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X.IV

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 6, 2020
24
10
Hello, I am seeking help with an 'old school' Mac and really hope there are still people here with ppc experience.

OK, so I have a ppc iMac G5 (2005) running OS10.4.11 Tiger. I started getting random kernel panics. Restarting in safe mode and verifying hard disc in disc utility would fix it. I was told it was bad capacitors, so I ordered the necessary parts, including an external hard drive to back up. Hovever, it got to the point that the iMac wouldnt boot at all, kernel panicing at the grey screen on startup.

I replaced all the 1800uF capacitors on the MLB as most of them were bulging. (The 1000uF ones appeared OK so left them in place). All was done on an anti-static mat with earthed wristband. Hovever, the iMac still would not boot, kernel panicing at the grey screen. I disconnected the internal hard drive and found I could boot using the installation DVD. So I am assuming that the problem is the hard drive. Foolishly, my backups were not up to date and there is several months of data I wish to recover.

I have been able to get another working ppc iMac G5 to assist with this. My intention was to mount the suspect hdd as an external usb drive and attempt the disc utility with the working iMac. But the hard drive would not mount. It just spun up, made usual reading noises and spun down repeatedly. I have verified with another hard drive that the SATA/usb bridge is working and can mount on the second iMac.

I seem to have reached an impase with this. I considered instaling the hdd internally in the second iMac, but don't want to risk writing to it if it is damaged. I suspect it would just kernel panic the second machine as it did the first. I am not trying any more ideas for the time being as I realise I have a lot to learn about these old Macs.

Advice and suggestions gratefully received!

Thanks,
 

repairedCheese

macrumors 6502a
Jan 13, 2020
621
820
Honestly, it sounds like you have a dying hard drive. Since the G5 systems all use sata, you're not really using old tech. Until you can get it to mount on another computer, you won't be able to find out if you can recover your data.

Oh, and about the caps on your iMac G5, those just die, they're a part of the capacitor plague of the 2000's, the hard drive had nothing to do with that. So you're not risking anything by installing it into anything. But you should probably recap the other iMac G5 for the same reason. They are all going to have early, ugly deaths unless this is done.

Since the drive in question is a sata HFS+ drive, you can easily connect it to any modern Mac with a free SATA port. It'll just work.
 

X.IV

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 6, 2020
24
10
Thanks, that's useful to know. I'll try the HD in the scond machine and see what happens. I thought that booting caused various write operations to a journal in the HD? In the first machine the HD seemed to be causing the kernel panic, even after re capping. Kernel panic at grey screen. Remove HD, start up ok from DVD. Refit HD, panic at grey screen.
 

repairedCheese

macrumors 6502a
Jan 13, 2020
621
820
I'm going to assume the HFS+ partition got screwed up, but as it is HFS+, a stiff breeze could screw it up, journaling or no journaling. You try booting to the install dvd with the hard drive in the system? It has a copy of the Disk Utility, and assuming there's anything to rescue on that drive at all, you're going to need to use that to repair it.

Also, if you hold down option when you boot the Mac with the hard drive in it, does the boot picker see the hard drive?
 

X.IV

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 6, 2020
24
10
Ah! More homework. This is great! I'll try your suggestions this evening and let you know.
Thanks
 

repairedCheese

macrumors 6502a
Jan 13, 2020
621
820
The worst case scenario is that the hard drive is just dead. Though, unless you plugged it into another working computer, trying to boot off a usb drive off your iMac is so hit or miss that I wouldn't expect it to work at all like that. Powermacs are notorious about their inability to boot off USB, or at least, not without using some complex Open Firmware magic.

You need to get the drive to Disk Utility somehow, and there's more than one way to do that. My recommendation is to put the drive back in the computer, keep the Tiger install dvd in it, hold down the option key just to see if the bootloader can even see both drives, and boot the installer disk from that.

