iBook G3 hard drive problems

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by diehardmacfan, Apr 22, 2007.

  1. diehardmacfan macrumors regular

    Mar 12, 2007
    I have an iBook G3 700 Combo Drive 648 megs of RAM and a 20 GB hard drive. Every now and then specifically when I'm running high processor tasks, the hard drive makes this wierd noise, which is a sequence that repeats over and over again.

    I can't tell if it is writing to the disk or reading from the disk. It makes 3 short noises, and then a long noise:

    (short - short - short - long)

    Try to imaging that noise. It is just the sound of the hard drive working.

    This will repeat itself over and over. Sometimes If I have lots of tabs open at once in safari and i open them at the same time that will happed. But after like a minute it will stop. But other times it will keep repeating that noise over and over for ever so I have to manually restart the computer forcefully. (Holding down the power button)

    The computer also freezes and I get that spinning color wheel.

    I dont know why this is happening.

    Thank you for your responses!!
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    As a start, boot from the OSX discs and use the bundled version of Disk Utility to repair the drive. If you can't find the discs, run fsck from Single User Mode.
  3. pip11 macrumors member

    Apr 29, 2005
    Your hard drive is letting you know politely that its days are numbered :eek: . Running fsck is a good idea, but only once you copy off any and all data you might want from the drive. Running a utility like SMARTReporter or DiskWarrior's SMART functionality is also a good idea, since the drive may know that it is failing. Getting beach balls while the hard drive is making uncomfortable noises is a sure sign of a hard drive having real problems--consider yourself lucky that it's giving you warning ahead of time.
  4. diehardmacfan thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 12, 2007
    darn that sucks

    I've kept this 6 year old laptop in almost perfect condition with brand new battery

    Case has no scratches. Why or why did the hard drive have to fail. Do you know if i can buy a new internal 20GB hard drive and install it my self?

  5. MarkCollette macrumors 68000


    Mar 6, 2003
    Toronto, Canada
    Bizarrely, I have the exact same computer, and I think its hard drive died today. Did you recently install the security update? Mine died right after that.
  6. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Jun 21, 2006
    Hard drives, like any complex mechanical device, are bound to eventually fall, no matter how well you take care of them. As for replacing the hard drive, you should be able to do it yourself if you are so inclined. Follow the guide on the following page for the appropriate model: http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Mac/
  7. diehardmacfan thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 12, 2007
    yeh great site

    still not sure if i should do it

    i really don't want to mess anyhting up

    if i bring it to the apple store and have the genius do it how much would it cost?

    i would get the parts i would just have them do the work

    i think if i did i would loose a screw
  8. ef651100 macrumors newbie


    Mar 22, 2007
    A 20GB harddrive might be hard to come by, may be try a 80GB? :p
  9. karichelle macrumors member


    May 26, 2006
    The cost to have a Genius replace my iBook G4's hard drive was going to be $298. That is for the original size HD which is all they can put in it unless you want to pay extra. I'm not sure if they'd be able to do it with your own parts or not. They also gave me a flyer for a local Mac shop that does repairs and they would do it for $269, with an 80gig HD. They probably would have done it if I'd brought my own parts too, for cheaper.

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