Powerbook g4 question mark. Not the same repeated question!

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by deezy23, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. deezy23 macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2010
    Ok, I have perused the mac forums and have found many similar topics to this one but nothing that quite helps me. I work on an IT department and usually work with windows and linux machines but not macs. I found an old powerbook g4 laptop, 15" screen and all and want to purchase it from my job for a personal laptop as mine just got fried. The problem is this: when you start the computer instead of the usual apple logo that appears, a folder with an alternating finder face and a question mark appears. I have done some research and know this is due to a lack of the computer's ability to find the software it needs, or due to a bad hard drive. I replaced the hard drive with one that I know is clean and works but the same thing happens so I know that isnt the problem. I also tried resetting the PMU and PRAM to no avail. I found a couple forum links that suggest I insert the repair or install cd, I dont have the one that came with it due to the fact that it has been gathering dust in the back of the server room for 3 years and because of my lack of mac experience I dont know if I can use any install or repair cd or not. So anyway, are there any other suggestions outside of the ones I have found already or are there any tips on what disk to use? Help please!
  2. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    The question mark indicates that there is no OS to boot from, so by just replacing the HDD you won't solve the problem, unless you install Mac OS X.

    Tiger and Leopard can be found via eBay, or you can contact Apple and ask for replacement DVDs, which should cost between 20 to 30 USD.

    You can also find restore DVDs on eBay or whatever other places, but know that those gray restore DVDs are machine specific, so they won't work, if they differ in the slightest of specs.
  3. techound1 macrumors 68000


    Mar 3, 2006
    Which is significantly cheaper than you could find either OS for on eBay, btw.

    I'm guessing if you work in an IT department you realize that the replacement drive needs to have an OS on it to boot. If the second drive you're trying in place of the suspected problem has Snow Leopard (which is different from Leopard), it won't boot because SL doesn't run on PPC-chipped machines (which is what your PB has).

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