On the problem machine try these diagnostics.
Try a safe boot.
Shutdown your machine. Hold down the shift key. Poweron. Wait awhile Wait awhile while you harddrive
is being checked.
verify & repair your startup drive
To verify & repair you file system on the startup drive, you will need to run disk utility from you installation DVD.
This article will tell you how to get to disk utility. Once in a disk utility, you can go and attempt to recover the disk.
To repair your startup drive, you will need to run disk utility from your startup DVD.
Mac OS X 10.4: About the utilities available on the Mac OS X 10.4 Install DVD
How to run disk utility from your startup DVD.
- Insert your startup DVD into your reader. Power down your machine. Hold down to the c key. Power on your machine. This will bootup your startup DVD.
- This will bring you to a panel asking you for your language. Pick your language.
- You you come to the Install Mac OS panel. Do not install.
- Click on Utilities menu item. This will give you a pulldown list of utilities.
- Click on the disk utility.
- You are now in disk utility. Pick your disk. Click on repair it should be on the lower right of the panel.
- Once the repair completes successfully, you should update your permissions.
Verify a disk
As an alternative, you can verify that the filesystem on the disk is correct. You will not be able to repair the file system.
I suggest that you use disk utility to verify that your startup disk is OK.
Macintosh-HD -> Applications -> Utilities -> Disk Utility
Start up disk utility. On the left pane view, you will see a list of all your disks.
Click on your startup disk.
Click on the First Aid Tab.
Click on verify.
Hopefully your disk will verify. If not, you have to boot from your installation DVD and run Disk Utility from there to attempt to repair your file-system.
Thanks rccharles for your detailed reply. Unfortunately this didnt solve my problem. I had already tried safe boot, it wont actually boot all the way, it hangs on the blue status bar for hours. When it was still working I checked the hard drive via disc utility and repaired permissions. Now I cant even boot from a disc to get to that point.
I made an apt for tomrorow at Apple. But thanks for your help