5 Replies Latest reply: Oct 31, 2009 9:18 AM by cornelius
jrquebe Level 1 Level 1
I recently acquired a used iBook G4. Unfortunately the seller had a password on the system, and I am unable to get past the login screen. I've got a fresh Mac Box Set of OS X Leopard 10.5.6 and was planning to do a clean install anyway, but I can't get the system to boot from the Install DVD. I've spent almost my entire day scratching my head over this. Any help would be appreciated.

iBook G4, Mac OS X (10.3.x)
  • cornelius Level 6 Level 6

    Welcome to Apple Discussions.
    I can't get the system to boot from the Install DVD.

    What is the processor speed of your iBook G4?
    Do you have the Full Retail Version of Leoapard or is it computer specific?
    Do you insert the disk in the drive and hold down the C key on startup?
    Exactly what happens when you attempt to boot from the disk?

  • jrquebe Level 1 Level 1
    Processor speed - unknown. Is the information physically inscribed somewhere on the unit? I've been unable to find anything, and since I can't get past the login screen I can't see any system properties.

    Do I have the full retail version - I assume so. The version I bought at Fry's Electronics says "MAC BOX SET RETAIL".

    Did I hold down the 'C' key - yep. System just booted into 10.3.9 and put me at the login screen.

    Exactly what happened when I attempted to boot from the DVD - nothing. As I stated above the system just booted as it normally would. The only thing I have been able to do it to get it to boot into Single User mode. Using some other guidance I found I was able to reset the password for the user name that came up at the login screen. Now I am able to get past the login, but it doesn't load the GUI... all I get is the command line.

    I'll be honest here... I'm not really a Mac guy. I've spent 25+ years working on PC's, and have a basic knowledge of Unix/Linux. All I want to do here is wipe the drive and start over. If this were a PC I would have had this done in about 5 minutes. Thanks for the input!!
  • cornelius Level 6 Level 6
    I'll be honest here... I'm not really a Mac guy.

    That's okay. Welcome to the club of Mac users. Someone just wrote in another thread, "I think Macs make the world a better place."

    In any case. You said you are able to login with Panther, but it doesn't load the GUI. That is not normal behavior. So there must be a problem with the installation.

    Here are the Leopard installation system requirements. Let us assume that your system meets the minimum requirements. Now, to booting from the install disk. Try this:
    • Insert install disk in optical drive
    • Hit Power button and immediately after chime
    • Hold down the Option/alt button.
    • If this works bootable volumes should show up on a gray screen.
    • Select the install disk and click the straight arrow.

    If this does not work you have either a defective optical drive or a defective disk. Please post back with an update of how/if this works.

  • jrquebe Level 1 Level 1
    Held down the Option-alt button...never got a list of bootable volumes.

    Is there a chance that the optical drive in this notebook is CD only? I'm able to read the DVD on my PC. Does anyone have an ISO of a bootable MAC OS X (10.3.9 or later) CD that I could burn with my PC to try? Would a bootable Ubuntu CD work? I've got one around here somewhere in a box (still unpacking from a move).

  • cornelius Level 6 Level 6
    Is there a chance that the optical drive in this notebook is CD only?

    The earliest iBook G4 was released with Slot-loading DVD/CD-RW Combo. If the disk is read on another computer you may have a bum optical drive. If you have access to a second Mac that supports firewire you can boot it into Firewire Target Disk Mode and install in that way. If that is an option here's how:
    • Boot the Mac with working optical drive in Firewire Target Disk Mode.
    • Insert install disk into Target Computer's optical drive.
    • Connect computers via firewire cable
    • Option Boot computer to which you want to install.
    • Select Install Disk for startup and click on the straight arrow.
    • Proceed with Installation