Previous 1 2 Next 17 Replies Latest reply: Dec 10, 2012 9:13 AM by Grant Bennet-Alder
gordon k Level 1 (35 points)

Just got back from a few days away, and on my return my PowerMac G5 is no longer seeing its boot drive.

 

I tried rebooting from the instal DVD and running Apple Hardware Test, but it gives everything a tick and comes up with...

 

Default boot device:      Hard Drive:

                                      Serial-ATA bus: 0, ID: 0

 

Not sure whether this means it likes it, or it's not seeing the drive at all...

 

The drive never appears on the desktop, and if I start up holding Alt to select the startup drive, it doesn't appear as an option.

 

Have had a look inside, and made sure the drive connectors are in place - they seem fine - what's my next move?


G5 PPC Dual 2.3, Mac OS X (10.4.11), 2.5 GB DDR SDRAM
  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 (56,466 points)

    Boot to the Installer/Utilities DVD, but do not Install. Answer only the "what language" question, but do not proceed.

     

    Wait a quarter minute for the menu Bar to be drawn, then select Disk Utility off the Utilities menu or the Installer menu.

     

    Select your Boot Drive. check the SMART Status for "verified". click ( Repair Disk ). repeat until clean or stuck, then report the EXACT wording of any remaining Error messages.

  • Rambling Joe Level 2 (280 points)

    Perhaps your PRAM battery is dead.

     

    PowerMac G5's use a 3.6 Volt Lithium 1/2AA battery like this one:

     

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/NewerTech/BAA36VPRAM/

     

    The battery should also be available from Walmart, Kmart, drugstore chains, etc for $5-6.  Or at Radio Shack for $12-$20.

     

    Good luck.

  • gordon k Level 1 (35 points)

    Disk Utility doesn't see the hard drive either, it only lists the DVD-RW drive.

  • gordon k Level 1 (35 points)

    I can boot OK off my firewire backup drive - does that mean the PRAM battery is OK?

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 (56,466 points)

    Disk Utility lives in the world between Physical Drives and Logical Volumes. If Disk Utility cannot see that drive, the drive may have cabling or power issues, and otherwise the drive has died.

     

    The PRAM battery can cause problems mounting drives and starting up in general, but failure to see the drive in Disk Utility is definitive. That drive, in its current state, cannot be repaired, initialized, or mounted. It's dead.

  • gordon k Level 1 (35 points)

    Thanks Grant, that simplifies matters for me.

     

    I'll try it in the other bay to check the cabling, and if it's still not showing I guess it's a new drive...

  • gordon k Level 1 (35 points)

    OK, I swapped the drive into the other bay to test the connectors, but it's still not showing up on Disk Utility.

     

    Had a look for drive compatibility, but can't find anything. Would I be right in assuming any 3.5 inch SATA drive should be OK?

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 (56,466 points)

    Any working SATA drive is electrically compatible, and should be recognized as present, show its Make&Model, and show a reasonable non-zero size.

     

    Any such drive in 3.5" form factor will fit on the sled and line up easily.

     

    Any such drive can be erased/partitioned with MacOS X 10.4 or later, even if it uses 4K blocks instead of the traditional 0.5K blocks.

     

    You cannot find a list of what is/is not compatible because Macs and Mac OS X are so widely compatible.

  • gordon k Level 1 (35 points)

    Grant Bennet-Alder wrote:

     

    Any working SATA drive is electrically compatible, and should be recognized as present, show its Make&Model, and show a reasonable non-zero size.

     

    Any such drive in 3.5" form factor will fit on the sled and line up easily.

     

    Any such drive can be erased/partitioned with MacOS X 10.4 or later, even if it uses 4K blocks instead of the traditional 0.5K blocks.

     

    You cannot find a list of what is/is not compatible because Macs and Mac OS X are so widely compatible.

    That's what I thought - thanks again for your help.

  • gordon k Level 1 (35 points)

    OK, bought a replacement internal drive, but when I fitted the new drive, same problem - Disk Utility doesn't see it at all.

     

    I am guessing the G5's internal power supply that feeds the drives has gone, but I don't know what to do next.

     

    Make an appointment at the Genius Bar at the Apple Store? Or is there anything else I can try that might shed some light?

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 (56,466 points)

    See if it shows in Apple System Profiler [ About this Mac > ( More Info ) > SATA ]

     

    If there is a Molex connector for old-IDE/ATA drives, measure the voltages there. The outside conductors should be  a bit over 5 Volts and a bit over 12 Volts, compared to the black grounds on the center conductors.

  • gordon k Level 1 (35 points)

    The Serial-ATA section in System Profiler draws a complete blank - "No information found".

     

    Doesn't appear to be a Molex anywhere - it's all the newer black connectors...

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 (56,466 points)

    What does your DVD reader use? They did not switch away from IDE/ATA drives for those until 2009.

  • gordon k Level 1 (35 points)

    Yes, the internal DVD drive is on the other, ATA bus, and is working fine.

     

    Does this tell us something?

     

    I guess the problem may be the SATA bus, not the power supply?

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