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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Won't boot after spinning wheel

Everytime I start up my intel based iMac, it gets as far as the spinning wheel with the apple logo above it on the grey screen. Then just freezes. I've tried resetting the pram and multiple other ways of starting up the iMac.

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Boot from install/hardware test disk? Chimes or flashing lights? Beeps? What was the last thing you did before this started happening?

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I would suspect your hard drive is failing.

Option #1 You could just boot from the OSX disc and run Disk Utility to check the drive's SMART status. That may or may not show a problem with the drive.

Option #2 If you have a spare USB hard drive you can connect it and boot from your OSX install disc. Install the OS on the USB drive which you should be able to then boot from. From there I would download a free program called SMART utility and see if that shows the drive as FAILING.

There's a possibility the OS just needs to be reinstalled but you really don't want to try reinstalling it until you know if the drive is OK first.

Hope you have backups :-)

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... or Firewire external HD

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Bradley Little will be eternally grateful.
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