I am a barely literate user of ibook g4 who has nevertheless had some success fixing serious crashes using forums such as this. So I bravely took on the cause of my friend who has a 12" model and runs Panther. At start-up, we only get an apple with spinning wheel,even in safe mode. I have reset the PRAM and PMU and have run the disk repair off the disk. I got the message that the utility has lost connection with some tool and to quit, but when I hit quit, it warns me that operations are still proceeding. I let it run overnight before finally shutting it down. So, I am guessing that I need to back-up and re-install, but how? I have a external hard disk that I use for Time Machine on my G4 running Leopard. Will that do? How do I access his data? Thanks for bearing with me. I hope this can be resolved without having to buy an expensive fixer disk.