PowerBook G4 help needed

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Ozfer, Jun 4, 2014.

  1. Ozfer, Jun 4, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2014

    Ozfer macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2013
    Location:
    New England
    #1
    I recently got a 17' powerbook g4 with 2GB DDR2 ram and 80GB HDD. The problem is the HDD was wiped and had no OS and the DVD drive wont boot.

    I am somewhat lost on what to do. This is pretty much the only mac I have and my windows computers can't make APM partition tables needed for PPC. I have PPC ubuntu 12.04, a morph OS cd for PPC, and mac os 10.5.6 cd for ppc. The symptoms the dvd drive had were that if you put a disk in it would make noises like it was loading but the computer would never load from it and the disk would not eject. No button combination like C could make it boot and the eject button, and holding mouse, or holding anything else would not make the cd eject. Even typing in "eject cd" in open firmware caused a error message and the disk would not eject. I tried lubricating the inside of the drive and cleaning the lens with swabs and that didn't help. The only way to get a disc out was to manually open the drive and take it out. :confused:

    Since I suspected the drive to be dead I bought another of the same model that came from a imac off ebay ( UJ-846-C) fairly cheap and replaced the drive hoping that would make it work. Now the drive makes different sounds then before but the disks still don't eject and its still not found as a boot option in the options menu and I can't get the disks to boot. I have no idea what is wrong with the drive :( .

    Since I couldn't get the drive working I tried booting off a usb dvd drive with boot commands ubuntu would somewhat load and then crash, morphos would completely not load and error out, and mac os 10.5.6 cd would show a spinning logo and never load. I figured it may be a limitation with the system booting from USB or something I have no idea.

    Since none of that was working I tied using a firewire cd drive that I had laying around. Now at least the discs will show up in the option menu when I use it but when I go to boot ubuntu the screen turns black and then goes back into a distorted options menu, when I boot morphos the screen changes to a white color and some text comes up but it fairly quickly stops loading, and I can't try mac in it because it uses dual layer dvd and its only a cd drive.

    Having none of that work I tried just restoring a disk image of system 10.5.8 for PPC onto the system by connecting the internal HDD to an adapter I have and then restoring a file onto it from transmac. When I do this I have no idea if the partition table is APM as I know it needs to be. Since my computers are all windows based none of them do APM but I booted into GPARTED and formatted them with "mac" partition table that I assume is APM and then I used transmac to restore the disk image. After I did this the screen now shows a apple logo and the options menu shows a os X logo on the internal HDD but whenever I go to boot no spinning icon shows up and it never boots into the os.

    When I hold down V it wont go into verbose, nor do any of the other system boot commands work. I have NO IDEA what is wrong with this system I would just like to get any OS working on it at this point because it is a nice laptop. Please help and sorry for bad grammar but it is later here and I am pooped from trying to get this to work :confused:
     
  2. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    #2
    I have two 17" PowerBooks, so I'll try and help.

    First off. What system do you really want on this Mac?

    If it's OS X Leopard 10.5.x then I can make suggestions. But anything else, you'll need to wait for those here that have experience getting those kinds of systems on to a Mac.

    You mentioned that you were able to get OS X on to a USB stick?

    If so, take a look here. These instructions will tell you exactly what you need to do to boot the Mac off USB from Open Firmware.

    Considering you've tried a bunch of other options I would do an erase and install if you can get the USB stick to boot.

    Note that it WILL take FOREVER to boot from a USB stick or drive. Make some coffee, have a late dinner, so see a movie. But it will boot. If it doesn't then something is wrong about how Leopard got on to the stick/drive.
     
  3. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #3

    USB DVD drive booting is hit and miss on any computer. What model USB DVD drive are you working with?
     
  4. Ozfer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2013
    Location:
    New England
    #4
    I do want system 10.5.8 and preferably the version floating around the internet that removes all the intel code. For now I will stick with vanilla 10.5.8.

    What I did was get a USB to sata adapter and hooked it up to a standard sata dvd drive and had the 10.5.6 dvd in there and used some commands to boot it from open firmware. I waited a little while, but not too long, but the drive access light wasn't going off and it never got past the apple logo with spinning wheel. The usb adapter is a ebay special :p so no brand name.

