i need a miracle (but will settle for a genius)

Leonidas, my 27-month-old iMac, is dead or at least very, very ill. Yesterday morning I was having some extreme performance issues (I swear this never happens, I just need a few seconds to rest, let’s cuddle instead), so I attempted to reboot as my years in technical support have taught me that seriously, rebooting fixes everything. Unfortunately, at that point it may have already been too late for my iMac – whatever was going wrong was going wrong hard, and while I could move my mouse around the screen, nothing else was responding. I wasn’t really panicked at this point; Leonidas has experienced an odd lockup or two before, so I simply leaned on the power button for a manual reset and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

My iMac will get to the screen with the Apple, but go no further. The spinning spoked wheel gear thing spins forever, and nothing else happens. I’ve tried unplugging all my peripherals, reseating the cables, resetting the PRAM, resetting the SMC, booting into safe mode (progress bar takes 45 minutes to complete; nothing happens), letting the machine cool down (it was very steamy in my Lady Cave), trying another outlet .. nothing. My Mac will not boot.

I’m out of things to try at this point. I do have the installation disc for Snow Leopard, but I’m running Lion (haven’t yet upgraded to Mountain Lion) and wasn’t sure if I could use that to attempt to boot from disc – at any rate, I don’t want to do that without first seeing if the hard drive is salvageable, because I don’t have a recent backup (I know, I know). I have an appointment this evening to drag my machine in to an Apple Store, but I don’t have Apple Care and the machine is long out of warranty. I can’t afford to replace it at the moment because I am all of the poor, and I’m trying hard not to freak out about the possibility of losing my main machine and everything on it.

I don’t have time for this. I prefer my crises to be of an easily-fixable, non-technical nature – and I really hate to say it, but if this happened on a Windows PC, I would totally know what to do. I don’t have any experience fixing the innards of malfunctioning Mac machines, so I need to get someone to make it better for me .. and I really kind of hate that.

I don’t have a choice, though.

Here’s hoping for a cheap and easy fix that leaves my machine and data intact :(

noooooooo

2 thoughts on “i need a miracle (but will settle for a genius)

  1. You can boot from the installer CD, and not actually do the install. If that works, then its probably a disk drive error.

    But it sounds like bad RAM or motherboard. Either way, ouch.

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