12 Replies Latest reply: Oct 17, 2010 8:57 PM by Ronda Wilson
k.l.p. Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
My ibook wont boot up normally, most of the time i get grey screen with flashing question mark. occasionally it will start but only in OS X not in classic. i read that it will do that if some of the classic files have been deleted. and think that is probably what has happened.
I have all the disks that came with my computer except the original system 9 disk,do i just erase everything and start over? please help..

ibook, Mac OS X (10.3.x), dual usb with os 9.1 and os 10.3.9
  • Ronda Wilson Level 8 Level 8 (40,920 points)
    Hi, and welcome to Apple Discussions.

    Which iBook G3 (Dual USB) model is it? What is the MHz rating and what kind of optical drive does it have? (CD-ROM, CD-RW, DVD, or Combo?)

    How big is the hard drive and how much space remains available on it?

    How much RAM is installed?

    It sounds like maybe all you need to do is select the Startup Disk:
    http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1440?viewlocale=en_US

    Regarding restoring your system software, do you have all important data backed up so you won't lose it?

    Classic is different from Mac OS 9. Classic is used to run OS 9 applications on Macs that can't boot into OS 9.

    You really should upgrade to Mac OS 9.2.2, if possible, if you want to use Mac OS 9.
    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=75186
  • k.l.p. Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    hI,
    ive tried selecting the start up disk, and it doesnt do any good.
    its a 500 mhz , cd/dvd, 640 mbs sd ram.

    No I havent backed anything up, but its not really doing me any good since it seldom starts up anyway. and my disk drive isnt writeable.
    I forgot to say that I no longer have the 10.3.9 disk either, lost it in the divorce but ill get another. and Id just as soon get rid of system 9 altogether if possible.
    thanks so much for your help
  • Ronda Wilson Level 8 Level 8 (40,920 points)
    Usually I advise against deleting OS 9, since it can be very handy for troubleshooting. You can determine if you have a software or hardware issue by booting into OS 9 to see if the same problem is evident there, but if your OS 9 won't boot, then it is likely not worth much to you.

    I can tell you that if you ever decide you want it, though, it can be difficult to get back.

    Since you don't have the Mac OS X 10.3 CD, you could try booting into Safe Mode. This will take quite awhile longer than a normal startup because it does a file check and repair of the hard disk the same as though you were repairing the hard drive from the Mac OS X 10.3 Install CD.

    You will see your normal desktop. Once completely started up in Safe Mode, restart normally, and go to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility. Click on the top hard drive icon in the left sidebar and note the S.M.A.R.T. status at the bottom right of the pane. What does it say?

    Select the named boot volume in the left sidebar ("Macintosh HD" unless you've renamed it). What is the hard drive capacity and how much space remains available on it? Repair permissions on it.

    See if a little hard drive maintenance helps things out.
  • k.l.p. Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    It started up from the disk but when i tried to restart in safe mode it wouldnt start at all. even from the disk.
    I ran disk first aid awhile back when i could get it to start up normally.
    and this is what it said
    "mount check found minor errors
    problem: invalid node structure 8.1
    problems were found but disk first aid cannot repair them"
    I had this written on the same page im not sure if this came from disk first aid or not
    "KCGS error failure :color sync system profile cannot be found"

    I dont know if this is any help at all. It really has a mind of its own when it comes to starting up.
  • k.l.p. Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    also. if its going to start should i start it from the os X disk or the system 9.1 disk and how do i find that info from the disk.
  • Ronda Wilson Level 8 Level 8 (40,920 points)
    You say you don't have the Mac OS X 10.3 Install CD. If you are running 10.3.9 and trying to repair the hard drive with an earlier software CD, it won't work. You need to be repairing from the same Install disc as the version of the OS you're running.

    You could try restoring the system software with the original CDs if you're not afraid of losing anything. It's going to take you back to a very early (rudimentary and almost unusable) version of Mac OS X, though. I just looked at my 500 MHz iBook's CD set, and no OS 9.1 CD is included. Mac OS 9.1 was the default operating system on the 500 MHz model, so if you do the software restore, Mac OS 9.1 will be what it starts up in.

    With that in mind, you can find the instructions on doing the software restore in this Apple Knowledge Base article:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/TA26426

    The version of Mac OS X will be 10.0.3 or 10.0.4, and is really quite unusable, so be prepared to use OS 9 until you are able to find a Mac OS X 10.3 CD set or 10.4 DVD (or CD set).

    The usual hard drive on the 500 MHz iBook is 10 GB if it hasn't been replaced, so it's possible that a too-full hard drive may be the problem. Also, the nine-year-old drive may be failing. If you can get into Disk Utility, you can click on the top hard drive icon in the left sidebar and check the S.M.A.R.T. status of the hard drive at the bottom right of the pane. (It should say "Verified.")

    A set of 10.3 CDs is likely to cost you more than the iBook is worth at this point. It would be a shame to buy them, only to find that the hard drive is failing.

    Good luck.
  • k.l.p. Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Rhonda, thank you so much for your help.
    I still haven't been able to get it to start up not even from the disk. I know there is some way I can connect it to another computer and access it that way but I'm not sure how. and can I do that if the other computer isn't a mac?
    again thanks for your help.
  • Ronda Wilson Level 8 Level 8 (40,920 points)
    It has to be another Mac with a FireWire port in order to use FireWire Target Disk Mode:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1661

    This makes the target computer show up as an external hard drive on the host Mac's Desktop.

    You're very welcome.
  • k.l.p. Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    when i buy a new 10.3.9 disc can i install mac OS X and then upgrade or do i need the install disc. do they even sell an upgrade? obviously this is very confusing to me. thanks again
  • Ronda Wilson Level 8 Level 8 (40,920 points)
    k.l.p. wrote:
    when i buy a new 10.3.9 disc can i install mac OS X and then upgrade or do i need the install disc. do they even sell an upgrade? obviously this is very confusing to me. thanks again


    I'm confused, now, too? What kind of "10.3.9" disc are you talking about buying? "or do i need the install disc" -- which install disc are you talking about here?

    Probably the most successful outcome would be to use your original software CDs to restore the OS and the applications that came installed on the iBook when it was new, and then do the upgrade from a full retail version (not an upgrade disc) 10.3 Install set of CDs.
  • k.l.p. Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    rhonda, thank you. thats what i meant. It still will not start up at all, except to flashing ?. so untill i find someone i can conect to in target mode I dont know what else to do. thank you for all your help.
  • Ronda Wilson Level 8 Level 8 (40,920 points)
    If you don't mind losing the data on the drive, you could attempt to use your Restore CDs that came with the iBook to restore the system software.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/TA26426

    This will take you back to Mac OS 9.1 and a very rudimentary (almost unusable) version of OS X.