trouble installing OS X on new hard drive

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by ToncrFibal, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. ToncrFibal macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2012
    I am trying to resurrect my wife's old PowerBook G4 (aluminum). The hard drive crashed and I replaced it with a new one (following some very good instructions on youtube). The machine now goes to a grey screen with a "?" and the mac face logo alternating on a folder icon. I believe this means it does not have an operating system. I tried to boot from the OS X (ver 10.1), OS9 and the PowerBook G4 software install disks she gave me and I end up in the same place: flashing ? and mac smile logo. The machine does not want to boot from the disks. What do i do next?
  2. jbarley macrumors 68040


    Jul 1, 2006
    Vancouver Island
    Try starting the powerbook while holding down the "T" key, if this works and it starts up in target disk mode, (with a large Firewire icon on the screen) then there is some hope. If you have access to another Mac computer you can connect via a firewire cable and use Disk utility on the second mac to partition, format and hopefully get your system installed.
  3. ToncrFibal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2012

    Thanks. Turning on with the T held did exactly what you hoped. Now to find a firewire cable.
  4. eyoungren, Oct 17, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012

    eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    Wirelessly posted

    Be careful. The oldest OS an AlBook can run would be OSX 10.2.3 (depending on model). AlBooks cannot boot into OS9 as well

    You might want to look at the Mactracker app to see what the earliest OS you can run is

    Install an earlier OS at your peril.
  5. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2010
    Use the install discs that came with the PowerBook.

    Put it in the Mac.


    Hold the option key.

    That will give you a list of bootable drives. The only choice you should have is the install disc.
    Pick that.
    Use disk utility to format the hard drive and create a partition.
    Install OS X onto that partition.

    Good luck!!!
  6. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    One of the posters rightly said that it sounds like you don't have the correct Powerbook discs. As a matter of fact, he's right -- you have the original powerbook discs from the Titanium series that came out in 2001, 10.1 and OS9 version. (I know because I had that model and those discs.)

    You need to research the model you have and go from there to restore the hard drive. You will not be able to start up the machine from an OS that is older than what the machine came with.
  7. ToncrFibal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2012
    Thanks - When I boot while holding the option key I get a screen with two icons: a circular arrow and a right arrow. Very hopeful here. Selecting either does not progress past the original screen. Not so hopeful. On to the other suggestions.


    It appears I need to find a firewire cable with two different connectors. My first cable fits the G4, but not the MacBook Pro. The quest continues.
  8. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    You just need a Firewire 800 to Firewire 400 adapter.
  9. cocacolakid macrumors 65816


    Dec 18, 2010

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