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Help! G4 Mac 10.4 won't boot! Stalls on gray screen...

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I am having major issues with my G4 mac. 400 mhz. Running on OS X 10.4 (10.4.8, I believe). I left on vacation & came back 7 days later. As I booted & began to try to download my vacation pics from my camera, it seemed really slow, so I had to force shut down. When I tried to reboot, it doesn't get past the gray screen with the apple & progress indicator. It just spins & spins but goes nowhere. I have seen where people have posted that they came back after a couple hours & their computer was working. No luck here, I left it on all day while I was at a work, & it was still stalled at the same spot when I came home. Below are the things I have tried:

1. DiskWarrior. (I can get it to boot from the CD using the C command on startup.) It ran through replacing the directory. Found a bunch of errors but fixed them. Shows the hard drive is fine. After rebooting & the computer still stalling, I tried DiskWarrior again but it showed nothing wrong.

2. Tried zapping PRAM & NVRAM. No luck.

3. Disk Utility. I ran disk utility. It found no disk errors. Tried again, still stalls.

4. Tried holding down shift key to start in safe mode, but it does nothing at all.

5. I did a search on Apple.com & found where it said to find the file BaseSystem.pkg & get it into /Library/Receipts. Replaed the file with the one from the Tiger install CD. Still stalls.

6. Decided to just go do an Archive & Install to replace the old system, but it won't let me. Says I have a newer version & have to do a clean install. This would cause me to loose a bunch of important files that I haven't backed up lately (I know! I know! I'm bad!!!). Freaked a bit.... It would take me forever to burn cds of all my files...

7. OS 9. So I thought I would try to startup in OS 9.2, & that works. So I am assuming that it is an issue with OS X Tiger.

8. I also tried to boot up without anything plugged in but the keyboard & mouse. Still stalled.

9. I also tried repairin the permissions using Disk Utility from the Tiger CD, but it gave me an error "No Valid Packages".

10. Also, I also held down Command V & this is the jabberwacky that come up:
copywright info

using 655 buffer headers and 655 cluster IO buffer headers
Extension "com.apple.driver.KeyLargoATA" has no kernal dependency.
Firewire (OHCI) TI ID 8019 built-in now active, GUID 000a27ff feaea2b8; max speed s400.
Extension "com.apple.driver.iTunesPhoneDriver" has no kernal dependency.
Security auditying service present
BSM auditing present
disabled
rooting via boot-uuid from /chosen: 8B36B553-732C-3892-81EO-252A7972BAB7
Waiting on <dict ID="0"><key>IOProviderClass</key><string ID="1">IO Resources</string><key>IO ResourceMatch</key><string ID="2">boot-uuid-media</string></dict>
Got boot drive device=IO Service:/core99PE/pcief2000000/AppleMacRiscPCI/pci-bridge@1f000/KeyLargoATA/ATADeviceNub@1/IOATABlock Storage Driver/Maxter 5T040H4 Media/IO Apple Partition Scheme/G4/400@9
BSD root:disk Os9, major 14, minor 9
jnl: journal start/end pointers reset! (jnl Ox12a6e60; s Ox5cd200 e ox5cd200)
Load of /sbin/launchd, errno 2, trying /sbin/mach_init
Load of /sbin/launchd failed, errno 2


Anyway, so there you have it. I am truely hoping that someone will come along & rescue me from the nightmare & time it would take for an erase & install!! You'd be my hero forever!

Please let me know right away if there is anything else I can try or should do. Again, thank you.
Heidi
post #2 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by beatlesfan@mail.com View Post

the nightmare & time it would take for an erase & install!!

Do an archive and install. No need to erase anything:

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=107120

It will restore the system in place.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Do an archive and install. No need to erase anything:

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=107120

It will restore the system in place.


