Please Help.. White Screen

krb85

Registered
Hello,

I have an iMac. It's showing a blank white screen upon startup with a flashing image of a file folder.
I do not have the original OS discs, they are damaged scratched up. How can I get this to boot up and can I install an OS on this? I do have a copy of Mavericks which I got when they were offering the free upgrade but I don't know if it works I've never tried it. Its just burned on a DVD. It's a DMG file

I DO have a new macbook air with Yosemite. Is there anyway I can do a backup on that and use that backup of the OSX to get the iMac back up and running?

Or is this a hardware issue such as hard drive? I'm not super familiar with Macs I've mostly only done PC support. I am a technician so I'm quite familiar with all of this but again, mostly PC work and mobile and tablet repair. It's only the last year or so I've dabbled with Mac. Thanks.
 

DeltaMac

Tech
Which iMac do you have?
Do you know what OS X version was installed on the iMac?

The blinking folder means that the computer can't find a bootable OS X system, or the system may simply be corrupted.
A common reason for not finding a bootable system is that the hard drive has failed.
As you mentioned a damaged installer DVD, then I suspect your iMac is at least 3 years old.

A Mavericks install is a poor performer from a DVD - just doesn't work very well. You may be able to make a bootable copy of that DVD to a flash drive (8GB is a great size for that installer), and boot from the flash drive installer.
However, you might be able to boot from the DVD anyway, at least to try out the Disk Utility (it's in the Utilities menu after you boot to the installer)
There, you can test the hard drive (Repair Disk), or you may find out that it won't be visible - because it has failed.

Another possibility = try booting to the Internet Recovery, which can also give you access to a Disk Utility, and give you the choice to download a new system - assuming the hard drive is OK. You can try that by restarting while holding Option-Command-R. You should see a world icon, telling you that you are booting to Apple's servers. It can take quite a long time for the boot, depending on the speed of your internet connection. Can take 10 minutes or more of some systems, so just wait it out.
 

krb85

Registered
Thanks for your very detailed and helpful reply.
Again, I am not super familiar with Mac.... I actually tried both: DVD and a USB drive and the same result. Neither would boot. But is there something I must have pn there besides the DMG file to make that bootable? I'm assuming so. I should note that the DMG Mavericks file was put on the DVD and USB drive through a Windows PC. As in, it was a downloaded copy. That's all I could do since I didn't have th original install discs... So I did that, put it on the USB and DVD and tried booting up on the iMac with that to no avail.

How would I get to the disk utility, what would I press? All I'm getting whenever I try to boot is that white screen with flashing folder icon. No Apple logo on startup.

Also assuming I'd have to have the ethernet cable plugged in to attempt an Internet recovery...

Is there anyway I can restore this iMac using a backup from my current macbook air I own? Anyway I can do a backup on a USB drive from the macbook air and then plug that USB into the iMac and restore? The macbook air I have has Yosemite installed. With regards to which model iMac it is I'll have to get back to you but I believe it is an 'older' model... Thanks for all your help!!
 

Cheryl

Rosie Moderator
Staff member
Mod
Sounds like your Maverick dmg does not have a system folder for the machine to boot to. The installer alone can not start up a machine.
Did you download the full install of Maverick or an update? The update will not help you as it does not have all the components of the OS.
 

DeltaMac

Tech
I actually tried both: DVD and a USB drive and the same result. Neither would boot. But is there something I must have pn there besides the DMG file to make that bootable? I'm assuming so. I should note that the DMG Mavericks file was put on the DVD and USB drive through a Windows PC. As in, it was a downloaded copy. That's all I could do since I didn't have th original install discs... So I did that, put it on the USB and DVD and tried booting up on the iMac with that to no avail.

How would I get to the disk utility, what would I press? All I'm getting whenever I try to boot is that white screen with flashing folder icon. No Apple logo on startup.

Also assuming I'd have to have the ethernet cable plugged in to attempt an Internet recovery...

Is there anyway I can restore this iMac using a backup from my current macbook air I own? Anyway I can do a backup on a USB drive from the macbook air and then plug that USB into the iMac and restore? The macbook air I have has Yosemite installed. With regards to which model iMac it is I'll have to get back to you but I believe it is an 'older' model... Thanks for all your help!!
Here's how you can proceed - and this is assuming that your iMac is a 2010 model or newer.
Boot while holding Option-Command-R. You SHOULD see a spinning globe. It's attempting to boot to Apple's servers, so, yes, you need to be connected to the internet. Plugging in through ethernet will be your best choice, although you could also use wifi, if that's all you have available. It will just be much slower. You also cannot use that internet restore if you have any type of proxy connection (and you should know if a proxy server is part of your internet setup)

I think it's unlikely that you can make an installer for OSX, using Windows, and end up with it bootable on a Mac. You can (and should) use an actual Mac (running OS X) to do that. You say you have a newer Mac - do it from there. All you need is the Mavericks .dmg and the Disk Utility on your newer Mac. Oh, and a USB flash drive to use as the destination for the image restore.
 

krb85

Registered
Here's how you can proceed - and this is assuming that your iMac is a 2010 model or newer.
Boot while holding Option-Command-R. You SHOULD see a spinning globe. It's attempting to boot to Apple's servers, so, yes, you need to be connected to the internet. Plugging in through ethernet will be your best choice, although you could also use wifi, if that's all you have available. It will just be much slower. You also cannot use that internet restore if you have any type of proxy connection (and you should know if a proxy server is part of your internet setup)

I think it's unlikely that you can make an installer for OSX, using Windows, and end up with it bootable on a Mac. You can (and should) use an actual Mac (running OS X) to do that. You say you have a newer Mac - do it from there. All you need is the Mavericks .dmg and the Disk Utility on your newer Mac. Oh, and a USB flash drive to use as the destination for the image restore.
Hi
OK, so here's what I did.... I read that on an older iMac, you can't just install Mavericks or Yosemite. You have to install at least Mountain Lion first then obtain the updates from the App Store afterwards if you want.

