Please Help! (question mark on startup)

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Mike Cali, May 15, 2008.

  1. Mike Cali macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    #1
    Hello, im new to this forum. I signed up basically to as a last resort to fix the problem im having.

    Ok, first off, this is an g4 running on os9, really old. i'm getting the classic question mark when i try to start up. So i used to take it to the mac store and they would fix it easily by replacing the system file -- well im pretty much on the way to doing that. im booting up throw a friends mac using os x by starting my mac as a hard drive then booting my friends computer up -- works fine but then it says "this drive doesnt have any files os x can read"

    excuse my ignorance. ive been away from my beloved macs for so many years. using a hand-me-down PC at the moment.
    anything i can do from here? all im tryna do is retrieve the data from the old g4 onto a flash drive and get rid of it.
     
  2. merl1n macrumors 65816

    merl1n

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    #2
    First, I would see if the bootloader sees the disk as being bootable. Hold down the option key when you start up until the blue screen appears. If you see your disk, select it and try to boot. Then after the boot is complete, make sure you have it set in the System Preferences as the "Startup Disk".

    If you do not see it, try reseting the PRAM.

    If after this you still can't boot, use this Apple doc to try to "rebless" your System folder.

    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=18611
     
  3. Mike Cali thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    #3
    tried all that...and that document you sent me -- it asks you to use a CD, and i forgot to mention my CD drive is broken
     
  4. merl1n macrumors 65816

    merl1n

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    #4
    Then there is not much you can do other than the following:
    1. Replace the failed CD drive or get an external CD drive (borrow one if you have to).
    2. Load OSX on it by booting it in Firewire Target Mode and connecting it to your friends computer. However you will lose all of your files.

    Not much more I can suggest to help you. If I think of something else, I'll post another msg to this thread.
     
  5. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #5
    :confused: Target disk mode shouldn't cause him to lose files (if they are still in tact) I think it may be a way to retrieve them.

    (link, BTW)
     
  6. merl1n macrumors 65816

    merl1n

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    #6
    You misread my post.

    I said if he loaded OSX he would lose his files.

    He has already tried Target disk mode and his friends Mac (OSX) can't read the files on his disk. Most likely due to OS9 using a different Apple Partition mapping than is currently used. Either way, he can't get to his files in target disk mode.
     
  7. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
  8. Mike Cali thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    #8
    damn this sucks man. i would bring itto the apple store and they would fix it in seconds, so i know theres a simple way of doing this. my old computer would just load up through their computer and they would rebless the system file.

    BTW...thanks for all the help!
     
  9. Mike Cali thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    #9
    could i use my old os disk that came with the g4 and put it on my friends mac mini -- hook it up firewire and try to someone boot off of that disk? then just snatch up my files real quick while it loads off the cd?
     
  10. Mike Cali thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    #10
    come to think of it...i dont even have the startup cd!
     
  11. merl1n macrumors 65816

    merl1n

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    #11
    Even if you had it, it wouldn't work:

    1. If your friend's Mac is an Intel or even fairly recent PPC it may not be able to boot from it.
    2. Even if his Mac could boot from it, the cd is an installer and has limited utilities and no Finder, therefore there is no way you could access or copy files from your disk.
     

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