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PowerBookG4 doesn't recognize internal HD/FireWire Target Disk Mode no luck

4687 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Mar 10, 2010 10:43 AM by mattn RSS
Gregory Hale Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Jan 3, 2010 4:48 AM
I just powered on my 15" powerbook g4 the other day, for the first time in months. I got a message that the date was before March 2001 and that I needed to check the date. I said ok to the message and then tried to go to date/time but the finder locked up with a spinning cursor. I had to shutdown by holding the power button. When I tried to power back up the PB couldn't find my startup drive.

I booted up from the Install disc and launched disk utilities and it couldn't find any internal drives.

I then rebooted using the same disk and went into the hardware test. Both the quick and the extended hardware tests pssed without any issues.

I then followed http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1661 on how to use and troubleshoot FireWire target disk mode. I followed directions and connected it via firewire to my 2.16 GHz Intel core Duo iMac.

The PB booted up fine into Target Disk Mode and the firewire symbol is bouncing around the screen like it should. However, the hard disk of the target disk(PB) never showed up on the iMac.

I installed 10.4 from the PB Install Disc on an external firewire disk and was able to boot up the PowerBook. I then installed Disk Warrior on that same external firewire disk and ran it, but it also was unable to find the internal drive on the PowerBook.

Any thoughts?
PowerBook G4, Mac OS X (10.4)
  • eww Level 9 Level 9 (52,975 points)
    The Powerbook's hard drive has failed. DiskWarrior's inability to "see" it is a 99% certain confirmation of its failure.
    15" MBP unibody 2.4GHz/4G/250G; TiBook 1GHz/1G/120G; PTProG3 500MHz/768M/160G, Mac OS X (10.5.8), film and flatbed scanners, projector, graphics tablet, laser and photo printers
  • hexdiy Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)
    Hi Gregory, seems to me you've done all any of us could think of. The drive seems to be dead and irretrieveable.
    On the offchance the trouble is caused by a defective motherboard, you might try to get the drive out of the PB and into an external enclosure. But seeing that the PB does start up in Target mode, a faulty MB is extremely unlikely indeed.
    Only thing that puzzles me is that the PB passed the hardware test, unless this does not test the hard drive.
    Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • cornelius Level 6 Level 6 (17,825 points)
    hexdiy:
    Only thing that puzzles me is that the PB passed the hardware test, unless this does not test the hard drive.

    AHT will normally test the HDD. However, it may not show up in a single run, or even several runs. I usually recommended running the extended tests in a loop (Control + L during the tests).

    cornelius
    MBP 2.4 GHz 2 GB RAM, 200 GB HDD; VMwFusion: XP Pro, Ubuntu, Mac OS X (10.6.2), PismoG4/550, 120GB 5400 HDD (10.4.11); Beige G3 OS 8.6
  • kman1801 Calculating status...
    I just discovered the same issue with my 17" MBP. Was having problems getting it to boot. Ran Disk Utilities and got I/O error. Ran Disk Warrior and got error message.

    Was able to boot in Target Disk Mode and tried back up with Carbon Copy Cloner. Some files were saved but then got error. Could not access contents of Users Folder and Re-ran CCC to only save the Users folder, same error. Tried to copy Users folder directly to my Mac Mini (host), got error. Restarted in Target Mode but MBP doesn't mount on host. Restarted with Install Disk, but Disk Utility cannot locate HDD, "gathering disk information" just spins.

    There's no clicking noises or anything. Is this HD just completely dead?

    This *****, I was hoping to get some of the data off my MBP since my last back up.
    MacBook Pro/ Mac Mini, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • cornelius Level 6 Level 6 (17,825 points)
    kman1801:

    Welcome to Apple Discussions.

    You may want to download and run the demo version of DataRescue 3. If you find the files you are trying to recover you will need to purchase the license to recover them.

    All PowerBook G4 and other PowerPC laptops with the original HDDs are at the age where they are likely to fail. It is important for users to maintain an up-to-date backup at all times against the eventuality of a failure. I recommend HDD replacement after 5 years, or the first sign of issues, since the drive has to be replaced eventually in any case.

    Good luck.

    cornelius
    MBP 2.4 GHz 6 GB RAM, 200 GB HDD; VMwFusion: XP Pro, Ubuntu, Mac OS X (10.6.2), PismoG4/550, 120GB 5400 HDD (10.4.11); Beige G3 OS 8.6
  • kman1801 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    cornelius

    tried demo of Data Rescue 3. after about 14 hours and 4800 to go i gave up. spoke to tech at prosoft who didn't give me much hope, but reran scan with same result.

    shut everything down, unplugged everything and started over later that night. the next day the scan completed. bought a 1TB external hd and have been able to recover nearly all of the files. incredible!

    thank you for your lifesaving recommendation!
    MacBook Pro/ Mac Mini, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • cornelius Level 6 Level 6 (17,825 points)
    kman1801:
    bought a 1TB external hd and have been able to recover nearly all of the files. incredible!

    Thanks for posting back with that update. That is great. I am glad you persisted. Notch another one up for DataRescue.

    cornelius
    MBP 2.4 GHz 6 GB RAM, 200 GB HDD; VMwFusion: XP Pro, Ubuntu, Mac OS X (10.6.2), PismoG4/550, 120GB 5400 HDD (10.4.11); Beige G3 OS 8.6
  • mattn Level 2 Level 2 (420 points)
    Just want to confirm this diagnosis, for the record, with respect to my own case; when this happened to me, I suspected the hard drive, took it to an Apple Repair place, and they agreed with the diagnosis and replaced my hard drive.
    MacBook, Mac OS X (10.5.8)

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