Colour ball of doom

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by biggles3332, Aug 19, 2007.

  1. biggles3332 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
    #1
    Hi everyone,
    I'm having problems with my g4 imac when i give the computer a task like mostly anything,for example transferring photos to a new folder this colour ball appears,which i know does happen for some tasks like loading any software programs,the thing is the ball never stops and then this ticking noise appears thats coming from the computer and wont stop until i have to turn the power button off to reboot,but it then it wont boot up all that appears on screen is the smiley face and a ? on the folder.
    im running tiger os x,but maybe i should be running it on os x 10.3?might that resolve the ball ticking problem or could the ticking suggest some hardware problem that needs repairing?
    hope someone here can help.
    thanks
    biggles
     
  2. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    Omaha, NE, USA
  3. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #3
    That drive needs to be checked, but I would not assume that it's ready to fail. You should start by running fsck in Singe User Mode. Here's how:

    Restart with the cmd-s keys held down, until you see a black screen with white characters. After the text stops scrolling, at the command prompt, type:

    fsck -f [including the space, return]

    If any repairs are reported, run fsck again until none are reported. Then, at the command prompt, type:

    reboot [return]
     
  4. biggles3332 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
    #4
    thanks guys
    will try that ij,well the problems not my computer but my parents and ive been told that its been going on like this for over 3 months on and off,they just leave it alone for a couple of days turn it on and it seems to work?
    hopefully it will be sorted your method reilly if not might have to go with swifts thought on this matter if it needs repairing does anyone have an idea how much it would cost to repair or replace is it going to be expensive?
     
  5. ghall macrumors 68040

    ghall

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    #5
    I'm 100% sure it's a hard drive problem. Back up all important files NOW if you haven't already, and get that Hard Drive replaced. I don't know of anyone who would do it, or how expensive it will be (I do hard drive replacements myself, so I've never had any need for an outside service). Get this done now, before the hard drive fails, or else it will be pretty darn expensive to get your stuff recovered.

    A friend of my dad's hard drive fried, and she didn't have a back up, and it cost her a small fortune to get her data recovered.
     
  6. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #6
    I'm sure not going to argue against backing up (which you should always do), but I don't see any evidence so far that would make me think that a hardware failure is imminent. These symptoms could be caused by directory errors, which are logical not mechanical. The important point to be made here is that it costs nothing to find out. Decide in haste, repent at leisure, as they say. ;)
     
  7. jaimem macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    #7
    this happened to me a while back.. and what do you know about 5 reboots later and the hard drive was fried! so defiantly look into a replacement!
     
  8. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2004
    #8
    I think a "ticking noise" is pretty much mechanical, and not made by software. ;) Totally sounds like a failing hard drive to me.

    --Eric
     
  9. CaveMac macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2007
    #9
    sounds like the drive head on your hard drive re-parking itself over and over again. I had a similar soundngg problem on one of my G3 Powerbooks many years back--a repetitive clicking-clacking sound that would come on intermittently and could only be stopped by forcing the computer to quit. Back then, the problem was due to a flaw in the Mac's power management. I was able to keep going for a few months using a utility (whose name I've forgotten), but in the end the hard drive did fail and I had to replace it. Luckily it was under apple care warranty and I was able to recover all files.
     
  10. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #10
    Not necessarily. It could be produced by a hosed directory causing the drive-head to seek madly. The drive might very well be shot, but I stick by my advice. Checking the integrity of the drive directory is fast, free, easy, and can cause no harm. If anybody knows a reason not to perform this test before going through the time and expense of replacing the drive, then I haven't heard it.
     

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