Possible hard drive crash. Need help.

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by ftaok, Jul 22, 2006.

  1. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #1
    OK,

    My iBook's (G3/500) hard drive started making funny noises a few days ago. Thinking that it was about to go, I bought an external hard drive and case. Using Super Duper, I made a clone of my hard drive.

    Good thing that I did all of that, because my hard drive just died today. At least I think it did. I came home and the iBook wasn't in sleep mode like it always is. I had to hit the power button, but it wouldn't boot. Just got the grey screen (didn't even get to the grey apple logo).

    I figured that it was OK since I have a clone and everything.

    Here's the problem. I plugged in the external drive and booted with the Option key held down. I can get to the screen where the choices of boot drive normally show up, but all I get are the l"oop arrow" and the "right arrow". The cursor stays as the "waiting" wristwatch and nothing happens.

    I've also tried booting with "C" held down with both the Apple Hardware Test CD and my OS X 10.2 install CD. Both times, I get stuck. With the AHT CD, I get a "loading" screen but nothing progresses. With the 10.2 CD, I get the grey apple logo with the pinwheel. With both methods, nothing ever loads completely.

    I also tried booting with a Firewire drive with OS 9.1 loaded to no avail.

    I took out the 512MB chip just to see if that was the problem. Nope.

    So before I take apart the iBook to remove the hard drive, does anyone know if there are any other boot keys that I haven't tried?

    I don't have access to another Mac to check Target Disk Mode, unfortunately.

    ft
     
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #2
    A failed hard drive shouldn't prevent you from booting from another disc/disk. Sorry, but I have a bad feeing your problems run deeper than the internal drive. If you can't boot from the optical drive, then maybe think about taking it in to Apple or looking really hard for another Mac to attempt Target Disk Mode with. :eek:
     
  3. ftaok thread starter macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #3
    MJ,

    Definately not what I wanted to hear. Hopefully, it's just the hard drive. I suppose I could take it to the Apple Store when I get a chance.

    ft
     
  4. ftaok thread starter macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #4
    I think you're right. I tried a couple of other boot up key sequences and nothing worked. Finally, I tried booting with "T" to put it into target disk mode.

    The Firewire logo showed up with a battery meter. I guess the hard drive is OK. Probably some other component is preventing my iBook from booting.

    Oh well, we're planning on getting a Mac mini and a new MacBook anyways. I guess we'll just have to get one sooner than later.

    ft
     
  5. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #5
    Yeah, sorry 'bout that mate. Those old G3 iBooks had pretty dodgy logic boards so at a guess, that's what's fried. :eek:

    I don't know whether it still holds, but I know a large proportion of them were being replaced by Apple free-of-charge. It might be worthwhile checking this page to see if yours is in the right set of serial numbers. :)
     
  6. ftaok thread starter macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #6
    My iBook has long since passed it's Applecare period. It's also long since passed the extended logic board replacement date. It's over 5 years old, so I guess I got my money's worth. The most amazing thing about it is that at 5 years, it's still going strong, and it wasn't necessarily a world beater when I bought it in the first place.

    In the end, we decided to purchase a new Macbook (2ghz, 60GB, Superdrive, White) for my wife. We were planning on buying one anyways, but it's just a little earlier. When it comes in, we'll check to old iBook in TDM to see if it really is the logic board or not.

    I suppose that if it is the logic board, I could replace it for about $180 and sweat equity. Or I could part it out, heck, the Airport card alone could be worth $100.

    ft
     
  7. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #7
    Is the external drive connected via USB or FireWire?
     
  8. ftaok thread starter macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #8
    FW
     
  9. sturigdson macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2006
    #9
    ftaok-

    kind of incredible- I have been dealing with nearly the same problem on the same machine [with notable differences] - a 500mhz G3 ibook - over night. Have you found any definitive issues yet?

    My experience: 500 GB ibook, but this tyke's been rescued from a garage sale- original HD was bad, so it's been replaced already with a Toshiba HD- probably about 2 years ago now. Haven't had significant problems previously other than the original bad HD.

    computer locked up, and loaded to the point of the question mark folder. I, as well, could not load up the restore disk- i had the same experience as you. Just wouldn't take.

    I was, however, able to load up with my DiskWarrior CD- and it determined that my drive had major problems. It repaired the Directory. Regardless, the drive would not boot.

    I do have a G4 Tower, so I hooked it up in target disc mode. the drive reads but does not mount. I was not able to retrieve any files or data from it. I have a full back up from a few months ago, so other than a better organized email system and some other minor documents, nothing huge has been lost.

    At this point here's my thinking: I'll restore the computer using this previous backup. So, I go to mount the drive and restore it: Nothing. Disk Utility says that there's input problems.

    So: I've determined that the computer is more useful to me as a tool than recovering the data, because I've got semi-decent backups, and I can't really afford to purchase a new computer and don't want to open it to replace the drive. I attempt to format the drive, to prepare for a clean reinstall.

    halfway through the formatting, it gives me the same input/output error.

    End of the line, I think. I believe that my hard drive has a mechanical failure. It isn't making any of the click or grinding noises you describe- noises I'm more than familiar with in other machines. But it simply won't take.

    I don't believe my problem to be logic board related at all. I've had two other ibooks [a 900mhz, and a 1ghz G4] that have both had logic board failures and Apple service replacements, both with good success thus far. I should let you know that the 900 mhz was inside the range of serial numbers for the replacement, but weeeell past the Apple replacement date, and they still did the repair. Quite congenial of them, I thought.

    Anyway- my current state is that I can't afford another laptop- this was my travelling work machine- and so I'm trying to ressurect the HD. I'm not interested in data recovery at this point. Any thoughts?

