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My old iBookG4 reinstall system

4514 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: May 9, 2012 12:14 PM by Ronda Wilson RSS
crispcook Calculating status...
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May 5, 2012 7:55 AM

My old iBookG4 presented a gray screen/folder with a question mark.  I inserted original install disk #1.  It won't let me proceed past Select destination.  Now I want to eject disk--but can't!  HELP!  And maybe someone can help figure out how to restore the system?



  • Ronda Wilson Level 8 Level 8 (40,560 points)
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    May 5, 2012 9:24 AM (in response to crispcook)

    Hold down the power button for 5-10 seconds. This will do a forced shutdown of the iBook.


    Wait 30 seconds (or more), and then push the power button and click and hold the trackpad button as it's trying to start up, and the disc should eject.


    Shut it down again.


    Wait another 30 seconds.


    See if it will start up in Safe Mode:



    If this works you will see the normal desktop Once completely started up in Safe Mode, try to 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 it has been renamed). What is the hard drive capacity and how much space remains available on it? Repair permissions on it.


    See if you are able to do a little hard drive maintenance to help things out.

  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (36,585 points)
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    May 9, 2012 8:33 AM (in response to crispcook)

    Why doesn't it let you proceed beyond select destination? Is it because there isn't a selection?  What happens if you proceed to Disk Utility? Does it show a hard drive?

  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (36,585 points)
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    May 9, 2012 8:47 AM (in response to crispcook)

    I don't know which operating system version your are/were running.  Here's  information from the 10.4/5 era:


    Resolve startup issues and perform disk maintenance with Disk Utility and fsck -


    Using Disk Utility in Mac OS X 10.4.3 or later -


    Disk Utility's Repair Disk Permissions 10.0-10.6 -


    "Try Disk Utility" (modified from


    1. Insert the Mac OS X Install disc that came with your computer (Edit: Do not use this disc if it is not the same general version as what you have currently on your computer, e.g. use a Tiger disc for a Tiger drive, not a Panther disc), then restart the computer while holding the C key.

    2. When your computer finishes starting up from the disc, choose Disk Utility from the Installer menu. (In Mac OS X 10.4 or later, you must select your language first.)

    Important: Do not click Continue in the first screen of the Installer. If you do, you must restart from the disc again to access Disk Utility.

    3. Click the First Aid tab.

    4. Click the disclosure triangle to the left of the hard drive icon to display the names of your hard disk volumes and partitions.

    5. Select your Mac OS X volume.

    6. Click Repair. Disk Utility checks and repairs the disk."


    Then boot in Safe Mode, (holding Shift key down at bootup; takes longer to boot this way so be patient), run Disk Utility in Applications>Utilities, then highlight your drive, click on Repair Permissions, reboot when it completes.


    Mac OS X: Starting up in Safe Mode -


    What is Safe Boot, Safe Mode? (Mac OS X) -


    Safe Boot takes longer than normal startup -


    Mac OS X 10.4, 10.5- Computer shuts down during Safe Boot -


    If you don't have an installer disc available you can try effecting repairs using fsk in Single User Mode -


    Post by japamac about using fsk -


    In the above steps if your drive does not appear in First Aid then the drive is really in bad condition. At best you can try to rescue some files using third party software befor replacing the drive.

  • Ronda Wilson Level 8 Level 8 (40,560 points)
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    May 9, 2012 8:49 AM (in response to crispcook)

    Which exact iBook model is it?


    You can choose from this list:



    As far as I know, there is no emergency eject hole in an iBook G4 (which has a slot-load drive).


    An iBook G3 (Dual USB) has a tray-loading drive, and does have an emergency eject hole in which you can insert a paper clip to pop out the tray.

  • Ronda Wilson Level 8 Level 8 (40,560 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 9, 2012 12:10 PM (in response to crispcook)

    There are ten different G4 iBook models.




    Which exact one is it?


    Could you give a link to the suggestion on how to use a paper clip to eject a disc from an iBook G4, please? I would like to bookmark it for future reference.


    Is this Install disc that you are trying to use part of the original system software package that came with this iBook when it was new?


    The Install disc should tell the exact version of Mac OS X 10.3 that is on it. What does it say?

  • Ronda Wilson Level 8 Level 8 (40,560 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 9, 2012 12:14 PM (in response to crispcook)

    Are you sure you need to restore the system?


    Check out Apple's suggestions on dealing with the flashing question mark:



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