iBook G3 won't boot up - turns on, but no chime

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by chromex, Nov 20, 2006.

  1. chromex macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2003
    Hey guys,

    Late last night, I ran into some problems with my iBook G3. It's the 700 Mhz model, with 384MB of RAM. Nothing else special in terms of hardware config (unless an Airport card is special). OS X 10.2.8.

    Basically, the computer seemed to hang and I did a hard reboot, and upon starting up I got a folder with a flashing ? .

    I can't seem to find my Install disc 1 to run Disk Utility or just boot up - hopefully I will find that when I go home tonight (or maybe I left it at my parent's place), but I checked using the Hardware Test CD and it didn't detect any problems.

    I am having problems opening the CD drive, so I've had to open it using a paperclip. Sometimes it doesn't appear to be using the CD.

    I also have run the Micromat test CD that came with Applecare (of course this machine is almost 4 years old so that's finished...) and it detected a problem with the Read Buffer last night, but then I guess the battery ran out while it was on the last test.

    This morning, I ran the Read Buffer, Write Buffer, and Volume structure tests and the first two passed very fast (unlike last night), but the Volume Structure test failed. I'm not surprised since I've been aware I have issues with this before. I tried to repair before going to work but at one point it seemed to hang so I gave it another hard reboot.

    Last night, I would sometimes get the apple logo with the spinning "clock", and sometimes I would get the ? but it would never get to the login screen.

    Currently, it seems to just turn on and go to the normal blue screen but not display anything else. At some point, I have also stopped getting the startup chime, as well, which doesn't give me a good feeling.

    That being said, if both the Apple Hardware Test and the Micromat software didn't detect anything physically wrong (unless volume structure is physical), does this mean my data should still be OK? Worst case scenario, I buy a new MacBook although I just bought a ticket to Japan so it's not a good time :)

    Going to try safe mode tonight when I get home, if I can't locate my install disc and use that. (Can I boot using Install disc 2 and get to disk utilities?)

    Any other suggestions? Will continue searching as I've seen some answers to similar problems.

    One last thing, this morning, the machine loaded the Micromat CD quickly and burned through the tests I selected very fast. Last night, it was pretty slow. Probably unlikely, but maybe an issue with overheating?

    Thanks for any and all help you guys can provide! Hoping I am not completely screwed :)

  2. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    There is a known problem on the iBook g3's with the graphics chip I believe. There is a jerry rig fix for it but you have to be handy with opening iBooks and brave. Google it.
  3. mick4394 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 25, 2006
    Flyover country
    This doesn't sound like the video problem to me. I've had and repaired that one.

    Sounds to me like it's either a hard drive on its last legs or a software problem.
  4. chromex thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2003
    I hope it's not a video problem again, I actually had an issue with the display a year or more ago and got that fixed while I was still under Applecare.

    Sounds like it's probably a hard drive issue - they did notice some minor issues with the drive back when they fixed that problem.

    A couple other things of note - had a kernel panic a few weeks back, but after a hard reboot things were back to normal.

    Also, had my iPod plugged in when the problem occurred last night. It seems to be fine, but could this have caused a problem?

    Finally, if the drive is on it's "last legs" is there anything that can be done to save the data (or confirm whether it can be saved)? I'm not even sure what besides any email I would want to try and save, but it would be nice to at least be able to have the opportunity to salvage something.

    One other thing, could I boot into disk utilities using a disc from my dad's iBook G4?

  5. Mernak macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2006
    Kirkland, WA
    Sounds like the hard drive is failing to me. AFAIK the install disks for the G3/G4 iBooks should work on whetever computer and running disk utility from one of those sounds like a good idea. Not sure the exact rules on the forum on this but if that doesn't work I think you could get an install disk from a peer-to-peer network and be perfectly justified, but that is just IMHO.
  6. chromex thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2003
    I finally found my iBook install disc, but couldn't get it to boot up - it seems to always load up the Apple logo with the spinning clock (sun? gear?) but gets stuck there.

    Still no chime.

    Bought a 6 pin - 6 pin Firewire cable and will try to backup my data to my parent's iBook or iMac since the Target Mode startup seems to work.

    If it is my drive, what's the possibility of getting a new one? (Internally, I mean) Not sure how that would work on an iBook. Or am I just stuck buying a new MacBook?

    Thanks guys,

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