ibook boot issues

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by siPod, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. siPod macrumors newbie


    Jan 20, 2006
    Hi all.
    I hope someone can help!

    I have a much loved ibook G4 14" (late 2004??). It has just died. Well, in so much as it won't boot up. The ibook either gets as far as the apple grey screen and hangs, gets to the login screen and hangs, actually loads up finder etc and hangs or none of the above. Sometimes flashing red, blue green black.

    After lots of research online over the past few days I tried the following: I have tried safe mode (not working), starting the command prompt screen (single user and verbose modes), started open firmware, and tried booting from a CD. Nothing works as the boot gets so far then hangs. I have flashed the PRam, resetted the NVRam, and have stopped short of opening up the case to dismantle it!

    I just really want to access the hard drive now. I have tried Target disk mode and linked the ibook (pressing T) via firewire to a PowerPC G5, but the G5 doesn't recognise the ibook. System profiler on the G5 shows the target mode connected and working fine via firewire, just the icon for the ibook/target doesnt mount on the G5 desktop so I cant access it.

    Currently the boot freezes within a couple of minutes.

    I tried the hardware test CD that came with the ibook years ago, I have also tried booting from an OSX Panther CD. I'm assuming they would be bootable.

    I forgot to mention that in linking with the G5 in target mode, a disk that I put in the ibook drive appeared on the G5 desktop as an external drive, therefore I wonder why i cannot see the actual ibook drive mounted. The CD drive works as it mounted on the G5.

    Does the ibook have an actual PRam battery that can be replaced? Maybe this is an issue?

    Am I able to actually remove the hard-drive and access it as an external drive somehow?

    Does anyone have any suggestions?
    I'll buy you a pint.

    Please help!
  2. iBookG4user macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    I don't know if it is related, but there is a common logic board failure inherent to iBooks. You might see if this helps.
  3. Kpeters213 macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2009
    Well you wrote out a great description of the problem so thanks for that.

    What it seems like to me, is that your hard drive is failing.

    The reason I believe this is because:

    - When you boot up it hangs on the gray screen.
    - It doesn't show up in target disk mode.

    To actually test if it is the hard drive you can replace it with a different drive and see if it boots.


    It needs to be 2.5 inch hard drive I believe.

    Anyway if you don't have an extra hd around then I'm not really sure how to test it. I'm pretty sure its your hard drive failing.

    I guess you could try booting from an external drive (if the external drive has a bootable backup of some drive) by holding option down when you boot. Then select the external drive. If that boots up then its most likely your hd.

    If you really need the files on that drive, and you don't have a backup, than I suggest using Data Rescue 3. I've used it twice and its worked great. One time the drive actually smelled like smoke and it was not booting at all. Apple even said it couldn't be recovered. With Data Rescue 3 it scanned for 3 straight WEEKS and finally recovered a good majority of the files.

    Hopefully your drive isn't that bad. You can download the trial and scan it for free to see if it works, you just won't be able to recover them until you buy the program.
  4. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    I agree with above. Definitely sounds like HDD failure, especially since it will just hang, and the optical drive appeared as an external on your G5. Doesn't really sounds like a logic board failure, but that is still a possibility. I'd check the drive, if you can get something that will work with a 2.5" ATA/IDE (not SATA) drive

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