unable to get his system to even boot up so it's not likely a heat issue. Also Apple does a good job in its hardware design so adding methods to override the fans is really not a good idea. While there was a point people needed to do it in the newer iMac systems ('11 & '12) the issue has been resolved with HD's that are now comparable with Apples method of heat management. I do agree in these older systems the thermal paste often needs to be refreshed but again Ian still needs to get the system working first.

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sometimes these also wait for a pram reboot option + P + R key. (that is usually reserved for black screen) To check or confirm Hard drive failure Do Utilities>Disk utility>Erase free space. Takes about 45 minutes-if it gets flakey-(it tells you it will take umteen jillion hours to complete) insert any start disk (original or Snow Leopard) go to 2nd screen choose repair disk (in disk utility)-any red results, your hard drive is toast. erase free space will check your hard drive and repair-umteen jillion hours go to back up and reload OSX

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will - Ian first needs to get the system to even boot up. While he likely had a disk problem with his older HD he has a different problem now.

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so Ian tried to start in safe mode already with the old hard drive to try to get information off the old hard drive to a travel drive. I just got an old iMac into the shop. the mac would not recognize the hard drive. the former owners thought that the OS just needed to be reloaded-but the Apple description of the HD was that that there were two OS's loaded into the HD, remotely so there was no way the mac was going to interact with the HD WITHOUT the device that was connected remotely (it was still waiting for whatever device was plugged in to the USB port) Another thing about USB drives and old macs and hanging. If I shut off my mac with a USB device in place, when I try to restart, it is still looking for an operating system plugged into the USB-so unplugging everything is sound advise. The last time I heard spitting and clicking in an old mac was yesterday when I did the thermal paste and fan cleaning, I left too much rubbing alcohol on the fans and I guess they spit the excess water onto the motherboard-it sure sounded awful at first. I must disagree about the heat problem I have a friend who has a 2012 or newer iMac. I had him download the macs fan control for free from maccupdate and his mac went from too hot to touch on the top left-to just warm. The fact that geniuses at apple barn always tell customers that their GPU's are 'going' seems a testament to their knowing that heat was a problem-and because of their training-is going to continue to be a problem-so how to boot into 'bios' mode to see what the Mac is looking for? (boot order) techs at recycling yards do it all the time-but I have not seen it "how to boot into bios in 2009 iMac"

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will - Its best to correctly diagnose the root issue when it comes to a heat issue. First you need a good tool to monitor whats happening. I recommend using this app: Temperature Gauge Pro and I also recommend using what Apple supplied within your systems OS Activity Monitor. Temperature Gauge Pro will help you isolate out what area is getting hot and Activity Monitor will help is isolating out bad applications (processes) that is causing the system to overheat from a process stand point. Our company is uses Macs both in the offices and in the field. We have a very large number of systems we don't use any fan control software. We often find hardware issues and apps that are poorly written cause most of the heat issues in our systems, and the rest are basic maintenance type of issues. Basically: If you need to install a fan override app your system has a problem which you are not fixing! Just masking it which over time will cause a more costly repair.

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