Then you can hopefully throw Disk Utility at it. I can't make any promises that this will work out,
 

X.IV

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 6, 2020
24
10
Thanks, I'll try that , swapping the hard drive inside the second machine. I must point out that in my last attemt to read the HD it was in an external usb enclosure and connected to the already booted and working second machine. It did not mount and did not show up in Finder, System Profiler or Disc Utility. No unusual noises. It spins but does not keep spinning.
 

repairedCheese

macrumors 6502a
Jan 13, 2020
621
820
That is not a good sign. Did you get any evidence that the machine at least saw the usb enclosure? Because if it did, you may need to start making peace with the possibility that the drive is just dead. Then the reason the other system would be failing would be because it's trying to boot off a dead drive.

If that's the case, replace it, reinstall the Mac OS, and it should be working fine.
 

X.IV

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 6, 2020
24
10
No evidence of the usb enclosure or hard drive in Disc Utility, Desktop, System Profiler or Finder. I wondered if the enclosure might be faulty but another hard drive (formatted NTFS)! Showed up in all those places. One other consideration the dodgy (original) HD is SATA 1 spec. The one that successfully mounted is SATA2. The enclosure is USB3 but compatible with USB2 as used on the G5. I have e-mailed Akasa to ask if the enclosure should recognise SATA1 HD but no reply yet.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
29,030
27,311
There is one thing to try which I have done before. Assuming the drive is dying and you have ruled out all interfaces etc…put the hard drive in a Ziploc freezer bag and place it in the freezer for at least an hour or two.

Many times drives die because the heads get stuck. Contracting the metal, as freezing will cause to happen, unsticks the heads. The freezer bag prevents any moisture in the freezer from damaging the drive externally. Just be ready to go when you pull the drive out by connecting it immediately to power and the interface.

You also need to be ready to go to transfer data. It's been my experience that you get one shot at this. The drive will remain functional and you can get the data off as long as you do not turn it off. But the moment you shut it off - it's gone. Repeated attempts at this do not work, so you just have to be ready to transfer when you pull it out of the freezer.

Just be sure there aren't any other issues first and that you've tried all your other options.
 
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X.IV

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 6, 2020
24
10
Hi. Yes I have heard that trick. Makes sense as a last resort if the heads are stuck. In my case I can hear the disc spin and the head stack moving. So I dont think the heads are stuck. It actually sounds just as it always has done. Nothing unusual except it won't stay spinning. Continually cycles fast and slow. No crashing, scraping or metallic ringing sounds. Spins up, tries to read, spins down, repeat.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
29,030
27,311
Hi. Yes I have heard that trick. Makes sense as a last resort if the heads are stuck. In my case I can hear the disc spin and the head stack moving. So I dont think the heads are stuck. It actually sounds just as it always has done. Nothing unusual except it won't stay spinning. Continually cycles fast and slow. No crashing, scraping or metallic ringing sounds. Spins up, tries to read, spins down, repeat.
Get a copy of DiskWarrior. 4.4 is the last version that you can burn to disk. Put the drive back in the G5 and boot from the DW disk. Have DW repair the drive directory. If there are hardware problems it will find them. It won't fix those, but at least you'll know what's wrong. If it can repair things then you can get your data off and then get a new drive.
 
Last edited:

X.IV

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 6, 2020
24
10
Thanks. I have no experience using Disc Warrior. What does it do that the Apple Disc Utility and Hardware Check apps doesn't? I will get it if it gives me a better chance of success.

I am planning to put the dodgy hard drive in the second (working)Mac and boot with the install dvd to access the disc utility or warrior. I have just done a 'dummy run' to make sure I have all tools in place for the (hopeful) transfer of data. Good job I did as it turns out I cannot boot from the dvd after all. I get a message 'the software cannot be installed on this computer'. So are the install discs coded to individual machines? There is no product key required like MS. My OS10.4 install dvd is the original disc supplied with my 20" iMac G5 2005 model. This is the one with the dodgy HD. The second machine (which is working well and I think the more reliable recovery option) is a 17" iMac G5 2004 model. It had OS10.4.11 already on when I got it, but no dvd's.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
29,030
27,311
Thanks. I have no experience using Disc Warrior. What does it do that the Apple Disc Utility and Hardware Check apps doesn't? I will get it if it gives me a better chance of success.

