Cannot find HD after reinstall

ptasker

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 15, 2005
19
0
London
After experiencing some problems with user accounts and having tried a variety of fixes I was advised (by staff at the apple store) to go for a complete "erase and install" using the Mac OS X Install discs which came bundled with my iMac G5.

All went well and to plan and I got up and running following the reinstall. I was able to set up the new user accounts and establish my internet connection. All my data was backed up so no problem. That was until the machine was next shut down.

On next startup all I would get in the middle of the screen was a small yellow folder with a "?". I tried to restart with the Install Disc 1 in the drive (hoping to be able to run some of the utilities).

Well, the disk is still in there and I can't get it out. If I restart I first have to configure the bluetooth key board and mouse, choose a language etc then follow the onscreen instructions from the installer.

The trouble is, when given the opportunity to run a disk scan, or determine where to reinstall, my Macintosh HD is not there ! All I can see is the optical disk.

This means I cant run any of the utilities to check the HD or reinstall the OS.

Have I killed it ?

Whilst all my data was backed up and I have an iBook to keep me going it's totally horrible to have my beautiful iMac sitting there unusable !

Please any help or suggestions greatly appreciated.
 

Erendiox

macrumors 6502a
Oct 15, 2004
706
12
Brooklyn NY
That's an unfortunate situation :(

I'm not quite sure how to get your HD working again, but at the very least I can tell you that if you hold down the mouse button during startup, that will force firmware to eject the CD since it's stuck in there.
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,915
1,466
Palookaville
You've probably figured this out already, but it sounds like your HD is toasted. It's a shame Apple gave you such poor advice and put you through all of this for nothing. One time Apple suggested to me a reinstall of the OS when the problem was bad RAM -- which I had to figure out on my own.
 

ptasker

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 15, 2005
19
0
London
Sounds grim...

Is this something I can remedy or does it mean the who machine is rendered useless (and therefore presumable valueless) ?

ie can I buy a new part or get it into apple for repairs ?

Thanks for the fast replies.
 

frankblundt

macrumors 65816
Sep 19, 2005
1,271
0
South of the border
If it is the HD, then you just need to get it replaced. It's not easy to DIY (if it's the non-iSight model there's a guide here or a swag of Apple ones from here), but possible.

Easily done if you take it in (which might be best given that it's not certain that it is the HD that's the problem).

Your iMac is certainly not valueless :)
 

beatsme

macrumors 65816
Oct 6, 2005
1,204
1
ptasker said:
After experiencing some problems with user accounts and having tried a variety of fixes I was advised (by staff at the apple store) to go for a complete "erase and install" using the Mac OS X Install discs which came bundled with my iMac G5.

All went well and to plan and I got up and running following the reinstall. I was able to set up the new user accounts and establish my internet connection. All my data was backed up so no problem. That was until the machine was next shut down.

On next startup all I would get in the middle of the screen was a small yellow folder with a "?". I tried to restart with the Install Disc 1 in the drive (hoping to be able to run some of the utilities).

Well, the disk is still in there and I can't get it out. If I restart I first have to configure the bluetooth key board and mouse, choose a language etc then follow the onscreen instructions from the installer.

The trouble is, when given the opportunity to run a disk scan, or determine where to reinstall, my Macintosh HD is not there ! All I can see is the optical disk.

This means I cant run any of the utilities to check the HD or reinstall the OS.

Have I killed it ?

Whilst all my data was backed up and I have an iBook to keep me going it's totally horrible to have my beautiful iMac sitting there unusable !

Please any help or suggestions greatly appreciated.
1) you might try to reset the PRAM, if you haven't already.

2) if that doesn't work, you might also try to reset the firmware.

3) if that doesn't work, you might then try replacing the PRAM battery (they should have them at your local Radio Shack), and then try steps 1 and 2 again...

EDIT: the PRAM battery is responsible for remembering critical startup information, such as where the boot drive is...it might explain your problem.
 

ptasker

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 15, 2005
19
0
London
Update to the missing HD

OK this is where I am at now...

I have replaced the Hard Drive with a new 300GB Hitachi.

I have reset the PRAM and the Firmware.

I havent yet replaced the battery. Now, I can see the HD in Disk Utility but cannot get any options on it. What is still the most frustrating is that when asked where to install the OS - the that box is still empty, so I cannot choose my new HD as a destination.

