Previous 1 2 Next 16 Replies Latest reply: Nov 22, 2010 2:42 PM by S.U.
Bartbrn Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
Last week my wife bought a reputedly Apple-refurbished iBook G4 from an online retailer. Received it Tuesday. Everything works fine, except that neither the online company nor Apple (if it was they who reputedly refurbed the thing) provided us with an Admin password. Under the "Accounts" tab in Sys Prefs, there is only one account:

User
Admin

And the online retailer helpfully provided NO System disk.

This is obviously a dead-stop problem, as no software updates, Migration, or any other function that requires password authentication can be carried out without knowing the original password.

Hoping -- the fool's faith -- to fix the problem myself, I read Article: HT1274 Mac OS X: Changing or resetting an account password, which says, in part:

"Follow these steps to reset a password when there is only one administrator account on the computer, or if the original administrator account needs a password reset. "Original" administrator account refers to the one that was created immediately after installing Mac OS X…. Start up from a Mac OS X Install disc (one whose version is closest to the version of Mac OS X installed). Usually, you can start from the disc by putting it in your computer, restarting, and holding the C key. Or, put it in the computer and click the Install or Restore icon you see in the disc's main window (after which the computer will start from the disc without you needing to hold C). Or, you can use Startup Manager or the Startup Disk preference pane to select the Install disc.

Choose a language, click the arrow button to continue,
Mac OS X v10.6 or later: Choose Password Reset from the Utilities menu.
Mac OS X v10.5 or v10.4: Choose Reset Password from the Utilities menu.
Mac OS X v10.3: Choose Reset Password from the Installer menu.

… Select your Mac OS X hard disk volume.
Select the user name of your original administrator account."

or, in even simpler terms:

"To reset the administrator password using the Mac OS X disc:
Insert the Mac OS X Install disc and restart the computer.
When you hear the startup tone, hold down the C key until you see the spinning gear.
"When the Installer appears*, choose Utilities > Reset Password.
"Follow the onscreen instructions to change the password.
"Quit the Installer and restart your computer while holding down the mouse button to eject the disc."

That sounds all very straightforward. Unfortunately, as in most of real life, it hasn't worked in the very simple and straightforward manner advertised -- in fact, it hasn't worked at all. I followed the steps in Article HT1274, using an original OS X Tiger v10.4 install disk from one of my PBG4 Titaniums. Whatever way I use to boot the thing up ("…you can start from the disc by putting it in your computer, restarting, and holding the C key. Or, put it in the computer and click the Install or Restore icon you see in the disc's main window [after which the computer will start from the disc without you needing to hold C]. Or, you can use Startup Manager or the Startup Disk preference pane to select the Install disc," I get stuck at the * the Installer never appears, just a window I can't get out of or past, telling me how to put batteries in the older, rounded, rocker-click wireless mouse (NOT the new BlueTooth Magic Mouse mouse I have for my 27" iMac). Why this particular window should show up (it NEVER has done so, using the very same disc on installs and re-installs of my PBG4s), I have no idea.

What I DO know, to my consternation and mounting frustration at the last lost 5 hours (and counting) of trying to get the actions described in Article HT1274, is that all that ever happens is that the little "rotating gear" (ex-Beach Ball) "searching" icon spins and spins and spins over the window showing me how to insert batteries in the mouse -- once this morning, it spun for over half an hour, which was 20 minutes after than EITHER of the drives stopped accessing -- but the little "rotating gear" never stops or goes away, nor can I ever get out of the "change batteries" window and continue on to the stage where Article HT1274 authoritatively states that I can then:

"Choose a language, click the arrow button to continue, and… [for] Mac OS X v10.5 or v10.4: Choose Reset Password from the Utilities menu," then "… Select your Mac OS X hard disk volume." Then "Select the user name of your original administrator account" and proceed to change the password. Nice, if it worked.

It doesn't.

In brainless desperation, I even tried starting up from the OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard disk that came with my 27" iMac. Since only Intel Macs can use Snow Leopard, and this 12.1" iBook is, of course, PPC-based, I got the immediate raspberry when I tried to use it to get to the starting point of Article HT1274.

So I'm stuck. I've searched the Apple Support knowledgeable and relevant discussions with no luck whatsoever. If anyone out there knows how to get past this logjam, I'd be most appreciative of any guidance.

