iBook, I hardly knew ye... But I will greet you again! With my fellow users' help...

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Jalexster, Dec 16, 2004.

  1. Jalexster macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2004
    To begin: It's an 800Mhz iBook 12-inch, custom built with a 40GB Hard Drive, and 128MB of on-board RAM, as well as 256 of RAM in a DIMM. AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth enabled. Combo Drive.

    Ok, I boot up my iBook today, and a get a lovely picture of a folder with an alternating question mark/finder symbol on it. Now, I try not to panic, and camly put the Mac OS X install disk 1 in. I boot to it.

    Here is the fun part. I boot to disk utility. It scans for drives. One drive found: The CD/DVD combo drive. Uh oh.

    So... What happened to my Hard Drive? Did it go walkabout? or did one of the following happen:

    1. The Drive Controller, or part of the motherboard is screwed (Worst case scenario)
    2. There is a loose cable. (Best case scenario)
    3. The Drive is dead (Probaly what happened)

    So, which one is it? The drive didn't have that many important files on it. There were some MP3s, which are also on our windows desktop computer, some downloads which can be redone. Thats about it. Everything important was backed up.

    So, in the case of scenario 3; could I get a replacement drive from Apple?

    Thanks in advance for your help.
  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Well, of your three:

    1. Possible, but unlikely; Drive Controllers don't generally fail, and you'd be seeing more severe problems if the motherboard was toast in a bigger way.

    2. Highly unlikely, but not that hard to check if you're not averse to digging around inside your portable.

    3. As you said, obviously the most likely.

    Related question: do you hear it spin up? If not, then you've narrowed it down to a power issue or failed drive.

    As for the recourse, it depends whether you've got an AppleCare warranty, meaning you're still covered, or not.

    If it's under warranty, just let Apple take care of it--they'll send you a box and have it back to you usually in less than a week, all at zero cost.

    If it's not, your best bet depends on how comfortable you are poking around inside the computer; if you're fine with it, you might as well buy a spare drive and give that a shot. If not, take it to somebody and have them check.

    Or, alternately, get the drive out and take that to somebody else with a laptop or external 2.5" case to test it--if it's dead, great, if not you might have a pro check the computer before you plug in a new drive only to have it fried by some horribly power problem (admittedly very unlikely).
  3. Jalexster thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2004
    The only drive I hear working is the combo drive.

    I thought I might take it back to where I got it. The guys there were nice. They could probably open it up and take a look.
  4. maya macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2004
    somewhere between here and there.
    However you stated that all you see is a folder icon with a question mark that blinks. That sounds like a failed drive to me. It has happened to me about twice the 1st time I had to do a full system restore the second time I got lucky and just rebooted it and it read the OS package off the HDD right.

    Try restarting it a few times it might work it did for me, at times the system misread the data off the drive and thus you get this folder with a blinking question mark inviting you. :)

    All the best to you.
  5. Jalexster thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2004
    But Disk Utility dosen't see the drive. The Installer couldn't even see the drive so I could reinstall OS X.
  6. maya macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2004
    somewhere between here and there.
    It would seem as you have guessed that it is a defected HDD, call Apple for a replacement since you are still under Apple Care.

    All the best to you hope it doesn't take too long, as Apple if they can retrieve the data that you lost and put it on the new HDD. :)
  7. jimjiminyjim macrumors 6502


    Feb 24, 2003
    If you do have to get the drive replaced, you may as well upgrade it. That happened to my iMac 233 with a 2 or 4 gb drive (can't remember which). I put in a 10. Because of that and an update to the RAM, I can run Panther on it, and it is quite useable as an office computer, with all the niceties I'm used to on my home computer.
  8. MentalFabric macrumors 6502


    Mar 10, 2004
    Have you ever had to replace the HD in an iBook? It's almost impossible to open the things without causing highly noticeable damage to the case, and the HD is buried underneath pretty much everything else. You even have to take the screen off ffs. Apple really don't want people to upgrade their consumer Macs -.- This is why most of the time resellers just send portables back to Apple…

    back On Topic, It's almost certainly just a dead HD. If you know how, take the HD out and check the brand and model number, sometimes the HD comes with a longer warrantee from the people who made it… Other than that I doubt you'll get it replaced if it's not under AppleCare. Good luck!

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