PowerMac G4 finder and question mark and won't read hard drive

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by macuser1232, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. macuser1232, Aug 4, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012

    macuser1232 macrumors 6502a

    macuser1232

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    Jan 20, 2012
    #1
    Hi,

    I just purchased a Mac G4 and when I start it up I get the finder logo and a blinking question mark. I am almost positive it is because the Mac can't find the system folder but I have tried putting multiple hard drive's in it and the Mac G4 can't read any of them. I tried holding the option key down to see and there was no hard drive icon visible. Also the cd drive won't work because when I stuck a Linux cd into it and held down "C" it didn't do anything.
     
  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #2
    Do the hard drives you're putting in have a known good, bootable Mac OS 9.x.x, 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, or 10.4 installation on them?
     
  3. macuser1232 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    macuser1232

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    #3
    No. They are all clean hard drives. Well maybe not completely clean. I'm working on fully wiping them.
     
  4. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #4
    If they are blank hard drives, what is the iMac supposed to boot from? A Linux cd likely won't work to well for booting and the C at boot can be unreliable when starting up. It's best to always use Option and select the optical disc. Try using a Mac disc to start up the iMac.
     
  5. Ariii macrumors 6502a

    Ariii

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    #5
    What model do you have? Some G3's can boot off of USB. Some have target disk mode as well.
     
  6. macuser1232 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    macuser1232

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    Jan 20, 2012
    #6
    Sorry guys it is actually a G4!

    ----------

    I don't have any Mac discs. Right now I am mainly focused on getting the Mac to read the hard drive I have in it when I hold down Option. After I get the hard drive working I'll get an OS. Also, is there any specific monitor I should get for my G4?
     
  7. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #7
    A hard drive will not show up at the boot menu (option at boot) unless it has a bootable installation on it.
     
  8. macuser1232 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    macuser1232

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    #8
    hm ok. so how would I get a Mac OS (for example Tiger) onto one of the hard drives I have?
     
  9. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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  10. macuser1232 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    macuser1232

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    #10
    Yes Macbook Pro but I don't know where the Snow Leopard disk is(even though it wouldn't work for the g4) and I am actually running Mountain Lion on it.
     
  11. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #11
    You'll have to find a Panther, Tiger, or Leopard disc to get Mac OS X working on that iMac.
     
  12. macuser1232 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    macuser1232

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    #12
    Sounds good. But why won't it read the Linux Tiny Core CD I put into it?
    __________________
    Last edited by Intell; Yesterday at 9:41 AM.
     
  13. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #13
    Some Macs need a special boot loader that is very hard to put onto a cd.
     
  14. macuser1232 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    macuser1232

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    #14
    oh ok. Ya I always knew that Linux would always work best on my old PC desktops :) . And laptops.
     
  15. macuser1232 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    macuser1232

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    #15
    I noticed the cd/dvd drive has an orange light that comes on. What does that mean? I'm guessing that's why the cd won't work.
     
  16. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #16
    That just means that it's checking for a disc at startup. Completely normal.
     
  17. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    Mar 13, 2005
    #17
    So you don't understand that a computer needs an OS to boot or what it means when an optical drive activity light blinks. Is this the first time you have ever used a computer?
     
  18. macuser1232 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    macuser1232

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    #18
    ... I have a considerable amount of knowledge in computers. It's just that when I put a blank hard drive in this old PC desktop, it recognized it even though there was noting on it.
     
  19. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #19
    The BIOS sees the drive. Macs don't have a BIOS. Thus, their boot menu won't show it. They have OpenFirmware, which can detect the drive and show you information about it if you put in the correct command.
     
  20. Lil Chillbil, Aug 5, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  21. jbarley, Aug 5, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012

    jbarley macrumors 68030

    jbarley

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    Vancouver Island
    #21
    This qualifies as a "Troll post" pure and simple, offering absolutely no helpful advice and designed only to be inflammatory.

    Didn't your momma ever tell you "if you can't say something nice, it's best to say nothing at all?"
     
  22. macuser1232 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    macuser1232

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    #22
    Ohh Ok thanks. I noticed it didn't have a BIOS!
     
  23. DrakkenWar macrumors 6502

    DrakkenWar

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    Location:
    San Antonio,Texas
    #23
    Ugh.. There is google.. And yet so many do not use it...

    http://forum.tinycorelinux.net/index.php?topic=13404.0

    TinyCore linux does not and will not work on a PPC based mac. There are some other recent threads around discussing different flavors of linux viability on PPC. If you are truly not trolling I would suggested taking a look about at those.

    Since you do not have an MAC OS disks around that will work in that particular computer, I would suggestL http://mintppc.org/. While you do have to register to get access to the iso, it is really one of the best out there if you want to give an alternative os a go. Download to your mac, burn the .iso file as a bootable image, insert into your G4, hold the "C" key, and install should be pretty easy to follow.
     
  24. macuser1232 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    macuser1232

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    Jan 20, 2012
    #24
    One step ahead of you :) I literally got mintppc a couple days ago and it always freezes up when it get's to the languages page. I just bought some more ram for it and I thought maybe that would fix it but it didn't(I didn't buy the extra ram just to see if mintppc would work) Also, since Macs use EFI firmware and not BIOS I don't know how I can check how much ram I have installed.
     
  25. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #25
    PowerPC macs are quite different to a Wintel PC, or an Intel Mac for that matter. There's no BIOS or EFI, they use OpenFirmware.

    If you need to test the machine it's best to get hold of the Apple Hardware Test CD.
     

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