Powerbook failure, OS doesn't boot up...

Discussion in 'macOS' started by asdf123, Nov 10, 2005.

  1. asdf123 macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2004
    So here's the problem:

    About a month ago, while moving my powerbook from my desk to my bag, the harddrive started making a ferocious spinning noise, as if it was in overdrive mode or something. I didn't take to much notice to it, however it has repeatedly come back to haunt me. The only way to get rid of the racket is to lift the book to a certain degree, and then slowly drop it back to a stable degree...

    I would have taken it to an apple store immeadiately, but i am currently in Florence, Italy on a 6 month abroad study, so I didn't have a genius bar at my immeadiate disposal.

    The reason im posting this as a software issue, and prefaced this with the hardware issue, is that as of this morning, my book won't boot.

    Every time the spinning noise started, the computer would catch for a second, until i re-stabilized it to the appropriate position...thus, I am in a position to believe the disks were stuck or something, not allowing data to be read.

    When I powered my book this morning, after forcing a hard reset due to Skype crashing on me, and not force quiting, the book loaded to the gray apple screen. What usually happens next, is the spinning dial underneath the apple design...that, however, after 3 hours, has yet to show. The computer seems to be stuck at the introduction apple screen, and won't budge unless I do a hard reset. The spinning disk issue still persists, but stops if I re-stabilize.

    I'm almost convinced that the drive is f-ed, but I'd like to know if I can somehow dump the drive's contents after replacing it...though I'm convinced I can not.

    Furthermore, my iPod, the second one this month! is even more messed, as it randomly resets and wipes the drive's contents...so I can't even boot from that.

    So I guess my questions are...is there any way I can boot the OS in any other fashion? Is there a safe mode of some sort in OSX? How do I replace the hard drive myself (any guides you would recommend)? Any service centers in italy?

    What frustrates me the most, the MOST, is that i purchased this 'book, and the 4g ipod, about a year and 3 months ago...the iPod was rendered useless literally the day after the warranty ran out, and the book 14 months after. I'm very ***** frustrated, seeing as this was my first apple set-up ever, after years heralding the quality of apple products. I've run through two iPod already, and I generally take good care of them. What to do.....
  2. Darwin macrumors 65816


    Jun 2, 2003
    round the corner
    First you will want to backup the data from the machine, do you have another mac with you, with a mac you can do a target disk mode

    If you however have a PC you can move your stuff via ethernet or CD etc

    Here is a website that has guides to replaces different parts, just select the Fixit Guide and it will give you a step by step guide on how to replace your hard drive:

    PB Fixit Guides

    What your describing about the disks stopping sounds like the safety feature that activates when the computer thinks it is falling, in this case it stops the hard disk and locks the reading heads aside to prevent damage on an impact to the internal disk

    that is normal, however the rest isn't so the hard drive might have a problem but the safety feature is still working

    Come back if you need help, don't think that was as clear as it could have been :D
  3. asdf123 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2004
    yea i guess i wasn't as clear as possible...

    The problem is, the mac won't even load up the OSX, can I still back up the data in target disk mode? How do I do that?


    I have a 3g powerbook 12"...I dont believe that my hard drive has that safety feature...but it does sound like that feature is acting up. When the hard disk is making that noise, the computer pretty much freezes until i stabilize the computer....seeing as it requires stabilization, I imagine that I in fact do have this feature, and that is what is acting up.

    But what am I supposed to do to fix the computer (ie run some sort of hardware checkup software from OSX disks) if I can't even boot it up? Is there some sort of way I can force the os into booting?

    Last....any thoughts on what apple would do if I called them, or brought my book back to the store? The warranty is expired....I'm at least looking for some advice as to fixing it myself...aka disassembling the 'book and reinstalling the hard drive.
  4. Darwin macrumors 65816


    Jun 2, 2003
    round the corner
    First connect the two macs (one that works and the other that doesn't; this feature only works on Mac to Mac) together with a Firewire cable

    Then with the working machine already on switch on the damaged Mac and hold down the letter T on its keyboard

    If it works you should see a blue screen with a yellow Firewire symbol on the damaged Mac's display and the hard disk should mount on to the working mac's desktop

    Then you should be able to drag and drop you stuff from one computer to the other

    If you haven't got a brand new PowerBook then you won't have that feature, for example my one doesn't (see sig) so its possible that its just the hard disk on its last legs

    So if all your having trouble with is the OS not booting and the hard disk being noisy, and everything else like the display are still working then its going to be the Hard disk thats the cause

    I had this problem in my last PowerBook, which also was out of warranty and I had the replacement done at home by my Dad using those guides I gave you the link too

    Don't know how much it would take to have it done for you but I don't think it would be cheap

    Thats what i think anyways

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