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Model A1311 / Late 2009 / 3.06 or 3.33 GHz Core 2 Duo processor

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Late 2009 iMac won't boot (mb950b/a)

Hi

This one has me beat. I bought a used iMac a mb950b/a. the story I got was it was all ok but after a fresh os install it stopped working, he has pics of it running an old os.

it will start but I get the folder with ? icon. so before I tried anything I ran a AHT and no issues. its running 4GB of ram and I tried to enter startup recovery but it will not open, I just get the apple logo, the status bar will fill but nothing. I created a bootable version of high Sierra, this showed up ok at start up, it will try and open but again after hours the apple logo and the status bar fills but nothing.

I opened up the Mac and found a SSD installed, so I removed and installed a new SSD I had. again I tried to install a new os and the same, just the apple logo and a full status bar, I cannot get to startup recovery

I fitted a SSD from another Mac and it showed up ok when starting via the alt key. it showed up but nothing, still cannot get to startup recovery

I have tried loads of resets, swapping drives anything I can find, but nothing will work.

so in short all i’m a getting is the apple logo and a status bar,

I can’t access startup recovery, Im lost with this one, any help please.

Update (06/29/2021)

Hi Dan and Mayer,

Sorry I messed up with the speeds on the SSD, GENUINE THANKS ! :)

Right, I had a Samsung SSD 840 in my MacBook, lucky!Its specs are SATA 6Gb/s (Compatible with SATA 3Gb/s and SATA 1.5Gb/s)

So I think Im good?

I backed up MacBook to my time capsule and fitted the WD SSD and did a reinstall and all is now good with MacBook, Mid 2012 good with the 6Gb/s

I formatting the Samsung to GUID on my MacBook and then put it into the iMac.

just trowing this out, when I do boot via Option (⌥)  the only drive I see is the USB, right?

I ran it in single user mode, the new SSD is listed here and used fsck -fy, twice and “got appears to be OK”

then a root out of single user mode and Option (⌥), same.

I was using El Capitan just to get the thing working on some level.

but I'm afraid same results.

but serious guys, the help so far is fantastic, any more ideas please.

again thank you!

regards

Robbie

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So quick question (because it's not clear), when you booted High Sierra from the USB key, did you do an installation on the SSD? And if so, did the machine boot up ok after installation?

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Hi, I can target the bootable usb again Apple logo and status bar. I cant get to install

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@bookalon - Your Samsung SSD is fine! Yes, the startup manager won't see a High Sierra or newer setup drive, just like how you don't understand:

APFSを使用しているMacには、HFS + OSからアクセスできません。

Mac's using APFS can't be accessed by HFS+ OS's.

Try a fresh installer or back date your systems year date (just make sure your system can't connect to the internet as the time server will undo you)

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Hi

@Dan

Just to be clear :)

The iMac starts up,

I press option

I see the bootable usb and open

Then the Apple logo and status bar

That’s it!

That’s all I’m getting

I’ve no options to change dates

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Check to make sure these SSDs you are using are backward compatible to SATA II 3.0 GHz.

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Hi yes the SSD is ok, I thought of that too I even tried 2 old HDD, same just the Apple logo

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How are the drive formatted? GUID or APFS?

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You may need to run the OS installer directly on the system from a bootable OS installer (USB Thumb drive) as Apples recovery server messes up the older systems putting older HFS+ OS's on like Sierra (10.12.x) and older Vs High Sierra (10.13.x) which uses APFS, and the highest your system can run.

And depending on how you setup the SSD the systems firmware may not have been upgraded so the APFS volume your drive is now setup with is not recognized with the older firmware.

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hi, thanks for all this. ill explain what I'm currently doing and please correct me if I'm wrong.

I'm using a new WD SSD that is SATA 6.0 gb/s.

I'm formatting it to GUID, on my MacBook and then putting it into the iMac.

im creating a bootable version of el Capitan on a USB.

using this guide: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201372

I boot the iMac via Option (⌥) and select the bootable USB.

Then all the get is the apple logo with a status bar

the status bar fills up quickly to half and then takes about 1 hour

to fill and then nothing just sits there at full.

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@bookalon - As @mayer explained your system is only able to support the older fixed speed SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) drives or ones which are able match your systems SATA ports I/O speed. Your WD SSD is a fixed speed SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) it won't work properly in your system iMac Core 2 Duo (Late 2009)

WD Green2.5" SATA SSD

WD Blue 2.5" SATA SSD

Download the spec sheets as the web version does not offer all of the needed info. Now compare the SATA data rate with this drive:

Samsung 870 EVO 2.5" SATA SSD

The WD drives don't support the slower 3.0 Gb/s I/O data rate your system runs at, unlike the Samsung I've listed here. This is the difference between a fixed speed SATA III drive and auto sense drive.

There are a few other fixed speed SATA II drives still available but you need to read the fine print within the spec sheet to be sure.

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