you can hold the c key while the restore disk is in to boot off the disk
Yes, but the OP needs a disc from which to boot.
Just to reiterate, don't use the 10.2 disc on that computer to try to effect directory repairs. If you are absolutely sure it is the disc that came with the computer then you can use the Apple Hardware test feature. If it came with another computer then it won't boot your computer. We also don't know much about your model iMac (span many years) so we don't even know if it can run 10.2 Finally, you can't update from 10.2 to 10.4, you have to use full upgrade versions which were sold on their own discs.
David Brewer2 wrote:
I burned a disk from an Apple download years ago and can't find it anywhere. And, can I get another "real CD from Apple? I can't find it anywhere on Apple.
I little background, I've been using Macs since the "Performa" days and this has never happened on any of my Macs. I been cleaning up my G4 to give to my son and deleted lots of Program files. I have 3 HDs on that computer. One was partitioned for OS 10.2 and one partition still had a partition for OS9. I deleted both of these systems when I cleaned up. Could this have caused the problem? The 10.4.11 system was on the original Hard Drive which I didn't touch.
Theoretically you can get another original CD by calling them and asking, but it is very unlikely they will still have one for a computer of that age.
Deleting those items shouldn't have affected Tiger. Most likely you had some issues right on the edge due to directory corruption. Safe Mode runs a directory check and repair routine and the failed repair attempt may have made it worse. Did you try fsk in single user mode?