Ibook on the verge of failure..SOS!

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by NuclearBiscuit, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. NuclearBiscuit macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2009

    I have a G4 Ibook that I desperately need to keep alive for another month. My doctoral quals are next month. Everything is backed up, but I have no time to replace the computer. It's running ok, but a terrible sound is intermittently coming from the left side of the keyboard--probably the HD? It varies in loudness but it sounds sort of like a rotary grinder--there's a real sound of harsh friction. It comes and goes. First, can anybody give a possible diagnosis of what this is? Second, is there anything I can do to mitigate the problem, even for just a few weeks? Third, is this terminal, and what's the prognosis?

    Thank you!
  2. uicandrew macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2006

    here is a website with sounds of hard drives failing.

    if you still have your original software install discs, you can possibly run the hardware test.

    if it is the hard drive, what you can do is get an external hard drive (i'm not sure if you can boot off of a usb hard drive since you've got a PowerPC) and bypass the bad hard drive completely.

    Superduper is the best way to make a bootable copy of your existing hard drive.
  3. NuclearBiscuit thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2009
    Thanks! it's a toshiba and it sounds like that, although not as pronounced. generally, how long will it be until it fails?
  4. uicandrew macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2006
    glad i could help.

    I don't know how long you have. It is not a good sign. My friend had a hard drive failure with her windows pc and her pc told her that her hard drive was failing. I advised her to backup her hard drive ASAP.

    If you have an external hard drive, use SuperDuper (shareware whose demo version is completely adequate).

    otherwise, use your bootdrive as sparingly as possible.
  5. ppc750fx macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2008
    Back up right this instant.

    I'm not kidding. Stop reading this and go do a full backup of everything.

    Right, now here's what you need to know:

    Your drive is going to fail. Not necessarily in the next minute, but soon. So what can you do?

    1) Don't save anything that can't afford to be lost to the internal drive. If it's even remotely important, save it to an external drive.

    2) Replace the drive as soon as possible. The iBook hard drive is a bitch to replace (you basically have to disassemble the whole thing), so if you don't have AppleCare you might want to consider paying someone replace it for you.

    3) If you don't want to pay for replacement and are willing to give it a shot on your own, use the iFixIt.com guides, be meticulous when doing the replacement, and keep track of the screws (seriously: there are a ton of the little bastards, and if you end up with some left over you're going to hate yourself during every second of the subsequent disassembly and re-assembly.) This tip is based on the experience, high blood pressure and grey hairs gained through several such replacements...

    4) If you don't want to pay for the replacement and don't feel up to the task of doing the replacement, you'll probably want to sell it on eBay or Craigslist. Someone (like myself) will buy it, swap the drive, and get some good use out of the machine. You can then take the money (probably a couple hundred) and put it towards a fancy new laptop. :)

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