View Full Version : Is my Mac G4 MDD dead?

01-07-2008, 02:17 PM
Firstly, thanks for taking the time to read my post.

I have a Dual 1Ghz G4 mirror Drive Door PowerPC at home.

I had upgraded the ram to 2gb (same sticks as the original) and added an matched (same as original) 80GB drive as a secondary, It worked fine for about 6 months at home then it started hanging every so often randomly and you had to do a hard reboot (holding the power button) however it would not boot back up. Gets to the Apple logo screen then after a few mins to a blank blue screen and no further, I had to boot from a disk and run disc repair on that drive where it reported ďinvalid HFS header (or volume, cant quite remember)Ē and it manages to repair it every time.

I presumed it the drive was on its way out so replaced it with 40GB IDE drive from another machine which I know works, copied the image from the old drive to the new drive and it booted fine, worked for a day then the same thing started happening again, its very random, sometimes its fine for hours and it will just freeze up.

So if its not a drive issue do you have any ideas what else it could be? Iím hoping its not a duff IDE controller as if thatís the case then Iíts for the bin which would be a shame as itís a cracking wee computer.

Appreciate any advice you can offer. :)

01-07-2008, 04:53 PM
Wow are those old drives. I'll bet a 40 GB hard drive is at least 4, 5 years old. I think I would try a drive that was a wee bit younger. You might just be batting a thousand and getting a pair of flaky old drives.

I would put one of the drives down in the lower ATA66 bus. That way both are on their own channels and independent of the other. And they won't be heating each other up.

Other than that, do a Open Firmware reset. That'll clear and weirdness on the motherboard. ALways worth a try. Hold the Command+Option+O+F keys during startup. At the '>' prompt type:

Hit Return
Hit Return
Hit Return and the computer will restart.

See if those things help.


01-07-2008, 08:32 PM

The other thing to consider is if the drives or either/both ATA controllers are bad, you can get a SATA controller and brand new SATA drive for fairly cheap.

The risk is, if something else is wrong - failing/problematic logic board or CPU, or maybe a failing PSU - then you would have put about $200 (US prices anyway) into it, and still have an unstable G4.

The SATA drive could always be reused in a different tower or external case, but the SATA card could be a waste unless you decided to try another tower. So, you should consider plan A would be to try and fix the current G4.......and plan B would be....what? A new iMac? A used G4 or G5 tower?