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EMac N9L serial number. turns on but only goes to gray screen and has a question mark on a file folder and then an odd face in the center. how do i get it to continue to boot up?

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Your best bet is to reset the System Management Controller;

http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3964

...and then reset the Parameter RAM:

http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1379

If it persists after that, try Safe Mode:

http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1455

...if that persists, try booting to your install DVD and running Disk Utility:

http://support.apple.com/kb/ts1417

..also note in this article that if for some reason you are unable to boot into your Install DVD the instructions for using fsck will do the same thing.

If that fails to resolve the issue, you'll want to reinstall the system:

http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1710.

If none of these steps resolve the issue, it will likely need repair at an Apple Authorized Service Provider or Apple Store.

Posted on Aug 30, 2010

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One alternate solution (if you have another computer available) would be to boot the eMac into target disk mode by holding T during startup. It should show a firewire icon on the screen, and should act like an external hard drive when you connect it to another computer via a firewire cable. You can use this method to install the OS onto the eMac from another Mac. You can try Googling "Target Disk Mode" if you need more information.

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You should format the internal hard disk and install a clean and fresh version of Mac-OS anyways and create a new user-account. If there is no install-disc included, try calling Apple, tell them your eMac's serial number (All eMac's have their serial numbers printed inside the disc drive door), and ask them if they have any replacement install discs for your model of eMac. Check out the Apple eMac support page or the Apple eMac support forum for more informations.

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My Powerbook G4 turns on light, fan, chime but no video.


Your hard drive has lost a file needed to start up the machine. The folder with the question mark means it cannot find a useable Operating system. I hope you backed up your files you needed becuase the only real way to recover the machine is to reinstall the OS from the install disk. You must format the Hard Drive from the format option on the install disk and reinstall the OS.

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If you are not concerned about any of the files on the computer, I suggest just wiping it and reinstalling the OS from the original software discs - this will ensure there's absolutely no issues with the files on the computer. If you are concerned about saving data, this could get tricky - as it sounds like you've moved something in the user that the OS needs to boot. If that's the case, there's an "archive and install" option when you go to install, more info on that here. When performing this archive and install, be sure not to check-mark the box that says "preserve users and settings", as the user is corrupted - what it will do is stick the user in a folder on the drive called "previous systems", and you can access the data later from the new user created during the repair installation.

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I have an old school pc it is an emac and need an password for it can you break it


In OS X, if you're the administrative (or only) user, you can reset the admin/user password using the OS X installation disk #1. Put the disk in the CD drive & restart the eMac while holding the "C" key down (Restart is also on the Apple menu, top-left corner of your screen). When the Installer opens, click "Utilities" then Restart. When the Installer asks you what language, pick one (maybe English?) 8¬), click continue (arrow) then Utilities again & choose "Reset Password"; the system will guide you through the steps. Once you've reset the user password, restart the eMac, then you can log in using the new password. You'll probably want to reset your "Keychain" password to match your new login password – otherwise it'll ask for your password every time it needs one for a program. "Keychain Access" is in the 'Utilities' folder, which is inside the 'Applications' folder.

—> Important: if the old Users Home Folder was encrypted ("FileVault" protected), you'll need the old user's password, or the eMac's Master password to access the files in the Home Folder – otherwise, the Home folder's files will be lost. As a new user, you'll have your own Home Folder & access to all application programs.

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When i turn on the emac it goes to a gray screen gray apple logo at top and spiny thing at the bottom it stays on that screen untill i shut it down. how do i fix it?


It could be a hard-drive directory problem, a hard-drive physical problem OR a motherboard failure. Did you get any random freezing or video corruption in the period leading up to this? If you did it would be indicative of the motherboard issue. If not then it's likely to be one of the first 2 options.
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Powerbook G4 wont start up, shows a file folder with a ? mark....


The hard drive is probably on it's way out. You can get and run Disk Warrior and you could repair permissions and such but the hard drive is probably on it's way to the grave.

A couple things though. It isn't enough to just put the disk in, you need to hold down "c" while the computer starts for it to try to run off your disk. You can then try to repair permissions and fix the disk from the installation program that starts. When the Install OS X screen comes up (looks like a desktop but with the big dialog box in the middle) click on Utilities at the top and then on Disk Utility. HERE IS APPLE'S SITE for you to read about how to try to repair your disk. I've found that this sometimes works and may help it work enough for you to get your files off, but may not.

Another method would be to get another Mac, and hook the two together with a firewire to transfer your files, then reinstall OS X in your ailing computer. Go HERE to read about this technique.

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Your Mac won't start up in Mac OS X (Mac OS X 10.3.9 or earlier)

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