Register FAQ / Rules Forum Spy Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Go Back   MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > PowerPC Macs

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Jan 16, 2011, 04:05 PM   #1
katewrath
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Santa Monica, CA
PowerBook G4 mystery -- help?!?

Hi,

I've been working through the advice of various previous posters, but now I'm stuck, and hoping someone can point me towards the next step.

My 12" PowerBook G4 is stuck on the grey Apple screen, with a spinning wheel.

I ran the disc utility, ran permissions repair, ran disc repair: everything came out roses. Everything was fine, and even though I ran disc repair to be sure, it said "No repairs needed" when it was all over.

I learned from this that my CD/DVD drive still works, my fan still works, and my screen still work, but the laptop still got stuck on the grey screen.

I reset the PRAM. No change. I safe booted. No change.

I flipped over the laptop, took out the Crucial RAM I put in about three years ago, put back the Samsung RAM I removed at the same time. No change.

I reset the PMU. No change.

Now I do another safe boot, but this time, I hit Cmd-V so I can see what's going on -- and lo and behold, I get this:

"Couldn't find root user. Sleeping and retry."

This message repeats ever 5-10 seconds for 10 minutes, and then I give up and force it off again. FWIW, the date stamp on each of these messages was Dec 31, at 4:45 p.m. This was this morning, so clearly that's not right.

As you can tell, I like to fix my own problems, but I am out of ideas now. I have moved over to a MacBook Air last November, and my data is pretty backed up, but the PowerBook is an extremely handy machine and I'd like to get it up and running.

Any thoughts? Suggestions? Ritual sacrificial offerings to the Great and Powerful Jobs?

Thanks!

Kate
katewrath is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 16, 2011, 04:12 PM   #2
Intell
macrumors P6
 
Intell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Inside
Your Mac OS X install may be corrupted. Try this:

1) Start up in Single-User by holding Command-S

2) Type "/sbin/fsck -y", hit return, then type "/sbin/mount -wu /"

3) Once you have the prompt again type "cd /var/db/"

4) The prompt will change slightly. Then type "ls" and verify that somewhere in the table of items there is the file: ".AppleSetupDone"

5) Making sure that this file is there, then you can delete it by typing "rm ./.AppleSetupDone" or move it to the root of your hard drive for safekeeping by typing "mv ./.AppleSetupDone /"

6) Once it is no longer in place, type "reboot" and the computer will restart...and the first-run video will play and prompt you to register. You don't have to fill any of this in, you can just press Command+Q, confirm the dialog, and you'll be presented with a page where you set up a new admin account. Put in whatever you want, log in, and you can change the password on your main account.
__________________
Last edited by Intell; Yesterday at 3:16 AM.
Intell is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 16, 2011, 04:36 PM   #3
katewrath
Thread Starter
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Intell,

Thanks for the advice! I did exactly as you suggested -- and doublechecked that AppleSetupDone had been moved by looking at the table of items again, and yes, it was gone. After that, I rebooted and the PowerBook restarted.

So the good news is that I can follow instructions.

The bad news is that, after 10 minutes, I am still stuck on the grey screen of death. I'm not getting to the first run video or any of those goodies.

Poop!

But thanks again for the suggestion -- for 15 minutes there, I actually felt like I was doing something to solve the problem :-)
katewrath is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 16, 2011, 04:55 PM   #4
Strimkind
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
If that didn't work, a full reinstall of OS X should fix it.

If you can get it, grab DiskWarrior, boot from the CD, and it can restore the disk to the point where you can grab all your files (make sure to have a flash drive or external hard drive handy).
Strimkind is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 16, 2011, 05:09 PM   #5
Intell
macrumors P6
 
Intell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Inside
I'm afraid that a reinstall may be the only way to save it. If you're willing to go the ultra-geek route, I'm willing to tell you how.
__________________
Last edited by Intell; Yesterday at 3:16 AM.
Intell is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 17, 2011, 12:29 AM   #6
katewrath
Thread Starter
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Aaaand a full re-install carried the day. Computer is back up and running, albeit with a 10G re-install on the already-overloaded hard drive, so now I've got to go through "Previous System," pull out the good stuff and trash the rest.

Intell & Strimkind, thank you for the words of advice. I'm almost a little sorry that I didn't see the "ultra-geek" option before I'd started the two hour reinstall process -- but now I have something to look forward to the next time the PowerBook craps out on me :-)

MacRumors forums to the rescue!! You guys are the best!
katewrath is offline   0 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > PowerPC Macs

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mystery Download xXAPPLEXx OS X Mavericks (10.9) 0 Mar 31, 2014 03:11 PM
Mystery to me Patth9 OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion 1 Nov 30, 2013 12:03 AM
Apple mystery veyske Community Discussion 6 Oct 6, 2013 07:22 AM
Power On Mystery yam MacBook 0 May 6, 2013 07:09 PM
My wifi mystery VolleMelk MacBook Pro 3 Aug 22, 2012 05:36 AM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:49 AM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC