Ask Max: Can't get an eMac to boot, with or without CD
I bought a used eMac a couple of months or so ago. We use it in our newspaper. This morning it was slow. Now I can't get it to boot at all, with or without a CD - holding down option+c or anything. It comes on and the apple comes up, sometimes you get the little whirly thing, sometimes not. It acted like it wanted to come on once off the system 9 CD, but locked up. I've switched keyboards, disconnected the printers, etc. shut it down for a while to let it rest, still no go. I'm getting frustrated. I've been working with Macs for 10+ years and have never had one I couldn't coax into coming back to life.
It sounds like some part of your OS X system has become corrupted. This can be caused by hardware failure or just system file damage. To find out where in the OS X boot up process your system is failing, you can try booting up in Verbose mode. When booting up the computer, hold down the Command (AKA Apple) key and "V" key. You will see a detailed text list of services starting on your Mac. Pay attention to where it stalls. Knowing what service fails to load completely can help you find the broken files or the related hardware that could cause an issue.After the computer has been frozen for enough time to determine the hang-up, pull the power cord and restart the computer. Now what you'll want to do is boot up in 'Safe mode.' Do this by holding down the "Shift" key on startup. If this works you can start repairing the drive. Running a Mac OS X Combo update is a good first step. Then keep troubleshooting.If that doesn't work, you'll have to boot into "Single User" mode. Boot up your computer holding down the Command key and the "S" key on start up. When you see a command line prompt, type "/sbin/fsck -fy" without the quote marks and press the Return key. Follow the on-screen directions.Here is a link to this info and some more tips from Apples site: Apple articleI hope this gets you up and running again. Please let me know.