Ask Max: E-Mac Booting Problem
I have an eMac that was given to me as a gift - it worked well for a long while - recently, the system had several updates (OS X, iPod upgrades) ready to be done. I clicked OK and it started the process. When it was done, the system indicated that the OS upgrade had not taken. It then told me to reboot. From that point forward, when I reboot one of two things happens:1) If peripherals are plugged in, the machine gets about 1 minute into the rebooting process (the timer is active in the middle of the screen) and then abruptly, the screen darkens and there's an icon of what looks like the power/on button with a message to re-start the machine (in 4 languages). I re-start the machine and the process keeps on going in a loop2) If the peripherals are not plugged in, the machine loads normally, displays the background (in this case it's a picture of the New York City skyline), and then abruptly, the screen darkens and there's an icon of what looks like the power/on button with a message to re-start the machine (in 4 languages). I re-start the machine and the process keeps on going in a loop (same thing as in #1 except that the re-booting process gets futher into the cycle.Any thoughts as to what is happening and how to fix?
It sounds like for whatever reason the OS update failed during the installation and that has corrupted your operating system. From what you are telling me I suspect you may be able to recover this OS without massive reinstalling. You should only have a keyboard mouse and power cord plugged into the eMac for this. Try booting up your eMac with the "Shift" key held down. This will boot your computer into a safe mode. Then, if it does not crash, you will have to reinstall that OS update. You are probably going to need to download the update on another computer and burn it to a CD. You will want the "Combo" update for your version of Mac OS X. Right now it is 10.4.7 but if you have an older OS it may be 10.3.9. By installing the Combo Update it should hopefully fix the file that broke during the first install.If that does not fix your problem you will need to get a copy of the Mac OS X install discs. They can be the ones you got with the eMac or a store-bought version. Boot up off the install disk and start going through the install process. When you come to the section that asks you to choose a volume to install to, you will be given an opportunity to change your install options. You are going to want to chose an Archive and Install with a checked checkbox for preserving user data and network settings. Then you can install. All your data will be safe, it will just install a new OS. That should fix your problems.Hope all goes well and let me know how it turns out.