iMac not booting unless in safe mode. Hardware cause?
The iMac of my wife won't boot anymore unless in safe mode.
She didn't install anything, she says, which I tend to believe as she is a very conservative user. I'm not sure she even would get through an installation process by herself.
Some weeks ago, she reported a clicking sound out of the machine, perhaps a fan (her guess). This clicking sound disappeared though some days later. As the system is running off an internal SSD that I have changed the SuperDrive for some years ago, it can't be the drive.
On Friday, while working on her Word document, the Mac froze, only the mouse cursor responded. She restarted but the Mac booted only half way through.
In safe mode it boots.
Things I checked:
- PRAM and SMC reset
- Disk Utility test
- SMART Utility test
As usual suspect seems to be the graphic card, I removed /System/Library/Extensions/ATI4800Controller.kext. (It's got the 4850 512GB card.)
That didn't change anything. There were also no discernible graphic problems before.
So now I have two questions:
1) Does this rule out the graphics card as the cause of the problem?
2) How can I find out which other hardware part can cause it? The later Diagnose Tool doesn't seem to exist on the Late 2009 iMac. Is it worth to search for the original DVDs to find the hardware test?