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Stuck: Need Disk repair but DVD drive dead and only have USB 1

691 Views 10 Replies Latest reply: Sep 22, 2013 11:20 PM by Bill from Maryland RSS
Bill from Maryland Calculating status...
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Sep 21, 2013 6:51 PM

[1 Ghz flat-panel iMac with USB 1 ports (no USB 2) and also Firewire 400]


I noticed a strange discrepancy (small but concerning) between the size of a folder on hard drive (folder of all mp3's with no subfolders) and the backup of the same folder on a mounted thumb drive.


(The size difference was not due to any invisible .DS_Store files and both folders are displayed in List view format.)


Disk Utility reports three things:


1. Incorrect number of thread records


2. Volume Bit Map needs minor repair


3. Checking volume information.

          Volume free block count",0)   [I might have mangled this line]

(It should be 13438611 instead of 13437937)




Here is the GOOD (but these are useless as explained under the "Bad"):


- I have a Tiger 10.4 boot DVD for a repair ==>but see below

- I also have a Disk Warrior disk (never used)


Here is the BAD:


- My built-in optical drive [Pioneer DVD-RW DVR-105] is -- I now discover - defunct and DEAD - it does not run the Tiger Boot DVD (in pristine shape).

- I bought an external SuperDrive (unopened) but I believe no boot from USB 1 is possible in PowerPC so a SuperDrive with USB 1 is useless.




1.) Is there any way to boot from some external source (optical drive is DEAD) to run Disk Utility and/or Disk Warrior? -- I see none in this case! (gulp).


2.) More importantly (and this is my fundamental concern): Do the three Disk Utility hard drive issues constitute any direct threat to the integrity of my files?


I have almost everything backed up to duplicate thumb drives over these many months as standard practice.


Are these Disk Utility errors fully isolated to hard drive directory-keeping...or do these directory damage errors pose the possibility of mangling or harming my files or their metadata (filesize, etc.).


Put another way, when files are backed-up from a hard drive under the Disk Utility reports above, do they remain unharmed and undamaged by the situations reported by Disk Utility?




iMac, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • Jeff Level 6 Level 6 (11,160 points)

    As for sometimes reading data disks, does it seem to be related to the brand of blank CD media used or does it occur with a variety of CD brands?  The quality of media used can affect the integrity of the finished burned disk.  Because the laser frequency used for CDs is different from that used for DVDs, a drive can function with one type of disks and not the other.  I had an internal Plextor DVD±RW drive that couldn't read any type of DVD media, but read and burned CDs flawlessly.  This has nothing to do with setting the drive's region code for watching DVD movies, which is limited to an initial setting and (4) subsequent changes.


    You could replace the internal optical drive (check Other World Computing) or use a FireWire-connected drive - such as this one - to boot the iMac.  This presumes that you'll be using a good, bootable disk.


    As for the integrity of your files, you really need to correct the damaged disk directory or you may lose access to those files because the computer won't know where to find them.  Persistent directory corruption might indicate a malfunctioning hard drive.  With a bad hard drive, you may begin to experience corrupted files as well.  Since you've got the best utility (DiskWarrior) to create an entirely new directory, I'd return the USB-only SuperDrive and go with the FireWire-compatible drive.  The OWC drive that I linked has a good enclosure, having multi-connectivity for every popular interface.

  • MlchaelLAX Level 4 Level 4 (1,550 points)

    Reboot your "Luxo" iMac G4 with the "T" key held down and it should go into the firewire/transfer mode; you will see a screensaver of the firewire symbol:




    Now connect the iMac by firewire to another mac and the iMac's hard drive will appear on the desktop of the other Mac.


    Run your diagnostic programs on the other Mac.

  • MlchaelLAX Level 4 Level 4 (1,550 points)

    Bill from Maryland wrote:


    However...same no-disk-spin on the boot DVD (on Maxell DVD media)...


    Whoa!  I pretty sure that Apple never shipped its Restore discs on Maxell media!


    Call 1-800-SOS-APPL and give them your model and serial number and they will give you a replacement disc for about $17.95.


    If you have a late model iMac G4, you can install Leopard, so check your About this Mac and see if your G4 is either 1.0 or 1.25 GHz.  If so, ask Apple if they will provide you a replacement Leopard disc as well (some are successful, some are not).  Retail sources for Leopard are very expensive.


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