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Mac wont boot, hangs at apple logo screen

Update:11-30Source: network consolidation
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Hello everyone,
I have a 2006 Imac. This morning I tried to boot and it hung at the silver/white screen with the Apple logo and the spinning circle of lines below it. The computer will just hang at this screen.
Every time I tried to boot I can eventually hear the hard drive turn off. I recognize the sound when the computer was working and I put it to sleep it made the same sound. Anyways, it will hang on that screen for however long before I turn it off. I am no expert with macs, I tried loading the install disc but it wouldn't even load that and now I can't seem to eject the disc either. Please help!

The Best Answer

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I have been having this problem for the last several weeks on my MacBook Pro–I think a 2006 also. Mine will hang just before the Apple logo so the whole screen will be silver. Every time this happens I turn it off using the power button and just try again. Usually on the second try it works, sometimes the third. I've been experimenting with how long I hold the power button down, although it shouldn't be too sensitive to that and I don't think I am finding a correlation. I have had this occur in the past but only as flukes, not as a consistent pattern like lately. I'm getting worried that someday this thing will just not start up.
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