    Sorry for the long winded response, just kind of amazed that our experiences are so close, and in such a short period of time.

    Cheers.
     
  10. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #10

    Yeah it sucks, but I think you have a point. It's had its day. :(
     
  11. ftaok thread starter macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #11
    Thanks for the info. I'm waiting for the new MacBook to arrive before I do further tests. The strangest thing is that it will not boot to an external FW hard drive nor the internal combo drive. It just gets stuck. I want to verify that the hard drive is intact (it too is a replacement from the original 10 GB - I put in a Toshiba 40GB a couple of years ago).

    If it is the hard drive and not the logic board (cross fingers), then I'll probably switch the original HD back in and reload the OS. The Toshiba 40 GB is still under warranty, so I could get that replaced, theoretically.

    If it is the logic board, then maybe I should call Apple and see if they'll repair/replace it. It's a long shot, but who knows. I've been a pretty good customer for Apple, so maybe that'll help. I'll probably drop in a line about the new MacBook I just bought.

    Regarding your hard drive issues. Do you have an external case? I bought an external case for a 3.5" hard drive from Newegg. It was a the Macally FW/USB2 case (PHR-100AC). For the laptop drive, I would suggest the Macally FW/USB2 case for 2.5" drives. I have an older Coolmax 2.5" enclosure and it's buggy. The Macally case was perfect, well at least as far as I got to use it (about 2 days).

    ft
     
  12. sturigdson macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2006
    #12
    It's possible we have the same toshiba drive in our machines- i can't give you the model or serial number at the moment, but mine is a 40gb as well, and it seems like we installed them in a similar time frame.

    Strange that you can't get it to load in any fashion. I have not yet attempted to load the machine from an external, though perhaps that's my next test. I'll do that, and repost and let you know my findings.

    I have, at this point, done two nights of disk repair and verification. I've gotten it to mount on my G4 tower via FW target mode, and have had some success reformatting it- to the point where I can even verify it. However, i cannot use my back up restoration dmg or install from the original ibook restore CDs- i've gotten about 75-80% through the installations before they quit on me. I can't get any S.M.A.R.T. verification that the drive is dead yet, so I don't know, but I am equally about 80% it's my drive.

    No, I don't have an external case- I should invest, however. thanks for the tip!

    Good luck, and good luck with the Macbook when it arrives. Expectant arrival date?

    I'm going back to school this fall, and the wife and I [she is also in grad school] are debating our options- we're thinking about the low end macbook or the 15 MBP.
    Anyway. Interested to hear your thoughts on the new machine.
    I hate to see this ibook down- I share your sense that it's been a great machine for the cost up until now.
     
  13. ftaok thread starter macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #13
    Update!

    Just to update those who were reading this thread.

    We received the new MacBook on Monday and I had to do all of my chores before I could play with the new toy. It's technically my wife's MacBook, but I was way more excited about it.

    Anyways, after setting it up for her on Monday, I spent Tuesday evening copying over her iTunes library, the iPhoto library and other stuff. I also got a chance to test out the old iBook's hard drive.

    Here's what happened. I booted the iBook in TDM. Connected it to the MacBook. Nothing. I checked Disk Utility to see if it showed up there, but Disk Utility choked. So I turned off the iBook.

    Next, I tried using Migration assistant. It had a message saying that it was waiting for the ibook to "restart", so I did. Still didn't show up.

    So I'm thinking that even though it boots into TDM, it still doesn't work. So right now, it could be the hard drive, it could be the logic board. I'm hoping that it's the hard drive since that's still under warranty and I have a clone on the external.

    I'm going to take it apart this Sunday and put in the old 10GB drive to see if it's the logic board. If it does work, I'll be sending the 40GB Toshiba in for a warranty replacement. I guess that when I take the 40GB out of the iBook, I can throw it in the external case to see if it works with the Macbook. If it does, it's probably a good bet that it's the logic board.

    Anyways, that's the update.

    ft
     
  14. CuteGothTech macrumors member

    CuteGothTech

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    #14
    Yep, take it in and have a hard drive put in. Should be the cost of the drive plus the labor, they will install the OS for you.
    If its something else, like logic board, screen or anything else, and your iBook really IS out of date, then it can be shipped off to apple for repair and they will fix EVERYTHING that's wrong with it for about $350. Which if you think about it, it's like getting a new working computer for $350. Even add some RAM for a few extra bucks, and its even better. Still spending a bunch less money, and having a computer that you can use.
     
  15. ftaok thread starter macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #15
    OK,

    It wasn't the logic board. I was able to find some time to take apart the iBook.

    After removing the 40GB drive, I stuck it into an enclosure to see if the new MacBook could see it. It did. However, the iBook would not boot from it.

    I stuck the original 10GB drive back into the iBook (it has OS 9.1 on it) and it booted up fine. In fact, I was able to option-boot into the 120GB drive I recently got (with a clone of the 40GB) drive.

    So at this point, I'm convinced that it's the 40GB drive that is the problem. I figure there's something on it that's bad.

    So I try to redo the 40GB drive with the clone from the 120GB. SuperDuper ran into an error. I don't know what the error is about, but it won't write onto the 40GB HD.

    I'm going to call Toshiba to see if they'll replace the 40GB HD. I checked last night and it seems to still be under warranty.

    ft
     
  16. telecomm macrumors 65816

    telecomm

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Location:
    Rome
    #16
    While that model iBook is, of course, not immune to logic board failures, it's perhaps worth note that the 500 Mhz G3 was not part of the logic board replacement program.

    Mine, which I sold to a friend, is still going strong (with its original hard drive) after more than 5 years!
     

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