Oh, and the problem has just been made oh-so-much-easier by the fact that for unknown reasons, I can't log in to Apple's Discussions, though I've been logging in for years with no problems. All I get today is:

"We're sorry.
We can't find the page you're looking for.
Please return to the Apple Support homepage."

Assuming I'm never going to be able to log on to Apple Discussions in the foreseeable future, I just talked with AppleCare (which I have for my 27" iMac, but not this refurb iBook), and paid $33 for an original retail iBook G4 OS X 10.4 startup disk.

Again, if anyone out there knows how to get past this logjam, I'd be most appreciative of any guidance.

11/12/10 Update: managing to actually reach Apple customer support yesterday, I was able to purchase a 12.1" iBook G4 System disk for the very reasonable price of $16.50. Unfortunately, the shipping cost was a very UNreasonable $16.50, an odd congruence.


Problem iBook:

iBook G4 (M9846LL/A)
PowerBook6, 7
CPUType: PowerPC G4 (1.2)
Number of CPUs: 1
CPU Speed: 1.33 GHz
L2 Cache (per CPU): 512KB
Memory: 512 MB
Bus Speed: 133MHz
Boot ROM Version: 4.9.3f0
Serial Number: 4HxxxxxxSE7
Sudden Motion Sensor:
State: Enabled
Version: 1.0
Installed OS: OS X Tiger 10.4.7


Install disk:

OS X Tiger v10.4

"Authenticate" window:

Name: User
Password: blank and unknown
Requested right: system.privilege.admin
Application: Install Mac OS X


Thanks

Bart Brown

12.1" iBook G4, Mac OS X (10.4)
  • cornelius Level 6 Level 6 (17,825 points)
    Bart:

    You can call Apple Customer Service 1-800-767-2775 and they should be able to provide you with the original disks that shipped with your computer for a fee. Have your computer information handy when you call. Even if you choose to use the method below, it would be good to have the original disk so that you can run diagnostics and repairs. It should come on a DVD that has the Apple Hardware Test, although that sometimes comes on a separate CD. It is useful to have the AHT disk even if you decide to upgrade to OS X 10.5x (Leopard).

    You can create a new user account following the directions here. Once you have created a new admin account, log into your new account, go to Apple Menu > System Preferences > Accounts. Select the old user account and click the minus under login items to delete. Choose to delete everything. You will now have a new admin user account.

    Please post back with further questions or comments.

    cornelius
  • Bartbrn Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Cornelius wrote:

    "You can call Apple Customer Service 1-800-767-2775 and they should be able to provide you with the original disks that shipped with your computer for a fee. Have your computer information handy when you call."

    Did so yesterday -- just waiting for the disk(s) now. Many thanks for the link to the article on making the Set-Up Assistant reappear.

    Bart
  • cornelius Level 6 Level 6 (17,825 points)
    Bart:

    You are very welcome. Please post back with update or further questions/comments.

    cornelius
  • Bartbrn Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    The refurb i-Book saga enters its second phase...

    First, some particulars:

    The triple boxed Russian-doll packing box from the online discounter (I won't mention any names but imagine a company that deals with Surplus Computers and hardware....) was a better packing job than a certain company in Cupertino usually manages. On the innermost box, sort of a pizza-style container with composite-desity foam holding the 12" iBook very securely by the sides, with the rest of the iBook in mid-air, there are several labels; the one on the top of the box looks, in terms of label and font style, like an actual Apple label, and unlike the other labels on the box, has no "R" suffix after the M9846LL/A. That label says:

    bar code
    item - 28032938
    iBook G4 1.33 GHz 12" (M9846LL/A)
    Optical Drive - DVD/CD-RW (PASSED)
    Hard Drive - 40GB (PASSED)
    RAM - 512 MB (PASSED)
    more.

    Labels on the side of the box are as follows:

    Model: A1061
    Brand: Apple
    Mfg.: ---
    Type: Lithium-Ion
    Capacity: *4600 m aH \*50Wh
    Voltage: 10.8 V
    Cells: 9
    A1061-SERIES6
    bar code

    That would seem to take care of the battery.

    Then there's a big label that says 09/30/10 BATCH 054453
    SH3985517
    2 bar codes
    M9846LLA-R
    Qty 1
    Box of 33

    That label is pasted over another, different-style label that says:
    09/28/10
    bar code
    M9846LLA-R
    PO# 049038
    6.5 LBS QTY: 01

    I bought, from Apple Care, part numbers 2Z691-5728 DVD, iBook G4 (12/14-inch Mid) and 2Z691-5533 DVD, INSTL 2, 10.4.2 v1.0, IBOOKG.

