Have I killed my G4 PowerBook's HD?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by sbornia, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. sbornia macrumors member

    Dec 4, 2007
    Hi all,

    I recently dropped my G4 PB and could use a bit of help troubleshooting the consequences. The laptop fell from about four feet, landing flat on a hardwood floor. The case is bent enough that that lid won't latch, but the screen appears to be fine.

    When I booted from the hard drive (running 10.4), I got the little question mark icon, which I take it to mean the hard drive was not immediately findable. So I booted from the original restore disk (10.3) that came with the machine five years ago, and got myself to the Disk Utility program.

    Within Disk Utility, the 74.5 GB Toshiba internal hard drive is listed in the left-hand column of available resources. When I select it and the First Aid tab, however, none of the diagnostic or repair functions within First Aid are available to be selected - they're all greyed out.

    Given this situation, what are my options? Not sure if I've killed the drive completely...if not, I'd love to figure out a way to get some files from it, even if I ultimately have to replace it.

    TIA for your advice.

  2. Albal macrumors member

    Nov 21, 2007
    I don't really know much about this stuff, having problems myself! However, if you've got another mac then you can transfer your files (assuming the drive will allow it) from this broken PB to the designated target mac.

    I am sure someone else will be able to tell you how, seeing as I don't know. Maybe use the Help function in finder and type in 'Target Disk Mode' or something.

    It does sound suspiciously like your HD is broken.
  3. joegomolski macrumors 6502


    Apr 28, 2006
    So CA
    Have I killed my G4 PowerBook's HD?

    It seems to me that the HDD could well be done for.

    If the drop was hard enough to bend the case as you described it, well it could a very tough lesson.

    This is what I would do.

    First, get an external HDD drive, and see if you can transfer any data off the G4. If so buy another HDD, and replace the original in the G4.

    Next go to an Apple Store and see if they can give you any insight.

    The problem I see is that with a drop like that, other components might also have been broken.

    Good luck, I'd hate to be in your position.
  4. forrestmc4 macrumors regular

    Sep 20, 2007
    Washington, DC
    I had a PB HD die on me due to a drop as well, the Apple staff gave me a $1,100 estimate on fixing all the case damage (only the bottom pan was damaged) and HD. They said that doing so would also bring my unit back under AppleCare warranty. At that point I said screw it and decided to replace it myself. If the case is damaged but workable, your warranty is void anyway so you could man up, buy an ATA HD and replace it yourself.

    PM me if you need any help doing the replacement. I am happy to walk you through it via iChat.
  5. sbornia thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 4, 2007
    Thanks everyone very much. I do have another Mac and an external drive, so if it comes to transferring files I should be ok. There are really only a few docs that were not backed up, and they're not super critical.

    I've never used Disk Utility before, and am wondering if the fact that the First Aid buttons -- e.g, Verify Disk, Repair Disk, etc. -- are greyed out means that the HDD is damaged past the point of a diagnostic test. That is, the system seems to know the drive is there, but it won't let me run any of the utilities on it. Any clues on that one, or should I post a question like this on the software forum?
  6. Manzana macrumors 6502a


    Jul 19, 2004
    Orange County, CA
    re disk utility, i found it to be a waste of time because when I had a disk failing it had problems running this software from the dvd.

    if you have an ipod or an exernal hd, install os x on it and try to boot from it. when you are up and running verify that nothing else is messed up with your computer, then replace the hd yourself! also i do believe that you can get a new latch mechanism.

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