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View Full Version : HELP! Why won't my iBook boot?




asherman13
Jan 18, 2006, 09:27 PM
Hey everybody, I'm having a big problem with my G3 iBook running OS X 10.4.4.

I was using iTunes as normal when for some reason things seemed to be acting up. I "control-command-power button" rebooted it, and everything seemed normal. It went to the "boot" screen (the grey background with Apple symbol), but the spinning wheel wasn't there. After a good amount of time (maybe 10 minutes?), the spinning wheel appeared, and has been spinning for quite some time.

I called my local Apple store, and the guy who answered didn't know what to do except to try and boot from my OSX disc. I didn't want to do that just yet, since I thought that you guys might be able to help me out.

It was bought in 2001 from an authorized reseller that has since gone out of business, and I didn't buy AppleCare, so it'll probably cost me a lot if I try to get it fixed.

This is a major problem for me that I can't use my computer. I'm a high school senior, and it's the only one I have. I was planning to buy a MacBook Pro in March or so, but I have a feeling that I'm going to have to move that up...still, I'm not sure if I can live until mid-Feb. without a computer.

What's going on, and what can I do to fix it?

EDIT Could it be the logic board? It's a "Late 2001" model; the LCD is cracked so I have it connected to a external display...



asherman13
Jan 18, 2006, 10:36 PM
I've been looking around the Apple Support database, and I've found the following options besides booting from the disc:

Safe Mode/Boot
Resetting PRAM/NVRAM
Resetting Power Management Unit (PMU)

What do you think I should do?

aquajet
Jan 18, 2006, 10:44 PM
Try booting off the OS X disk. Depending upon what happens, that can provide some additional clues as to what's happening. If it's unable to boot, then there could be something wrong with the logic board. And as you probably know, logic board failures on the G3 iBooks are all too common.

If you've got your Apple Hardware Test CD, try that too.

mad jew
Jan 18, 2006, 10:58 PM
Hopefully it's not the logic board. Hopefully it's a software-side issue but that may be wishful thinking. aquajet's Hardware Test CD seems like an excellent first step. Next, I'd try fsck (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=106214), then resetting the PRAM (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=2238) before resetting the PMU (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=14449). Good luck with it. :)

asherman13
Jan 18, 2006, 11:05 PM
Try booting off the OS X disk. Depending upon what happens, that can provide some additional clues as to what's happening. If it's unable to boot, then there could be something wrong with the logic board. And as you probably know, logic board failures on the G3 iBooks are all too common.

If you've got your Apple Hardware Test CD, try that too.

It booted off the Tiger disc! I opened Disk Utility and am currently verifying permissions. I will be verifying the disk as well, and if needed, repairing either permissions and/or the disk.

Do I need to re-install the OS?

EDIT With regard to what madjew said, is it ok that I'm using Disk Utility instead of fsck?

aquajet
Jan 18, 2006, 11:09 PM
It booted off the Tiger disc! I opened Disc Utility and am currently verifying permissions. I will be verifying the disk as well, and if needed, repairing either permissions and/or the disk.

Do I need to re-install the OS?

This is a good sign. You should run "Repair Disk" as well. If there's any hardware problem, it's most likely your hard drive. Hopefully, it's just some sort of flakey software issue.

EDIT With regard to what madjew said, is it ok that I'm using Disk Utility instead of fsck?

Yes. fsck and the "Repair Disk" function in Disk Utility check for the same problems.

mad jew
Jan 18, 2006, 11:39 PM
Yes. fsck and the "Repair Disk" function in Disk Utility check for the same problems.


Exactly, except fsck gets updated with the system whereas the disks obviously stagnate at whatever point release was the latest when they were printed. FWIW, 10.4.2 brought in some quite major changes to fsck. :)

aquajet
Jan 18, 2006, 11:49 PM
Exactly, except fsck gets updated with the system whereas the disks obviously stagnate at whatever point release was the latest when they were printed. FWIW, 10.4.2 brought in some quite major changes to fsck. :)

Hmm... Yeah, you're right. I didn't even think of that, but now I know. :)

asherman13
Jan 19, 2006, 09:45 AM
Exactly, except fsck gets updated with the system whereas the disks obviously stagnate at whatever point release was the latest when they were printed. FWIW, 10.4.2 brought in some quite major changes to fsck. :)

So should I run fsck after Disk Utility? It's been repairing all night, and fixed a "minor" problem with volume headers, I believe. So far so good...I'll report back with any new information.

mad jew
Jan 19, 2006, 04:27 PM
While fsck is a better option than Disk Utility, the fact that either of them could take all night is worrying. Maybe try fsck and see if you get any further but I've got a feeling the problem is more deep-routed than that - logic board or perhaps a failing hard drive (probably the former).

Are you hearing any clicking noises from the hard drive? :)

asherman13
Jan 19, 2006, 05:25 PM
Are you hearing any clicking noises from the hard drive? :)

A bit...but not anymore, because after I repaired the disk and permissions, and I rebooted, it worked! But now it's seeming reeeeeaaally slow. Any reason why? I'm currently backing up stuff, JIC...

mad jew
Jan 19, 2006, 05:48 PM
Did you keep repairing the disk until the process made no changes?

asherman13
Jan 19, 2006, 05:50 PM
Did you keep repairing the disk until the process made no changes?