    Let me just establish -- and this is certainly no boast -- that since 1989, I've been a strictly-Mac-based IT dufus, instructor in the care and feeding of Mac systems and software (besides the myriad OSes, QuarkXP, Photoshop, Illustrator, FreeHand, and many obscure golden oldies no one remembers but me), network designer and installer, and graphic repairman (contract work, usually to untangle someone's personal Mac disaster to make ready for a press deadline that passed 2 or 3 days earlier). I'm no Apple Genius, but I've been installing systems -- from my first IIci to my latest 27" iMac -- for quite some time.

    Instead of going through the monkey-motion of changing the Admin password (but thanks for the info!), and since there was nothing but System software on the iBook, I decided to just erase the drive and do a complete re-install.

    First, I ran the pertinent Disk Utilities from the first install DVD, like good boys and girls should. No problems encountered. Then I did a bog-standard erase and a custom install to get rid of all those crazy languages, print drivers, and Apps my wife has no use for -- this is ONLY a 40 GB drive, after all), Everything seemed to go along swimmingly. Speaking of "swimmingly," while waiting for the iBook to come to life, I was watching a PBS show on deep-water divers exploring sunken Roman ships, and learned that at 300+ feet, a diver can work about 10 minutes, breathing a complex mixture of nitrogen, oxygen, and helium, but still, after only ten minutes at that depth, his ascent back to the surface takes over 3 hours. As I watched the iBook's thermometer bar, I could feel the divers' pain and boredom.

    Everything seemed to go oojah-***-spiff: the first DVD self-ejected and asked for the second. Then I put the second Gen-Yoo-Wine Apple install disc in. Immediate error that gave me a SINGLE choice: "try a complete reinstall."

    I did this five (5) times, using such Hail Mary strategies as doing an Easy Install (looked good until the insertion of the second disk -- same error message), a full erase writing zeros to each HD sector, THEN an Easy Install (looked good until the insertion of the second disk -- same error message), muttering various incantations that are unprintable here (looked good until the insertion of the second disk -- same error message).

    Fortunately, the online retailer from whom we bought this little white paperweight has a 90-day guarantee, which includes free shipping back and forth, but now I don't know if I've got a bum Install DVD #2, and I'm not quite in the mood to try it out on my working PBG$s and 27" iMac.

    Any hot tips from the cognoscenti?

    Bart
  • Bartbrn Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Is there a possibility that one or both of the replacement iBook G4 OS X Install disks I bought from Apple Care are, to use the technical term, "screwed up"? If so, how would I know? There's no visible physical damage to either disc -- no scratches, cracks, etc.

    I'm asking this because Surplus Computer's generous and sensible return policy, as described to me over the phone by one of their technical support people, has turned out to be total BSx2 (the usual meaning combined with Bait & Switch). Here's the rosy scenario the tech support guy presented me, if my plan to buy Apple's replacement install discs (which, as several people pointed out, and I knew myself, I'd be stupid to be without) and do a complete re-install didn't solve the problem: Surplus Computer's 90-day warranty would apply, "providing a replacement iBook, with free shipping back and forth..." That has turned out to be a complete falsehood. SC's "90 day warranty" now turns out to be:

    1. Customer pays all shipping both ways
    2. There's a 17% re-stocking fee
    3. The item is tested when it arrives at SC, and, if found to be in good working order, is sent back to me at my expense, PLUS a $25 "Technical Examination" fee

    So I REALLY need to find out if there's a possibility there's a problem with these direct-from-Apple 12' iBook G4-specific install disks, and if there's any way to tell.

    ALSO, I have several external FireWire and USB drives, PLUS 2 Titanium PBG4s and a 27" iMac -- is there any way to attempt an install from one of these sources?

    With the refurb iBook having a crippled, half-installed system, will it start up in Target mode so I could attempt a Migration from one of my PBG4s?

    Any help, hints, or ideas would be greatly appreciated. I have that sinking feeling that I'm about to be screwed by Surplus Computers. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THEM, to say the least.

