3 Replies Latest reply: Mar 14, 2010 8:48 PM by Kappy
csteck Level 1 Level 1

I have a PowerBook G4 here that I am trying to fix. I don't remember the exact OS X version I have and I can't find it out due to this error: I was using Safari when all of a sudden Safari shut down. When finding out trying to run Safari again would result in no action I rebooted the computer. The computer first showed an all blue screen followed by the darwin console which asked me for a login. I tried all combinations of login/pass that I could think of and no success.

Searching the forums led me to this post:

I tried the following in Single User mode at the localhost:/ root# prompt:
/sbin/fsck -fy
--> file system got modified
ran '/sbin/fsck -fy' again
--> received ** The volume Macintosh HD appears to be OK.
ran 'tail -20 /var/log/system.log
--> results:
loginwindow[203]: AuthorizationRef doesn't have a username (<LoginAuthRefMgr: 0x352b50>).\n
launchd: onoption repeating too quickly on port /dev/console, sleeping
crashdump[215]: SecurityAgent crashed
crashdump[215]: crash report written to: /Library/Logs/CrashReporter/SecurityAgent.crash.log
/System/Library/CoreServices/loginwindow.app/Contents/MacOS/loginwindow: Login Window Application Started
loginwindow[218]: Login Window Started Security Agent
crashdump[228]: SecurityAgent crashed
crashdump[228]: crash report written to: /Library/Logs/CrashReporter/SecurityAgent.crash.log
--> this all repeats

I must get a file on my desktop or else FAIL MY CLASS HELLPPPP!!!

thanks in advance

PowerBook G4, Mac OS X (10.6.2), purchased 2005
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10
    If the file is on the Desktop then at the single-user mode prompt enter:
    cd /Users/yourusername/Desktop
    ls -l
    This will list the files on your Desktop.

    Now you will need something to which you can transfer the file such as a disk drive or USB flash drive. For the sake of the commands I'll assume this disk is named "untitled" and your file is named "TheFile."

    cp /Users/yourusername/Desktop/TheFile /Volumes/untitled/TheFile

    This should copy your file to the other drive which you can then connect to your other computer.

    As for the G4 you will need to reinstall OS X:

    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.

    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.
  • csteck Level 1 Level 1
    First and foremost, thank you so much for the detailed help.

    I was able to list all the files on my desktop and have located the file I need. However, I am still having trouble copying it to my usb drive using the command: cp /Users/yourusername/Desktop/TheFile /Volumes/untitled/TheFile

    is there a way to find out the exact name of my usb drive?
    also if my file is called say 'class notes.doc'.. how should I enter it in the command? I've tried class_notes, class notes, classnotes, and all of the previous with and without the .doc ... still no success.

    As for reinstalling OS X:
    I was wondering if there was a way to find out how much free space you have from the single-user mode. Nonetheless, I will try what you suggested and update you as soon as my OS X cd comes in the mail.
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10
    At the prompt enter:

    This will list all connected devices with their names.

    Enter all filenames completely including the extension exactly as it is listed. Because there are spaces in the name you must enclose the filename in quotes (single or double.)

    The "df" command above provides the information on disk space.