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Model A1224 / Mid 2007 and Early 2008 / 2, 2.4, or 2.66 GHz Core 2 Duo processor

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Random crashes, unable to detect harddrive for a few hours after crash

Summary of symptoms:

  • Constant loud fan (starts after around half an hour after boot and does not stop)
  • Overheating (not so serious after starting to boot from external hdd)
  • Random crashes (usually when running demanding apps)
  • Random black screens + crash (usually when playing video, not happened since booting from external hdd + added RAM to 4GB)
  • Question mark folder every time after crash (but will be able to reboot after leaving it for a few hours)
  • Cannot boot from install DVD after crash (booted and ran for 5 mins then it crashed, 2nd time, black screen and disk keeps running)
  • Cannot wake from sleep (need to shut down using power button)


  • Adding RAM - some help (as above and below)
  • Reinstalling OSX - no help
  • Repairing permissions - some help (as above and below)
  • Checked HDD w/ disk utility and disk warrior - no problem detected
  • Booting from external hdd - some help (as above and below)

The story:

I first noticed the problem with my iMac (early 2008, 20", 2.66Ghz C2D, 4gb RAM) when it couldnt wake from sleep. I used to put it to sleep every night (and use it as my alarm clock) I will shut it down when I go to work but I would forget every now and then. Could I have fried the logic board by constantly keeping it on? I started to notice it heating up and the fan running wild in the summer.

It really hit me when it crashed while I was using Garageband a few months ago. The iMac was boiling hot at the top left corner. After a couple of crashes (I had to shut it down by holding the power button), it gave me the question mark folder at start up.

I thought it was dead because I couldnt even boot from install DVD to repair permissions. but when I tried my luck after an hour, it came back on and I could back everything up, repaired permissions, checked disk, did a quick disk defragmentation etc.

The next day the same thing happened again. Thank God it did let me to finish up my project. Then I didnt use garageband and thought it would not crash again.

Then it started to give me sudden black screens (when i was watch videos - youtube or simply playing video files) forcing me to shut it down using the power button every time (no response, cannot use shortcut to shut down).

Every time i force shut it down, it will give me the question mark folder for a few hours. Repairng permissions will make it last longer before the next crash, but it does not solve the problem.

I used to use cleanmymac but heard that it will corrupt the systm. So i tried reinstalling OSX again. Didnt help. Crashes again when I tried to run bigger programs (iphoto, microsoft office ...)

Then I decided to add more RAM. Upgraded from 2GB to 4GB. Did make it last longer before crashing on me again, black screen and all.

I couldnt stand having to wait a few hours before I could boot my computer again so I installed OSX on an external hdd and booted from there.

Thought everything was fine. But the next day when I was using word it gave me the spinning beachball for around half an hour (no black screen), and when I tried to record more tracks on Garageband one day, it crashed on me again. Not sure if it could be due to the speed of the usb port / speed of the external hdd.

With my external hdd, I don't have to wait for a few hours for a reboot after a crash. My iMac can detect the external hdd fine even after it crashes. But the internal hdd will disappear for a few hours after a crash and reboot.

Sound like a logic board issue? Will it help if I replace the internal HDD?

Any help will be much appreciated!!

Отвечено! View the answer У меня та же проблема

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2 Ответов

Выбранное решение

Use Time Machine and back up your internal hard drive, then replace the drive.

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thanks for the quick answer. i checked the hdd before with disk warrior and there seemed to be nothing wrong with it... assuming that it is dead, can a bad harddisk cause all these problems? e.g. not being able to wake from sleep, can't even boot from install dvd, black screen etc.


Disconnect the hard drive and see if you can boot from the installation disk.


thanks a lot! i finally decided to replace my internal hdd. it seems to be fine so far. though did seem fine last time i reinstalled osx as well, but then it gave me black screens all over again after a while. hope it really did work! fingers crossed!


i am not sure if it gave me a black screen a few days ago. i restarted my imac and repaired permissions. seems to be working fine again. i havent been doing much on garageband these days. will continue to wait and see what happens. thanks a lot for your help.


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hi there.

the problem came back after just 3 months....

this time i tried to apply fresh thermal paste on the cpu and gpu.

the cpu temp is fine now but the gpu is at 80C+ even just after startup

i heard that lion causes overheating problems so i tried to install snow leopard - but i cannot get past the installation process without it blacking out again.

any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

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