Backing Up Files on an eMac that won't start!

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by gb289, Nov 4, 2004.

  1. gb289 macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2004
    My eMac is coming up with a "Restart the computer" error every time I start it. I've had it for about 60 days, so clearly I'm pretty annoyed at the problem. After attempting to use the Disk Utility to repair the drive, which failed, the support technician said that the operating system is corrupted and must be reinstalled.

    Problem is, I have essential non-system files that I know are intact, but I have no way to back them up before the reinstall. Based on some advice, I attempted to perform an "Archive and Install." The only problem is that it doesn't give me the option to preserve "User and Network settings."

    I have a Windows computer and a FireWire-based external hard drive at my disposal.

    What can a do to get these 20 or so files safe?
  2. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004

    Install macosx on te firewire drive,
    boot from the firewire drive,
    copy the files over to the firewire drive,
    get the drive (eMac) replaced
  3. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Disk Utility failed?

    If you mean that it tried fixing an error it found, and couldn't...

    Then there is a problem that is far worse than something that is fixed by a simple reinstall -- basically the file system is fragged.


    If starting in single user mode 'command-s' and running fsck (tells you what to type on the screen) and running it until you have a clean pass... or the problem is too big for it to fix (or the same error shows up time after time).

    Type 'reboot' to get out of single user mode.


    Start the machine and hold down the 'shift' key -- this is safe mode.

    See if it'll boot. You should still be able to burn your files to cd-r or cd-rw.

    Grab the data files first, then worry about the rest.

    If you didn't frag the OS install too bad, safe mode should be able to let it boot.
  4. gekko513 macrumors 603


    Oct 16, 2003
    If you know anyone with an Apple laptop that could be the easiest solution.

    You should be able to connect the two computers with a firewire cable, boot the eMac while holding the T button, this should start it up in target mode which will let you access the disk in the eMac from the laptop.

    I've just seen target mode in use once, so there may be some details here that I'm missing.
  5. gb289 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2004
    Sorry, I meant that it failed to repair the drive.

    Single-user mode also doesn't work. It freezes and the final line says "Panic: we're hanging here...."

    Likewise, safe mode doesn't work.

    cluthz, I had the same idea. Problem is, I don't know how to install OSX onto the external hard drive. My only other computer can't even read the OSX disc.

    Although now that I think about it, I might know someone with a Mac OS 10.2 laptop.
  6. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
  7. gb289 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2004
    Nope. As I said, I've only had it for two months.
  8. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    Start it up in FireWire target disk mode. Start it up while holding the 'T' key. Then plug in a FireWire cable. Congratulations! You now have a $1,000 FireWire hard disk!

    You can try to install some version of Linux onto the external hard drive... see if it will start up and read the internal disk off of that. Then copy the stuff onto the external drive. Reinstall OS X, then reconnect drive (don't start off of it) and just drag your stuff back over. Remember that you need a PPC version of Linux.

    Does anyone know if you can run something like OS 7 on newer hardware? OS 7 is a free download off of Apple's site, which you can use to boot off of. Or maybe OS 8?

    EDIT: Oh, wait... OS 7 cannot read HFS+ disks, only 8.1 and up. So you need a copy of 8.1 (preferably 8.6), and that only if you can start up a G4 based computer with OS 8.

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