    Wearily

    Bart Brown

    PS: I may sound like an ignorant dupe in this scenario, but I WAS under the (as it turns out) mistaken assumption when I ordered the refurb iBook that SC would naturally send an install disk set with it (I've never bought a refurb before that didn't come with an install disk set), and I have a strong suspicion that their failure to do so, and their omission of providing an Admin password, and telling me the only way they could fix that was for me to send the iBook back to them -- not on the fairytale return scenario the tech provided me over the phone, but on the ACTUAL draconian return terms I'm NOW being told prevail -- was no mistake, but an intentional strategy to milk more money out of the deal. If the iBook is DOA or not, SC's "re-stocking fee" nets them $56, and if their "technical examination" determines that it IS working, they charge a $25 Is there a possibility that one or both of the replacement iBook G4 OS X Install disks I bought from Apple Care are, to use the technical term, "screwed up"? If so, how would I know? There's no visible physical damage to either disc -- no scratches, cracks, etc.

    I'm asking this because Surplus Computer's generous and sensible return policy, as described to me over the phone by one of their technical support people, has turned out to be total BSx2 (the usual meaning combined with Bait & Switch). Here's the rosy scenario the tech support guy presented me, if my plan to buy Apple's replacement install discs (which, as several people pointed out, and I knew myself, I'd be stupid to be without) and do a complete re-install didn't solve the problem: Surplus Computer's 90-day warranty would apply, "providing a replacement iBook, with free shipping back and forth..." That has turned out to be a complete falsehood. SC's "90 day warranty" now turns out to be:

    1. Customer pays all shipping both ways
    2. There's a 17% re-stocking fee
    3. The item is tested when it arrives at SC, and, if found to be in good working order, is sent back to me at my expense, PLUS a $25 "Technical Examination" fee

    So I REALLY need to find out if there's a possibility there's a problem with these direct-from-Apple 12' iBook G4-specific install disks, and if there's any way to tell.

    ALSO, I have several external FireWire and USB drives, PLUS 2 Titanium PBG4s and a 27" iMac -- is there any way to attempt an install from one of these sources?

    With the refurb iBook having a crippled, half-installed system, will it start up in Target mode so I could attempt a Migration from one of my PBG4s?

    Any help, hints, or ideas would be greatly appreciated. I have that sinking feeling that I'm about to be screwed by Surplus Computers. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THEM, to say the least.

    Wearily

    Bart Brown

    PS: I may sound like an ignorant dupe in this scenario, but I WAS under the (as it turns out) mistaken assumption when I ordered the refurb iBook that SC would naturally send an install disk set with it (I've never bought a refurb before that didn't come with an install disk set), and I have a strong suspicion that their failure to do so, and their omission in not providing an Admin password, and telling me the only way they could fix that was for me to send the iBook back to them -- not on the fairytale return scenario the tech provided me over the phone, but on the ACTUAL draconian return terms I'm NOW being told prevail -- was no mistake, but an intentional strategy to milk more money out of the deal. Whether the iBook is in good working order or not, SC's "re-stocking fee" nets them $56; if their "technical examination" determines the iBook IS in good working order, they hit you up for a $25 "technical examination" fee -- not inconsiderable sums if they can get away with it enough times. This smells oddly like a scam.

    Bart Brown
  • Bartbrn Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Sorry for the doubled post. Hit "paste" at the wrong time....
  • cornelius Level 6 Level 6 (17,825 points)
    Bart:

    Sorry about the sage this has turned out to be for you. Sounds like that iBook is yours to keep. It is very distressing when one ends up with this kind of double cross.

    Here is an approach you might try that would both test the computer and the install disk. (When you say, genuine Apple disks I am assuming that you mean that it is the original install software for this particular computer. Is that correct?)
    • Boot one of your firewire Macs with working optical drive in Firewire Target Disk Mode. This will make it the Target computer.
    • Insert install disk into Target Computer's optical drive.
    • Connect Target to new refurb iBook G4 via firewire cable
    • Option Boot computer to which you want to install.
    • Select Install Disk for startup and click on the straight arrow.
    • We will now do a complete reformat, erase and install (directions follow)

    Computer is booted from install disk from Target Computer
    • Go to the Utilities menu (Tiger and later) Installer menu (Panther & earlier) and launch Disk Utility.
    • Select your HDD (manufacturer ID) in left side bar.
    • Select Partition tab in main panel. (You are about to create a single partition volume.)
    • Click on Options button
    • Select Apple Partition Map (PPC Macs)
    • Click OK
    • Select number of partitions in pull-down menu above Volume diagram.
    (Note 1: One partition is normally preferable for an internal HDD.)
    • Type in name in Name field (usually Macintosh HD)
    • Select Volume Format as Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
    • Click Apply/Partition button at bottom of panel.
    • Select Erase tab
    • Select the sub-volume (indented) under Manufacturer ID (usually Macintosh HD).
    • Check to be sure your Volume Name and Volume Format are correct.
    • Click Erase button
    • Quit Disk Utility.