    I can attempt to put it on a real usb stick but I don't know if it will work considering I can't really format APM but I don't know if I need that if I restore a disk image.
     
  5. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #5
    APT is a Debian repository format and package manager. APM is the partition format used by PowerPC Macs known as Apple Partition Map. Such a creative name. Is you Leopard disc a black retail disc?
     
  6. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #6
    Wait longer for the drive to boot. Sometimes it's processing. It can take a while some times.
     
  7. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    556fmjoe

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2014
    #7
    If I read the original post correctly, you said you replaced the internal drive and the new one failed to boot and eject as well? I'd be wondering about a bad cable, unless you replaced that too.

    Trouble booting from the USB DVD drive might just be a quirk of booting from a USB on these systems and unrelated to the internal drive issue.

    If you want to check the partitioning scheme on the hard drive, you could try booting a live OpenBSD system via CD from open firmware. Just type "boot cd:,ofwboot 5.5/macppc/bsd.rd" without quotes to boot the CD from open firmware . If it boots, select "S" at the prompt to get a root shell and you'll have some shell utilities you can use to poke around with. You'll be able to see/modify your partitioning scheme, so you'll know if it was done correctly.
     
  8. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502

    Bug-Creator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Location:
    Germany
    #8
    If you plan to use MorphOS, you can go this way:
    http://www.morphos-team.net/guide/usb-boot

    If you have a blank USB stick (read no hidden partitions) you can skip 1 and 2 and just copy the files (3) under Win and follow the rest of the instructions.
     
  9. Ozfer, Jun 5, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2014

    Ozfer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2013
    Location:
    New England
    #9
    Lol that's why I went back and changed it to APM In my post. I would first like to try to get mac os x onto it and I am also wondering if its a bad cable. IDK if I am going to be able to find a spare one though and that is something I did not replace since iMac has the same drive but different cable.

    I wouldn't exactly call my disk a original :rolleyes: but it should work fine. With the internal drive not working and all my discs getting stuck in it I cant type the boot cd command in OF and it gives a error message regardless of whats in the drive.

    Normally I would give the drive (external) more time but the access light turns off and you can hear it not spinning so I think its just the flaky usb system. Thanks for the morphos link I might just go with that if I really cant get anything to work. If anyone has a spare cable I would be thrilled :)
     
  10. Ozfer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2013
    Location:
    New England
    #10
    So I tried the USB boot and it hangs on a message that says something like Do-quiechse or something I can see other power book and ibook users had the same issues :(

    I still have not found anyone with a reasonably priced drive cable to see if that could be the problem with the dvd drive.

    All attempts to boot ubuntu from usb have frozen or hung and it never makes it into desktop.
     
  11. Ozfer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2013
    Location:
    New England
    #11
    So I found a 10.5.6 dmg and used transmac to restore it to a usb that I have and this time I watched it and made sure it fully put the dmg on the usb (I think it crashes if the monitor turns off)

    After I used boot command boot ud:,\\:tbxi in open firmware and now it is installing 10.5.6 :)
     
  12. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #12
    Awesome!
     
  13. jrsx macrumors 65816

    jrsx

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    Location:
    Tacoma, Washington
    #13
    Why does everybody have so much luck with USB booting but me? Lol
    Every PPC mac I've tried, iBook G4s, G3s, PBs....
    No luck!

    If anyone would be willing to share what USB drives worked for them, that would be awesome! None of my USBs seem to work, and I've heard it sorta depends on which one you use.
     
  14. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #14
    My stuff is all generic. Generic USB drive enclosures with bare hard drives.

    I used to boot off a Micro SD card in my HTC Touch Pro too. Generic 8GB card.
     
  15. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #15
    I have good luck booting G4 and G5 systems on PNY black USB drives. Mostly I use 8 GB models, but my 16 GB is partitioned to boot either Tiger or Leopard installers. I picked mine up at Big Lots for $12 a while back.
     

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  16. Ozfer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2013
    Location:
    New England
    #16
    I used a 64GB ADATA USB 3.0 stick I got on newegg for like $18 (on sale)

    Now I'm just trying to find different software that is compatible and trying to make things run smoother. If would be very helpful if anyone knew how to get java 6 on this machine.
     
  17. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
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    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    #17
    That is a mythical creature.
     

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