Please help me save my iBook.

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by BadlyDrawnGirl, May 17, 2009.

  1. BadlyDrawnGirl macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #1
    I have an ancient iBook G4 with the original OS 10.3 discs. Today, for the first time since I can remember, my laptop started locking up and completely freezing (no beach ball, just an utter freeze that requires a manual restart) so in a last-ditch effort to save it, since I just can't afford a replacement right now, I'm trying to reinstall the OS. The first time I managed to successfully boot from the CD and everything was fine, until it got to 61% on the installation disc check. Then it froze completely and I had to manually restart again. Now it will not boot from the CD at all - the drive does seem to try to initialize it, but eventually it just sticks on a blank blue screen and the CD drive stops spinning.

    Does anyone have any ideas on how to get the poor thing running again? Can I do a safe mode boot or anything like that?
     
  2. mcavjame macrumors 65816

    mcavjame

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Location:
    phased to this universe
    #2
    I am assuming the following:
    - you have pressed and held the power button for about ten seconds to turn off the machine
    - you have restarted the machine pressing c to boot from the CD drive

    If you have access to a friend's mac, you could reboot the machine to target mode (press t on start up), then connect the ibook to their computer with a firewire, reboot their machine with the CD and install to the computer when it is connected as an external drive.
     
  3. kornyboy macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2004
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN (USA)
    #3
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5H11 Safari/525.20)

    I'm guessing that you have a HD problem. It is a bit odd that it won't boot from the CD but that would be my guess. You'll probably have to replace the HD in order to get it working again.

    I'm not 100% sure that is the issue though. You could have a motherboard failure or something could be wrong with the disc drive. Good luck with getting it running again.
     
  4. BadlyDrawnGirl thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #4
    Yes, I have been pressing C to boot from the CD. It seems that, after the first aborted attempt, I had to leave the machine alone for at least 10 minutes before the CD would boot again - if I don't, and try it again too soon, it just sticks on the blue screen. But sometimes it WILL boot. It just freezes midway through whatever process it's doing, if it boots at all.

    I have now had three unsuccessful attempts at installing; the first froze at the disc test at 69%, the third froze at 58%. The second time I attempted to skip the disc test and go directly to the installation, but it froze at one of the language packages. So now I get the unhappy Mac face/question mark icon indicating that my OS is boinked.

    I have tried to access the hardware test from the Disc 1 CD but when I press Alt/Option, it just gives me a grey screen with the "Mac OS X Disc 1" icon in the middle, a button that looks like the circular arrow/refresh icon to the left, and a right-pointing arrow to the right. Nothing happens when I click either of them.

    Any other options? :(

    PS: I have now also reset the PRAM with no apparent benefit. I am told resetting the PMU might help as well but I'm not sure how to go about that since I can only find the instructions for a Macbook.

    PPS: Latest development, after resetting the PRAM I tried to boot to the CD again. It DID boot for about two seconds. Then the whole machine instantly clicked off. I want to cry. :(

    PPPS: Have managed to boot the CD again, but it froze once more during one of the language install packages. I chose a minimal Custom install the next time I tried it, excluding all the extras, but it froze during the Base System Part 2 bit.
     
  5. BadlyDrawnGirl thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #5
    Have repaired disk permissions with Disk Utility and ran a check on the hard drive. Everything came up okay. Install still freezing at various points (usually during the Base System bits).
     
  6. BadlyDrawnGirl thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #6
    Well, I finally had success getting the OS to install, by eliminating the BSD subsystem files as well. But when I restarted, it still just stuck on the blue screen. :( I don't understand how it could be the hard drive, as Disk Utility says it's fine.

    Anyone have ANY ideas at all?? Please? If I had the money for a new hard drive I would just buy a new laptop, but unfortunately I can't, and I'm in a foreign country, so reliant on my computer to communicate. Help...
     
  7. acurafan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    #7
    not sure how much memory you have, have you tried pulling one of the modules out - boot and let it detect the change, then put it back?; or try installing with one module.

    i'm guessing but perhaps that may work or something to do with a memory module on the fritz...:confused:
     
  8. BadlyDrawnGirl thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #8
    I have no idea about the memory module. I do have some extra RAM installed, 1GB instead of the original 256MB...but I've had this memory in for over a year with no problems.

    I also have another fairly interesting (and annoying) development to note. I finally got the computer to boot from the hard drive with the brand spanking new OS. Got really excited, did a happy dance around the room, etc. Went through the whole new registration process and everything. About five minutes later though, everything completely froze just like it did when the problems started. A manual restart results in a blank blue screen again.

    Why the hell is this happening? I read that if you zap the PRAM you'll reset the PMU in the process, but I'd like to know if that's really the case, and if not, how you go about doing it. Because it seems like, regardless of whether I'm booting from the hard drive or the CD drive, if I leave the computer alone for ten minutes or more, it boots. If I restart it and try again too quickly, it freezes on the blue screen. Does this sound like a PMU problem? Or is my logic board just fried?

    Any and all suggestions, however ridiculous (up to and including voodoo) are appreciated!!

    PS: Once again, after waiting for ten minutes it restarts just fine. But after about five minutes of use, it completely freezes again.

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.
     
  9. BadlyDrawnGirl thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #9
    I believe I have successfully reset the PMU using these instructions, still to no avail.

    ETA: I have read a few posts regarding similar issues to mine, which suggested the extra RAM as the possible culprit as well. It occurred to me that I've heard an iBook's "maximum" RAM described as 1GB, and mine is technically 1.25GB at the moment. So, once I track down a tiny screwdriver I'll try pulling the extra memory and see what happens. Will keep you updated.
     
  10. leavingwave macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Location:
    So Cal
    #10
    hi... ibook g4s have built in ram. 256mb was probably what you have built in. try replacing or taking off the 1gb stick and turn on. if it still behaves the same way.. mobo might be bad.
     
  11. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #11
    As said, the 1.25GB is fine (the most you can add is a 1GB stick, but there's already 256MB built in), though that doesn't rule out the added RAM module being bad. They're pretty easy to get at--just pull the top two tabs on the keyboard back to lift it out and lay it on the trackpad (no need to unplug the keyboard's ribbon cable), then use a screwdriver to get at the RAM module under the airport card. Look for a takeapart guide at iFixIt.com for your model for a visual guide.

    Adding, though: The fact that it refuses to work unless you let it sit for a while sounds to me like a heat issue. This doesn't really narrow it down--could be a stick of RAM overheating, the hard drive (though I'd expect other symptoms from a bad drive) or even the motherboard.

    Removing the RAM is an easy test, the hard drive not nearly so much so. And if it's the motherboard, you're better off selling it for parts on eBay than trying to repair it, unfortunately.
     
  12. ThingM macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2009
    #12
    WOW. This exact problem happened to me a few days ago and now its all better. The reason why it froze for me was because one of my ram was corrupted since i recently added an extra gb of ram. After i removed the corrupted ram and replaced it with a new one from memory express. it booted successfully. Hope it helps.

    This was when i was switching from Tiger to Leopard.

    my advice. Try removing the 1gb of your ibook and install with the 256 mb or vise versa.

    Cheers ;)
     

Share This Page