    The iBook G4 is still booted from the install disk
    Proceed with installation.

    Please do post back should you have further questions/comments or with an update on your "progress".

    cornelius
  • Bartbrn Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Cornelius:

    Yes, I wondered if that would work. Before I commit myself to another afternoon and evening of frustration, let me ask (and answer) a few questions:

    First, you asked: "When you say, genuine Apple disks I am assuming that you mean that it is the original install software for this particular computer. Is that correct?"

    Surplus Computers did not send me ANY install disks whatsoever when they sent us this refurb iBook. The Install disks I just received came from Apple (through Apple Care), and are marked "iBook G4 Mac OS X Install Disc 1 [and 2] Replacement DVD Not for Resale." Disc 1 has the following numbers: SRF2Z691-5728-A; disc 2 has these numbers: SRF2Z691-5533-A.

    I also have a single "Mac OS X Tiger -- includes XCode 2 -- Install DVD. Version 10.4 2Z691-5305-A" plus the usual copyright blurb. This more than likely came with one of my TiBook PBG4s.

    "• Connect Target to new refurb iBook G4 via firewire cable"

    Should the FireWire cable be connected AFTER I boot one of my PBG4s into Firewire Target Disk Mode and insert the install disk into the Target computer, or does it matter one way or the other?

    "• Option Boot computer to which you want to install."

    By "Option Boot," I take it you mean just a straightforward "hold the Option key down during startup" which, if my search was correct, means "When using an Open Firmware "New World ROM" capable system [everything since 1998, I guess -- Bart], the System Picker will appear and query all mounted devices for bootable systems, returning a list of drives & what OS they have on them." I assume this will allow the 12" refurb iMac to "discover" the System on the Install Disc in the Target Computer, is that correct?

    "• Click Erase button
    • Quit Disk Utility.

    The iBook G4 is still booted from the install disk. Proceed with installation."

    When you say "Proceed with installation," do you mean "Proceed with installation from the Install disc still in the Computer in Target Mode?" What happens when the install asks for the second disc? Will the "Target" Mode" computer kick out the first Install disc and ask for the second, as is normal during a two-disc install? And should the second disk go into the 'Target" mode computer.

    OR, do you mean, disconnect the 'Target" mode computer and attempt a direct install, putting the Install discs in the optical drive of the refurb iBook?

    At what point can I do a System Migration from the PBG4 to the refurb iBook G4, and do you have any caveats for this process in this mode?

    Sorry for the seemingly elementary questions, but I've never attempted a cross-FireWire "Target" mode installation, and I'd like to try as hard as I can to eliminate any glitches that would prevent me from getting it right the first time. If this thing is salvageable, I'd like to avoid any more dealing with Surplus Computers, and I need to find out ASAP if it's the refurb iBook that's Tango Uniform, or the Install discs.

    Thanks for your help and patience. This is a new one on me.

    Peace

    Bart
  • S.U. Level 6 Level 6 (8,360 points)
    Bart,

    Forgive me for horning in here, but it sounds like the outfit you are dealing with has a very shoddy reputation:

    http://sanjose.bbb.org/Business-Report/Surplus-Computers-212384

    Also Google "surplus computers complaints" for even more dissatisfied customers and an earful of their complaints. I didn't read all of it, but it sounds like if you end up wanting to return the iBook, you will likely need to get help from EBay or the BBB or something like that. It doesn't sound like you would want to try this on your own.

    You might want to try booting to the Apple Hardware test from the first DVD and run the extended version of it. Since these guys are so untrustworthy, you don't want to make any assumptions about how well they "refurbished" the computer. Post back with any error codes.

    In all your discs, do you happen to have a retail copy of Leopard? If so, you could try installing from it.

    If you have access to an Apple Store, you could also make an appointment with the genius bar and have them run an extensive hardware test from their store feed. They might also be able to verify if the DVD's are the correct ones and if there might be a problem with one of them.

    Also, the 40 GB hard drive is likely to be the original, and if so, could have some problems even if they don't show up in Disk Utility yet. As an experiment, you could always try installing the OS on one of your external FW drives and see if this works. If it does, then you could try cloning the external to the internal using Super Duper. I had serious problems trying to install the OS on our PowerMac when it had a bad hard drive.

