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Hello

 

My wife's early 2009 Snow Leopard iMac has started failing to boot properly and I'm looking for some troubleshooting tips.

 

Booting from cold, it gets past the logon screen and starts loading the desktop. It's quite slow at this point, but does load all the (hundreds of!) icons on the desktop. It also tries to re-open Firefox which had a lot of tabs open. Initially it would load a Firefox window but not complete loading the internals. On one boot I think I managed to close Firefox and now it still tries to load but just displays "Firefox" in the title bar with no windows.

 

I can initially access a few menus, spotlight, Finder, the dock, but any further action results in a beach ball for these, and they can't be accessed again. I was able to navigate Finder to try to launch Terminal but just it just gave me the beach ball.

 

I've left it like this for about half an hour but it doesn't get any further and I have to force shutdown (long press of power button).

 

I tried booting to safe mode (holding down S on startup) but the end result was the same.

 

I've been able to boot to a live ubuntu USB disk and can access files on the hard disk, so I've started a backup. We have a time machine backup but it's not that recent.

 

I'm hoping it's just a corrupt file, but suspect it's the hard disk starting to fail.

 

What's the best way to troubleshoot this?

 

Thanks

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6 hours ago, stuckinstandby said:

but suspect it's the hard disk starting to fail.

+1

 

Try boot the macOS with the recovery partition, and check the HDD with DU.

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In disk utility while in restore run first aid another utility is tech tools see if their is a SMART failure my assumptions it’s the hard drive is going south

its easy to remove and install a SSD hard drive

if the drive you remove has an apple logo see if has thermal sensor couple attach to it; probably not you’ll need one from OWC to connect to the SATA connector as apple used the internal from SMART

lou cioccio 

Edited by LouCioccio

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Thanks. I managed to fix the problem last night. It's a weird one - it turns out that there's some issue related to IPv6.

 

I swapped to a new router over a week ago and because I don't use this mac I didn't realise this issue was related. 

 

I found a thread on my ISP's forum: Sagemcom 2704N causing MacBook to crash

 

As a test, I turned the router off and the mac started fine. For now I've just disabled wifi on the mac and it's working. 

 

The post just says to disable IPv6. I'm not sure whether that's: disable it on the router or disable it is OS X, but I think I'll change to an ethernet cable anyway.

 

Probably a wake-up call to test the disk, get backups updated and maybe upgrade the disk anyway - SSD would be a big improvement.

 

Thanks for your help.

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