My PowerBook G4 Is having booting problems. Any help?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by yerbluez, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. yerbluez macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2009
    Hi all,

    I'm a new Mac user for about 6 months now. I bought a used PowerBook G4 15" 1.25 ghz notebook that was in good condition. It was well cared for by the previous owner. Only thing she had done was update the ram to 2 gigs.

    Recently I began to notice it running slower, programs were freezing and Garage Band couldn't run as many tracks. I installed recommended software updates before it started to get slower and I thought maybe that was the problem.

    So I attempted to do a fresh swipe of the hard drive and start from nothing. I saved some files and then tried to run the software installation cd. It didn't really help at all. I can't remember the error but it wouldn't let me reinstall OS X even when I held "c" when starting up. At one point I must have clicked run in target mode because I booted it up and it showed an unfamiliar screen. Then I restarted it once again and saw on Disk Utility that S.M.A.R.T. said something about hard drive failure.

    I've heard about these being notorious for hard drives failing but mine doesn't make any loud noises. Only problem I have is when I start it up, it either loads indefinitely with the rotating wheel, or it just sits on the empty blue start up screen.

    Anyone have any ideas about what is wrong with this thing? I've been considering buying a new hard drive and installing it but I've heard it's rather difficult on these.

    Also I have one of the boot disks in the drive and I can't seem to get it out. Any ideas on that?

    Thanks a bunch,
    Sean - Busted PB g4 1.25 ghz 15"
  2. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2008
    Tampa, Florida
    It does indeed sound like a case of a dead HDD, and yes, they are a bit of a pain to get to in the PowerBook G4s. With enough time, patience, and a few ice cube trays and sticky notes to keep track of screws, you should be fine though.

    As for getting the disk out of the optical drive, hold down the trackpad button when you boot the machine.
  3. yerbluez thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2009
    Thanks for your answer.
    I did manage to get the cd out so I appreciate the tip.
    Do you have any suggestion for a reliable hard drive? Is it possible for this model to have a 7200 instead of 5400? Also if it has a ton of space, say like 500 GB is that going to slow it down? And should it be ATA?

    BTW, what do ya mean by ice cube trays?

  4. Sirus2400 macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2008
    I think he means empty ice cube trays to keep the screws separated in after you take them out so you don't mix them up.

    You can definitely upgrade to 7200 from 5400, a larger size won't slow you down but you will have a little trouble finding large ATA-100 drives (what you need), an SATA drive WILL NOT WORK! You need the type with the pins on the end.

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