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G4 won't boot from Install disks

1288 Views 17 Replies Latest reply: Feb 11, 2007 4:41 AM by Majordadusma RSS
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Robertaa Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Feb 7, 2007 10:25 AM
Hey Gary,
or any other techs listening, my G4 seems to only recognize music CD's. It just spits out any of my install disks when trying to boot for basic utility checks etc.


Roberta
Quicksilver 800 MHz PowerPC G4 1.25 GB SDRAM, Mac OS X (10.3.9), G-Drive 250GB, HP 7310 All in one, Netgear wireless router
  • Thomas Bryant Level 6 Level 6 (13,865 points)
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    Feb 7, 2007 11:10 AM (in response to Robertaa)
    Hello! Are you holding down the "c" key at startup? And also are the discs the Retail Version of Panther and not one for a particular model? Tom
    G-4/Sawtooth/1.2ghz Sonnet/10.3.6/2gig ram-G-4 1.8ghz Sawtooth 9.2.2 & 10.3.9, Mac OS X (10.3.6)
  • Majordadusma Level 6 Level 6 (9,425 points)
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    Feb 7, 2007 12:46 PM (in response to Thomas Bryant)
    Hi, Tom!

    Some background:

    Roberta has worked another issue involving Photoshop Elements not working in Classic on her QS G4. (Here's the thread, which contains some pertinent background info.) Working with both issues in differing directions got a bit messy there and she started a new topic for this issue.

    Here's what I believe to be the scenario so far, unless I misunderstood/missed something:

    In the course of troubleshooting the Classic/PE issue, she could not get her retail Panther disc, original Mac OS X 10 disc or her OS 9 install disc to C-boot so that she could run Repair Disk from the install disc. Option-booting via startup manager did not help with the Panther disc...

    She did a Safe Boot to run the file system check, but she has not yet tried fsck from Single User Mode. She did a Permissions Repair from DU on the startup volume.

    Roberta also originally had a "disk full" message before moving her image files to an external drive, leaving her with 11(+)GB free space on the startup drive.

    Any thoughts you have on this are appreciated!

    Gary






    1GHz DP G4 Quicksilver 2002, 400MHz B&W rev.2 G3, Mac SE30   Mac OS X (10.4.5)   5G iPod, Epson 2200 & R300 & LW Select 360 Printers, Epson 3200 Scanner
    1GHz DP G4 Quicksilver 2002, 400MHz B&W rev.2 G3, Mac SE30, Mac OS X (10.4.5), 5G iPod, Epson 2200 & R300 & LW Select 360 Printers, Epson 3200 Scanner
  • Majordadusma Level 6 Level 6 (9,425 points)
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    Feb 7, 2007 2:26 PM (in response to Robertaa)
    Roberta,

    I'd recommend that you try a couple of things. First, launch Disk Utility from the startup drive and run Repair Permissions again. You should end up with a message that states that the permissions have been successfully repaired.

    Next, run fsck (file system check) from Single User Mode, which is similar to running Repair Disk with Disk Utility. Restart your Mac while holding down the cmd+s keys, which will cause your Mac to boot to a command line screen. Type the following command at the prompt that appears, followed by pressing the return key:

    /sbin/fsck -fy (press return)

    The Mac will check the startup volume, reporting just like Disk Utility does. Give it time to run it's course. When it has completed, it will either report that the volume appears to be okay, or instead may report that the volume has been successfully repaired. If the latter is reported, run the above command again until it reports that the volume appears to be okay. When you get the volume appears to be okay message, type the following command at the prompt, followed by the return key, at which point your Mac will restart normally to your startup drive:

    reboot (press return)

    If for some reason, you get mixed up while on the command line screen, you can safely just shutdown with the power button, as long as the fsck routine isn't still running.

    Once you've accomplished the permissions repair and fsck, insert your Panther install disc #1 into the optical drive and restart while depressing the cmdoption+pr keys until your hear the second startup chime, after which you should release these keys and immediately depress and hold the "c" key for at least until the spinning cogwheel appears. The Mac should boot to the Panther install disc.

