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Old Jul 5, 2007, 02:56 PM   #1
Mr_Ed
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HELP! Trouble booting eMac . . .

Hi all,

My girlfriend's eMac stopped booting successfully a few days ago. I thing the next step might be to reformat her hard drive ad re-install OS X, but I'm hoping there's some less drastic solution out there. I at least want to make sure I've exhausted all other options.

Here's what I know:
  1. System is a G4 eMac. 1Ghz I believe (not sure). OS 10.3.9. 256MB RAM.
  2. The computer has worked flawlessly for her and her son since she acquired it several years ago.
  3. The hard disk was far from being full (around 41% used).
  4. The computer "bongs" normally, then goes o the grey screen with the Apple logo ad spinning "gears", then just sits there indefinitely. Some hard disk activity is heard at first, then silence.
  5. I started up with OS X CDs and ran DiskUtility. It reports the volume "repaired" successfully, but subsequent "verifications" still show some problems.
  6. Started with "Option" key to see i there is some bizarre startup volume selection, but as expected, the only volume shown is "Macintosh HD."
  7. Tried to start up in "safe" mode, but never saw any kind of "Safe Mode" indication. Only got as far as it ever does (grey screen, Apple logo, spinning "gears").
  8. I started up in "verbose" mode. The last console message listed is "IP firewall loaded", and the machine just sits there.
  9. I started ip in "single user" ode, and ran 'fsck'. The result was the same as when I ran "Disk Utility."
  10. We changed the PRAM battery and reset PRAM/PMU. No effect.
  11. The computer starts up fine in "Target Disk Mode" and it looks like I can see the files on that hard disk just fine from another computer.

As I said, my next step may well be reformat/install, but I want to make sure I haven't missed anything.

Thanks in advance!
Ed
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Old Jul 5, 2007, 02:59 PM   #2
iBookG4user
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Try doing an Archive and Install, it sounds like some system files were corrupted or something to that extent.
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Old Jul 5, 2007, 03:04 PM   #3
Mr_Ed
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Oooooh!

Wow! After booting in "verbose" mode again and letting it just sit there for a long time, the following message started repeatedly scrolling out:

<date/time stuff> SystemStarter: Waiting for Apple File Service

I had not seen this before :-/
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Old Jul 7, 2007, 06:57 AM   #4
Mr_Ed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iBookG4user View Post
Try doing an Archive and Install, it sounds like some system files were corrupted or something to that extent.
Thanks for the advice. I did an "Archive and Install" from the OS 10.3 CDs as you suggested. The machine came back to life, but could not install software updates (to bring it back up to 10.3.9). It says there is a permissions problem which is weird since I had used Disk Utility to repair permissions prior to the install. Besides, the "Archive and Install" is supposed to create a whole new System folder, isn't it?

I tried running Disk Utility once again but it displayed a message saying it had to quit. I think it's looking like a reformat and install at this time.
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Old Jul 8, 2007, 03:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Ed View Post
Thanks for the advice. I did an "Archive and Install" from the OS 10.3 CDs as you suggested. The machine came back to life, but could not install software updates (to bring it back up to 10.3.9). It says there is a permissions problem which is weird since I had used Disk Utility to repair permissions prior to the install. Besides, the "Archive and Install" is supposed to create a whole new System folder, isn't it?

I tried running Disk Utility once again but it displayed a message saying it had to quit. I think it's looking like a reformat and install at this time.
Yeah, sounds like you need to do a format and install after all. But make sure you back up the data beforehand though. I would try repairing the disk from Disk Utility on the Restore Disks before I did that though.
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