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Startup problem on snow leopard

1258 Views 12 Replies Latest reply: May 15, 2012 7:58 AM by blahdonna RSS
blahdonna Calculating status...
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May 10, 2012 5:28 AM



Would greatly appreciate assistance in properly starting up my PowerBook G4 running on OS Snow Leopard.  The PowerBook did not shut down properly and when I restarted, a folder with a ? appeared upon startup.  I then inserted the upgrade CD for Snow Leopard and held the Option key upon startup but when I click on the forward arrow, it redirects to a grey screen for the longest time - help please?



PowerBook, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • Michael Wasley Level 5 Level 5 (6,810 points)
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    May 10, 2012 6:08 AM (in response to blahdonna)

    PowerBook G4s won't run OS 10.6 Snow Leopard.


    Or did you mean OS 10.5 Leopard?


    Which Mac and OS are you using?

  • rogerfromchatlottesville Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    May 11, 2012 6:56 AM (in response to blahdonna)

    A G4 will only run Leopard 10.5  Under the apple menu select About This Mac and check there for the type of processor and OSX version.  List this and we can give you more help.

  • Allan Jones Level 7 Level 7 (29,585 points)
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    May 11, 2012 9:33 AM (in response to blahdonna)

    When you check "About this Mac" under your Apple menu as Roger suggests, also note and post what that says about your processor type, A PowerBook will include "PowerPC" in the processor description. If something else comes up, you may have a newer computer.


    As the early MacBook Pros that replaced the PowerBooks in 2006 (and can run OS 10.6.8)shared the same case that the Powerbooks used, we get a number of posts in this forum from MacBook pro owners. That's why we are trying to sort this: to get you the best help and recommendations for your computer problems.


    Honestly, we're not trying to be picky. Apple's odd choice of some forum labels have caused people to post in the forum for another model, and recommendations for an older model, for example, could prove inappropriate if not harmful to one that is newer. What works for fixing a PowerBook problem can be very different from what works to fix a different model.

  • Allan Jones Level 7 Level 7 (29,585 points)
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    May 13, 2012 8:09 AM (in response to blahdonna)

    That disk is not compatible with any Mac with a PPC processor, so I think you may have another lying about that came with the PowerBook. If someone sold you the PowerBook with that disk, they picked up the wrong disk.


    Also, a disk labeled "upgrade" or "up-to-date" was commonly a special one packed with a Mac just as a new OS version released. Rather than unboxing a pile of machines to install the new OS, Apple slipped a special disk into teh box that would upgrade the computer to the next level once the user set up the computer. It would not work on any other model, and would not upgrade any OS version except the one immediately before.

  • Allan Jones Level 7 Level 7 (29,585 points)
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    May 13, 2012 8:17 AM (in response to blahdonna)

    Did a little more research. In this thread:



    the poster found that the SL disk with the same model number as yours was a special disk that required OS 10.5 already be installed AND the computer had to have an Intel Processor. Specifically:


    I've done some more searching, and it looks like the cause of my problems might be that my Snow Leopard upgrade is the up-to-date $10 upgrade disk (10.6 2Z691-6430-A) rather than the retail $29 (more here in Australia). I've seen mentions that this $10 upgrade disk does look for a previous Leopard installation.


    Poster has aMacBook with an Intel processor.

    PowerBook G4 1Ghz 17", Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • Allan Jones Level 7 Level 7 (29,585 points)
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    May 13, 2012 10:47 AM (in response to blahdonna)

    Another Snow Leopard disk, regardless of is provenance, won;t work on a G4 PowerBook, so you re looking for Leopard 10.5. If the Leopard disks are balck, full retail intall disks:




    Then you slip the disk into the optical drive and restart the computer while holding the "c" key. Once the computer boots from the DVD, it will offer Installer options. If there is a lot of important data on the computer that is not backed up, or you have Apple Apps that were preinstalled on the computer, you need to use the Archive & Install option to preserve those files.


    Next part assumes you are in N. America (this is where it's important to provide some geographic info in your profile):

    Although I hear they are out, you can call the Apple central store (not the web store or retail outlets) at 1-800-MY-APPLE and ask for a system specialist. Tell them you were given an iPhone, iPod or iPad (chose one) and you need OS 10.5 to be able to sync. If they have copies in stock, they will sell one to you, usually for the original price of US$129, pricey but still much cheaper that that of legitimate copies of Leopard on the open market. I've seen Leopard going for twice the orig price from open-market vendors.

  • a brody Level 9 Level 9 (62,050 points)
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    May 14, 2012 8:38 AM (in response to Allan Jones)

    There are some cases where 'C' key booting may not work, and Option key works better. Also if the PRAM battery hasn't been replaced in 4 years, it may affect booting of the disc. Archive and Install will not always preserve files.  A dying hard drive is one such scenario.  If you have no backup,

    describes how to best deal with such a situation.  Of course whatever utility you get, it should be able to boot PowerPC Macs with 10.5.8 or earlier.


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