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Thread: SOS PLEASE! I'm tryin here but OSX won't boot!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
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    Exclamation SOS PLEASE! I'm tryin here but OSX won't boot!

    My machine is a 450 G4, 768 megs ram, with a Maxtor hd. The drive was
    initially partitioned - 1st section had OSX.2.8 and all X apps, 2nd
    section has 9.2.2 and OS9 apps, and 3rd section has all Documents.

    Here's what happened - I was trying to mount an old hd and atempted to
    do a master/slave setup in my machine with it. I couldn't boot - and
    got the blinking question mark.

    Once I removed the slave hd and tried to reboot my machine, I still
    had the blinking question mark. I was able to boot into my 9.2
    partition and could see that everything looked okay - all 3 partitions
    still there, lost nothing, etc.

    It's been over 24 hours and by now I have tried everything i can think
    of including:
    -booting from OS disk and using disk utilities
    -booting into Norton and running repairs apps
    -booting into Drive X for X and running that repair program,
    -reseating the hard drive
    -resetting the jumper on the drive from Master to Cable select
    -reinstalling OSX by archiving my old setup on the 1st partition
    -giving in and wiping the 1st partition and installing OSX (Jaguar)
    from scratch

    Now, instead of getting the blinking question mark, the machine begins
    to boot and then I get the grey screen with the white apple. Then a
    totally messed up screen. I took a photo and uploaded it to:
    http://www.neworleansreia.com/mcee.htm
    if you want to see it.

    I'm stumped! Have I fried a portion of my hd? If I reinstall Jaguar on
    the 2nd partition will it even run? By the way, I finally was able to
    mount that other hd that started all the problems on another machine
    (externally) and it was really messed up. It took over 90 minutes to
    get it to a place where I could retrieve the data. Did it do more
    damage than just corrupting my file structure? HELP!!

    Thanks to anyone who has any ideas!

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Post

    I have seen this. Happened to my BW when I was adding a slave HD to a SIIG ATA card. Long story, but basically, I did not have the correct jumper setting for the drive....

    Anyway, as I recall, I tried everything you did, and was starting to wonder if I had a hardware problem. I wanna say it was a PRAM or open firware reset that finally fixed it. It may have been a PMU reset...but I don't think so.

    PRAM is here.

    The open firmware NVRAM is here.

    Try these, and report back.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  3. #3
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    Things to consider: replacing the battery. that the old hard drive didn't have OS X compliant driver installed. pick up a copy of Disk Warrior. make sure Drive 10 has the latest Panther update. Use Norton as "last resort only."

    Native IDE bus doesn't use Cable Select, though a PCI controller would, and you might need to with some Western Digital drives. Changing drives and cables around only means that the nvram setting for where the boot volume is located has changed and can't find it based on the path to where the boot loader was. Use "Master Only" when appropriate, or "Master with Slave."

    Hopefully one of Unc's tips will work. One other thing to try would be using a different monitor on your video card. Apple monitors have nvram settings of their own which may need to be cleared. Booting switches the resolution and can cause trouble. If you can make sure the monitor's geometry is okay.

  4. #4
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    I was half asleep when I posted, so I will only add that I don't really know what the cause was on mine. I was messing 3 or 4 different drives on two different PCI cards when it happened so I have always assumed that I somehow did it.

    I did try Disk Warrior too, whatever was current at the time, and it had no effect. On mine, it was not a hardware issue per say, as all the same hardware is still in and running fine, and my glitch was over a year ago, and has not returned. I am not sure, but I think I saw the same video problem when I booted to an OS 10 CD, which made me think it had to be hardware, but then Disk Warrior booted OK, which made me think:

    I did not have to do a reinstall of the OS, so I have doubted that as the cause as well. On the one hand not having the drive boot 'cause a jumper is wrong does not seem like it would scramble the OS, but on the other hand, some older macs (including mine) are well known for corrupting data badly when one uses two drives on the onboard ATA bus, or even just one new drive. As far as I know that is a non-issue with all G4s though...
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004
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    Default update on frozen G4 boot screen

    Thanks unclemac and TZ,

    Here's where things stand: I happened to be at RadioShack, so went ahead and bough/replaced the battery. Same problem.
    I zapped the PRAM. No change. I did a PMU reset. No change.