So because there was no backups made anywhere and no USB or DVD I was using was working correctly. Assuming it was because it was the wrong software... I PURCHASED (LEGALLY - NO DOWNLOADS this time) I purchased Mountain Lion... so they send it as a digital download. Only issue is, of course, the iMac is not working, not booting. So here's what I want to know how to do: How can I download that purchase on this macbook air and make a BOOTABLE USB of Mountain lion? There has to be a way to do it on another system, after all...how else are you supposed to get it up and running with the purchased software?? It sucks they don't just send out physical media anymore...
 

DeltaMac

Tech
I'm _not_ sure if you can download the Mountain Lion installer on your new MBAir - but, no harm in trying. Open the App Store, and click Redeem, under Quick Links. Enter your redemption code when asked, and you should be able to download the installer. It will complete, and likely tell you that the installer won't run on your Mac, which is true.
You can't run the installer on the MBAir, but you CAN make a bootable installer media, once you have it downloaded.
Download DiskMakerX. Make a USB key from the Mountain Lion installer, using DiskMakerX. An 8GB flash drive is a good size. That USB key will boot your iMac, and (assuming that your used iMac is NOT an older white model) Mountain Lion will install. It will take 30 minutes to an hour or so, and that should do it.
 

krb85

Registered
Thats all I want, to make a USB bootable of it so I can install it on an iMac. The iMac belongs to a friend so there won't be any issue downloading this from my Apple account will it? And then him using the OS being able to sign into his Apple ID? I didn't sign in to Apple when I made th purchase, checked out as a 'guest' but I still need to login with my email, which happens to be the same as my Apple ID, to access the download so..

I will give it a shot making the USB. Thanks DeltaMac :)
 

krb85

Registered
I'm _not_ sure if you can download the Mountain Lion installer on your new MBAir - but, no harm in trying. Open the App Store, and click Redeem, under Quick Links. Enter your redemption code when asked, and you should be able to download the installer. It will complete, and likely tell you that the installer won't run on your Mac, which is true.
You can't run the installer on the MBAir, but you CAN make a bootable installer media, once you have it downloaded.
Download DiskMakerX. Make a USB key from the Mountain Lion installer, using DiskMakerX. An 8GB flash drive is a good size. That USB key will boot your iMac, and (assuming that your used iMac is NOT an older white model) Mountain Lion will install. It will take 30 minutes to an hour or so, and that should do it.
I downloaded Mountain Lion from the app store, then disc maker... I got this error "The disk could not be created because of an error: An error occured: 127. sh: /Volumes/C18B67B2-AC7C-48BF-9E68-B3951FA85A20OS X Mountain Lion Install Disk: No such file or directory"

What am I doing wrong? I'm a PC tech and cell phone repair tech so I'm quite familiar with everything but I will be the first to admit I'm new to working with Apple OS. Why is making a backup so difficult? Once ML was finished downloading, am I supposed to move that to a diff directory or make a copy of it or something?
 

DeltaMac

Tech
You use DiskMakerX with the ML installer to create the USB drive. I copied the installer app to an external hard drive, in case I need to use it again -
Personally, I have had occasional errors when having the installer app on an SSD. It seems to work more reliably with the DiskMakerX software when the source file (the installer app) is on a spinning hard drive. I can't explain it, and I think it's one of those "YMMV" situations.
Should work (boot and install), despite the error.
You can also manually erase the thumb drive first, making sure it is formatted GUID.
Get info (Command-I) for the volume on the thumb drive (your destination), Click the padlock in the bottom corner to unlock, then check "Ignore Ownership on this volume"
Or, try the most recent DiskmakerX beta
 

krb85

Registered
You use DiskMakerX with the ML installer to create the USB drive. I copied the installer app to an external hard drive, in case I need to use it again -
Personally, I have had occasional errors when having the installer app on an SSD. It seems to work more reliably with the DiskMakerX software when the source file (the installer app) is on a spinning hard drive. I can't explain it, and I think it's one of those "YMMV" situations.
Should work (boot and install), despite the error.
You can also manually erase the thumb drive first, making sure it is formatted GUID.
Get info (Command-I) for the volume on the thumb drive (your destination), Click the padlock in the bottom corner to unlock, then check "Ignore Ownership on this volume"
Or, try the most recent DiskmakerX beta
What i did was, I just opened disk maker and it automatically asked me for which OS I wanted to create one for Yosemite or ML so chose ML. All I did was download ML, did nothing else with it. So it proceeded to do it's thing then it gave me the error I listed above. I tried it twice...
 

DeltaMac

Tech
Yes.
Be sure to try the various possible fixes from my post. One of them should get you going without the error.
The flash drive will probably take about 15 minutes to finish. Does it go that long before you get the error?
And - the installer may already be in place on the flash drive, and you could just try booting to the flash drive, even though there was an error. That error may be generated when the diskmaker app is finishing up, and doesn't really affect the installer that you made, and it will still work.
 

krb85

Registered
I tried tha a couple of times, Cheryl.

But anyway, I got it to work without the help of Diskmaker. It was still giving me errors. I actually just used disk utility, formatted the USB drive correctly and dragged the OS X file to the destination and used the OS X file for the source. It worked perfectly, once I got it installed it then offered me free Yosemite update through the app store ... thanks for all the help!
 
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