G4 restarting over & over. Cant get CMD Prompt

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by PartTimeTechGuy, Nov 23, 2013.

  1. PartTimeTechGuy macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2013
    Hello all...

    A friend, bought a PB G4 online and asked me to wipe it for him... i don't use Apple/Mac very often but, was able to find instructions online. I did the:

    /sbin/fsck -y
    /sbin/mount -usaw
    rm /var/db/.applesetupdone

    when the PB rebooted it made it to the grey apple logo screen... it spins for a minute and then all by itself reboots again. OVER AND OVER.... i let it go for an hour thinking maybe it would grab just once!

    I tried to hold CMD + S to get the command prompt again but when it goes to that screen it looks like it is going to give me the prompt and then it stops on a line "BSD root: disk0s3, major 14, minor 2" freezes for a second and then "Continuing" flashes and it rolls though about 30 lines and restarts again.

    It will not give me a prompt to even try any other commands. I do not have a repair or boot disk. I believe it was running Leopard. It will not start in safe mode, I have already tried the following with no good results:

    OPT+CMD+P+R (Nothing)
    I reset the PMU (Nothing)
    And most other common quick fixes.

    (FYI) The CD drive on the PB G4 doesn't seem to work.
    I do have a MacBook Pro and a Firewire if anyone knows a trick. But again I have no software to do an install. I have a Snow Leopard 10.6.3 disc but, if i remember correctly snow leopard will only run on an Intel machine and the PB G4 is not intel.

    PLEASE HELP ME :eek: .
    I want to help my friend but, don't want to spend money and a week doing it.

    Thank you in advance!
  2. Zotaccian macrumors 6502a


    Apr 25, 2012
    Hmm... usaw?

    Also did you type it exact, capital letters etc? AppleSetupDone ?
  3. PartTimeTechGuy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2013

    your right Zotaccian. it was "-uaw" usaw was a typo. and i don't think i did put it exactly with capitals, etc in AppleSetup.... But something worked... now the probelm is that i can't get it to go to the command prompt in single user mode when i hold CMD+S....

    What are you thinking?
  4. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    Question: did it boot normally before starting in single-user to execute those commands?

    Those commands won't wipe anything (other than the "setup done" flag). Executing them will cause the system automatically (on restart) enter the setup utility as it would do after a fresh install of the OS.

    Without an install disk for Leopard (or the original PB G4 restore discs), you won't be able to completely wipe the HDD. The best you can do is create a new user and delete the old (which also could be done while booted on the user it came with, creating the new user, rebooting, then deleting the old user).

    About the only thing I can think of doing with your MBP and FireWire Target Disk Mode would be to run Disk Utility on the G4's HDD. Startup the G4 while holding down the 'T', and it should show up as an external drive on the MBP.
  5. PartTimeTechGuy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2013
    Yes I broke it apparently.

    Yes Gr8tfly... it did boot properly when before the single user commands i entered....

    So unfortunately whatever I did manage to do to it seems to be the cause of the restarting and the loss of the prompt.

    I ran the disk utility on my MBP via firewire and it says that the PB HDD seems fine. I ran a repair etc... It made no difference on the PB. It still never makes it past the apple screen and just keeps rebooting.
  6. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    While the G4's drive is mounted on the MBP, you might be able to glen a cause by looking through the system and/or kernel logs. You'll probably need to use the Finder > Go > Go To Folder… to navigate to the G4 drive's /var/log folder. Hope it reveals something useful.

    In Go To Folder… enter the path as:
  7. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    You might have RAM that went bad.

    Remove all RAM, try one chip at a time.

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