Powerbook G4 Startup Problems

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by photomike, Feb 18, 2007.

  1. photomike macrumors newbie

    Feb 18, 2007
    I have a 17" Powerbook G4 running 10.3.9...I've had it for a little over two years and it has worked great for me.

    About 6 months ago, however, my computer started doing funny things and I restarted it to see if that would fix things. When it restarted, I got the flashy question mark; my laptop was not recognizing the hard drive. The computer itself was VERY hot, and I could not get it to boot. After about 6 or 7 hours, I tried again and the computer started normally. After that, the computer would not recognize the hard drive any time i restarted it. The people in the apple store were no help and they told me to try reinstalling the operating system, "just in case." That fixed the problem and I didn't have to worry about the problem until today.

    I restarted my computer and alas, flashy question mark taunted me. I started the computer again holding the option key (as I had been taught 6 months ago), and still, no hard drive listed to boot from. I waited 6 hours, started the computer normally, backed up all my information on an external hard drive and proceeded to reinstall the operating system again.

    This time, though, I STILL get the flashy question mark. I can probably wait 6 more hours to start the dang thing, but I can't afford to have to go through this several times a week, and since I don't have a warranty, I can't afford the estimated 900 dollar repair cost.

    Is it time for a new laptop?

    Thanks for your help!
  2. bartelby macrumors Core


    Jun 16, 2004
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Possibly, but it may be the hard drive, not the motherboard. Replacing a hard drive is relatively inexpensive.

    Have you booted from the OS CD and run a Disk Utility "Repair Disk" on the drive?
  4. photomike thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 18, 2007
    How would I boot from the CD and run the Disk Utility?
    (sorry, I'm not very tech savvy).

    Also, whats the process for replacing the hard drive and exactly how much am I looking at spending?

    Thanks for your help guys

    I figured out how to run the disk repair and did it. It finished and it says "Repair attempted on 1 volume: HFS volume repaired"

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