You may try this depending upon what version of OS X you are running. You didn't provide a whole lot of useful information (like what progress bar you're referring to.)
How to Perform an Archive and Install
An Archive and Install will NOT erase your hard drive, but you must have sufficient free space for a second OS X installation which could be from 3-9 GBs depending upon the version of OS X and selected installation options. The free space requirement is over and above normal free space requirements which should be at least 6-10 GBs. Read all the linked references carefully before proceeding.
1. Be sure to use Disk Utility first to repair the disk before performing the Archive and Install.
Repairing the Hard Drive and Permissions
Boot from your OS X Installer disc. After the installer loads select your language and click on the Continue button. When the menu bar appears select Disk Utility from the Installer menu (Utilities menu for Tiger.) After DU loads select your hard drive entry (mfgr.'s ID and drive size) from the the left side list. In the DU status area you will see an entry for the S.M.A.R.T. status of the hard drive. If it does not say "Verified" then the hard drive is failing or failed. (SMART status is not reported on external Firewire or USB drives.) If the drive is "Verified" then select your OS X volume from the list on the left (sub-entry below the drive entry,) click on the First Aid tab, then click on the Repair Disk button. If DU reports any errors that have been fixed, then re-run Repair Disk until no errors are reported. If no errors are reported, then quit DU and return to the installer.
If DU reports errors it cannot fix, then you will need Disk Warrior (4.0 for Tiger) and/or TechTool Pro (4.5.2 for Tiger) to repair the drive. If you don't have either of them or if neither of them can fix the drive, then you will need to reformat the drive and reinstall OS X.
2. Do not proceed with an Archive and Install if DU reports errors it cannot fix. In that case use Disk Warrior and/or TechTool Pro to repair the hard drive. If neither can repair the drive, then you will have to erase the drive and reinstall from scratch.
3. Boot from your OS X Installer disc. After the installer loads select your language and click on the Continue button. When you reach the screen to select a destination drive click once on the destination drive then click on the Option button. Select the Archive and Install option. You have an option to preserve users and network preferences. Only select this option if you are sure you have no corrupted files in your user accounts. Otherwise leave this option unchecked. Click on the OK button and continue with the OS X Installation.
4. Upon completion of the Archive and Install you will have a Previous System Folder in the root directory. You should retain the PSF until you are sure you do not need to manually transfer any items from the PSF to your newly installed system.
5. After moving any items you want to keep from the PSF you should delete it. You can back it up if you prefer, but you must delete it from the hard drive.
6. You can now download a Combo Updater directly from Apple's download site to update your new system to the desired version as well as install any security or other updates. You can also do this using Software Update.
thanks for the reply! I turn on my Mac.... it "dongs", and then the Mac OS X apple square looking thing with the blue progress bar begins to fill.... when it gets to the end, it just sits there for hours and hours. I tried starting it up with the disc, and still nothing, even when I hold down on "C", and then apple, option, and the 2 other keys???
Well, because the "apple square looking thing with the blue progress" describes an OS 9 startup disc. OS X starts up to a gray screen with a black Apple logo in the middle. Then a spinning gear appears below the logo. That's not what you've described. So either you're using OS 9 or your description isn't very clear.
When I start up I get the gray screen with the apple, then the Mac OS X square that causes a freeze.... I am not very savvy... I have friends who are techies and they take care of me.... One bought me a backup, and I didn't back up, and so if I call him again he's going to say, "Did you back up?" and I will say, "No." and he will lecture me for an hour or so....
OK. Then you are reaching the System Loading dialog? Before the Login dialog, correct? Does this computer have sufficient installed RAM to run Panther? 128 MBs is the minimum required.
When the computer "freezes" have you noted what it was loading at the time of the freeze?
Do you know which generation G4 iBook this is: 1G, 2G, 3G, or 4G? Is there a hard drive installed in the computer.
Are you sure it's a freeze? It takes a long time to boot up an old iBook like yours from an installed CD.
Sounds like your system is non-functional. You may need to reinstall OS X. You can give this a try:
Delete caches to resolve some startup problems:
Boot the computer into single-user mode. If it starts up OK, then at the prompt enter the following commands pressing RETURN after each. You may want to write these down or print this out so you get them right.
If you receive a message that says "*** FILE SYSTEM WAS MODIFIED ***" then re-run the command until you receive a message that says "** The volume (nameofvolume) appears to be OK." If you re-run the command more than seven times and do not get the OK message, then the drive cannot be repaired this way.
If you were successful then enter:
mount -uw /
rm -rf /System/Library/Caches/com.apple.kernelcaches
rm -rf /System/Library/Extensions.kextcache
rm -rf /System/Library/Extensions.mkext
rm -rf /Library/Caches/com.apple.ATS
rm -rf /Library/Caches/com.apple.LaunchServices*
Be sure you enter the lines exactly as they are written. You will be the root user in this mode so you can erase anything without warning.