G4 Won't Boot; Don't Want to Lose Data

Discussion in 'iMac' started by washdup, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. washdup macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2010
    #1
    Hi all,

    I'm new to the forum and have a question about my daughter's G4 that is running OS 10. She uses it primarily for music and video editing and probably is pretty close to maxing out the HD, but she doesn't keep track of that sort of thing. Well, it suddenly began to refuse to start up. It gets to the grey screen with an apple and spinning dial, but goes no further. Last weekend I spent several hours researching what the problem might be. I found http://support.apple.com/kb/TS2570this thread at the Apple site and followed each step (as best as I could) and got no change. I am down to the last step now, which would be to reinstall the OS and lose everything. The next to the last option would have been to do an archive and reinstall, but unfortunately, the OS is pre-10.4 so that option is not available.

    I have read about Disk Warrior and would have been happy to try it out, but have only seen version 4 available anywhere, which does not appear to be compatible with the OS it's running. Version 3 might work, but I cannot find a copy anywhere.

    So, I ask the gurus here: is an Erase and Install the only option?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #2
    This might be a good place to start. Just exactly how much free space is left on there? You may have to boot from the install disks.
     
  3. C. Alan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    #3
    Do you have another mac around the house? The reason I am asking is because you may be able to boot it into Target mode. You will need to link both machines via an ethernet cable, and then with the healthy mac running, try to boot the sick mac while holding down the 't' key on the keyboard. A symbol that looks like a circle with three lines radiating out from it should appear on the sick mac's screen, and the hard drive should appear on the healthy mac's finder icons. You can then move some files off the hard drive of the sick mac, and see if that gets it to boot. At worst, you will be able to recover alot of the files off the sick mac's hard drive before you reinstall OSX.
     
  4. washdup thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2010
    #4
    I really don't know how much space is left. Over the weekend I did a forced start of the install disk but it didn't take me to the standard desktop. It only took me to an install scenario screen, which I was not ready to do at the time so I stopped. Is there a way to go in and take some of the excess data off the HD?
     
  5. washdup thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2010
    #5
    No, I don't have one around, but before losing all the data I will have to ask around work for someone with a macbook. Thanks for the suggestion.
     
  6. washdup thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2010
    #6
    I found someone at work with a macbook, but the ethernet port on it is broken. It does have a working USB port. Would that work?
     
  7. C. Alan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    #7
    I don't think it will work over USB, but it will work over Firewire.

    You can read more about what you need to do it here: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1661
     
  8. washdup thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2010
    #8
    Thank you! I don't know if it has a f/w port, but will check tonight when I get home. :)

    Edit: sure does. But you all already knew that I'm sure. :)
     
  9. C. Alan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    #9
    Actually, I've never owned an Apple laptop, so I was not completely sure. Good luck getting your data back!
     

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