View Full Version : Recover iBook from strange problem?
Oct 21, 2006, 11:52 PM
Hello all. My iBook (running OS 10.3.9) over the last week had been exhibiting some strange problems. Programs would often become unresponive, sometimes to the extent of a hard reset. The problems slowly got worse, until i decided that it would be best to back-up my 2000 songs in my iTunes library, and attempt to repair the OS.
I didnt manage to back-up my music, as the computer was too unresponsive, so i went with the repair option. This attempt failed. I then tried to install the "OS and associated apps" in the hopes of being able to recover my music. This also failed, and seems to have corrupted my computer.
Now, when i turn on my iBook, it has the grey screen for a while, before going to a black screen saying "/etc/master/passwd: no such file or directory"
So now, im praying that there is some way to get my music back, or something that i can do to repair or re-install the OS, while retaing my files.
Thanks very much in advance for any help, its really appreciated!
Oct 22, 2006, 12:13 AM
Maybe you could get another mac and a FW cable and start it up in target made to just access the hard drive?
Oct 22, 2006, 02:10 AM
You can solve this in a few easy steps:
1) Get an external FireWire hard drive and make sure that it's turned on
2) Power up your Mac and insert your install disk
3) Turn off your Mac while the install disk is in it
4) Power up your Mac again and have the "C" key pressed until it boots up from the install disk
5) Run "Disk Utility" and set your FireWire drive as you see fit
6) Install Mac OS X on your FireWire drive
7) Boot your Mac from your FireWire drive
8) Once you have your Mac running again from your external hard drive, see if it recognizes your iBook's hard drive
9) If you iBook's hard drive is seen by your external drive, drag your music folder over to the external drive
10) Reinstall Mac OS X on your iBook's hard drive
Oct 22, 2006, 03:16 AM
Thanks for the help guys. iMikeT, you say to use a firewire HDD. Does it have to be a firewire HDD? And if not, can an ipod be used?
Oct 22, 2006, 03:27 AM
Since you have a PPC Mac, it must be a Firewire drive for you to be able to boot from it. Technically you can use an older iPod but not one of the newer iPods since they connect via USB. :)
Oct 22, 2006, 03:48 AM
oh ok thanks. my friend has an older imac computer (G3). would i be able to somehow use that, perhaps as amholl mentioned, in target disk mode or something?
Oct 22, 2006, 03:50 AM
I think so. Here's more on Target Disk Mode (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=58583). :)
Oct 22, 2006, 04:53 PM
Shamus, the problems you describe are exactly what I encountered 2 1/2 months ago with my faithful iBook G4 (may it R.I.P.), line-for-line plus the black darwin screen. After a week's worth of diagnostics and so on by a top Mac repair wizard, my iBook was pronounced brain dead, by virtue of a fried logic board and a bad HD. Hence, I am now the mostly-happy owner of a P'book G4 :::yes, I am still lamenting how the PB's metal casing hampers Wi-Fi signal reception:::
I'm not countering any of the advice given here, primarily because I would never contravene MJ (he rocks). What I am gently suggesting is this: I learned too late that several minor symptoms in my iBook were early warnings of more serious problems. The stopgap measures taken to remedy those issues may have helped my iBook limp along, but ultimately, led to spending a packet to replace it.
I hope your issue is well and truly resolved, (1st) by knowing what questions to ask and what symptoms to report; (2d) by receiving the excellent advice and vigorous discussion one can count on here at MR; (3d) by selecting the best of that advice and following it; and (4th) if the home remedies don't produce the necessary results, get thee face-to-face with a qualified repair pro.
My apologies if I've rabbited on, but I needed to remind myself -- and perhaps a few others -- that as wonderful as MR forums are, our sometimes hasty and haphazard expressions here can not replace the subtle nuances of dealing face-to-face with someone, particularly when so much is at stake: our careers, our personal lives, and the memories represented by our music and photo collections.
Oct 23, 2006, 01:11 AM
Thanks for the advice GITANAJAVA. I hope my problem doesnt turn out to be the same as yours, i dont want a brain dead iBook. I will try the target disk mode method with my friends iMac, or the firewire HDD method if i can find one, and see how it goes. If that fails, ill say goodbye to my music, and try a clean install of the OS. If still no luck, then its off the to apple centre.
Thanks very much guys for the help on the topic.
Oct 23, 2006, 05:56 AM
GITANAJAVA makes an excellent point. I wouldn't rely on this machine for anything massively important. However, the priority at the moment is to get the data back from it. If Target Disk Mode or booting from a Firewire drive doesn't help, then a technician really is your only other sensible option. Of course, you could extract the hard disk and mount it either into another machine or an external case, but it probably won't be any more successful. :o
Oct 26, 2006, 01:43 PM
Best of lappie luck to you, Shamus. Assuming all goes well, we'll toast some champers to you.
If the iBook doesn't make it, let us know and we'll hold a virtual memorial service.
Standing by for word on the patient...