Can't load OS or format - Broken/Happy folder at startup

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jasonkharrison, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. jasonkharrison macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2009
    My wife has a powerbook g4 15" and last night she was coping some of her files to an external hdd and when doing so moved or deleted (I'm not sure) some system and library files. Now when you try to boot it goes straight to a gray screen with a broken/happy folder. I tried formatting from a usb external hdd (tiger and leopard) but couldn't get it to show. I don't think it will boot from usb. So I tried to load Leopard (it is on a DVD+R DL) but the cd drive spits it out. So I guess it can't read +R DL discs. I tried formatting from my Tiger DVD-R but still spits it out. I have also tried formatting from my Tiger CDs (4 CD-R's), but it still spits them out. I have tried every startup shortcut. The startup manager comes up, but it is blank (doesn't even show a harddrive) with just a refresh and arrow button. The only thing I can get to is Open Firmware. We had no problems with this computer till last night. We have had no problems with the optical drive before either.
  2. iyacyas macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2008
    USB or Firewire?

    Are you saying that you tried booting from Tiger and Leopard from a USB drive? If so how did you perform this keystrock, etc...

    Keep in mind that you can not but PPC (Powerbooks) from USB drives only Firewire. Now a Macbook which will have an intel processor will boot from USB.
  3. jasonkharrison thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2009
    I tried to boot from a USB External HDD just by plugging it up and holding option during startup. I was wanting it to show up on the startup manager but it didn't. That is when I found out that you can't boot from a USB drive. I think I will go buy a firewire external hdd real quick and try to boot from it. From what I understand, I can boot from a firewire external HDD. But if you have any suggestions before I go buy one, that would be awesome!
  4. iyacyas macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2008
    I cannot necessarily suggest a lot of them, but I do now that some external firewire cases have given problem when trying to use them as a boot drive. You may want to visit Shirt Pockets forums to see if there are any suggestions there

    It looks as if they may need to have the oxford chipset to boot properly.

    I ordered this one from newegg and it works great. If you are dealling with a 2.5" laptop drive to use in the external case then I would recommend OWC's Mercury on the go case as it is completely powered by firewire/USB and if you'd like SATA. I have this one also and it works great.

    If you have another Mac you could boot the dead machine using Target Disk Mode and maybe recover that way.
  5. jasonkharrison thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2009
    How do you recovery using Target Disk Mode? Can I fresh install that way? I have a new 8-core Mac Pro I could use for that if I knew how.
  6. jasonkharrison thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2009
    I finally got it fixed, but the only way I could get it to work is buy an external hdd that was equipped with firewire. Once I loaded the OS onto the hdd and connected it to the powerbook, it booted right up. Thanks for the help!
  7. iyacyas macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2008
    You can trouble shoot two different ways here. You will need a firewire cable to go from your Powerbook to your Mac Pro. Attach them together...

    1. Leave the Mac Pro booted and running. Power on the Powerbook and immediately press and hold the T-key until the firewire icon appears on the Powerbooks screen. If it does not appear, power off the Powerbook and try again. If and when the firewire icon appears on the Powerbooks display then you should soon see a external drive icon appear on the Mac Pro's desktop or in disk utilities. If all this goes well you can try to reinstall utilizing the Mac Pro's DVD drive or fix permissions or transfer necessary files to fix the OS on the Powerbook. You can also take this opportunity to save any other files that she did not get backed up.

    2. Attach the Powerbook and the Mac Pro together with firewire cable. Power down both the Powerbook and the Mac Pro. Then power on the Powerbook with same procedure as above the get it into firewire mode. Once you get the firewire icon on the Powerbook... Power on the Mac Pro and press and hold the option-key, this will allow you (if everything goes as planned) to choose the boot disk and boot from the Powerbooks internal drive while utilizing the target disk mode. Are you following, cause I think I am getting lost! LOL!

    If this works you should be able to verify that the OS on the Powerbook is fine. You will in essence get the Powerbooks OS displaying on the Mac Pro's monitor.

    Hope this helps.

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