iBook HD gone? how to check?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by cheeryble, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. cheeryble macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2008
    iBook G3 nearly 7yo. Disc drive out of order a long time.


    a little history.
    I live in Thailand and a couple of years ago passed on my iBook to my girlfriend who absolutely loves it. After a while the video went. I researched and learned about the dreaded bad soldering on the video chip. Instead of melting the solder I jammed a 10 baht coin between the chip and the inner case. It worked, and my GF was happy again! Although it will occasionally not work, a little pressing on the outside case usually brings it back.
    Last week something else came along. The dreaded folder with question mark on start up. I am aware this often means the HD.
    For the moment I'm going to assume it's a separate problem to the video chip as the ?FOLDER? is actually up on the screen (though I understand simple video like this may be in the firmware or something and may not come through the video per se.
    My question is what would be a clever sequence to test the HD?
    The disc drive is no good for ages. I have an extra HD in a case with USB. I was thinking of installing OSX on the extHD and trying a startup from that but a friend says the iBook needs Firewire. (Is that true?)
    What I also have is a MacBook.
    Can I use target mode or something and start up the iBook from the MacBook HD or the MacBook disc drive thus clarifying if the iBook HD is really a goner?

    If so I'd really appreciate a clearly laid out sequence to follow. We need to make my girlfriend happy....

    ps: while we're at it am I restricted which versions of OSX will work on an iBook?

    Repeat to self.

    Someone will help me out here.

    Someone will help me out here.

  2. iMacC2D, Aug 3, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  3. cheeryble thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2008
    Trouble is the disc drive's not worked for years, and I don't have an external. But I DO have a Macbook with a good disc drive,can I hook up to that?

    I believe an iBook G3, provided we're talking about a white iBook here, will take Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X versions 10.0, 10.1, 10.2, 10.3 and 10.4. 10.5 "Leopard" and 10.6 "Snow Leopard" will not run.[/QUOTE]

    Ah! I'd like to clarify on this one as I have been told anything up to 10.5 works, and as that's what I have on the MacBook I thought I might be able to start direct from the MacBook HD (as I don't have a 10.4 install disc.) If 10.5 IS OK u think I can do that?

    thanx for the help!
  4. Giuly macrumors 68040


    Do you have any kind of OS9 or OSX CD/DVD? If so, and your external hard drive is FireWire, clone the DVD (or CD1) to the external hard drive on the MacBook and boot that one on the iBook. Then use the Disk Utility from the top menu to check the S.M.A.R.T-status of the disk.

    But under your circumstances, I'd replace the hard drive anyways. They fail, that's a fact. Sooner or later, and yours seem to have failed already. Better replace it then risking data loss again.

    And dammit, get a solder iron and fix the cold joints. Just reheat them.
  5. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601


    Sep 16, 2007
    Northeastern Ohio
    You can use the Macbook's optical disc drive in Target Disc Mode(Insert the OS-X DVD/CD into the Macbook and hold "T" while it's booting). You will not be able to use the Macbooks OS-X disc as it's specific to that machine and 10.5 Leopard will not officially install/run on a G3 Mac anyways.

    You're best bet is to locate the specific discs for a G3 iBook or find a retail disc of 10.3 Panther(3-CDs) or 10.4 Tiger(DVD). Check ebay or locally for the best prices.

    Just also remember that "shim" fix is only a temporary fix. It will fail completely eventually and no matter how many coins you put in there will get it to work again.
  6. cheeryble thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2008
    Thanks for all the advice and I'm back on the job!

    @ OrangeSVTguy:

    I read from the Apple site
    "Note: FireWire Target Disk Mode works on internal PATA or SATA drives only. Target Disk Mode only connects to the master PATA drive on the Ultra ATA bus. It will not connect to Slave ATA, ATAPI, or SCSI drives. "

    Does the optical drive fulfil these conditions?
    If so, and if it had an install disc in, would that take Target precedence over the main MacBook HD?

    Also, I have found a 10.5 install disc which I think came with the MacBook. I could probably go downtown and find an earlier disc, but might the 10.5 one I have work at least to the point of me seeing something worthwhile on the iBook screen which would let me know if it's HD was dud, or enabling disc utility for a checkup? Any danger in trying?

  7. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601


    Sep 16, 2007
    Northeastern Ohio
    10.5 will not run on the iBook G3. You need a firewire cable to connect the two laptops together and will work. The last operating system supported on your iBook is Tiger 10.4.
  8. PhelpsiPhan macrumors 6502


    Dec 31, 2009
    New Jersey
    I had on old clamshell iBook that i wanted to install tiger onto but the clamshell only had a CD drive, and my tiger install disk was a DVD.

    I put the Tiger DVD into my imac G5, booted the iMac into Target mode, then connected the iMac and iBook with a firewire cable, held down the option key on the iBook and chose the tiger DVD. Worked like a Treat!
  9. cheeryble thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2008

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