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Old Dec 31, 2006, 03:59 PM   #1
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iMac G5 17" won't boot

I have a friend's 17" iMac G5 over at my house right now because it won't boot. After running Apple Disk Utility, we think there's something wrong with the hard drive. Disk Utility couldn't repair the problem, so I enlisted the help of TechTool Deluxe. I ran the tests the first time without doing a surface scan, and it couldn't repair it. Now it's scanning the surface and maybe we'll have better luck. Any ideas on another application I could try before we send it in?
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Old Dec 31, 2006, 04:06 PM   #2
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What do you mean by 'won't boot'? Could you give more detail about the problem? What exactly does it do when a boot is attempted?
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Old Dec 31, 2006, 04:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igucl View Post
What do you mean by 'won't boot'? Could you give more detail about the problem? What exactly does it do when a boot is attempted?
Sorry. The Apple boot screen appears and the gear spins. This continues normally, at least in appearance, until the fans rev up to a very high speed and it goes no further. It can be booted from other sources, such as CDs and DVDs. I'm not sure if it will go into Target Disk Mode yet.


Can an iMac G5 be booted from a USB hard drive or only a FireWire one? I have a cloned copy of my system from my iMac G5 on a USB hard drive.
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Old Dec 31, 2006, 04:36 PM   #4
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That does sound like a hard drive problem, doesn't it? Although, I was under the impression that in such a case the screen would show a question mark over the image of a hard disk. Have you tried to remove pieces of hardware one at a time? Such as memory, airport card, etc.?
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Old Dec 31, 2006, 04:44 PM   #5
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It does appear that way sometimes, and maybe most times- I'm not sure, but I do know that when my laptop's hard drive went out in 2003, it wouldn't move past the Apple logo. It however, wouldn't go into Target Disk Mode, and this one, I've just discovered, will, but TDM won't mount the HD, only the TechTool CD that's in it.

What items can I remove without voiding a warranty? I ran TechTool and everything except the HD passed- I can run the Apple Hardware Test to check the Airport card, too... I think I'll run that before I get my hands "dirty."

edit: I opened Disk Utility on the Mac it's connected to via TDM and the HD appears as not mounted and cannot be mounted via Disk Utility...
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Last edited by ingenious; Dec 31, 2006 at 04:46 PM. Reason: added information
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Old Dec 31, 2006, 04:51 PM   #6
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Sounds like DHDS (dead hard drive syndrome).

Time for a new HD *probably*. If there were important files on it your friend might be SOL, but there are some tricks like putting iin the freezer overnight.

Good luck.
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Old Dec 31, 2006, 04:54 PM   #7
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Incidentally, I do have a fine hard drive that I errantly replaced from my iMac G5 17". If it comes to that, maybe your friend would be interested in it.

The reason I replaced it was because I thought it was the source of my trouble, which turned out to be caused by my AirPort card. By the way, the hardware test did not show anything wrong with my airport card, either. As soon as I took it out, though, the problem disappeared.
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Old Dec 31, 2006, 05:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igucl View Post
Incidentally, I do have a fine hard drive that I errantly replaced from my iMac G5 17". If it comes to that, maybe your friend would be interested in it.

The reason I replaced it was because I thought it was the source of my trouble, which turned out to be caused by my AirPort card. By the way, the hardware test did not show anything wrong with my airport card, either. As soon as I took it out, though, the problem disappeared.
First, here's the error Disk Utility spit out:

Mount of [drive name] succeeded
Verify and Repair disk [drive name]
Checking HFS Plus volume.
Checking Extents Overflow file.
Checking Catalog file.
Invalid node structure
Rebuilding Catalog B-tree.
The volume [drive name] could not be repaired.

Error: The underlying task reported failure on exit


Disk Utility stopped repairing [drive name] because the following error was encountered:

The underlying task reported failure on exit
1 HFS volume checked
1 volume could not be repaired because of an error
Repair attempted on 1 volume
1 volume could not be repaired


It says the mount succeeded, but it never shows up on the desktop? What could have caused this? Simple corruption or something else? I'm oblivious to the situation before it came here. For all I know, it could have been dropped or something...

Second, is the Airport card user-serviceable? Is it just behind the back shell? Also, thanks for the offer on the drive. I'm not sure what they're wanting to do yet, so we'll have to see. Thanks for your help.
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Old Dec 31, 2006, 05:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iDuck View Post
Sounds like DHDS (dead hard drive syndrome).

Time for a new HD *probably*. If there were important files on it your friend might be SOL, but there are some tricks like putting iin the freezer overnight.

Good luck.
So is "DHDS" an iDuck invention () or a documented problem? Do you know what can cause it?
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Old Dec 31, 2006, 05:38 PM   #10
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Apple does not consider the card to be user-serviceable. That is why they would not sell me a replacement. However, I found it to be quite easy to replace. It was just a matter of getting the optical drive out of the way, which was simple - remove three brass screws and pull straight up. After that, the actual card has two small screws holding it down. Once they are removed, the card just lifts up with no effort at all. The thing to be careful about is the two antennas attached to it; one is for airport and the other is for bluetooth. I marked one with a piece of tape and remembered which side it was attached to.

For a picture of the actual card, try this link: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...8919&rd=1&rd=1

Edit: Of course, if the machine is still under warranty, I wouldn't mess with it. Mine was out of warranty, and so I was left with my own resources. By all means, take it to a Genius Bar and let them have the headache.
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Old Dec 31, 2006, 06:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ingenious View Post
So is "DHDS" an iDuck invention () or a documented problem? Do you know what can cause it?
Sounded cool at the time..Things happen when you're bored.

Causes are:
-Drops/Falls
-Magnets
-Regular wear/tear
-Green hard drive eating beings from Jupiter. The government doesn't want you to know about them.. They are called the Guado.
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Old Jan 2, 2007, 11:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iDuck View Post
Sounded cool at the time..Things happen when you're bored.

Causes are:
-Drops/Falls
-Magnets
-Regular wear/tear
-Green hard drive eating beings from Jupiter. The government doesn't want you to know about them.. They are called the Guado.
That's fine... and I definitely understand... lol... anyway... I have no idea what happened, but it was located in a dorm room, so who knows. Any one of those could have happened.
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Old Jan 3, 2007, 02:25 AM   #13
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I still think its the HD.

You can try reformating the drive and reinstalling OS X, it could have been a cataclysmic (talk about creative spelling) system failure that only rendered the HD useless on a non-physical level. I know that on Windows machines I've dealt with, it'll look as if there was a text-book HD failure, and a reformat and reinstall will make everything perfect once again. Unlikely though.. It might even be fun to try an archive and install.

In the situation of the un-named friend, lets call him Jimbo, I'd just take the thing in to an Apple Store or reseller and have it checked out. Jimbo might not want to pay too much for a diagnosis, but Jimbo's wallet (Fred) will appreiciate not having to dispense cash for a shooting-in-the-dark approach to repairing the Mac (replacing parts at random and hoping the machien runs).

That said, if I were going to pick a part at random, it would still be the HD.
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Old Jan 3, 2007, 02:34 AM   #14
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I never saw an answer to your booting question- will a G5 boot off a usb drive. You probably already discovered this, but no, it won't. There are also a number of cheap firewire drives that are not bootable. (hated making that discovery).

Which model of imac G5? w or w/o isight? ALS? Prior to isight, you could fill out online stuff, have apple send you the part, and install yourself (assuming you are still under warranty). If it is the hard drive, they want something like $500 for the new drive, and as long as the old one is bad, they don't charge you. If you send back the old one and it turns out to be good, you just bought the most expensive drive in recent history.
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