    I'm going to leave all the questions about FW Target Disk Mode to Cornelius, since he is far more experienced with it than I am.

    It may be worth trying a cleaning disk in the optical drive--sometimes that helps.

    At some point in the installation process, you will get the welcome screen, and in the process of setting up the iBook, you will be asked if you want to use Migration Assistant to migrate your data.

    Good luck, and sorry this has been such a nightmare for you.
  • Bartbrn Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    S.U. --

    You're not horning in, you're providing additional welcome information.

    "You might want to try booting to the Apple Hardware test from the first DVD..."

    Good idea -- I might do that and let it run all night, since there's no way I'm going to start the "Target Mode" process tonight; out here in the Mystic East (CT), it's gettin' on towards 9pm, and, unless I had big bottle of Macallan or Laphraoig, there's no way I'd start a frustration session that late at night without a major disappointment-reducer like a good single malt. I have all my disks and instructions gathered together for an assault on the iBook tomorrow.

    "In all your discs, do you happen to have a retail copy of Leopard?"

    No, the only other non-Intel disk I have is the 10.4 from one of my PBG4s

    "If you have access to an Apple Store, you could also make an appointment with the genius bar and have them run an extensive hardware test from their store feed. They might also be able to verify if the DVD's are the correct ones and if there might be a problem with one of them."

    There's one about a half-hour away. Wonder what they'd charge for the hardware test. Since the disks were purchased last week from Apple Care, I'm sure they'd check them out. Wonder why I didn't think of that in the first place? Thanks for an excellent suggestion.

    "As an experiment, you could always try installing the OS on one of your external FW drives and see if this works. If it does, then you could try cloning the external to the internal using Super Duper. I had serious problems trying to install the OS on our PowerMac when it had a bad hard drive."

    I'd forgotten you could actually boot non-Intel Macs from external disks. Many thanks again.

    I see you're from the fabulous Land of Enchantment -- many years ago (like more than 30), I used to live in Los Alamos and I worked at the Lab as an experimental machinist. The only thing I really miss is Bandelier National Monument, one of the best -- and least visited -- of the National Park Service sites.

    Thanks again!

    Bart
  • S.U. Level 6 Level 6 (8,360 points)
    If you had--or could borrow--a retail Leopard disc, you could try installing the OS from that as an alternative to the replacement system disc, just to see if an entirely different disc would work any better. Unfortunately, I don't think a PB G4 disc would be likely to work. It has to be a retail disc, and with a version of OS X later than the iBook originally shipped with.

    The original system discs are very specific to each model computer, and the ones from one are not likely to work properly on a different computer with a different build. They are optimized for the build of computer they were designed to work with. It may be that your original problems of trying to reset the password were due to not having the iBook disc and trying to use the PB discs. If the PB originally shipped with an earlier version of the OS than the iBook did, you would run into problems because a Mac cannot run an earlier version of the OS than the one it originally shipped with.

    You get 15 or 20 minutes for free at the genius bar. They run the hardware test using an ethernet cable, and there is no charge. If they get an error code, they can give you an opinion of what's wrong and what it would take to fix it. You could also try installing the OS from your replacement discs in front of them and let them see the problem with disc 2. It may also be possible for them to install the OS from the store feed if it won't install from the discs.

    The iBook you have seems to be the latest and best of the iBooks, and hopefully it will not have any serious problems. I recently fixed up two of these for a friend's daughters with a 320 GB hard drive and 1.5 GB RAM, and they both seem to be working well so far.

    Bandelier is a fabulous place--you know about the fire there several years ago? It was big news, at least around here. We have been to Los Alamos several times, usually to stop in at the Black Hole--was it there when you were there?

