G5 won't start- flashing ? folder icon...

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by sotofish, Jan 27, 2005.

  1. sotofish macrumors member

    Dec 28, 2003
    Riverside, Ca
    My computer is a Dual 2.0 G5 running OS10.3.5. Here's what happened:
    I was dragging/duplicating an image file into another folder. When I saw it was a 200mb file I realized it was the wrong one so I pushed the "stop" button. At that moment everything froze up except the mouse and the clock. I gave it a couple minutes to see if the computer would come out of it then decided to restart. The keyboard was not responding so I held in the power button on the front. When it restarted the screen flashed blue a few times, I heard some strange "clunking" noises, then the flashing ? folder came up. So I tried starting from the disk that came with it, I held down Option to get to the hardware checker program. After like 20 minutes it said my computer was fine. When I start up from the same disk and hold C, it only gives me the option of installing OSX. And I can't find my hard drive when it asks me the destination. Any ideas? Anything I should try? I'm kicking myself in the ass that I didn't get Applecare right about now.
  2. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Have you tried Disk First Aid in Disk Utilities?

    Starting up with command-s and running fsck (compete directions on screen) -- run it until it finds no more problems, then use "reboot" to restart the machine.


    Of course if the drive is clicking it may also be dead.
  3. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004

    Sounds like a failing hard drive that is so messed you cannot start from it. Get an external, install OS X onto it, and BACK UP THIS INSTANT.
  4. mischief macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2001
    Santa Cruz Ca
    I'll second both previous posts.

    When drives make rythmic clunking, scraping or pinging noises beyond their usual range of R/W/Seek noises you've got serious trouble.

    Please tell me you have AppleCare.

    If you do, in fact have AppleCare or are in your first 90 days (for free phone support) or are yet to own the G5 for a year do the following:


    Call 1-800-sos-appl

    Tell them exactly what happened and insist that you get a case number and the location of a Service Provider immediately. DO NOT let them talk you into booting the thing up on the phone. Once your disk makes those characteristic clunks it's only got a few boots left in it if any.
  5. sotofish thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 28, 2003
    Riverside, Ca
    Thanks for your suggestions. Here's what I've tried

    I followed the instructions in the G5 booklet that said to insert the disk and try Apple Hardware Test (version 2.1.1). This time I tried the Extended Test. It said:

    Airport No device found
    Logic Board Passed
    Mass Storage Passed
    Memory Passed
    Modem Device found
    Video Ram Passed

    So I restarted and tried running Disk Utility. My HD did not show up, just the CD and the DVD drive.

    I tried rebooting using Apple-S. I've never been into this text based part of the Mac, so I didn't know what to expect. It pulled up all kinds of info that I didn't understand, and at the bottom it said "-sh-2.05b#". From another forum someone said I should type "/sbin/fsck -y -f". When I did that it took a second and said a binch of stuff that seemed normal except this:

    volume header needs minor repair
    **the volume Powermac Software needs to be repaired.

    Is it talking about the CD? Should I run this without the CD? How do I eject it? The button on the keyboard does not work it seems. I'm really getting lost here.

    Another thing I tried was to install the OS on my little 1GB flash USB drive but it didn't show up as a destination for installing.

    Any ideas or new things I should try before taking her down to a repair shop?
  6. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    Go to a repair shop now. The extra spinning on the hard drive that you have inflicted may have just turned your data into garbage.

    And OS X is rather large for a 1 GB drive... normal installation is 6 GB. System 7 took up only 20 MB! Amazing, eh?





    Did I make my point? :)
  7. G5orbust macrumors 65816


    Jun 14, 2002
    That question mark folder means it cant find the start up disk. While normally Id say that your directory is probably all messed up (Youd need to buy a program like DiskWarrior to be absolutely effective in curing this), the sound worries me greatly. Any weird hard drive noise, especially banging or scraping sounds, signal impending hard drive death. Collectively, these sounds are called "the whirr of death". Get it fixed under warranty if you still have it. If not, youll just have to buy a new hard disk, which isnt the end of the world but better avoided if possible.

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