Experts: Diagnose this crazy 12" PB G4!


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 18, 2009
Hi All,

I need your expertise in figuring out whether my 12" PB G4 is worth salvaging. I tripped over the cord a few nights ago and it came crashing to the ground, landing open in a V. I was sure the screen's hinge would be damaged, but it wasn't, and the screen appears to be a little blurry in the middle, but avoided catastrophic damage. Here's what happens, though. When I turn it on, it loads, though it takes 20 mins to get up and running. Then it loads my background picture, but nothing on my desktop. And the toolbar at the bottom shows up, but if you click an icon, the computer does the spinning wheel for about 5 mins and then the spinning wheel disappears and you're still just looking at the background picture.

I'm really upset at the prospect of having lost all of my files. At the same time, this computer is 4+ years old, so it seems silly to spend $500 on getting it fixed. Does anyone recognize what might be wrong here -- is it something I might be able to repair on my own? Or that could be done cheaply at a repair shop? Or is this poor laptop finally d-e-a-d ?

(One last thing: when I first restarted the computer after the fall, it made these crazy clanging sounds from inside the body of the computer. But it hasn't done that since, in subsequent restarts. And all restarts are done by holding the power button down, b/c while the apple menu will show up, if I click "shut down" nothing happens.)

Thanks all!! :)


macrumors newbie
Jan 9, 2009
It sounds like your hard drive may have suffered a stroke.
Try installing a new hard drive and doing a fresh install.
Then worry about moving your files if all goes well.
Check how much RAM your PowerBook sees - try reseating it.
The noise you heard coming from inside could only be the super drive.

Shake 'n' Bake

macrumors 68020
Mar 2, 2009
Probably a dying HDD. Quickly, take it out and put it in the freezer inside a freezer bag. Then go to Best Buy and get an external HDD enclosure that works with IDE. Then get a 2.5'' IDE HDD and pop it in your PowerBook.

Install your OS and restore your stuff from the frozen HDD which you put in the enclosure just a minute before.

Don't thaw the HDD.
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