Pulled out old iBook G4, won't boot up correctly?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Ardoptres, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. Ardoptres macrumors regular

    Dec 12, 2009
    Soo, my brother wants a laptop, so I offered him my old iBook G4.

    I haven't used it in a year or so, and when i last used it, it worked just fine. I was, of course, expecting it to work like a charm.
    I turned it on, usual "dummm"-sound. Then it was white for a while, and then starting showing a folder logo, with the finder logo and a questionmark inside it, switching between the two.
    There is sort of a clicking sound all the time, almost the like there is a hook trying to hook on to something, but is failing at it. That's the best i can describe.

    Any ideas of what i can do?
  2. DSPalpatine macrumors member

    Nov 9, 2009
    Sounds like a failed hard drive. Either the drive was on its way out before you parked it for a year, or during the time of inactivity, the drive seized up. Either way, it sounds like the HD is dead.

    You could try to boot from the install disk (I'm guessing 10.4, although I could be wrong), and then run disk utility...
  3. Ardoptres thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 12, 2009
    Doesn't work :(

    So should I/can I replace the HD?
  4. DSPalpatine macrumors member

    Nov 9, 2009
    Not worth the aggravation in my opinion. These hard drives aren't as accessible as the ones on a Macbook (non-unibody). You have to do a fair bit of disassembly to get to it. It's not impossible, and there is an Ifixit guide to help (ifixit.com and search for the Mac repair guides), but it's a fair bit of work.

    If I were you, I would let your brother know that the laptop you thought you were going to give him is DOA.

    If you have an Apple store nearby, you could get a second opinion from the a genius, but I doubt you're going to hear anything different.

    Given the age of these machines, you might fix the hard drive, only to have something else fail...
  5. Ardoptres thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 12, 2009
  6. DSPalpatine macrumors member

    Nov 9, 2009
    On second thought...

    On second thought, if you don't have experience working on the innards of a computer and want to learn, have the right tools, and have a spare HDD laying around, then I say go for it! Get confirmation from someone who can examine the machine as to what the problem is (Apple Genius for instance), and then download the ifixit guide and have fun...

    Make sure you use an egg container to hold all the different screws, though. You don't want to mix those babies up... I speak from personal experience... :eek:

    If you go into it with the attitude that you want to learn some new skills (disassembling a laptop) and are prepared to fail... it might be a neat experience.

    On the other hand, if you work with computers all day and have neither the time nor the patience to deal with this project, then forget anything I just said...
  7. btbrossard macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    I replaced the HDD in an old iBook G4 14" and it wasn't too bad. You just need the right tools (Torx driver and the right size screwdrivers) and the iFixIt guide.

    It took me less than an hour.


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