Help: eMac won't boot, kernel panic

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by riker1384, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Location:
    West Coast
    #1
    My eMac (1ghz, 768M ram) has been running slow lately, presumably just because it's old and I browse with lots of tabs. Yesterday it was hung up, and I heard a clicking sound, sort of a "tick tock" that I've never heard before. I manually shut it down by holding the power button.

    Today I couldn't get it to start up. At one point while trying to get it to start up, I got some text about a kernel panic at one point, and I took pictures of the screen that I could post here if necessary I started up with my Mac OS 10.4 disc, and opened Disk Utility. I have a book that said I should do "repair disk," but the buttons to repair the disk, verify the permissions and so forth were all gray so I couldn't click on them and do anything.

    I have a Firewire disk I use for backups. I made it into a bootable backup a long time ago, when I was using 10.3. When I'd booted off the OSX disc, I tried to set the external drive as the startup disk, but it wasn't there as a choice. I also have a more recent backup which is stored in a sparse image (created with Superduper) on the same drive. I tried to see if I could restore that onto the internal drive using Disk Utility, but it was gray, not recognized as a volume I could restore from.

    So, how can I either repair the disk or restore from the sparse-image backup? Am I likely looking at a hardware problem?

    I do have another eMac in the house that I might be able to use until I get things figured out, but it's an older one, 700 mHz with low RAM. I think it has 10.3. If my eMac's toast I'm going to have to get a new computer, which I was planning on soon anyway.

    PS: I have a hardware test disc, but it's an older one that came with Panther. I haven't tried it yet.
     
  2. macrumors 6502

    hughvane

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Location:
    Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
    #2
    What you post reads to me like a seriously failing hard drive. Disk Warrior might be one answer, but at US$100, it's expensive.

    In the meantime, check the RAM seating in your eMac, and while you there, look at the state of the capacitors that are visible through the RAM bay. If they're bulging or leaking, you've got a logic board problem.
     
  3. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Location:
    North of The 'Nati
    #3
    You might try booting up into console mode. Hold down Apple Key+S and when the text stops appearing, type /sbin/fsck -fy and repeat that until you see "this volume appears to be OK."

    Best of luck. :)
     
  4. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Location:
    West Coast
    #4
    I tried running fsck and nothing happened. I just got another prompt immediately. I think it is the hard drive that went bad.

    I've got a backup computer running. I think the reason I couldn't boot off my Firewire drive is that I moved the System Folder and stuff into another folder other than the main directory on the drive. I'll see if putting it back helps.

    I was planning on getting a new computer. My eMac had been really slow all the time. I wonder if that's because there was something wrong with it. Or, maybe it just died because I was filling up the RAM and I had the spinning beachball all the time.

    I don't know if it's worth it to replace the drive. If I paid someone, it might cost more than the eMac is worth, and if I do it myself i might damage something. It doesn't use a 2.5" drive like the Mini, does it?
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    hughvane

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Location:
    Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
    #5
    A slow computer could be caused by a number of things, but it's usually things like 'clutter' and lack of maintenance. Have you used Onyx to give the OS etc a good clean? It really does help.

    You're right, replacing a hard drive would be a difficult job for you, but it's not impossible. Others have done it, with help from the manual and other sources like YouTube. The eMac uses a 3.5" drive.

    If the original hard drive is not in fact failing, you may wish to consider using an external USB or Firewire drive for backup and storage.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Location:
    West Coast
    #6
    No, I thought you didn't have to do that sort of thing for OSX. I thought my eMac was just slow because it's an old computer now, and I like to browse with lots of tabs open, Itunes running and a few other things.

    I'm going to go ahead and get a new computer. My eMac was already taking too much of my time, with its slowness.

    Edit: I got the Firewire drive set as the startup disk, but when I boot it it says something like "waiting for local disks," I don't remember the exact words. The progress bar just sits there at around 2/3rds done.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Location:
    West Coast
    #7
    Actually, I've fired up a spare eMac that only has 256MB RAM. I have two disks/systems I can boot off of: the original in the spare computer, and an external drive that is a year-old backup of the eMac that failed. They both have 10.3.9, but for some reason this eMac runs much faster on its own drive than from my backup drive. I don't get the beachball all the time.

    I might give that "Onyx" a look, but probably not now when I've lost the original from the other computer, and I don't have a backup of the backup.
     
  8. macrumors 6502

    hughvane

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Location:
    Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
    #8
    Then don't forget to check the RAM. Swap the sticks about, see if you can pick up some stable, used RAM sticks (PC133, 168-pin SDRAM) at auction.
     
  9. macrumors 68030

    Les Kern

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alabama
    #9
    Tick-tock? Clicking?
    Hard drive, Book it. Don't waste your time buying anything but a new drive.
    Nice thing is, they are pretty inexpensive.
    Could I be wrong? Sure. But I have 200 of them and well over 1,200 Macs I am in charge of, and what you described is dead-on hard drive failure.
     
  10. macrumors member

    nc7r

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    #10
    Haha. Internet forums make me laugh so much. You don't need to justify yourself by saying you're a APPL PROZOR because you manage some Mac's.

    Anyway,

    If it works with another drive it's very likely to be your internal that's gone. Using disk utility from the external to try and repair permissions and repair disk might be useful if you need to get some info off it.

    Failing that, wack a new drive in to it, install your OS back on it from your original disks and voila.
     

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