iMac Intel 27". EMC 2309 (Late 2009, Core 2 Duo 3.06 or 3.33 GHz), EMC 2374 (Late 2009, Core i5 2.66 GHz or Core i7 2.8 GHz)

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I can't get anything other than a flashing question mark at bootup?

Hi,

So, my dad gave me his old business iMac as he was due for a new one, but wanted me to wipe everything, so i did a reset by unmounting the disk in disk utility and erasing. Then when i restarted I was taken to a screen with a flashing question mark inside a folder. Originally when i googled it, I found that I could hold CMD+R and it would take me to a image of a globe. On this screen i connected to my WIFI and it started doing something, but after about 30 mins, came up with error message 501 0F? Now, when i CMD+R on startup, absolutely nothing happens, and I am taken to the flashing question mark once again?

How can I resolve this? Id rather not go to an apple store as Im miles away from one and its a rather heavy unit to be lugging around London.

Cheers

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Do you have the original system installation disk or a retail 10.6 installation disk or an external drive to boot from with a compatible system installation on it?

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error message 501 0F is an internet restore error. Instead of using the wi-fi, hook it up to your router or modem using an ethernet cable. If you can reformat the drive and use the "write zeros" option (this will take some time but eliminate any bad blocks that may have developed. GUID and give it one partition, Mac OS X extended. Now see if will install the system.

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The flashing question mark means it is unable to see the information on your hard drive for it to start up. If you have access to an external dock or USB to SATA, try taking the drive out and completely reinstalling the OS. If this does not work then its more than likely that either the hard drive or data cable to the board needs replacing. If you get stuck with this then use the hard drive replacement guide on fixit. Good Luck

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Why would you remove the hard drive?

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The internal SATA cable may be at fault or the SATA controller chip on the board so taking it out and running it through a USB would eliminate both of those issues.

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Theodore Allen will be eternally grateful.
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