Previous 1 2 Next 23 Replies Latest reply: Nov 8, 2007 4:49 PM by Kristen Buckland
Kristen Buckland Level 1 (5 points)
When I try to start my powerbook it makes the chime then is stuck on the grey screen with the apple icon. No response from any keys. There is a dvd in the drive, so i can't put my install disk in it.

I've read that people were able to boot from the disk and then use disk utility, but i'm unaware of how to do this.

Also, i don't have my install disk with me, (i'm at college).

Any help would be great since it is out of warranty. Thanks!

PowerBook G4 15in, Mac OS X (10.4), 1 gb ram
  • sig Level 8 (35,785 points)
    It would be good if you had your installer disk so just in case you needed to run Repair Disk you could. At this point you need to press the power button until the powerbook shuts down. Then power up and hold down the track pad button to eject the dvd. Hopefully after that the powerbook will start up. Post back what happens.
  • Kristen Buckland Level 1 (5 points)
    Thanks for the help, the disk did come out. but it is still stuck on the apple logo. I'm sorry about not having the install disk with me. Do you think if i use someone else's disk it would work? Or if they have a disk at an apple store I could use?
  • sig Level 8 (35,785 points)
    An Apple store would be ideal. Don't use someone else's disks. You could also try shutting down and then booting up holding down the 'command-s' keys. That should get you into single user mode. If you get there at the prompt type:
    fsck -yf
    then hit return. If there are repairs noted run it again until there are no repairs for two trys. Then type:
    shut down -h now
    then hit return. The Mac will shut down. Then restart.
    Post back.
  • Kristen Buckland Level 1 (5 points)
    the command-s did not do anything, still stuck on the icon screen. I'm going to get the disk tomorrow night, do i just insert the disk, or is there something else i have to do? thanks for the help
  • sig Level 8 (35,785 points)
    If it's still on, insert the disk. Then shut down. Then start up while holding down the 'c' key until you see the gray apple and spinning gear. When it's finished booting select your language. From the menu:
    Utilities>Disk Utility. Select your hard drive and Repair Disk.
  • Kristen Buckland Level 1 (5 points)
    ran disk utility and got an error "the underlying task reported failure on exit"

    any idea what that means?
  • Mark Verschell Level 1 (35 points)
    I had this once before and I remembered a Tech Note on the subject. A quick Google search and:

    See the bottom of the note. The fsck fix worked for me.

    Remember, any time you get an error message, google and quotes are your friends.
  • Kristen Buckland Level 1 (5 points)
    i cannot boot it to fsck, nothing happens when i hold down command s
  • Mark Verschell Level 1 (35 points)
    I missed that fsck had already been posted - sorry!

    Try bringing up your book in Target Disk mode on another Mac. Then run Disk Utility on the 2nd Mac and see if that works. If that doesn't work, then it is quite possible your hard drive is bad. Having just replaced one myself, it isn't that difficult to replace (of course you would lose everything already on that drive). Taking it to an Apple Store and having them run complete diagnostics on it should uncover any underlying hardware problems.

    BTW: I was able to use Data Rescue II to recover most of what was on my bad hard drive before I replaced it (those things that I hadn't backed up)
  • Kristen Buckland Level 1 (5 points)
    i don't own another mac to do as you said. I will take it to the apple store tomorrow morning. Thanks so much for the help. I will post what they say.

    I found some harddrive replacments, $60ish for an 80gb. Is this a reasonable price?

    Thanks so much
  • Mark Verschell Level 1 (35 points)
    That is close to what I paid. If I remember correctly, there are plans on for cracking open a 15" Al, if not - there are step by step guides available, just search for them.
  • spongebobsocks Level 1 (0 points)
    Ugh... the same thing happened to me; I was just using my comp, some stupid video-encoding program messed up and froze it, so I restarted and get the ?? flashing HD thing... the cmd-s doesn't work, same error msg from the disk repair, and I even tried my Applecare Protection Plan cd, that just freezes and gives me that kernal message when I start up from that.

    I can always erase and start over, but I'm mostly concerned about recovering my stuff. I'm not really sure what Target Disk is (I have other macs), how do I do that? and what should I use to recover my HD? The problem is that it doesn't even recognize there's anything on my HD. When this happened on my iMac (which crashed two or three times), I had OS 9 on there and was able to just start up from that and backup my stuff, but I never got around to installing OS 9 on the PowerBook :\ How do I use that other program mentioned (I'm gonna google it when I'm done writing this), the one for restoring the lost HD?

    Thanks guys.
  • Mark Verschell Level 1 (35 points)
    Target Disc mode mounts the hard drives attached (internal or external) to one Mac, on a second Mac. This is done for many reasons, sometimes to move files, other times to run various utilities on the main drive of a computer without having to boot from the CD/DVD.

    The process for you is quite simple. Take the powered-off Powerbook with the problem drive and connect it to a second powered-on Mac with a FireWire cable. Then, power on the Powerbook while holding down the T key on the keyboard of said PowerBook. Very quickly, a symbol that looks like a Y should appear on the screen of the PowerBook and very quickly afterword any working disc on the Powerbook should show up on the 2nd Mac.

    The program I use to recover (NOT REPAIR) bad hard drives is called Data Rescue II. I have used it in a number of cases to rescue the data on hard drives that no other utility can do anything with (even see sometimes). You run it on the 2nd Mac, and hope that it sees the bad drive on the PowerBook at which point you can get what you can off it (you need to have another drive to put the recovered data). You can try Data Rescue for free, it will show you if it can see the drive and what it can see on it. To recover data, you have to buy the utility. And yes, it can find stuff on drives that look empty.

    Good Luck.
  • eww Level 9 (52,975 points)
    Hi, Mark. You wrote:

    Target Disc mode mounts the hard drives attached (internal *or external*) to one Mac, on a second Mac.

    (boldface added)

    Apple says: "Important: Unplug all other FireWire devices from both computers prior to using FireWire target disk mode. Do not plug in any FireWire devices until after you have disconnected the two computers from each other, or have stopped using target disk mode." So if an external HD connects via FireWire, don't have it connected to either computer when using FWTDM.

    I don't know whether or not external USB drives are subject to the same warning.
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