    Anyway, good luck with the iBook!
  • Bartbrn Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    There is extremely cautious joy in Mudville. Referencing Apple Support document TA24615 (http://support.apple.com/kb/TA24615), entitled "Mac OS X 10.4: Repeatedly asked to insert Install DVD Disc 2 during installation," and knowing that my replacement Install DVD Disc 1 worked OK, I followed the instructions below:

    << ...If the issue persists, use another Disc 2. If another Disc 2 is not available, you can complete the installation of Mac OS X with just Disc 1; follow these steps:

    1. Hold your Mac's power button until it turns off.
    2. With Disc 1 in hand, press the power button and immediately insert it and hold the C key until you see the Apple logo. Your Mac should start from Disc 1.
    3. Once started from Disc 1, start the installation process again.
    4. When the "Easy Install on 'Macintosh HD'" window appears, click the Customize button. (If your destination volume is not named "Macintosh HD", a different name will appear.)
    5. Uncheck (deselect) the item "Bundled Software". You may need to click it twice to deselect it.
    6. Click the "Install" or "Upgrade" button to begin the installation. Disc 2, which contains additional bundled software, should not be needed for this installation. At the end of the installation you will have a functional Mac to use. >>

    I also unchecked the "Language Translations," "Printer Drivers," and "Additional Fonts" . I should have been smart enough to uncheck "Bundled Software" in the first place. At any rate, I went ahead with the install, and everything went as it should have done -- almost. When I got to the "Setup Assistant" pane, I started up my PBG4 in Target mode, had a slight glitch when the iBook didn't recognize the connection, reseated the FireWire plugs at both ends, tried again, and it started to transfer info (I unchecked "user accounts" and "files and folders," hoping to transfer just network and other settings, and applications (since my one-disk install didn't include iTunes, etc.). The Setup Assistant pane SEEMED to be OK, and started tranferring information, but the thermometer bar has been stuck at "about 30 minutes to go" for 2 hours now. So I'm still not out of the woods.

    I'm going to finish reading Alan Moorehead's exceptional one-volume history of the Russian Revolution (or fall asleep trying), and if the Transfer Bar is still reading 30 minutes to go, I'm going to shut it down -- though I'm not at all sure of the best way to do that at this point: there's no "Back" or "Stop" button on the Setup Assistant pane -- and try doing it later using Migration Assistant instead.

    If anyone has any hot tips in the meantime (like, does anyone think it would help to just get the basic "One-Disc Install" System up, and let it upgrade itself, THEN do the Migration Assistant).

    SU -- Yes, know all about the fire; it burned out the entire neighborhood I had lived in, near Mesa School. No Black Hole in my time, though there were nights with Tequila when it felt like I was IN one!

    Still trying!

    Bart
  • S.U. Level 6 Level 6 (8,360 points)
    This sounds like real progress! You can always install the bundled software later if you want.

    Not sure what's going on with Migration Assistant--I've always had trouble with it. Probably let it run and see what happens. If it just never finishes, I would suspect some incompatibility of some sort. I don't really know how best to stop it, but it seems like the worst thing would be that you would have to reformat and start over.

    What may be the easiest thing to do is to install the OS from disc 1 and then set up your internet connection using the Network Assistant. Once that is established, you can update the OS and any other software installed by disc 1. That should suffice for troubleshooting.

    Then it would be time to run the extended version of the AHT and generally check out the iBook before loading more software onto it and migrating your data and other settings. If you do find problems, you can address them while you've just got the basic OS installed. Only when you are satisfied that all is as it should be would you continue on with the bundled software and migration of data, probably as two separate operations.

    What I recall is that some applications will be installed with the OS such as Mail and Safari. Others like the iLife applications are in the bundled software, and you can install these later from the install discs. I'm pretty sure you can download iTunes and a few others directly from the Apple site.

    It would probably be best to install all applications from disc or direct download from the Apple site so that you know for sure you have a good copy.

    Once you have internet access, you might want to download SMART Utility for a more comprehensive check of the physical health of your hard drive:

    http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/systemdiskutilities/smartutility.html

    You can download the demo and run it several times for free. SMART Utility is somewhat more critical than Disk Utility, and may detect impending hard drive problems sooner. If your hard drive has started to fail, that could be a contributing factor to some of the difficulties you have been experiencing. If the drive is the original, it could well be approaching the end of its useful life.

    I think the best thing to do would be to get the machine as fully functional as you can with just the OS, and then take time to see how it performs. Once you are satisfied, you can address installing the other bundled software and when all that is up to date, migrating your data. I'm pretty sure that Migration Assistant will be in your Applications folder.

    I am really wondering what these guys did to "refurbish" this iBook, since it seems to be all original with 512 MB of RAM and a 40 GB hard drive. You'll probably want to add a 1 GB Memory stick to speed it up at some point, and I would recommend OWC as a source for this. They are Mac folks and very nice to deal with.