    Any luck? If not, try starting up to the Startup Manager (hold down the option key at startup) and see if the install disc image appears on the screen once the tiny clock icon disappears. If it does, highlight the install disc and then click the right-facing arrrow to boot to the disc.

    Please let us know what happens...

    Gary

    ps: Thank you for the "helpful" award, but you might instead save these for someone here who provides some real "keys" towards a solution for you, for which we're certainly rooting!

    1GHz DP G4 Quicksilver 2002, 400MHz B&W rev.2 G3, Mac SE30   Mac OS X (10.4.5)   5G iPod, Epson 2200 & R300 & LW Select 360 Printers, Epson 3200 Scanner
  • Majordadusma Level 6 Level 6 (9,425 points)
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    Feb 8, 2007 8:55 AM (in response to Robertaa)
    Roberta,

    Check to see if your install discs (Panther, OS 9, original OS X) will load and mount to the desktop while you're normally running in OS X. If not, load a data CD and see if that mounts.

    Are you the original owner of this Mac? Are the gray OS X and OS 9 discs definitely those that originally shipped with this G4?

    Reset NVRAM in open firmware: Shutdown, then boot to open firmware by starting up with the CMDoption+"o""f" keys depressed. When the command line screen appears, type the following commands at the prompts, each followed by the return key:

    reset-nvram (press return)
    reset-all (press return)

    The Mac should boot normally after the second "return". Retry loading an install disc to see if it mounts to the desktop. Any luck now?

    BTW - What is your hard drive capacity and how much available sapce is now showing?

    Gary

    1GHz DP G4 Quicksilver 2002, 400MHz B&W rev.2 G3, Mac SE30   Mac OS X (10.4.5)   5G iPod, Epson 2200 & R300 & LW Select 360 Printers, Epson 3200 Scanner
  • Thomas Bryant Level 6 Level 6 (13,865 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 8, 2007 1:07 PM (in response to Robertaa)
    Hello Again! Is it possible that the discs are not the ones you think they are? You said it's been a demo model. Some of the QS shipped with various Versions of the OS and trying to startup from a disc of an earlier version than it shipped with may cause problems. Just a thought, Tom.
    G-4/Sawtooth/1.2ghz Sonnet/10.3.6/2gig ram-G-4 1.8ghz Sawtooth 9.2.2 & 10.3.9, Mac OS X (10.3.6)
  • Majordadusma Level 6 Level 6 (9,425 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 8, 2007 5:58 PM (in response to Robertaa)
    Roberta,

    Strange problem! Please confirm that other, non-boot discs still properly load and mount to the desktop.

    Also, you should have a bootable Apple Hardware Test disc that came with your Mac. Please load it into the optical drive and C-boot to the disc. If it boots, please run it and let us know if it passes the test.

    It's highly unlikely that all three of your install discs are bad. They should at least mount to the desktop while you're running normally, even if they won't boot the Mac. If you have a cleaning CD, you might run it in the optical drive to clean up the laser lens.

    Do you have access to another Mac? (e.g. friend, work, school, nearby Apple Store.) If so, you could confirm that your install discs will indeed load properly on another machine (even if they may not boot), which will help hone in on the issue. If they do load, then the likely culprit is the optical drive, though the Mac's memory settings or possibly something on your hard drive might still play a role in this.

    Are you comfortable with working inside the G4 to do some things like re-seating cables?

    Gary
    1GHz DP G4 Quicksilver 2002, 400MHz B&W rev.2 G3, Mac SE30, Mac OS X (10.4.5), 5G iPod, Epson 2200 & R300 & LW Select 360 Printers, Epson 3200 Scanner
  • fragmore Level 3 Level 3 (660 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 9, 2007 9:18 PM (in response to Robertaa)
    Just read all your comments, reccommend you take your computer and disk to a certified Mac repair tech.
    Power Mac G4 (AGP Graphics) Dual 500, Mac OS X (10.4.8), 2 GB Ram, Nvidia FX5500 agp card EMBO Tech 8800 eliminator.
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