Previous 1 2 Next 16 Replies Latest reply: May 26, 2009 12:13 PM by Carolyn Samit
Michael Shapiro Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
Hi,

I can't get my PowerBook to boot in safe mode. I hold the shift key after the startup chime, then release it when I see the gray apple and progress spinner; but the spinner spins for a while and eventually the computer shuts off. I can boot up normally, but I'm trying to boot in safe mode to rectify a problem I have updating Office 2004. I tried zapping the PRAM, but that didn't make a difference.

Thanks,
Michael

1.5GHz PowerBook G4, Mac OS X (10.4.11), 1.25GB RAM
  • Alberto Ravasio Level 4 Level 4 (3,555 points)
    Have you tried the diagnostic disk?
  • Carolyn Samit Level 10 Level 10 (95,975 points)
    HI Michael,

    If you can't boot into Safe Mode there might be directory damage.

    Can you boot from your install disk while holding down the C key?

    Insert Installer disk and Restart, holding down the "C" key until grey Apple appears.
    Go to Installer menu (Panther and earlier) or Utilities menu (Tiger and later) and launch Disk Utility.
    Select your HDD (manufacturer ID) in the left panel.
    Select First Aid in the Main panel.
    (Check S.M.A.R.T Status of HDD at the bottom of right panel. It should say: Verified)
    Click Repair Disk on the bottom right.
    If DU reports disk does not need repairs quit DU and restart.
    If DU reports errors Repair again and again until DU reports disk is repaired.

    Now try booting in Safe Mode to trouble shoot Word.

    Microsoft for Mac Solution Center






    Carolyn
  • Michael Shapiro Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Thanks for the tip. Seems that Repair Disk won't work, however. I keep getting the same error: Invalid sibling link, Volume check failed. I've tried to repair about 10 times now, to no avail. Does anyone know how to go about fixing that invalid sibling link?
  • Carolyn Samit Level 10 Level 10 (95,975 points)
    HI Michael,

    Unfortunately when Disk Utility cannot repair the disk you need a more robust disk utility to repair the disk.

    DiskWarrior






    Carolyn
  • Michael Shapiro Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Thanks, I was wondering about Disk Warrior. As I'm currently based out of the US, though, I'm wondering how far I can get with just the download... can I use that to repair the disk before the DVD arrives, which could take some time?
  • Carolyn Samit Level 10 Level 10 (95,975 points)
    HI Michael,

    If you download DW, you will have a .dmg file. What you need to do is burn that .dmg file to a CD or DVD. Then you can use that disk to repair the PowerBook.

    Didn't know you were military. When you booted from the install disk and ran Disk Utility did you try to repair the disk with just one pass?

    Did you purchase DiskWarrior yet? I might have another idea could save you some money.







    Carolyn
  • Michael Shapiro Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Hi Carolyn,

    Thanks again for the tips. (I'm living outside of the US, by the way, but I'm not in the military.)

    As I mentioned in my previous post, I tried to repair the disk using Disk Utility about 10 times. And no, I was just about to buy Disk Warrior when I saw the end of your post here. What's your idea? I was about to download DW...

    It appears your solution about burning the dmg file won't work, BTW. According to Alsoft's site:

    In order to use the download copy of DiskWarrior, you will need to start up from another disk with Mac OS X 10.3.9 through 10.5.x installed. You will then need to run a copy of DiskWarrior from a disk that is not the disk you are repairing. (The DiskWarrior download does not include the Apple System files necessary to create a startup disc.)

    But I figure I should be able to start in target disk mode from another machine. Eager to hear your idea, though.

    Many thanks,
    Michael
  • Carolyn Samit Level 10 Level 10 (95,975 points)
    HI Michael,

    The idea was to try and work around the DW .dmg issue and a startup disk. Way different from having the actual disk in hand to boot from.

    Your best bet would be to purchase DW and wait until you receive the actual disk and instructions from Alsoft.

    Check this out. http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20070204093925888

    Also, have you tried booting from the install disk and doing an Erase and Install???






    Carolyn
  • Michael Shapiro Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Sigh. I tried the tip at MacOSxhints and now I think I've made a real mess of things.

    It didn't work. I noted the post in that thread warning of the necessity to remount the unmounted drive I tried to repair. Not being a Terminal expert, I had a tough time figuring out how to remount. I thought I finally did it with

    diskutil mount /dev/disk0s3

    I get a message that the drive is mounted. But when I quit out of Terminal and try to select a startup disk, the one on my hard drive is no longer visible. If I boot Disk Utility (again, from the installation disk -- I haven't restarted yet), I can select the hard drive. But when I try to Verify or Repair Disk, I get the error "Verify volume failed with error Could not unmount disk."

    I'm at a loss now. Is it mounted? Unmounted? What can I do to boot from it again?

    Help.
  • Carolyn Samit Level 10 Level 10 (95,975 points)
    HI Michael,

    Try booting while holding down the Option key which will give you the Startup Manager.



    Carolyn
  • Michael Shapiro Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Thanks, Carolyn, but when I go to the Choose Startup Disk dialog the system on my HD no longer shows up as an option.
  • Michael Shapiro Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    OK, I've sorted out the startup disk issue and things are running as they were. I still have the invalid sibling link, so I purchased Disk Warrior and will try running the downloaded version from another machine, with my PowerBook in Target mode. Here's hoping it works.

    Thanks again,
    Michael
  • Carolyn Samit Level 10 Level 10 (95,975 points)
    HI Michael,

    I'm rooting for you!


    You're welcome, but you've done all the work.





    Carolyn
  • Michael Shapiro Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Well, according to DiskWarrior my news isn't good: "DiskWarrior has successfully built a new directory for the disk named “Macintosh HD.” The new directory cannot replace the original directory because of a disk malfunction. A disk malfunction is a failure of or damage to any mechanical component of the disk device, or any component connected to it."

    So I suppose my HD is on its way out, although it's not exhibiting much in the way of problems yet, and the S.M.A.R.T. status is still verified. And, rather interestingly, I can no longer use Disk Utility to Verify or Repair disk when I'm booted up from an external drive. I get this message:

    Repairing disk failed with error Could not unmount disk

    Which just seems weird, since this is the same way I'm running DiskWarrior.

    I love this PowerBook but I'm not sure I want to invest the time or expense in replacing the HD in a PowerPC-based machine. I assume new apps will soon be demanding more than that chip can handle. Does this message of doom from DiskWarrior generally reliably indicate the drive is beyond repair?

    Thanks, Carolyn, and to anyone who wants to chime in.

    Michael
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