    I'd like to try the open firmware NVRAM, but I'm not sure how to get the machine to prompt for it - could you explain that a little further? Thanks.

    Also, TZ, it is very likely that the old hard drive didn't have an OS X compliant driver installed. So what would that imply in terms of a fix? Also, in terms of the video card, I am using an Optiquest 95 monitir, not an Apple, Would that make a difference?

    Thanks to you both again,

    mcee

  6. #6
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    Open Firmware reset -

    Hold the Command+Option+O+F keys during startup. This will put you in the Open Firmware Interface. At the end of any text you will get a '>' prompt. At that prompt type:

    reset-nvram
    Hit Return
    set-defaults
    Hit Return
    reset-all

  7. #7
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    Okay, did it all and still got the same problem. I'm trying to get the info on how to manually run the -fsck command prompt. I'm thinking that may help.

    I also ran command-verbose and what I found was the following:

    panic: We are hanging here . . .

  8. #8
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    Holding down the Shift Key boots into Safe Mode and does a filesystem check/repair.

    Command + S boots into Single User Mode and lets you run fsck at the final prompt. Keep running until it doesn't find errors, two clean runs. Then "reboot" command rather than logout or continue.

    Sometimes it is easier to repair a drive giving problems if you move it to FireWire case and turn it on after booted. Sometimes you do the reverse and move a drive internal to fix it.

    booting from Disk Warrior 3.x CD an option?

  9. #9
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    I have tried booting both into single-user and safe mode - I can't get that far. The panic happens before getting that far for both. I haven't tried taking out the drive and putting it in a firewire case. I am going to try running an Apple Hardware check cd on it his evening. I'll get back to you. THanks!

  10. #10
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    Well, what's the %#@! I got an original Apple Hardware Test CD that specifically says "Power Mac G4" (SW version 1.2), and when I try to boot from it I get the message: "This computer cannot use this CD" or some such crap.

    I have now taken out all ram but the original 128 meg chip. Still nothing.

    Tomorrow I guess I'll take the hard drive out and bring it to work to try mounting it from a firewire case into another machine. I hope it doesn't mess that other one up!

    Any other ideas folks? This one is just too wierd!

  11. #11
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    Wish I could be of more help. Keep doing what your doing.

    Try pulling and reseating everything including video. Sounds like you have access to another Mac? Try one of your drives in it, to try and determine if it is an OS problem (doubtful), and if you can get your hands on another drive to put a clean install on and install that one.

    Checked and rechecked jumpers and cables? Tried both cable positions? Get your hands on a different ATA cable to test? Running on E here....

    There is the fabled voodoo method, but as you might surmise from the name, it is less than scientific. Basically, pull *everything* overnight. I will find a link with details tomorrow.

    I wonder if firmware version is an issue, but if you can't boot, it's a moot point to check or upgrade....

    Keep at it!
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  12. #12
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    Thanks again to everyone who tried to help. I have been with no computer at all for the last 2 days, while I tried in vain to zero-out the drive. I think it is still under warranty so i am going to try to return it to Maxtor. The only thing I can figure is that the first partition got fried somehow when hooking up the old drive as slave. I have temporarily reinstalled OS9 on the second partition to get a couple of things done till I can get a new drive in there.

    Wiping the drive in its entirety did nothing. (Thank goodness I was able to grab all my docs before wiping it.) I mounted it externally and then tried to use Disk Utilities to attempt to zero-out all data, but it actually would just hang the application and do nothing. I even tried putting it in an old PC and reformatted it to FAT, but the PC utilities couldn't do anything either.

    Who knows? I'll chalk this up to experience, but I swear I'll never, ever mount some old drive in my machine again!

    Thanks,
    mcee

  13. #13
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    Unhappy

    Apple Hardware Test is up to 2.1 but if you have the OEM copy for your machine, it should. CD/DVDs sometimes can't even boot with a bad hard drive. Removing the drive insures that it is the hd that is the issue and not something else, so it really helps narrow down the troubleshooting.

    One reason to keep a 'spare' drive AND backup ON HAND at all times.

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