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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 6:16 AM 
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Joined: Thu May 27, 2004 12:38 AM
Posts: 34
Hello all.
It's 4:30 AM, and I am writing on behalf of Rex's iMac (less than 6 months old).

The winds took out our power last night at about 7:45P, and it just came back up about an hour ago (over 7 hours!). I am bleary-eyed, so forgive perhaps less-than-crisp writing here. We have been trying to both sleep and keep warm while the temp has been plunging outside. (It is truly nice to have the heat back on!)

Unfortunately, Rex was installing the latest 10.5 system update when we lost power. He has a pretty decent UPS, so decided it was probably prudent to continue through the installation rather than abort it. He still had 80% power on the UPS, but the iMac seemed to sense a power problem, and sent an alert about the power, giving him the option to "continue" or cancel. Figuring he had another 10-15 minutes on the UPS, he continued -- and then it happened. Black screen, kernal-panic TYPE of white-on-black greyed out writing, with a box saying he had to restart the computer. Now that we have power back, it still comes up with the same black "you need to restart" screen. We tried the PRAM reboot, letting it chime 3 times, but to no avail -- same black restart screen. Right now we've unplugged it from the power source altogether, and Rex has gone back to sleep. We will try again in a few hours, but I am not hopeful.

In any case, I'm figuring Rex will have to call Apple Care for help. BUT my fear is that, when they find out it was a power failure, they'll say "ain't our problem, folks." Does anyone know if this would likely be the case? I'm actually afraid for him to call, and he is not inclined to lie. Though one might argue that his power supply clearly still had oomph left -- so why did the computer fail? Other equipment remained "on" after this, so the power was clearly there -- even though he got that odd warning. The UPS didn't quit for at least another 40 minutes. But I still have to believe Apple would see it as a loss of power.

On the possibly good side, Rex had just backed up his drive using SuperDuper. Though it is concerning that this backup drive should be re-bootable, and the iMac is not seeing it for whatever reason.

Rex is convinced that EVERYTHING is fried (including the external) -- because it does not see or seek out the external drive for reboot. But that just doesn't make sense to me -- that anything would be a problem with that external drive, as he was not writing to it during his update process when all failed. Later, if we cannot restart still, we'll hook his backup into my MacBook and see if it will see it as a bootable drive. I remain very optimistic about his data being safe, even if the iMac has serious problems.

As a postscript, and on a somewhat personal note, Rex and I have been ill with some stubborn respiratory virus or infection for almost a month. We had just turned a corner for the good, and our beloved 13 year-old cat became very ill. Will spare the details, but we had to euthanize him on Tuesday -- devastating for us both. With that, the power outage and the computer, I think Rex's stress levels are rather off the scale -- and his wheezing is back big time. Tomorrow I plan to take him to the ER for an x-ray to be sure he doesn't have pneumonia. THAT, of course, is nothing that our dear ApplePickers can help with.

But perhaps y'all can help with the "Mac" part of all of this. Any suggestions and thoughts will be greatly appreciated.

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Suzanne
Fishers, IN


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 Post subject: Update/no-start iMac
PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 1:56 PM 
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Joined: Thu May 27, 2004 12:38 AM
Posts: 34
Disconnected for several hours, and tried to restart. Still got black screen.

Disconnected all peripherals and ran the Mac Hardware Test, per booklet instructions. It found "no trouble" on the extended hardware test.

Have hooked up Rex's backup drive to my laptop, and it is functioning fine as a boot-up drive. Of course, have no idea why the iMac will not see it or get out of its black screen "you need to restart" mode.

Guess we will go ahead and contact Mac Experience, now that we've done all the preliminary testing -- and see what they suggest we do in terms of Apple Care, as I expect they'd know what our next steps should be.

In the meantime, if anyone has any insights about all this, we'd still be happy to hear, and I'll keep checking the forum.

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Suzanne
Fishers, IN


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 Post subject: HAPPY ENDING!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 4:27 PM 
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Well, for those of you who have followed this silly little saga --

Rex called Mac Experience -- as always, they were clear about what Rex could do on his own and what Apple would cover and not. Primarily, they told Rex to do a clean re-install of 10.5 from his original discs -- and this did the trick! Of course, he will have to re-update system -- and hopefully not during any power losses.

Whoa. Scary experience.

Lesson #1. Don't ever even THINK about updating system if there is any possibility of "weather." Of course, here in Fishers, we've lost power for hours at a time on perfectly sunny days. 8)

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Suzanne
Fishers, IN


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:04 PM 
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Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2002 5:56 PM
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Suzanne,

I'm glad to hear that there was no hardware damage. I definitely agree that you shouldn't start a system update if there's a possibility of bad weather. Unfortunately, that's when "Murphy" strikes and you lose power.


Bob C


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