    You might also want to report your adventures with this outfit both to the BBB and to EBay. If the machine does not test out as advertised, and you ultimately want to return it for a refund like they originally said you could, it would likely be helpful to have these guys on your side. Even if you decide the iBook is OK and you don't need to return it, you still might want to report your experience just so EBay and the BBB have it on file where it may be able to be of use to others. It may even be worth reporting them to the state attorney general for fraudulent practices--I really hate the though of people like this taking advantage of innocent consumers. They certainly don't deserve the 95% rating they seem to have.

    I've dealt a little with EBay, and after one marginal experience, I've stayed with vendors that are rated 100%. These guys seem very proud of their rating, and always say to contact them first if there is any problem so that they can take care of it.

    Good luck with all this, and post back with how it goes and what you find!
  • Bartbrn Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    By my usual process of throwing enough manure against the wall, I have somehow backed into grabbing victory from the jaws of defeat.

    To make a long story as short as I can, I have followed many of the suggestions here and on the OS X 10.4 Discussion Installation & Setup forum, and I've apparently succeeded in producing a stable, fully functional iBook G4:

    After having the problem with disc 2, I let the iBook stew all Saturday night running a 35-pass security erase, which REALLY erased the disk, and the successful completion of which yesterday morning gave what I hoped was a pretty good indication that the drive read/write heads and other HD mechanisms were working without problem.

    I ran a non-"bundled software" install, which required only the first disk. When I got to Setup Assistant, I put one of my PBG4s into FireWire Target Mode, and connected the other end of the FW cable to the iBook.

    As previously related: "The Setup Assistant pane SEEMED to be OK, and started tranferring information, but the thermometer bar has been stuck at "about 30 minutes to go" for 2 hours now..."

    After a total of 5 hours of Setup Assistant still reading "transferring information," and the thermometer bar STILL stuck at "about 30 minutes to go," and no answer if there was a safe way to shut down the process, I said what the **** and shut down the Target Mode PBG4, disconnected the FireWire cable, and worked my way through the rest of the Install steps to completion and restart.

    Upon restart, I opened the iBook's drive and read the Setup Assistant's error log: it turned out that Setup Assistant migration had transferred absolutely everything I specified except some RealPlayer components, which hardly broke my heart.

    Since Install Disc DVD 1 was still in the iBook's optical drive, I option-booted to the Apple Hardware test and ran the extended version -- no problems encountered.

    After I re-started from that, I ran Software Update, and wandered off to contemplate my navel while the quite large updates slowly (Comcast on a Sunday night) worked their way onto my HD.

    Finished updates, ran Maintenance (permissions, etc.), which I do as a totemic warding off of evil spirits after every major update. Restarted, in a fit of OCD, booting into Apple Hardware Test, ran extended test again. No problems.

    Set up my wife's account, put in the Airport network password, and it hooked up immediately, as did Safari (anyone who still runs a PC should see just this operation alone -- connecting immediately to the net, and not worrying if you have enough virus protection to protect your system for the first 11 nanoseconds you're online -- it would create more converts than a thousand Apple Guy - PC Guy ads)

    Ran full maintenance suite from ICE Clean! v2.5 for OS X 10.4 ("...a powerful System Maintenance and Optimization Tool using only UNIX built-in System Tasks," says the blurb). I also use Titanium's "Maintenance" and "Onyx," because I'm anal-retentive.

    After all that rannygazoo, I sat down and ran some apps, went online and dug around in my usual haunts (including here).

    Bottom Line: Everything works so far. I can't find any glitches (yet), and the iBook has passed every test I've run on it.

    My sincere thanks to everyone who contributed to solving this problem. Without the help here, the iBook would be sitting on the bottom of the pond across the street.

    BTW, there seems to be some confusion about where I acquired this iBook. eBay was in no way involved. I bought it directly from Surplus Computer online. When I got it I found they had provided NO Admin password and NO install disks. To rectify that situation requires (according to their tech support) that you return the iBook to them, and they supposedly "change" and give you the new Admin password, charging a $25.00 tech fee to do so, and send the iBook back to you, ALL postage both ways at customer expense. Does that sound like a scam to anyone else? BBBOnline of San Jose, CA thinks so, and I'll be sending the details of this transaction to them posthaste.

    On the other hand, now that I know how (and have the install discs) to get past this deceitful practice, $329 for a working (eventually!) 12" iBook G4 isn't a bad deal. Working on my 27" iMac, I thought the 12" iBook would require an electron microscope, but it's not a bad size at all, and definitely compact.

    Anyway, thanks again.

    Here's a greenie!
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