PDA

View Full Version : Powerbook doesn't see HD




yojitani
Nov 1, 2006, 09:07 PM
I'm dealing with a department Powerbook that is out of warranty (some smartypants forgot to buy applecare:rolleyes: ). The short story is that someone turned it on a few days ago and it wouldn't start up, just a little OS9 looking folder appeared on the middle of the screen. The department being a little worried that the little man running around inside the machine might just have a cold, left the computer in this state for a few days to keep him warm.

So when I get to it, I first tried zapping the pram, fsck'ed it etc. I also tried target disk to see it I could locate anything unusual (like a little man) on the disk. Target disk did not work. Since nothing was happening, I put in the install disks, pressing the c button. Installation screen came up and when I went to install, the hard disk was not there to install on! So, I went to disk utility. First time I went, nothing was there. I rebooted and this time I found the disk so I ran a check on it. The check stalled and never got anywhere. Now I cannot locate the disk no matter what I try.

I suspect that a cable is loose. I doubt HD failure because there were never any warnings (HD noise) - oh, and disk warrior can't find anything either. Since it is out of warranty, my impulse is to open it up and check the HD connections. However, I've never opened a PowerBook before and it seems rather tricky (this is the 1.67 model). Does anyone here have any suggestions? Anything else I can try? Where are the best instructions for opening up PowerBooks? I found these instructions. (http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/systems/PB_G4_15_AL_takeapart/AL_PB_G4_take-apart.html#storytop) Do they seem ok to anyone more experienced with this kind of thing?



mad jew
Nov 1, 2006, 10:06 PM
I think you're on the right track wanting to open it up. It's not terribly difficult for the most part and the XLR8YourMac pages are good. I find iFixit (http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Mac/) has a better layout for its guides, but maybe you can use them both. :)

xsedrinam
Nov 1, 2006, 10:21 PM
If you have a TechTools CD and can boot holding down C key, you might run the Quick Test on that to see if your Volume Storage passes or shows an error. If it fails it should show a failure code for volume storage in which case it's your Volume files that have been whacked.

Also, what OS is installed? Anything from 10.2x-up you could try an Archive and Install with the install disk(s). If you can't get the held down C key to boot up a disk, have you tried booting holding down the Option key? Does any image option show to select? Is there any strange sound/noise/whirr? Like ...____...?

yojitani
Nov 1, 2006, 11:42 PM
If you have a TechTools CD and can boot holding down C key, you might run the Quick Test on that to see if your Volume Storage passes or shows an error. If it fails it should show a failure code for volume storage in which case it's your Volume files that have been whacked.

Also, what OS is installed? Anything from 10.2x-up you could try an Archive and Install with the install disk(s). If you can't get the held down C key to boot up a disk, have you tried booting holding down the Option key? Does any image option show to select? Is there any strange sound/noise/whirr? Like ...____...?

It was on OS 10.4.?? I don't think any of this would work though. I can't archive and install because according to the computer, there is nothing to install it on!

yojitani
Nov 1, 2006, 11:46 PM
I think you're on the right track wanting to open it up. It's not terribly difficult for the most part and the XLR8YourMac pages are good. I find iFixit (http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Mac/) has a better layout for its guides, but maybe you can use them both. :)

Cheers for that! I knew I had seen a better layout somewhere. The iFixit pages are just what I need... now to find a #0 phillips screwdriver...

xsedrinam
Nov 2, 2006, 12:46 AM
yojitani, when you tried DiskWarrior, did you get a kernel panic? What happened that it wouldn't show anything? The Restore Disks should enable you to open DiskUtility. Did you see S.M.A.R.T = verified? Were you able to run Disk Repair from DU? Also it's curious that Target mode connected to another bootable HD would not let you use DiskUtility to attempt a Disk Repair.

Going in at least won't jeopardize your AppleCare coverage since there isn't any, but it seems like you're assuming it's a connection issue, and it doesn't seem definitive on the troubleshooting side of things to eliminate a damaged Volume or unmounted HD. Good luck with iFixit. Home Depot has the Husky Screwdriver with 5 bits including #0 and 00 Phillips for $4.97

yojitani
Nov 2, 2006, 02:02 AM
yojitani, when you tried DiskWarrior, did you get a kernel panic? What happened that it wouldn't show anything? The Restore Disks should enable you to open DiskUtility. Did you see S.M.A.R.T = verified? Were you able to run Disk Repair from DU? Also it's curious that Target mode connected to another bootable HD would not let you use DiskUtility to attempt a Disk Repair.

Going in at least won't jeopardize your AppleCare coverage since there isn't any, but it seems like you're assuming it's a connection issue, and it doesn't seem definitive on the troubleshooting side of things to eliminate a damaged Volume or unmounted HD. Good luck with iFixit. Home Depot has the Husky Screwdriver with 5 bits including #0 and 00 Phillips for $4.97

When I tried Disk Warrior I can't remember the exact message, but it was basically to the effect that 'there's no hard drive here, what do you want me to look at?'.' There was no kernal panic that I am aware of. And target mode did nothing. Didn't mount.

If I have a bit of time before I go to bed, I might switch it on and see what happens. If only I can get any program to acknowledge that there is a disk there. If it's an unmounted HD, how would I go about mounting it (why does that sound so wrong?:p )? I can't seem to get anything to acknowledge that the disk is there in any form.

Thanks for the Home Depot tip. ;)

yt

yojitani
Nov 6, 2006, 11:48 PM
Thanks for the advice thus far. I've opened up the powerbook and checked the connections - that doesn't seem to be the problem. In fact, I noticed that there are about 4 clicks that come from the HD as soon as I switch the power on and then there is a faint scraping sound. Nothing like the HD failures I've witnessed before, but my guess is that is what this is. However, what I want to check with MR about is how I can be sure that this is not a logic board problem. Aside from the fact that the HD completely does not exist for any diagnostic tool, everything else seems to be fine. But this is odd. Last HD failure I dealt with was pretty obvious. The HD started making terrible sounds and the computer wouldn't boot. However, I was able to use diskwarrior to recover most of the data. I've never seen something like this. At any rate, I'm going to need to ask the department to buy a replacement HD and I want to be as sure as I can be that my diagnosis is right.

Thanks!
yt

mad jew
Nov 7, 2006, 12:26 AM
Do you have an external drive you could use to boot from? Running from a different boot drive should be able to help you determine if it's the internal hard drive that's the problem quite quickly.

Since it behaved relatively normally when booted from the OSX discs, I think the failed hard drive might be a good diagnosis but I don't wanna get you to order a new drive only to find out that's not the problem. Of course, you could also try putting this drive in a case or another machine to see if it gets anywhere when trying to boot a different machine.

FWIW, there are failed drives and there are failed drives. The obvious ones are great because they click and whir, telling you that the thing needs replacing. Sometimes they die more subtly, which might be what's happened to you. :(

yojitani
Nov 18, 2006, 10:18 PM
Just to thank Mad Jew for his advice. It was indeed a dead HD. I booted my computer up in target disk mode connected to the powerbook and was, sure enough, able to run my system off it. That was enough info for me to recommend a new HD... which was done. I am now installing a OSX!:)

yt

mad jew
Nov 22, 2006, 01:35 AM
No worries mate. I hope it's all good now. :)