Problem with 2007 mac

DonnaH

Active Member
Hello All, hope this finds everyone well in these trying times. Well, my 2007 mac running high sierra just went I think!! It's been great right up till now, then yesterday while using it, it just blanked out to white, tried to reload the page and it didn't work, when we restarted it we got no chime and then the white screen with the question mark. I noticed that somehow the external hd was disconnected so plugged it back in but not sure that would be the problem anyway. Now upon opening there is no chime at all, and the white screen returns, question mark folder too. I searched on the internet for suggestions, but none seemed to work, probably because they all said "at the chime" do this" and I have no chime. Can't get into it to look of course. No keyboard no mouse just blank. I know it's probably reached the end of it's life but just wanted to make sure as this is the machine that my autistic child uses for his entertainment, educational apps, Youtube etc, nothing serious. It's just I want to make sure it's really gone before I think about replacing it, they are pricey. One more thing, if its dead how does one scrub it if you can't get into it? Thanks everyone Donna
 

chas_m

Well-Known Member
I hope you have been keeping backups (using Time Machine or some other method) because it sounds very much like the hard drive just died. Not unsurprising given the age of the machine.

The first thing I'd try is restarting the Mac and pressing command-r (and keep holding it until you see something on screen -- or two minutes, whichever comes first) to see if you get to the recovery partition. If you can't get there, then I think the drive has failed and is probably irrecoverable. While the drive may not be terribly expensive to replace and restore (assuming you do have backups), you are well overdue for a new(er) Mac so I'd encourage you to think in that direction. I think 2021 will be the last year that High Sierra will get any sort of security or compatibility updates anyway, so I consider this a sign.

Should you decide not to repair the machine, London Drugs can take it and will remove and destroy the drive, so you don't have to worry about scrubbing it. If you have any further questions, just reply here and we'll do our best to advise.
 

DonnaH

Active Member
Thanks Chas as always a great resource. I do have time machine so I hope it was working though with the 6 year old who loves to test the buttons and find new and wonderful stuff on there I can't be sure he didn't just turn it off!! The way this kid can find his way around a mac is astounding. Thankfully thie broken machine is his and I have another for the grownups use. Though I will bother you again with another question about Time Machine. When the mac died I took a look at the newer machine, TM in particular, just to see if it was working properly too. It says it's being backed up to my ext hd and there is more than 3GB of room. When I open it and look at the application window the first page shows all the apps, but when I go back to previous backups some of the apps show a white circle with a slash, whats that mean? There was probably nothing important on the kids machine but wouldn't want to lose the newer one too!!! Thanks Donna
 

chas_m

Well-Known Member
Apps with a white circle and slash through them mean those backed-up versions are too old to run on whatever operating system you are currently on (I'm assuming you've been looking at the files on your "grownups" Mac). As you probably know, once you move to Catalina (or the forthcoming Big Sur) macOS updates, any apps that are so old/unsupported that they are only 32-bit will no longer run. Apps that can be updated to recent versions can then be run, but apps that never got 64-bit versions have come to End-of-Life (EOL) on newer Macs. This also periodically happens with iOS apps that are no longer updated by their developers.

That's not to say that the app versions that were on the most recent backups won't work, just the out-of-date versions. Given that the user is only six, I'd say a good used Mac might fit the bill -- or if possible just get the hard drive replaced (with an SSD if possible -- it's more expensive but the speed increase is worth it). As mentioned, High Sierra won't be supported for much longer so it may be a good time to start researching a more recent model of Mac (doesn't have to be brand new, but something from 2014 or later is what I'd suggest) and whether their favourite apps are supported on newer systems.

Another option to consider is seeing if their favourite apps are available on the iPad -- if so, that's a very affordable "side-grade" that they might enjoy just as much or even more.
 

DonnaH

Active Member
Again thankyou Chas, that is good to know. Besides checking on TM my thought was I better get updated from Mojave to Catalina before I get too far behind and have to update 2 systems. Now that I know that TM seems ok and that the circles are quite likely things I don't use anyways (brought forward from previous old Mac) I 'm going to give the upgrade a shot and see how it goes, I have been lucky with the previous tries so I'll just hope my luck holds. What happens to the 32-bit programs do they just disappear from the mac or do I have to get rid of them somehow after the upgrade? The grownups Mac is a late 2015 so I may just try to postpone getting a used one and look at a new one for us in the near future. Thanks again Chas
 

chas_m

Well-Known Member
What happens to the 32-bit programs do they just disappear from the mac or do I have to get rid of them somehow after the upgrade? The grownups Mac is a late 2015 so I may just try to postpone getting a used one and look at a new one for us in the near future.
The programs remain, but they will show up with a white circle with a line through it over the top of their icons, and won't launch.

A 2015 Mac is still good for a while yet, but now's the time to start saving for the next one.
 

DonnaH

Active Member
Ok, so seriously thinking on a new Mac now. This machine is a late 2015 16 GB memory with a 1TB Fusion drive, we figured it should last for awhile if we added the extras. Says the 1TB is about half full now (probably a lot of junk) backed up with a 4TB ext hd. So if I were to go to for a new one, do we do SSD or add memory or what? Wondering which if any of the new ones would be a good one, I think the grownup machine should be a t least as good as the kids huh? lol Don't need fancy graphics, don't really do much but take the photos, very little editing etc. Staying with the 21.5" for that reason as well. Donna
 

chas_m

Well-Known Member
Five years is (IMO) late middle age for an iMac. You could certainly stay right where you are on that machine for another year or three yet, but if you want to take advantage of the 4K screen the 21.5" has now, the fast TB3/USB-C ports, and that super-fast SSD it comes with, I wouldn't blame you.

The 21.5-inch iMac is the very last device for which Apple still offers Fusion Drives, otherwise they are all SSD now. As you can see on the iMac's page on Apple.ca, you can get to 16GB of RAM for an extra $250, and you can opt for either 256GB SSD or another 1TB Fusion Drive. They start at $1399, but with 16GB RAM it's around $1649.

Give your description of what you do with it, you might also consider a Mac mini (which would need a monitor, and no the old iMac can't be used for that). For that same $1399 base price, it's got a much more powerful processor, and more storage (512GB). You'd probably still want to upgrade the RAM for future-proofing.
 

DonnaH

Active Member
Well, sounds like the SSD will be around for awhile, they are going away from the fusion drives in future for all the macs it sounds like. I just never know if big is always better for memory and storage. I have lots of pics and documents (most of which I could dump probably) so I fuss about not enough room for them. So now it's just decision time. Now buy from Apple or local? Appears the prices are the same just may have more options to change or upgrade if I go directly to Apple?
 

chas_m

Well-Known Member
Yes, Apple.ca is going to have more options for customization if you need that, but all the popular configurations are available from local resellers.
 
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