help needed

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by sarahsculptor, Jun 14, 2007.

  1. sarahsculptor macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2007
    hello, first post so not sure if this is correct forum so please re-direct me if needed.
    having problems with my old G3 it is freezing at the start up box when its says 'login window starting'
    have started up from my OS X disc and attmpted to perform an archive unstallation but half way through attempting to re-install it stalls as well.
    i dont want to use my software restorer discs as i assume i will lose all my files.
    any advice would be appreciated.:eek:
  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Hi Sarah
    First off, Welcome to MR. If you will make your thread titles relevant to the question that you are asking, you may get faster and better results.

    Also it will help immensely if you detail which G3 Mac you have, and what version of OS.

    If the Archive and Install is stalling half way through, then you have a problem, possibly a dying hard drive.

    Before you do ANYTHING else, you need to back up your files, pronto.

    The best way to do this, assuming your machine has a Firewire port, is to get a Firewire external hard drive. Stop what you are doing and go to the store and buy one if you have to. Your files are worth more than $150 to you, I will bet.

    Back from the store? OK. I would go ahead and install OSX onto the Firewire drive, then boot from that. Then, back up EVERYthing from the internal drive to the external, into a folder called "Backup of Internal" (that is, don't copy your original System, Users, Library etc over top of the stock ones that the OS install disk creates on the external). If it gives you occasional warnings and errors, click Continue. BUT if it stops copying saying a file could not be copied because of an actual error, beware; it will not copy the rest of the items in that folder, or the folders that you had dragged, it'll just stop. You then have to open the folder(s) and manually drag the contents over, checking that each one has made it other than the file(s) that it chokes on (those ones are probably lost).

    Then, you can proceed to either repair or to reformat and restore, the internal drive.

    When you boot from the Install CD, under the Installer or Utilities menu at the top, there is Disk Utility. You can use this to verify or Repair your hard disk. That would be the first step.

    Your machine may also have an Apple Hardware Test disk or this may be on the OSX CD (it will have instructions printed on the CD Label.) You can follow those directions and boot into the Hardware Test to see if it flags anything.

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