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View Full Version : PowerBook hard drive not recognized... replaced with new...same problem!




jgaluten
Mar 23, 2009, 10:01 PM
I came home from the airport after a short flight and opened my 15" PowerBook G4 Al 1.67GHz (i had just left it asleep) and the screen was frozen where I had left it a few hours before (the mouse moved, but it was a spinning color wheel). After force shutdown and reboot, I got the flashing '?'

I zapped the PR's ... no luck ... started with the OS install disc, and the drive did not show up in disk utility! so, i bought a new hard drive and put it in.

Same thing. Disk Utility doesn't see the drive. Now I'm wondering if it wasn't the hard drive in the first place. Is there some chance that the connection from the HD to the board is bad? How would that happen? I can hear the drive spinning...

Thanks for any help that can be offered...



nickcliborne
Mar 24, 2009, 02:16 AM
It sounds like the hard drive controller is gone on your logic board.

Do you have access to a firewire hard drive enclosure? If so I would try booting from the drive over firewire just to verify your new drive isn't also faulty.

ekoe
Mar 24, 2009, 05:32 AM
It's probably a bit cheaper to purchase an IDE to USB adaptor like this:
http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=35057&doy=24m3&C=SO&U=strat15

They're about half the price of a hard drive enclosure.

First, try running the 'Apple Hardware Test'. Insert your grey OSX install disc and hold option on startup. The startup manager will appear and will search for all bootable disk images (wait until the wristwatch icon disappears), then select Apple Hardware Test. Run the extended test.

jgaluten
Mar 24, 2009, 10:19 AM
Thanks for the responses. I held the option key with the install disc on startup, but the watch never went away and no icons came up. Eventually the CD stopped spinning and I was left with the refresh and forward arrows and a watch. Hmmm

I'll see if I can find someone who has a hard drive enclosure or USB adapter before I go buy one.

So, if it is a failed port on the logic board, that sounds costly. Is it time to save up for a new laptop?

jjahshik32
Mar 24, 2009, 03:20 PM
Sounds like you need a new macbook pro. =D

ekoe
Mar 25, 2009, 06:07 PM
Sounds like you need a new macbook pro. =D

It's not very helpful to tell someone to purchase a new Ford, and discard the old, when they report in with a bad alternator. That's is basically what you're looking at... To tell you to go purchase a new MBP is not even a very funny joke. You can fix this for a lot less then a new MBP.

You're PowerBook can last you years to come and has soo much more to offer you.

So, jjahshik32, you're outta 'time out' now, huh? :cool:

ViciousShadow21
Mar 25, 2009, 06:28 PM
So, jjahshik32, you're outta 'time out' now, huh? :cool:

so a little history between you guys huh? if he was suggesting him buying a new one that is a little quick to mention. but i think he meant he might get it replaced. or at least a new logic board replacement.

ekoe
Mar 26, 2009, 11:22 AM
No history. I thought he meant go buy a new one, which just wasn't very nice or helpful.
He was just put in time out because of a debate in the Mac Pro forum. ;)

ViciousShadow21
Mar 26, 2009, 12:08 PM
No history. I thought he meant go buy a new one, which just wasn't very nice or helpful.
He was just put in time out because of a debate in the Mac Pro forum. ;)

oh i see. well i hope the OP has successfully contacted someone about this and they got it fixed or replaced his machine.

jgaluten
Mar 29, 2009, 12:03 AM
A lot has happened since I posted the first question...

I bought an enclosure to test my original hard drive. I booted from the OSX install disc and disk utility saw the drive via the usb enclosure (no surprise... i was convinced that it was a problem with my logic board because the new drive i put in wasn't showing up) so I performed a repair just for yucks. It fixed a few problems (sorry I don't remember what they were... something about the "header" maybe?) but I didn't think much of it. So, I put the old drive back in the computer so I could return the new one (even though I'll only get a little over half of my $100 back with shipping both ways and the restocking fee) and return the enclosure (which I got at best buy down the street and they'll give me a full refund).

I turned the computer on and ... it booted up! I'm confused. What changed? Could that little repair with disk utility have made a difference? It wasn't even showing up before. And neither was the new one.

Now here's the really weird part (the reason that this is the third time I have re-written this post). The computer acted fine for about 10 minutes, and then all of the sudden went totally dark. All was quiet except for the glowing light on the front of the display latch. I held the power button for a full minute and nothing would change. I unplugged the power supply and took out the battery. Still the little light glowed in and out as if it were sleeping. It continued to do this for many minutes without the battery! Is there some residual charge in there somewhere? Eventually I was able to get it to go dark by pushing the power button. Then, I put the battery back in and was able to start the machine up again. It acted fine, and then again, after a few minutes, it suddenly went dark. My little house is deathly quiet and all that's left is that silly little glowing light.

So... ? I haven't returned the hard drive and enclosure yet... should I? I could get an external drive for much cheaper if that's what is needed.

I'm at a loss... again.