Won't boot from CD but will read it! Please help!

hikeNM

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Howdy all! I've got a problem here I'm hoping somebody can help me with. Please bear with me.

I just purchased a very nice, used, G3 700 Mhz ibook, with 256 MB RAM and CD-RW drive.

Since it's used, I bring it home and began to erase the previous owner's OS and install 10.3. It came with 10.2.

I put the Panther CD in and restart holding down the C button just like I've done alot. It boots fromt the CD. I go through the process of choosing the hard drive to install to and customizing the install(basically not installing all the foreign languages I'll never use). Then hit install.

It starts as normal, "checks my destination disk", then when it gets to the "preparing target disk" step, the progress bar doesn't move. It doesn't even show up. I let it sit for maybe 30 minutes and decide it's not going anywhere.

So, I quit installer and restart. When I restart, it gives me the the question mark folder sign for approx. 2 seconds, then reboots as normal.

Now, though, when I try to boot from the Panther CD, or any CD for that matter, it won't boot. It just trys for 10 seconds or so and spits the CD back out and boots from the HD.

But it will read CD's fine. I put in a regular data CD and it spins up and everythings great. I put in an audio CD and it spins up and I can listen to music.

Is there something phyically wrong with the CD drive now that would allow it to read CD's but not boot from them? Is it just a software problem? Does anybody know how to fix this problem?

Can I install a new OS without being able to boot from the CD drive? Maybe an external? Any help is appreciated greatly!
 

hikeNM

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
mad jew said:
Weirdness. Rather than trying to boot with the C button, try using the OPTION key. Perhaps there's something wrong with your C key... :)
I tried that too, and the CD option would never show up! Is it possible that my failed install screwed something up? Could I install from an external drive?
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,777
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Is your hard disk MacHFS+? Try repairing the disk from single user mode (fsck -fy). I think there might have been a hard disk issue that prevented your first install, and might have gotten worse, and the issue is actually with your HD and not your CD....
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,199
6
Adelaide, Australia
Good point, fsck might work. I would've thought it'd still boot from the CD if the hard drive was dead though. The boot process should be bypassing the hard drive.

Can you boot from the external drive? If you can still read CDs then you might be able to install from there. :)
 

hikeNM

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
mkrishnan said:
Is your hard disk MacHFS+? Try repairing the disk from single user mode (fsck -fy). I think there might have been a hard disk issue that prevented your first install, and might have gotten worse, and the issue is actually with your HD and not your CD....
Please pardon my ignorance, but is there a place I could see directions for the fsck -fy trick? I've tried it before, but it's been a while. Never mind, I didn't see the link!!!

Also, how do I know whether my hard disk is MacHFS+?

Thanks mucho!!
 

hikeNM

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
mad jew said:
Good point, fsck might work. I would've thought it'd still boot from the CD if the hard drive was dead though. The boot process should be bypassing the hard drive.

Can you boot from the external drive? If you can still read CDs then you might be able to install from there. :)

I haven't found an external to boot from yet. Still looking for one!
 

robbieduncan

Moderator emeritus
Jul 24, 2002
24,638
61
Harrogate
If you boot into the version of OSX you have now and go to About This Mac in the Apple Menu and then choose More Info from the window that pops up you should be able to get more info about the optical drive. This normally tells you if it's Apple Shipped/Supported. It may be that you cannot boot if the drive is not Apple Shipped/Supported but I doubt it (basically I can't think of a good reason it won't boot).

It's a pretty old machine, it might need a firmware update but you would expect it to boot the restore CDs that it came with.
 

hikeNM

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
robbieduncan said:
If you boot into the version of OSX you have now and go to About This Mac in the Apple Menu and then choose More Info from the window that pops up you should be able to get more info about the optical drive. This normally tells you if it's Apple Shipped/Supported. It may be that you cannot boot if the drive is not Apple Shipped/Supported but I doubt it (basically I can't think of a good reason it won't boot).

It's a pretty old machine, it might need a firmware update but you would expect it to boot the restore CDs that it came with.

Yea, after I clicked on the CD it woudn't boot. It hung and I had to force shutdown. Something is screwed.