I am planning to put the dodgy hard drive in the second (working)Mac and boot with the install dvd to access the disc utility or warrior. I have just done a 'dummy run' to make sure I have all tools in place for the (hopeful) transfer of data. Good job I did as it turns out I cannot boot from the dvd after all. I get a message 'the software cannot be installed on this computer'. So are the install discs coded to individual machines? There is no product key required like MS. My OS10.4 install dvd is the original disc supplied with my 20" iMac G5 2005 model. This is the one with the dodgy HD. The second machine (which is working well and I think the more reliable recovery option) is a 17" iMac G5 2004 model. It had OS10.4.11 already on when I got it, but no dvd's.
DiskWarrior (by Alsoft) allows you to repair and replace the drive directory. Disk Utility has a minimal repair feature. It cannot repair things like the B Tree (a backup disk catalogue of your files, the A Tree being the primary) and other similar problems. DiskWarrior can. While doing this it will also repair permissions and any standard stuff Disk Utility normally does during a 'repair'. This includes hardware checks of the hard drive which Disk Utility does not do (other than checking SMART status).

If you buy it legitimately, you get support and they can walk you through keyboard shortcuts (which they do not advertise) that give the program even more powerful capabilities.

Barring an actual hardware fault, DW can rescue the drive long enough to get your data off.

Hardware Check simply checks for problems with the entire system.


PS. Their support went so far once as to send me an envelop to ship my bad drive and a good replacement drive to them. They rescued my data and sent it back to me on the good drive. I paid nothing. This was off my boss's purchase of the software.
 

X.IV

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 6, 2020
24
10
Thanks. It sounds like a good product. I had a look on their website and the current available version is not suitable for OS10.4 Tiger. As you say, I need version 4. So it's pot luck with the small ads to find an older version. I did find a local seller offering 4.1, but it is just the cd - no packaging or info. The cd looks genuine, but obviously not 'legit' so I won't get the excellent product support you describe. However, following on from my experience with the Tiger install dvd, will I even be able to use this DW4 cd, or will the software prevent itself installing on a different computer? I have not yet had an explanation of why my Tiger dvd would not boot the 17" iMac. No doubt it is obvious to the cognoscenti. :)
 

Eriamjh1138@DAN

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2007
881
929
BFE, MI
There is one thing to try which I have done before. Assuming the drive is dying and you have ruled out all interfaces etc…put the hard drive in a Ziploc freezer bag and place it in the freezer for at least an hour or two.

Many times drives die because the heads get stuck. Contracting the metal, as freezing will cause to happen, unsticks the heads. The freezer bag prevents any moisture in the freezer from damaging the drive externally. Just be ready to go when you pull the drive out by connecting it immediately to power and the interface.
I had to find a post like this to come and brag that I did this very thing and it worked. It g--d--- worked!

The drive would not spin. You could hear it try, but no whir. Overnight at 0F in a chest freezer then into the plug-in USB cradle and I'll be damned I could hear the drive trying hard to spin and it creaked to a spin and then it got up to speed and worked long enough for me to backup the data.

It took an hour and the drive was very hot to the touch afterwards, but it worked.
 
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eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
29,030
27,311
I had to find a post like this to come and brag that I did this very thing and it worked. It g--d--- worked!

The drive would not spin. You could hear it try, but no whir. Overnight at 0F in a chest freezer then into the plug-in USB cradle and I'll be damned I could hear the drive trying hard to spin and it creaked to a spin and then it got up to speed and worked long enough for me to backup the data.

It took an hour and the drive was very hot to the touch afterwards, but it worked.
Glad to hear that worked! That's really cool! (pun not intended) ?
 

Eriamjh1138@DAN

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2007
881
929
BFE, MI
Thinking back, this drive has been falling for a year or more.

Delayed clicks and slowness of the machine we’re not just a symptom of spinning up, but probably taking longer and longer to spin up because of increased friction due to bearing wear.

Ironically, no additional noise was noticeable.
 
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