Crash...Main Hard Drive Won't Mount

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by 18thTomorrow, Jun 13, 2004.

  1. 18thTomorrow macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2004
    The Alpha Quadrant
    Here's the computer: PowerMac g3 400Mhz, 256 MB Ram, OS 10.2.6 with two Maxtor hard drives-- 40GB(OS X bootable) and 5GB(OS 9 bootable)

    Here's the story: This morning I got up and went to check the e-mail and my usually fairly stable computer had crashed during the night and was displaying nothing but a blue screen with a black pointer. No biggie, I thought, and jabbed the reset button. Two hours later I came back and it was still on the grey startup screen and obviously doing absolutely nothing. So I stuck in the OS 9 bootable cd and booted into 9.6. OS 9 wouldn't recognize the OS X hard drive. I tried to look at/repair the OS X drive with the Disk Utility on the OS X startup cd, but couldn't do very much because the drive will not mount.

    Right now I'm working unter OS 9, but I can't boot into OS X or even see the contents of the OSX drive. Any comments on how to get this machine working again? My biggest concern is saving the contents of my main HD--I have 3 months of digital photos that i haven't yet backed up on CD.
    Thanks for any advice you can give.

  2. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020


    Jul 6, 2003
    Los Angeles
    When you start up in OS 9 does it see the drive at all? If the computer sees the drive but won't mount it you have some options. Disk Warrior might save you if you have file system problems (which I suspect you do if the drive wasn't acting funny before the crash). What I would do first is make an image of the drive. If OS 9's Disk Utility won't do that, then install X on your good drive (it won't hurt the OS 9 install) and use Disk Utility to make the image. The image should mount without a problem and you can retrieve many, possibly all, of your files. I did this once with an iPod--though I only retrieved about 25% of the files. DiskWarrior might have helped.

    I just realized you'll be running low on disk space. Do you have an external drive? Access to another Mac with a larger HD and OS X?
  3. 18thTomorrow thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2004
    The Alpha Quadrant
    When I boot into OS 9, the first thing that happens is I get a dialog box saying "blahblah couldn't initialize 31.5 GB Maxtor, how would you like to proceed?" with options like initialize and do nothing. I always chose do nothing because I know initialize would destroy my files.
    Thank you for your suggestion. I don't own a larger HD myself but I have a friend and a coworker who use macs and would perhaps be willing to help me.
  4. mysquishymac macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2004
    I'm having the exact same problem. G5 with blue screen and black pointer, and I've tried starting up from the disk, reseting PRAM, everything, but I can't get past the blue screen. Any ideas on how I can solve my problem? :(
  5. BaDBoY macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2003
    could be the hard drive is completely dead. i had that situation before. if you have really important files on there, go to a profession data recoverer and they could recover the data in the hard drive. if not, try initializing it and see if that does anything...

    did you do any system modifications? that could be another reason. but you say it wont even mount. you could actaully try reinstalling mac os x on the hard drive and do an archaive and install. ive done this several times and i dunno why, but it works.

    If that doesnt work, it could definately be dead. but before doing anything drastic, take it to a tech and have it checked.
  6. Redboy macrumors member

    Jul 19, 2003
    Similar issue

    I had my G3 350 lockup during an upgrade, I was forced to restart during the lockup. Things seemed OK for a day, then the drive disappeared. I was able to mount it and run disk utility and Norton's to repair the thing, but Norton's would just freeze after finding several errors in the catalog b tree, or whatever that is. I was able to move several small files to a new drive, but all of the larger ones (aiff files from cubase :( would not move, and there would be drive failures). Now I can't even get the thing to mount again, and I may have screwed myself by not backing up my song files in the last year and losing an entire year's worth of work (play). Is it going to be cheaper for me to buy good file recovery software myself or just go to a tech to try to recover these files? If the software route - which is the best?

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