View Full Version : G4 won't boot from any of my internal OS's

11-12-2008, 06:10 PM
I was turned away for a second an I got a "...must restart ..." message and now when I boot , - same thing - unless I choose which drive to boot from and get a similar screen with a blank message box. I had just connected a small Belkin USB Port and suspect a static charge is a possible culprit.Any ideas on how to access my drives troubleshoot? Thanks

11-12-2008, 07:00 PM
I'm confused.:confused:

It won't boot from any internal drive (HD or optical), but it will from an external?

What's the drive config?

11-12-2008, 09:05 PM
havent attempted a boot w/ external drive. I can access internal drives w/target disc through my iMac . The tower boots w/ installer disc but any chosen drive will boot up to a rectangular message screen w/ no message. I've run disc utility and repaired permissions and all three HD's w/ OS but still cannot boot. Can static linger and cause issues?

11-12-2008, 09:31 PM
It will boot from the optical so we know the internal ATA-3 bus is OK.

What's your internal drive config i.e. what drives do you have, and how/where are they connected?

Do you have OS9 installed on any of 'em?

I doubt that static could be the culprit here. The USB is not directly related to the ATA-4 bus.

Does the empty dialog box you're getting look like this?

11-13-2008, 08:26 AM
I have all PATA drives and an external USB Drive. There are OS 9 systems installed on both internal and ext drive. The drive it (733 G4 DA)was booting from is connected to the controller /expansion card and is 250 GB. There is system software on the main ATA drive as well. Every time I run DIsc Utility it corrects some issues but stilol cannot boot. The message box is the same size as the see through box presented when I simply hit the start button. It says to restart the machine / hold down the power or restart button. But when I hold option to choose startup drive the box is blank and white and is a bit bigger/taller than the one you suggested. Once that screen is on it seems to freeze up. I can't get the drives to engage it seems because I cant hear them at startup. Thanks for any help or suggestions.

11-13-2008, 05:41 PM
it will boot from my 10.2 Restore disc so I could run Disc Utility. I don't have a hardware test disc for this machine. External USB drive with OS9.2 boots but took about 5 minutes - displayed all internal drives.

11-13-2008, 07:34 PM
Ah, so we have a PCI card in the mix here. I kind of suspected that.

Please list exactly which card this is, which slot it is in, which drive is connected to it, and what OS versions it has on it.

The dialog you are getting about restarting is called a kernel panic. It basically means that the Mac is very upset about something. Usually KPs are hardware related, but can also be caused by drivers.

It's not a good idea to repair a disk that was formatted with a later version of Disk Utility with an earlier version.

Sometimes a drive that's become corrupted or failing can cause a no-boot or hang on boot. We just need to determine if that's the case here. You may end up having to remove or even re-initialize i.e. erase some drives to solve this issue.

I hope you have backups of any critical data.

11-14-2008, 04:50 PM
A couple more things to add:

1. Try Safe Mode. Hold down the shift key while booting, and see if it is any more stable. Can help to rule out software issues.

2. If you can get the box stable, I would suspect the ATA controller too. See if this story is applicable:

Some time back an employee running a hot-rodded QS had a similar issue with kernal panicks (KPs). Started after an OS update. I am guessing it was about 10.4.9.....don't recall exactly. I could run the box fine from a FW bridge on the same drive that would KP when connected to the Siig PATA PCI controller. He was running the controller to have two big HDs (larger than 128 GB) on their own busses. Had been running fine for a couple years.

After much trial and error I figured out that the OS update required both a driver update and a firmware udpate. Once updated it was stable again for all flavors of 10.4

Sound close?

Most PATA cards are Acard based, regardless of brand they are labeled. See if you can find your card here (http://www.acard.com.tw/english/fb0101.jsp?type1_idno=3&type2_idno=24). If you can ID it, follow the links to the correct driver and firmware downloads. If you can get the machine stable on any OS, use the system profiler to see a model number. It usually reports what the card really is, not what the label on it might say. Be aware that all of the Acard PATA cards say they are SCSI in the system profiler. That is normal. :rolleyes:

Here is one of the common Siig (http://siig.com/ViewProduct.aspx?pn=SC-MP4A12) models with a driver link. If you have the Siig branded card, you still need the Acard firmware, as Siig doesn't seem to have it. Confusing.

11-16-2008, 06:02 PM
I have had the Sonnet 70 TAT133 card installed and the same OS 10.4 for over 2 years.My boot drive was a 250 Samsung I think and I had been hearing some strange noises - from that drive, I thought - just recently. It have two partitions and I trashed (erased) about 12GB of video on the OS partition recently. I can access the drives when I boot from the external OS9.2 drive. Are there drivers available for free for the controller card?
Should I take out the card and try? ( I already failed booting from internal drives not attached to the card)

11-16-2008, 06:51 PM
If it were me I'd just disconnect the drives from the card, and see if it'll boot up. If not then I'd remove the card. If it still refuses to boot I'd start looking at the drive(s) on the internal bus.

Process of elimination.

11-16-2008, 08:01 PM
OK, Sonnet, not Acard.

If you have been running the same exact version of 10.4 before the issue, then likely not my driver/firmware idea.

Hmmm.....could still check here (http://www.sonnettech.com/support/downloads/legacyproducts.html) to see, but I doubt that is your trouble.

Any drive making different or unusual sounds is a likely problem. Any way to swap it out?

11-17-2008, 11:53 AM
When I Disconnected the drives' ribbon cable from the controller, no boot was obtained from the main internal drive. After removing the controller, I am able to boot. So, my issue would seem to be one of two HDD or the Sonnet Card. Any suggestion as to the best way to check integrety of those components? Replacement card someone may have laying around?

11-17-2008, 05:45 PM
If it wouldn't boot with just the card in then the card is the problem. Any chance that some dirt got into the PCI slot or the contacts got corroded/tarnished by dirt+heat+moisture? You might try re-seating the card, and trying it again with no drives connected.

If it still causes a no-boot you might contact Sonnet even if the card is out of warranty. Be nice to them, explain the situation, and see what happens. You never know.