Ummmm no...I only did it once. I kept repairing until it stopped...should I repair disk/permissions again?

mad jew
Jan 19, 2006, 05:52 PM
Did it say it made any changes? If so, then you have to keep running the repair process until it makes no changes. If this is the case, then I recommend using fsck from here on in, you may as well.

However, I have this horrible feeling the problem is more than just a corrupt file system. It's good that you've got everything backed up because you may have a failing hard drive (clicking noise is not good). I guess all we can do is run fsck until it makes no changes and then go from there. Best of luck with it all. :)

asherman13
Jan 19, 2006, 05:56 PM
Did it say it made any changes? If so, then you have to keep running the repair process until it makes no changes. If this is the case, then I recommend using fsck from here on in, you may as well.

However, I have this horrible feeling the problem is more than just a corrupt file system. It's good that you've got everything backed up because you may have a failing hard drive (clicking noise is not good). I guess all we can do is run fsck until it makes no changes and then go from there. Best of luck with it all. :)

Should I really run fsck? Somebody from the Apple Support Forums said that I should use Disk Utility...wouldn't the Disk Utility from the Applications>Utilities folder be updated along with fsck?

It said that it had repaired whatever needed repairing, so I guess it had made changes...when I'm done backing up I'll run Disk Utility again.

mad jew
Jan 19, 2006, 06:01 PM
Sorry, I should be more specific. I've got as feeling the person at Apple was talking about repairing permissions whereas I'm talking about repairing the disk. Disk Utility in the Utilities folder can Verify the disk but not Repair because it's the volume you started from.

I don't know that repairing permissions would do any good in your case but I strongly recommend running fsck.

As a side note, you can start up from the OSX install disks and use that version of Disk Utility to Repair the disk (because it's not the same volume you started with) but the version of fsck underlying the install disk's Disk Utility app is almost certainly outdated.

asherman13
Jan 19, 2006, 06:07 PM
Sorry, I should be more specific. I've got as feeling the person at Apple was talking about repairing permissions whereas I'm talking about repairing the disk. Disk Utility in the Utilities folder can Verify the disk but not Repair because it's the volume you started from.

I don't know that repairing permissions would do any good in your case but I strongly recommend running fsck.

As a side note, you can start up from the OSX install disks and use that version of Disk Utility to Repair the disk (because it's not the same volume you started with) but the version of fsck underlying the install disk's Disk Utility app is almost certainly outdated.

This is from the fsck site:

Note: If you're using Mac OS X 10.4 or later, you should use Disk Utility instead of fsck, whenever possible.

I'll finish backing up and then run fsck. I'll be back when that's over to report.

mad jew
Jan 19, 2006, 06:12 PM
Note: If you're using Mac OS X 10.4 or later, you should use Disk Utility instead of fsck, whenever possible.


Yeah, ignore it. That's just because there are some benign errors that come up on disks formatted for 10.4 but they're nothing to worry about. Backing up is a good idea too. Hopefully fsck will get us somewhere but I've got a feeling it's a failing hard drive (possibly a failing logic board but a drive seems more likely considering the noises, hopefully it's not both) which'll mean that only a replacement drive will suffice. :(

fsck is still worth a shot though.

asherman13
Jan 19, 2006, 06:20 PM
Yeah, ignore it. That's just because there are some benign errors that come up on disks formatted for 10.4 but they're nothing to worry about. Backing up is a good idea too. Hopefully fsck will get us somewhere but I've got a feeling it's a failing hard drive (possibly a failing logic board but a drive seems more likely considering the noises, hopefully it's not both) which'll mean that only a replacement drive will suffice. :(

fsck is still worth a shot though.

Ok, I'll do that. Thanks for the help; hopefully I won't have to buy a MacBook Pro until March or so.

I'll report back when I have some news.

asherman13
Jan 20, 2006, 07:01 PM
Alright, I ran fsck once, and it told me that there weren't any problems, so I rebooted. That was almost 45 minutes ago, and I'm still at the grey screen with the Apple symbol and the spinning dial. What should I do now?!?!?

mad jew
Jan 20, 2006, 07:12 PM
You've done everything a regular user can do so now it's time to take it in to Apple, sorry. :o

Tell them what you've done though because otherwise they'll just get you to do it again. :)

asherman13
Jan 20, 2006, 07:20 PM
You've done everything a regular user can do so now it's time to take it in to Apple, sorry. :o

Tell them what you've done though because otherwise they'll just get you to do it again. :)

Ok, thanks:rolleyes:. D'you think that I should reset the PRAM/NVRAM or the PMU?

mad jew
Jan 20, 2006, 07:21 PM
Give it a go for sure, it can't do any harm. I doubt it'll do any good though. :(

asherman13
Jan 21, 2006, 12:09 AM
Took it to the Apple Store tonight for a Genius Bar appointment. The guy is 80% sure that my HDD is dying; he actually took out a stethescope and listened to it while it booted. Looks like I'll be getting that MacBook Pro a little early...

mad jew
Jan 21, 2006, 06:18 AM
Hard drives are pretty cheap and easy to replace, but those MacBooks are mighty tempting. :)