Is a new battery going to help me, or does the above throw any more light for you guys and you every valued advice !

I feel like I've almost got somewhere - but just cant find that last piece.

As always any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

beatsme

macrumors 65816
Oct 6, 2005
1,204
1
ptasker said:
OK this is where I am at now...

I have replaced the Hard Drive with a new 300GB Hitachi.

I have reset the PRAM and the Firmware.

I havent yet replaced the battery. Now, I can see the HD in Disk Utility but cannot get any options on it. What is still the most frustrating is that when asked where to install the OS - the that box is still empty, so I cannot choose my new HD as a destination.

Is a new battery going to help me, or does the above throw any more light for you guys and you every valued advice !

I feel like I've almost got somewhere - but just cant find that last piece.

As always any advice would be greatly appreciated.
you can't format the HD in disk utility? it won't let you choose the option? hmmm...

new battery never hurts, but I doubt it'd affect your HD. Battery just remembers date/time/startup configuration...in the OS9 days it had some bearing on mouse function too, though I dunno if that's still the case...
 

ptasker

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 15, 2005
19
0
London
I'll give the battery a try and get back once I have found one.
Any other thought's, ideas etc? I'm even more eager to get it working now I've spent £60 on the new drive !!!
 

beatsme

macrumors 65816
Oct 6, 2005
1,204
1
ptasker said:
I'll give the battery a try and get back once I have found one.
Any other thought's, ideas etc? I'm even more eager to get it working now I've spent £60 on the new drive !!!
I'm guessing you've tried to just install OSX on the new HD without bothering w/disk utility, right? I'm thinking the installer may put the appropriate drivers on the HD after which you may be able to choose a specific format/partition table.

will OSX let you install on the new HD?
 

ptasker

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 15, 2005
19
0
London
That's right, the installer says "Select a destination volume to install the Mac OSX software" the window below is empty.


Disk utility the HD appears on the left hand side, along with the DVD drive.
I can select the HD but the four buttons for Verify, Repair etc. remain greyed out.

Peculiar eh ?
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,915
1,466
Palookaville
ptasker said:
That's right, the installer says "Select a destination volume to install the Mac OSX software" the window below is empty.


Disk utility the HD appears on the left hand side, along with the DVD drive.
I can select the HD but the four buttons for Verify, Repair etc. remain greyed out.

Peculiar eh ?
What about "format?" The drive has to be formatted before you do any of the other things.
 

beatsme

macrumors 65816
Oct 6, 2005
1,204
1
ptasker said:
That's right, the installer says "Select a destination volume to install the Mac OSX software" the window below is empty.


Disk utility the HD appears on the left hand side, along with the DVD drive.
I can select the HD but the four buttons for Verify, Repair etc. remain greyed out.

Peculiar eh ?
I'm kinda wondering if it's the logic board that's gone kerflooey. A problem with the HD controller maybe? Have you checked the old drive to see if it is in fact toast?

Apple did have a problem with the iMac G5 logic boards, and in fact we had to have one replaced where I used to work....
 

ptasker

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 15, 2005
19
0
London
Bizare outcome

I decided to open up and make sure all the connections etc were OK for the new HD - all were fine. Whilst in there took out the battery, wrote down the serial number and put it back.

Started up again and this time only difference was I was able to format my new HD. As soon as this was done I could see it in the Installer window. Then I could install OSX and this post is the first thing I am doing on my "new" iMac !!

Who know what it could have been ? Certainly the original HD was broken and needed replacing. Why I couldnt see the new one who knows. It's been an experience though and I wouldnt have been able to make the changes etc. without all the help, guides and advice from the MacRumors community. Thanks !!

PS I've also now got to see that they are almost as beautiful on the inside !
 

swanny

macrumors regular
Nov 12, 2004
135
0
Alberta
Bad or Incompatible Ram

Well, I had a similar problem but it turned out it wasn't the HD.
I had previously doubled my RAM and it turned out that
even though they were the same brand, dif years mind you,
they were incompatible and causing my increasing number
of "kernal panics". Didn't know funky ram could do that
and even of the same make but I replaced 2 212s with 1 524
and haven't had a problem since.
You haven't replaced or added RAM recently have you?

sir
 

ptasker

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 15, 2005
19
0
London
No - didnt touch the ram at all.
It was a hardrive failure that needed me to swap.
Only other thinkg I did inside was take the battery out and put it back.