Powerbook G4 500, DVD/HD Problems

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by popsandfriends, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. popsandfriends macrumors member

    Aug 5, 2005
    I have a Powerbook G4 500mhz, and the DVD drive wont boot from any disk i try, i checked all the connections and it seems like the drive just fails. It spins the CD's but it never recognizes their booting ability. I need to boot from a OS Cd so i can restore my hard drive, and i need this problem gone by the end of the week. If I had an external CD drive could i attach it VIA usb and have the cd boot from that? Is there some key command i could use to fix the drive, or see whats wrong? The hard drive (questionmark on boot) was pulled from a wallstreet in unkown condition, could that be botching up othre things? If so, couldnt i take my hard drive from my pismo,and put it in my powerbook g4, and use it without reinstalling the OS?

    Lots of questions, hope someone has answers!

  2. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Nov 17, 2004
    The Msp
    You should be able to boot from a CD in an external drive, I've done it before. I believe you hold down "Option" while booting, and it will give you a list of bootable drives.

    You could also boot from a hardware test CD that should have come with the computer, and see what works and what doesn't on the computer.

    For starters, though, I would recommend booting from a system CD in an external drive and seeing if there's anything wrong with the hard drive by running Disk Utility.
  3. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    You can't boot from usb only firewire. With the relative ease it takes to replace a hd and optical drive on a Tibook, I'd just do both. Get new ones. Youcan always part them out or switch them out later.
  4. popsandfriends thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 5, 2005
    Is there anyway to transfer the Pismo HD with OS 10.3.9 to the powerbook safely? I cant find the link but i heard a long time ago that you could swap hard drives from macs and put them in new macs without installin the software, so basically plug and play, is this true?

    In the end i will probably be buying new parts anyways, and selling the old parts for cheap on ebay
  5. ITASOR macrumors 601


    Mar 20, 2005
    Considering you can boot one computer from another's HD using firewire target mode, I suppose you can physically swap the HD's.

    You could also boot your TiBook up from the pismo's HD over FWTargetMode™ and use the Pismo's DVD drive to install an OS on the TiBook's HD....if that's what you're trying to accomplish.
  6. Sweetfeld28 macrumors 65816


    Feb 10, 2003
    Buckeye Country, O-H

    Of course there is a simple way. Here is a great website i found while trying to fix my old iBook 500:

    Just use the Pismo Powerbook link to uninstall the hard, then go back to the guides pages, and use the install HD link for the Powerbook 500 [Mercury].

  7. popsandfriends thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 5, 2005
    Got some news. Tried doing Target Disc mode, wouldnt do it! Also, i used an external CD drive, and it would almost boot a panther disk, but then it came up with a circle w/cross icon and wouldnt go any further. I tried an os9 disk and i got no boot. Is it the hard drive that is bad? It seems like the discs cant write their software to the disk because it is too far gone. Would buying a new HD fix this?
  8. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    I think you have to hold down the option key when you are trying to boot from firewire and the "c" key when you are trying to boot, firewire also, from a cd. Try it. I've had the exact same machine and it worked for me after some time of booting.

    Then get a new hd and new optical drive. Not as much cash as you'd fear it to be and easier to install than you'd think.
  9. popsandfriends thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 5, 2005
    Yeah i need to buy a keyboard (since the one that came with it was defective), a new optical drive (hopefully a combo drive, but if that goes over 60 then im just going for a DVD drive, and a new Hard Drive. How much would an 80gb HD for a laptop be, im lookin to make this powerbook into a music center.

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