It won't let me. It says I have to choose another option because I have updated my system (it's like 10.4.7 or 10.4.8). The only option available is erase and install. Is there another way around this?
Thanks,
Heidi
post #4 of 14
If you used an upgrade disk to get from Panther (10.3) to Tiger (10.4), I think you have to install 10.3 first with archive and install and then reapply the 10.4 upgrade.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
I installed OS X 10.4 from a full version CD, not an upgrade. But now my version is 10.4.8 & when I try to do an archive & install it says I can't, that I have to do an erase & install since the os version on my computer is newer than the one on the install cd (install cd=10.4. on computer 10.4.8). How can I do an archive an install? Is there a work around?
post #6 of 14
You might be able to delete the system folder using the terminal. I think you get a terminal on the startup disk. You can also use single user mode by booting holding command-s. If the system won't let you into single user mode then you'll have to use the one on the installer disc. You first need to mount your drive using the command mount -uw /. That would be from single user mode. From the disc, you'd list the volumes by doing ls /Volumes then just mount -uw /Volumes/<hard drive name>. Then you navigate to the system folder by using cd /Volumes/<hard drive name> then to remove the system folder, you type rm -rf System. Just be careful deleting stuff - ideally you should have had a bootable backup. You can still make one by getting an external drive and using the installer to install OS X onto it. Then you could boot from the external drive and sort your drive out from within OS X.

Once the system folder is gone, you should be able to just install without erasing.
post #7 of 14
i'm having the same issue with my quad g5. it spins forever. the odd thing is i can hear the system logging in and doing stuff in the background. for instance i had eyetv starting on login and ichat too. so i can hear ichat logging in and eyetv starting up and playing television while i'm on the grayscreen. i can even do some key commands and restarting it. however i can boot into safe mode. but i just can't get it to boot up on its own. i also repaired permissions and ran diskwarrior 4 on it.

i guess i might try to just leave it and see if it gets going on its own. unfortunately i have work to do so i might just work in safe mode until i can get this stuff done.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by beatlesfan@mail.com View Post

I installed OS X 10.4 from a full version CD, not an upgrade. But now my version is 10.4.8 & when I try to do an archive & install it says I can't, that I have to do an erase & install since the os version on my computer is newer than the one on the install cd (install cd=10.4. on computer 10.4.8). How can I do an archive an install? Is there a work around?

G'day from Oz.

Sometimes symptoms such as yours can be caused by a flat or faulty Pram battery. If your G4 is about 5-7 yrears old, the battery would probably need replacing.

It's easy to do, just Google 'Pram Battery' & your computer model, or post here.

System 9 will run ok with a flat battery, but X is fussy, and can exibit all sorts of weird behaviour.

Santa
Core 2 Duo 24" iMac, 1 TB, 4 GB ram, Snow Leopard; 2 x 1.5 TB external seagates; Epson R390 Photo printer; Fuji Xerox C1110 laser; Epson 3490 scanner; 64 GB 3G iPad; a tolerant wife
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Core 2 Duo 24" iMac, 1 TB, 4 GB ram, Snow Leopard; 2 x 1.5 TB external seagates; Epson R390 Photo printer; Fuji Xerox C1110 laser; Epson 3490 scanner; 64 GB 3G iPad; a tolerant wife
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post #9 of 14
here's what worked for me: turn off your computer and disconnect everything. EVERYTHING. i took my usb hub, all my ipods, my ethernet cable and everything off. except for my monitor cables. it booted back up no problem and i reattached all my cables. so i guess i'll just avoid rebooting until apple issues a fix.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Santa View Post

G'day from Oz.

Sometimes symptoms such as yours can be caused by a flat or faulty Pram battery. If your G4 is about 5-7 yrears old, the battery would probably need replacing.

It's easy to do, just Google 'Pram Battery' & your computer model, or post here.

System 9 will run ok with a flat battery, but X is fussy, and can exibit all sorts of weird behaviour.

Santa

I did keep restarting & restarting & finally it let me do an archive & install. But it still keeps acting odd once in a while... The screen will just blip out & sometimes it will just lock up.

I keep getting the ? folder on boot, and then if I restart & open the CD drive, it will normally start fine.... Wierd!?

Should I get a battery still? If I do, will I lose any info on my drive? I already lost my address book & some of my mail.... I don't want to lose any more of my files!!! : (

All input is greatly appreciated!!

Heidi
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by beatlesfan@mail.com View Post

I did keep restarting & restarting & finally it let me do an archive & install. But it still keeps acting odd once in a while... The screen will just blip out & sometimes it will just lock up.

