iMac G5 Hard Drive shot?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by miked_in_canada, Aug 7, 2005.

  1. miked_in_canada macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    #1
    Well, it looks like the shine is wearing off my prize pony of a purchase. I got an iMac G5 a month or so ago and it appears the hard drive is already toast.

    That, or something else has gone catastrophically wrong somewhere inside my pretty machine.

    Here's the issue:

    1) Won't startup properly. All I get is either the blinking globe or the blinking system folder with the "?".

    2) It makes a whiny sort of squeaking noise in short bursts as I think it looks for the hard drive to spin up (sort of sounds like a really wussy alarm clock).

    3) When I boot it up from the install disk and run the disk utility, it shows a Maxtor CALYPSO HD, but won't let me run repairs on it.

    4) After re-booting it, zapping the P-RAM and running hardware tests, I'm at a complete loss as to what to do.

    5) I spoke with an Apple rep via chat and he advised be to back up my data if I could.

    Anyway, it sounds like this is something awful. I'm wondering if it might have something to do with the third party RAM I installed last month. Also, prior to this issue the computer was running really well. It was only after I added another account to the machine and left it on for two nights in a row (no sleep) that I had this issue.

    Anyway, I'm wondering if I just ran this thing until it couldn't take it anymore but the Apple rep said that was unlikely. Anyway, I'm going to remove the 3rd party RAM I put in it to see if that makes a difference, but aside from that I don't know what to do here.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #2
    Okay, run it without the RAM and try to re-select the Start Up disk (in System Preferences) as your hard disk. It sounds like it's lost your start up disk which sucks... big time. Hopefully it's all still there and it's just lost the settings to tell it to look at your hard drive first, as opposed to looking for a network which is has apparently been doing. :)
     
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #3
    Looks like you'll need to go for the warranty replacement on the hard drive. Sucks if you can't recover data, but better now than 13 months from now.

    Don't be concerned about running it overnight, they are made for that.

    Mad, what with the noise and the inability to Repair the drive with Disk Utility, I'm more pessimistic.

    Miked, if you have another Mac available, try to hook the two up with a Firewire cable and boot the iMac G5 into Target Disk Mode (hold down T throughout theboot process) If you can you May be able to scavenge your data.
     
  4. miked_in_canada thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    #4
    CanadaRAM, thanks for the suggestion. I'm going to do just that. I just need to find a cable to do it with. I think I have an ethernet one around here so maybe I'll use that.

    I just got an iBook and it looks like it will come in handy now. I'm running an extended hardware test as we speak.

    I tried adjusting the startup disk, (that's where you hold "option" when you boot it up right? -i can't get at the apple menu when i use the startup disk-) and the hard disk doesn't even show up in that list. Furthermore, when I try to adjust the startup disk via the install disk all I get are options to select the install disk for startup, or a network volume with a question mark over it.

    Luckily I'm friend with a guy who runs an outpost. I'm hoping he can manage this.

    Any and all suggestions are appreciated.
     
  5. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #5

    Yeah, rereading it I think I agree... Unfortunately. :(

    I was kind of living in hope that the RAM had somehow changed the start up disk... Somehow...
     
  6. miked_in_canada thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    #6
    Is it possible that bad RAM could have caused this to happen?

    I bought it from Summit Direct here in Canada: 1GB DDR 400 MAJOR from Infineon.

    I can't imagine that would rot the system's ability to find my HD though would it? I installed that RAM almost a month ago.
     
  7. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #7
    No, ignore what I was saying. There's only a very very slim chance it was correct (as usual :( ). RAM can potentially do that, no idea how, but it has happened before. However, I've never heard of bad RAM screwing up your hard drive.
     
  8. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #8
    No, an Ethernet cable will not do it, because the machine has to boot fully into OSX in order to network. We are hoping the Firewire Target mode will allow the the machine to boot up only far enough to allow you to access the drive. It's worth spending CAN$18 on a firewire cable to try it.
     
  9. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #9
    Strangely enough, it can. Since all data read and written to the drive passes through the RAM, if the RAM is corrupting the data, the data could be written to the drive with errors. (this is the point behind servers using error-correcting RAM.) I have run across this a couple of times in the past, bad RAM mimicking all the hallmarks of drive failure.

    However, it's a very slim chance. Worth pulling the RAM to see what happens but not worth betting the farm on.
     
  10. miked_in_canada thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    #10
    Just an update, I removed the offending third party RAM and no sign of any physical damage to the board or anything. I zapped the PRAM again and re-started.

    I should say when I "re-start" I mean a press the button on the back of the machine. I'm still getting the flashing "?."

    I just found a lengthy series of bad ram horror stories courtesy of MacInTouch and now I am out of my mind hoping I haven't lost all my data or worse: fried the logic board, corrupted the HD etc. etc. This could be a colossal pain in the ass. Especially as I'm moving August 20 and need the machine back by then.

    Do you figure they'll be sending this away or will my local outpost tech be able to keep it in house to fix it?

    Also, did you guys notice anything wrong with the specs I posted for the ram?
     
  11. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #11
    Okay, thanks CanadaRAM. But it still can't damage the drive, only some of the data on the drive, right?
     

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