Powerbook G4 Hard drive

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by SCIENTIST29, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. SCIENTIST29 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2012
    #1
    Hi, I have the following problem: I can't boot my powerbook g4, when attempting to reinstall the system the HD doesn't show as a target for the installation. I can boot the PB from an external drive when the internal one is disconnected. AND I can boot a different mac from my PBs drive via target disc mode- thus it is not a faulty drive. I figure it must be some sort of firmware issue or something on the logic board. Does anyone have any ideas?? Thanks
     
  2. havokalien macrumors 6502a

    havokalien

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    Kelso, Wa
    #2
    Reset pram

    Reset pram, then restart from cd and use disk utility and repair, and repair permissions then try again.
     
  3. SCIENTIST29 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2012
    #3
    The problem is that when I try disc utility from the cd, the whole thing crashes and I can't do anything...I can do this via target disc mode, however but it doesn't change anything...any other ideas??
     
  4. seveej macrumors 6502a

    seveej

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Location:
    Helsinki, Finland
    #4
    Just to be clear: You boot from the installation DVD, you open Disk Utility and the computer crashes?

    If so: Ouch! That would either point to (at minimum) a broken HDD or a bad cable. Worst case: the (PATA controller on the ) logic board is toast.
    I'd say there's no way to remedy it without opening up the machine. If you have an external enclosure for a 2,5" PATA drive, take out the HDD, plug it into another computer and see if the HDD works. If the drive works, it's either the cable or logic board, if it does not, suspicions fall on the drive.

    EDIT: Did you say target disk mode works? That would mean the drive controller can't be to blame...

    If you've never opened a PB, look for step-by-step guides on ifixit.com (they also sell parts, such as cables etc.)

    Keep us posted...

    RGDS,
     
  5. SCIENTIST29 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2012
    #5
    Target disc mode does work fine..Does that really guarrantee that the logicboard is ok? I tried a HDD from a functional pb including the cable, but also nothing...
     
  6. seveej macrumors 6502a

    seveej

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Location:
    Helsinki, Finland
    #6
    Well, the logic board may not be ok, but at least it cannot be totally toast.

    RGDS,
     
  7. SCIENTIST29 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2012
    #7
    If it was the HDD controller, could a HDD connected to the CD ROM bus via a caddie be an option or would that also not work??

     
  8. seveej macrumors 6502a

    seveej

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Location:
    Helsinki, Finland
    #8
    I must admit, I'm skating on thin ice here - Have never used target disk mode and have no insights as to how it *really* works, but, logically:
    Normal HDD use
    HDD->cable->connector->IDE controller->???->CPU
    Target disk mode:
    HDD->cable->connector->IDE controller->???->FW-port

    As you can see (given that one works, while the other does not), the problem has to be in the ??? -section, but whether using the optical bay would circumvent the problem is anyone's guess.

    You do not happen to have a FW IDE- enclosure lying around (or a FireWire disk for that matter?

    RGDS,
     
  9. SCIENTIST29 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2012
    #9
    Unfortunately not...I think however the more important thing is what is going on when the pb is booted from another computer via TD mode.
    HDD->cable->connector->IDE controller->???->FW-port-> ??? ->cpu

    HDD
     
  10. mabaker macrumors 65816

    mabaker

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    #10
    That's the same issue I am having with my PowerBook. It doesn't recognise the HDD. I suspect the PATA controller is really toast.
     
  11. SCIENTIST29 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2012
    #11
    I tried everything suggested and no luck. In the end I sold it for parts
     
  12. mabaker macrumors 65816

    mabaker

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    #12
    It's the saddest thing when you see a perfectly working laptop, sound, screen, processor and ONE single component isn't working. :( It's like a curse.
     
  13. SCIENTIST29 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2012
    #13
    Don't get me started, I was frustrated for several weeks! I got myself the 2008 macbook Pro, which is almost identical and I am 100% satisfied, the speed compared to the PB is enormous...
     

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