2007 iMac won't boot

hi guys.

This is a last resort, as I have tried all I know/can google.

A few years ago I sold my 2007 iMac to someone locally, at a very good price. They contacted me recently asking for help to fix it. I live in a place with no options for apple service. So I am all she has to try and fix this thing. It may be a long shot, but its her only computer for school and id love to be able to get it going again.

Ill try describe the problem and what I have tried:

  • when turned on it either gets stuck on the apple logo screen with the progress bar stopping at around 60% wish. OR, some attempts it will go to a white screen and stay on that.

What I have tried so far:

  • I tried to boot into safe mode. No luck.
  • I started into recovery mode:
    First attempt to reinstall Mac OS failed with a ‘software package unavailble error.’
    I then made a bootable USB drive with Mac OS El Cap on it (the OS that was on the machine last).
    That installed but didn’t help when the computer restarted. Still got stuck at 60% wish.
    I booted into recovery again and checked disc first aid on everything, with no errors.
  • I did a PRAM/NVRAM reset. No change.

I am trying another fresh OS instal, and things went well. But its trying to start again and is back to being stuck at 60%.

I have done all I know how. No, she doesn’t have a TM backup or anything like that.

Appreciate any help, and I would also appreciate it dumbed down a little for me. I know my way around the front end of computers, but this stuff is new for me.


Sounds like you’ve done just about everything… and it sounds like a hard drive that is on its way out to me.

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Since it boots into recovery mode, is it worth trying to mount the startup drive with Disk Utility? Maybe run fsck on it? Or at least try to recover the user’s data?

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I recently had two of those on my bench, even pulled the drives. Nothing worked.

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Bummer. Oh well. I guess we can’t complain at a 13 year old machine. Thanks!

Can you boot from the external drive and run from there? You said you installed macOS from it but not trying to run from it. That would tend to implicate the internal drive as the culprit.

Thanks. I could try that, but I don’t have any spare ext drives, and have a few limitations where I live (cost of drives and availability). Thanks for the suggestion.

I think @glenthompson was suggesting that you boot from the install disc you made and see if the machine will start up.

Ah! Thanks. Yes I did try that with no luck.

That would seem to indicate that something other than the disc is causing the startup to fail. Dunno if that helps you…