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Old Jan 19, 2013, 07:14 PM   #1
mccjim12
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iBook G4 - No Hard Drive recognized

Hello all-

I just acquired a 12" iBook G4 on ebay. It's somewhat haggard, being a former elementary school machine, but the price was right so I went ahead and bought it.

My issue is that the machine will not recognize that a hard drive is installed. It turns on and goes to an "Earth" icon followed by the old "question mark/folder" icon.

It will boot from a Firewire drive that I installed Leopard on. The drive, however, will not mount to my PowerBook via Target Disk mode.

I was thinking a logic board issue but had second thoughts given the fact that it boots from the FW drive. Perhaps a bad hard drive ribbon cable?

Many thanks in advance!

Jim
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Old Jan 19, 2013, 07:20 PM   #2
Intell
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The globe icon is it looking for a netboot image. Try resetting the PRAM to clear that as being the default device. That might bring back the internal drive. Does the internal drive show up when booted via the FireWire drive?
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 10:15 AM   #3
mccjim12
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The globe icon is it looking for a netboot image. Try resetting the PRAM to clear that as being the default device. That might bring back the internal drive. Does the internal drive show up when booted via the FireWire drive?
Thanks for the reply. I did try to reset PRAM according to Apple's website. It did not work but they did not seem to specify whether the battery needs to be removed or not. I have not tried with the battery out but I will.

Sadly, the internal drive does not show up when booting from Firewire. I do hear the drive spinning, though, oddly.

By the way, it is a 1.07 gHz with 256 MB of built in RAM. Leopard does not seem to appreciate this all that much.

Thanks again!

Last edited by mccjim12; Jan 20, 2013 at 10:41 AM. Reason: add info
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 11:37 AM   #4
Intell
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To reset the PRAM, press the power button then immediately press and hold the command, option, P, and R keys until you hear a second startup chime. It does not matter if the battery is in or not. The hard drive might be dead or the hard drive flex cable could be damaged.
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 01:27 PM   #5
seveej
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Originally Posted by mccjim12 View Post
Sadly, the internal drive does not show up when booting from Firewire. I do hear the drive spinning, though, oddly.
Drives usually start spinning whenever they are given power, so that does not imply that the machine "sees" the drive.

Possible fault locations are:
-Hard Drive controller electronics => New disk needed
-Ribbon cable (damaged or partially dislocated) => reseatment/replacement needed
-Logic board defect => ouch (but improbable as the machine works with another drive)

As the ribbon cable also supplies power to the HDD, it can not be totally broken)

You can go through these through a method of elimination, but you will have to get out your toolkit. Look for guides at ifixit.com. If you need a new cable etc. ifixit might be able to help there too.
But beware: the iBook G4 is the queen cast iron <female dog> of hard drive replacements.

RGDS,
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 07:56 PM   #6
mccjim12
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Thanks to both of you guys. It would seem I didn't do the PRAM reset right so I will try it again.

Hope it isn't the logic board, but it looks like a decent possibility.

Jim
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 09:55 PM   #7
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It's hard to say 100%, but I would guess based on your symptoms that it's the hard drive itself.
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 10:37 PM   #8
blesscheese
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Originally Posted by mccjim12 View Post
Thanks for the reply. I did try to reset PRAM according to Apple's website. It did not work but they did not seem to specify whether the battery needs to be removed or not. I have not tried with the battery out but I will.

Sadly, the internal drive does not show up when booting from Firewire. I do hear the drive spinning, though, oddly.

By the way, it is a 1.07 gHz with 256 MB of built in RAM. Leopard does not seem to appreciate this all that much.

Thanks again!
Hi,
It sounds like you are able to boot up from an external drive, correct?

When you go into the system profiler (go to the Apple menu, About this Mac, More Info) what does it say under ATA? Can you see a disk?

When you open up Disk Utility, can it find an internal disk and mount it?
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 04:21 PM   #9
mccjim12
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Hi,
It sounds like you are able to boot up from an external drive, correct?

When you go into the system profiler (go to the Apple menu, About this Mac, More Info) what does it say under ATA? Can you see a disk?

When you open up Disk Utility, can it find an internal disk and mount it?
Yeah, it does start from the FW drive, which is really just the drive that was in it when I got it. I pulled it, put it in the enclosure, and installed Leopard on it via my PowerBook. I put another HD inside the iBook and that is also not regognized.

The System Profiler only lists the CD-ROM drive for ATA devices.

Disk Utility also sees no drives other than the FW one.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 09:00 PM   #10
blesscheese
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Originally Posted by mccjim12 View Post
Yeah, it does start from the FW drive, which is really just the drive that was in it when I got it. I pulled it, put it in the enclosure, and installed Leopard on it via my PowerBook. I put another HD inside the iBook and that is also not regognized.

The System Profiler only lists the CD-ROM drive for ATA devices.

Disk Utility also sees no drives other than the FW one.
If you know the disks were working *before* you put them in, then it would seem that something on the mother board or cabling is broken or disconnected.

You will have to open it up again to see if there is something loose, or not plugged in. Then, at that point, if there is nothing obvious, it becomes something of a detective game, hunting down what is wrong.

Taking the disk out to see if it works still may also be worthwhile, just to narrow things down--since you are opening it up anyway, it won't take any longer.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 06:44 PM   #11
mccjim12
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Originally Posted by blesscheese View Post
If you know the disks were working *before* you put them in, then it would seem that something on the mother board or cabling is broken or disconnected.

You will have to open it up again to see if there is something loose, or not plugged in. Then, at that point, if there is nothing obvious, it becomes something of a detective game, hunting down what is wrong.

Taking the disk out to see if it works still may also be worthwhile, just to narrow things down--since you are opening it up anyway, it won't take any longer.
Thanks to all for your help with this. Here is the latest: I bought a HD cable on ebay for $2 and when removing the old one I discovered that the yellow tape holding it in place was partially pinched inside the socket along with the cable. I should have checked this out before buying the new cable, but oh well. I went ahead and put the new one in anyway and fired it up. I still got the net boot icon and no OS icon but upon starting it up while holding down option the HD was recognized! I just have to sort out the net boot thing which someone explained above...

Thanks again!

Jim
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 10:31 PM   #12
blesscheese
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Well, I'm glad something is working and that you can do something about it!
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