6 Replies Latest reply: Nov 14, 2008 6:30 AM by a brody
Brett14 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Hi,

It seems to me I have a rather terminal problem with my old ibook, but would appreciate the opinions of people who know more about these things than me (read- everybody).

My old ibook recently it began to make a whirring sound whenever I would try and start it up or wake it up from sleep. It is about 4 years old and when making this sound it took a long time to boot up. I suspected a hard drive problem.

Fearing the worst i backed up all my data and having a newer Macbook to use anyway, I thought it might be a good chance to learn how to fix things myself.

Eventually it no longer booted up at all. I took my copy of OX 10.5 that came with my new Macbook and tried to run disk utility/repair disk function. Unfortunately an error response kept coming up. Something long the lines "unable to run disk repair" (can't remember exact phrasing).

Neither could I install the new OSX system I also got the message "Unable to Install software on this computer"

So next I thought Ok I will Erase-then load the new software (probably a pretty stupid thing I am thinking now), as the hard drive doesn't appear at all in the disk utility program.

So after that long explanation... The questions are,
is the hard drive shot, and the only remedy a new hard drive?
or have I stuffed something up and it can be rescued without buying new hardware?

Thanks for your time reading, or hopefully replying.

Thanks,
Brett

macbook, Mac OS X (10.5.5)
  • 1. Re: Is my Hard drive failing?
    a brody Level 9 Level 9 (63,265 points)
    Welcome to Apple Discussions!

    You can't use the installer disc from a MacBook on an iBook. You must use a retail installer disc or the disc that came with the iBook if you are going to attempt to repair or software installation. Third party repair utilities such as Alsoft Disk Warrior can be used as well, but only on a backed up system that needs partial repair. The MacBook disc is only for use with MacBooks of that vintage.

    Message was edited by: a brody
  • 2. Re: Is my Hard drive failing?
    Adrian Clarke1 Level 4 Level 4 (3,580 points)
    Hi Brett and likewise Welcome!

    In addition to a brody's advice, it does sound as though your HD is shot:

    "Eventually it no longer booted up at all"

    "...as the hard drive doesn't appear at all in the disk utility program."

    Many here, myself included, have DIY replaced their HDs in iBooks. Post back if you're feeling brave enough and want further advice.

    Good luck,

    Adrian
  • 3. Re: Is my Hard drive failing?
    Carolyn Samit Level 10 Level 10 (89,600 points)
    HI Brett and Welcome to Apple Discussions ...

    I knock on wood every time my old iBookG4 boots successfully

    "I took my copy of OX 10.5 that came with my new Macbook and tried to run disk utility/repair disk function. Unfortunately an error response kept coming up. Something long the lines "unable to run disk repair" (can't remember exact phrasing" The reason that won't work is because your 10.5 intsall disk that came with your MacBook is for an Intel based Mac. Your iBookG4 is a PowerPC.

    "I thought it might be a good chance to learn how to fix things myself" It's never too late to learn how to run maintenance and fix errors on your Macs.

    Mac Book Getting Started
    This includes "How to's" and trouble shooting tips.

    A fun way to learn the Mac OS is to check out a local Apple User Group, here's the link to where to find one in your area: http://www.apple.com/usergroups/find/ It's run by volunteers who offer their time to help other Mac users learn and it's just fun.

    Carolyn
  • 4. Re: Is my Hard drive failing?
    a brody Level 9 Level 9 (63,265 points)
    I'm not sure the hard drive is shot. Your using the wrong platform CD may be all that is the matter. You won't know what's really wrong until you get the right installer disc.
  • 5. Re: Is my Hard drive failing?
    Brett14 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks everyone for the warm welcome and your advice, its much appreciated.

    So from a quick summary of the advice offered

    1) I need the ibook installer CD, rather than the Macbook CD.
    2) HD might still be OK.. Will need the right installer CD to be sure.

    This unfortunately present a quandary for me.

    I have just recently moved abroad. Trying to pack minimally I included only the Macbook installer CD, leaving the ibook original at home (doh!).

    So this means I will need to buy a new Operating system?

    Can Leopard be installed on ibooks?

    Or if I buy a new HD will it come with an installer CD?

    Thanks for your help.

    I think this is going to be more complicated than I first thought.
  • 6. Re: Is my Hard drive failing?
    a brody Level 9 Level 9 (63,265 points)
    So this means I will need to buy a new Operating system?


    You can wait until they can ship you from your departure destination the correct CD whomever is still at where you moved from.

    Otherwise yes, because the machine is so old, you likely will have to buy a newer operating system unless you are lucky enough to be able to request the original discs that shipped with your Mac from AppleCare. Here are the numbers for AppleCare in Switzerland:

    (French) (41) 0848 000 132
    (German) (41) 0848 000 132

    It will have to be a newer retail operating system, and not one that shipped with another Mac. Here are the operating systems which shipped with various PowerPC Macs including iBooks:

    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=25517

    Here's how to identify iBooks:

    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=88039

    You have to identify the speed of your iBook to determine which operating system can work with your machine. 867 Mhz or faster with at least 512 MB of RAM, preferably 1 GB of RAM will work with Leopard. Otherwise if your machine shipped with some version of Tiger, you will need the 10.4.6 retail installer disc. If your machine shipped with some version of Panther 10.4 retail is necessary. Unless you find out exactly which version of Panther shipped with your Mac, and can find a newer retail version of Panther.

    Leopard retail looks like *
    Tiger retail looks like *
    Panther retail looks like *

    They should not say "update" or "upgrade" or dropin on them.

    Note, you will not be able to get back Appleworks, or Classic if you install Leopard alone. If you are able to install Tiger or Panther with Leopard you will still have access to Classic when you dual booth into Tiger or Panther, but you will still need the original discs that shipped with the machine to load the Mac OS 9 system folder, if you didn't back it up initially for Classic to be able to work. Appleworks though is still a separate installation unless you can get the original discs or restore from your backup.

    Games which shipped with your Mac, and iLife which shipped with your Mac will have to be purchased separately if you didn't back it up first, and can't get back the original installer discs. Only iTunes ships with Leopard and Tiger retail, and iPhoto and iMovie were bundled with Panther retail.

    Or if I buy a new HD will it come with an installer CD?


    No.

    - * Links to images on my pages may give me compensation.

    Message was edited by: a brody