URGENT HELP REQUIRED!! PowerBook Will Not Boot At All.

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by GilGrissom, Dec 13, 2006.

  1. GilGrissom macrumors 65816


    Mar 13, 2005
    I know the title is a little vague, but for some reason now when I turn my PowerBook12" on it will load through Open Firmware, but just as it gets to OS X it will shut down suddenly, as if someone has removed the power suddenly. I try booting off the master CD and use Disk Utility, it says the hard drive is there but cannot do anything with it, such as repair permissions, as it is not mounted I presume.

    I'm lost...I cannot do anything. Everything I try results in it shutting down. I have valuable things on the drive that I have not had chance to back up yet. Will a Target Disk Mode let me recover my files?...I'm mainly thinking my iPhoto library, I've not backed it up for a while and its been heavily updated, the rest I think I have copies off.

    My iPartition boot CD says the hard drive is there and the OS X partition is still there as it was, but for some reason I just can't boot up into it. Just before this my Finder would not load in any account I logged into, causing me to try a reboot...look what happened! This makes me think its more software corruption, especially after I've had trouble with partitioning, but OS X has been fine up to this point in the grand scale of things.

    Anyone PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE URGENTLY HELP ME!! Any help and advice would be greatfully received!

    Is there some Unix shortcuts or commands I can do from the terminal from the boot CD or something? I'm very sketchy on UNIX commands but are willing to try everything before I reformat entirely and start again.

    What can I do?

    (notice the desperation in my voice, it's getting late here and I'm panicing! hehe :eek: )
  2. GilGrissom thread starter macrumors 65816


    Mar 13, 2005
    I think my problem is a corrupted catalogue file for hfs+, disk util says invalid key length. The "PowerBookHD" volume, as my OSX volume is called, is not mounted, and clicking mount in diskutil does nothing...what should I do?
  3. Kendall015 macrumors regular

    Sep 12, 2006
    If you're correct, then maybe you could use DiskWarrior:


    Sorry that I really don't have any advice since nothing like that has happened to me, but DiskWarrior might help you. About the only experience I have had is that after my Rev. A 12" PB was dropped, the HD died, but it died a little bit at a time so I could get most of my files off. Diskwarrior was invaluable when that happened.
  4. Shadow macrumors 68000


    Feb 17, 2006
    Keele, United Kingdom
    OK. If you have a spare Mac around, try FireWire Disk Mode. But be warned-the more you use it the more chance you have of loosing files forever.
  5. szark macrumors 68030


    May 14, 2002
    From doing a bit of searching online, it seems that you might have success using Target Disk Mode to back up your files.

    As far as the drive, it appears that DiskWarrior might be your only option, other than an Erase & Reinstall.
  6. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Apr 26, 2002
    If you can start in single-user, run the fsck -fy. If it says something about disk0 and sector 0 to 4 or thereabouts, you have issues NOT related to the physical drive, but to a hosed directory. Boot from an install disk and start disk utility. When you click on the icon (if it shows up) what does the right window mention about size? About 10K? (I'll bet at this point you can't do a simple erase either, but have to go to Partition, then back to erase, but don't do that yet!) Target disk will not work in this instance...

    DiskWarrior is all you can do at that point... hugely hosed directory.
  7. GilGrissom thread starter macrumors 65816


    Mar 13, 2005
    fsck gave me an error on the catalog file, invalid key length, volume check failed.

    True, I have tried to do an archive and install, but it doesn't register any mounted drives so cannot complete, cannot use the master CDs to do anything apart from look pretty or give error messages!!

    I'm currently experimenting in using an Ubuntu Live CD to boot my mac up into that, then to tweak Ubuntu into mounting the macosx partition so I cna view it, so I can then copy and paste to an external drive.


    I have managed to mount osx drive in Ubuntu Live, apart from when I get to my user documents area, it has a cross on documents, pictures etc etc...so you think I'll be able to copy and paste them still?...im just trying to get an external drive in the right format so it is write accessible for Ubuntu!...great fun!

    So my real option is to spend ALOT of money to get it recovered?...is there not a more manual way to rebuild the partition none-destructively?

    Thanks for all your help so far guys!...not gone bed yet until this is done!
  8. GilGrissom thread starter macrumors 65816


    Mar 13, 2005
    My Ubuntu idea is hit and miss, but at least it mounts my mac partition so I can see my files there, intact...just can't get them off very easily.

    If Ubuntu can do this, what is stopping Target Disk Mode from working?

    I have no other Mac, but might be able to get one tomorrow from a friend. But it's kinda the last night of an assignment! Plus I really need those photos. My girlfriend will be shattered if I haven't got them!

    UPDATE:: I have managed to recover my photos using Ubuntu, finally! Hurrah! So now I need my mac back up and running, if format needed, then format is what it shall get now that I have my files.

    Anyone hazard a guess how I do this with no mountable partition for my installer CDs to recognise?
  9. GilGrissom thread starter macrumors 65816


    Mar 13, 2005
    Well, reformatted and reinstalled, as an archive and install wouldn't even work. At least I got the bits of data I hadn't got back up saved. dotMac is a real lifesaver when it comes to getting your Mac back up and running!

    Thanks everyone for your help!

Share This Page