iBook G4 booting issues

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by cjones2314, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. cjones2314 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    #1
    A friend of mine brought over his 14" iBook G4, 1.33GHz, 60GB HDD and 1.25 GB RAM. The problem with it is that upon start-up, the grey screen with the apple/turning gear comes up, then after a few moments a blue screen will appear, though no box showing the start-up process.

    I've run a few basic diagnostics on this, including the lovely disk utility (which did nothing), I've run fsck, zapped the PRAM, etc, no success as of yet. At one point, I received a screen with alternating folders, one showing the smiley mac face, the other folder with a flashing "?". I cannot replicate this for the life of me.

    I have attempted to acquire files via TDM, though am not able to see the hard drive despite using 2 different laptops. Possibly the firewire cable itself is spent, though it's brand new!

    Here is where I become increasingly frustrated: I ask my friend for the boot disks as the ones for my own 12" iBook don't work (for whatever reason). He tells me that he loaded Leopard this summer (currently running 10.5.2, no updates loaded since), then proceeds to bring over boot discs for a MacBook...:headdesk:

    To begin with, it seemed like the HDD was fried, however, after running disk utility (and not hearing any negative sounds), it does appear that the HDD is fine. I'm thinking a kernel panic, though not sure how to resolve these. Anyone with any ideas? If you need more info, I'll try to get it posted in here for you.
     
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #2
    You provided lots of good detail, and I'm right there with you on the /headdesk....

    But I am confused about a couple of things...

    - If it won't boot, and its drive won't come up in TDM, how are you running disk utility on it? Fsck does the same thing anyway, and I'm guessing single user mode probably does work? But I'm curious as to how you've gotten as far as Disk Util.

    - Have you tried a safe mode boot?

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1455

    - Can you possibly try a verbose mode boot and note what you see in the text output?

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1492

    (I guess you could also take a look at the system logs from however you managed to bring the disk up)
     
  3. cjones2314 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 30, 2008
    #3
    I've gotten to disk utility via the actual macbook boot discs...as odd as that sounds. When popping the first disk in (I tried it just for kicks since my iBook discs wouldn't do anything), an error popped up indicating that I wouldn't be able to load anything, so I clicked ok or whatever (sorry, my memory is short for which buttons I clicked), but the disc did bring me to a menu where I could run disk utility as well as other menus for resetting passwords, etc.

    I've attempted safe mode boot, though I am not able to get the laptop to actually boot. I'll try again shortly just to make sure that I wasn't screwing anything up the first few times.

    I could also attempt the verbose boot and write up what I see in this thread, though a simple copy/pasta would be easier ;)
     
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #4
    Yeah, I know, it's a sucky thing to ask for. :eek: You could take a camera phone picture of it or something. :(

    So safe mode doesn't seem to work. I guess so now I should ask more directly ... you said you were able to fsck it. Does that mean it actually will boot to single user mode?

    EDIT: Couple of totally random things:

    Just on the off chance....
    http://www.techarticles.zeromu.net/...e-screen-of-deathno-bootno-user-login-window/

    And also this:
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=222380

    Apparently this can happen sometimes due to a screen resolution botch. If that's the case, you probably can fix it by booting it up to the blue screen and then plugging in an external display.
     
  5. cjones2314 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 30, 2008
    #5
    Alright...just tried safe boot a couple more times, both times the initial grey apple/turning gear screen appeared, much longer than normal, though went straight to the blue screen.

    And yes, I was able to get into single boot mode, and I have run fsck a few times. I'm thinking getting it into verbose mode would be easy as well.

    If all else fails, I could head to the Apple store (or Best Buy since it's closer) and purchase an adapter for an external display, no biggie here.

    Now...in terms of the glowworm.app...I have no idea what's installed on this iBook. Sadly, I can't even boot into Safe Mode to see if there is anything with this file name on the HDD. If I can search from single boot mode, that would be great, though I'd need step by step instruction on this (hey, I'm more than happy to tear apart an iBook, but when it comes to actual code...forget about it).

    Edit: since I don't have the original boot discs, nor a true copy of Leopard, I've got a feeling I'm a little hosed with this situation. In the OP, I indicated I'm able to boot the MacBook Disc 1, holding down the C button at startup, though I do not get anything when holding the D button down (possibly since this is an iBook and the boot disc is for a MacBook?).
     
  6. cjones2314 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 30, 2008
    #6
    And an update...

    I just attempted fsck again, though it once again showed that everything is fine....so instead of typing reboot at the command prompt, I typed exit, THEN reboot. Now I'm at the blue screen, though cycling through to a short text screen every 15 or so seconds. I'm not able to read everything completely, though the end of the one line it displays is this:

    Login Window Application Initiated

    At least I think this is what it said...the text screen would only appear for 1-2 seconds, and now is completely blank and has been for about 5 cycles.
     
  7. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #7
    Huh... you might try deleting the plist associated with the login window (see the early replies from Abstract, I think, in this thread).

    Quite the mystery! Good luck, sleuth! :)
     
  8. cjones2314 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    #8
    I have a feeling this would be infinitely easier if I could actually boot into safe mode or had the actual Leopard install DVD as opposed to MacBook discs:p

    Mkrishnan, thanks for your pointers. I'll keep playing around with what you've provided here, and if I come across anything new/foreign/absurd I'll post it here.
     
  9. cjones2314 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    #9
    One last thing before I try more things in the morning:

    Since this appears to be a firmware problem and nothing directly related to the HDD...is it possible that since my bud wants specific info from the HDD itself, to actually remove the HDD from the iBook (yes, I know, I've done this before and it's a pain) and slave it to another laptop? I've slaved HDD's on PC's before, though never before on a laptop.

    Just thought I'd throw that out there and see if it's even a possibility. If not, I'll forget I even mentioned the idea.
     
  10. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #10
    You could certainly take it out and put it in an external 2.5" enclosure, if you have one that takes PATA drives. In terms of slaving it, I guess in principle, you could slave it to another Mac that also uses PATA drives, although it may be more difficult with a notebook since it won't have any of the cabling for a second drive. Note that is PATA, and so you probably can't slave it to a Macbook or put it in a SATA 2.5" enclosure.
     
  11. cjones2314 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 30, 2008
    #11
    Ok, I guess I'll totally forget I even thought about this...considering that all I have is a PowerBook and iBook for myself. Still no success with anything as of this morning, though shortly I'll be plugging away once again.

    Thanks for your help in this, much appreciated.
     
  12. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #12
    Well, you could, if you were in for the pain, and you think it's a firmware issue, temporarily replace the hard drive in either of those with the one you pulled, and boot off it as the master drive in that computer (all iBooks and Powerbooks are PATA). Then you can burn CD/DVDs or use whatever other means to make backups of data. It would probably be cheaper to have your friend buy an external enclosure, though.
     

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