I keep getting the ? folder on boot, and then if I restart & open the CD drive, it will normally start fine.... Wierd!?

Should I get a battery still? If I do, will I lose any info on my drive? I already lost my address book & some of my mail.... I don't want to lose any more of my files!!! : (

All input is greatly appreciated!!

Heidi

G'day Heidi

Replacing the battery won't do any harm. It's about the size of 1/2 an AA battery, and is easily replaceable. It will be found on the mother board, and usually has a plastic cover over it. Take careful note of which way around it is, as sometimes the polarity is hard to see on the board.

Make sure that you turn off the computer of course, and ground yourself on the power supply, then remove the power plug, before removing the battery (just a precaution).

Shop around for prices on the battery, as some retailers charge the earth for it. I'm from Oz, so can't recommend a US retailer. The batteries job is to supply a trickle charge to the startup parameter ram, and they usually expire after about 5 years.

If you're losing information, you might have a faulty drive, although turning off the power while the drive is writing may also result in loss of data.

The two golden rules of data saving are Backup, and Backup again.

Regards

Santa
Core 2 Duo 24" iMac, 1 TB, 4 GB ram, Snow Leopard; 2 x 1.5 TB external seagates; Epson R390 Photo printer; Fuji Xerox C1110 laser; Epson 3490 scanner; 64 GB 3G iPad; a tolerant wife
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Core 2 Duo 24" iMac, 1 TB, 4 GB ram, Snow Leopard; 2 x 1.5 TB external seagates; Epson R390 Photo printer; Fuji Xerox C1110 laser; Epson 3490 scanner; 64 GB 3G iPad; a tolerant wife
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post #12 of 14
Your hard drive is failing, or there's a logic board problem. Take it in for service.

The question mark at boot means it's having troubled finding the system-- my guess is hard drive is dying. Rare on newish computers, but it happens.
There's no there there. But, I'm working on it.
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There's no there there. But, I'm working on it.
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post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ricksbrain View Post

Your hard drive is failing, or there's a logic board problem. Take it in for service.

The question mark at boot means it's having troubled finding the system-- my guess is hard drive is dying. Rare on newish computers, but it happens.

Where do I take it in? I don't think any local places work on Macs here in Central Michigan.

I think it's gone now. It was working & I thought all was well, but now it won't boot.

Here is what shows up when I hold down command v at startup:
Using 655 buffer headers and 655 cluster IO bufferheads
Rom ndrv for ATY, Rage 128 Pd is too old (0x659217fe)
obtaining ID
from Registry
ATIRage 128:using AGP
ApplescriptRs232serieal: 0 0 AppleRS23232Serial:start-returning false early, connector or machine incorrect
Local firewire GUID=0xa27ff:0xfeaea2b8
Security auditing service present
BSM auditing present
From path:"/pc8if2......etc...
.....
...Got Boot Device=IO Service..........

.....

BSD root: disk1s1s3, major 14, minor 14
Mar 5 00:18:50 mach_init [2]: Started with uid=0 audit-uid=-1
Root device is mounted read-only
Filesystem checks skipped
Mon Mar 5 00:18:51 PST 2007

Any ideas as to what the issue is would be greatly appreciated. I thought since I have a newer one coming that I would pass this one down to my son, but I need to know what to fix (new hard drive? or new ram? or new video card?) I am hoping to get this up & running for him. All help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Heidi
post #14 of 14
It sounds like a Bad Hard drive. If its constantly and unpredictably looking for a hard drive on startup, then that can be a problem. Without actually having my hands on it physically - it can be hard. I work on Mac Pro G5's at work, but the G4's should be very similar. A good 250 Gig Hard Drive can be a good thing since a lot of newer applications are storage hungry, not to mention RAM hungry. So a few RAm units would also be in store. Trouble is, the G4 is becoming obsolete (I know technology is a bitch when it comes to obsolete units ) and it might be a little tricky to find new RAM. You can google it, look on www.macmall.com or www.maczone.com as well. Or you can turn your machine off, and remove the RAM if you know how and looking for a part number on it. Enter it in "Quotes" in Google and you can find some great sources.

Hope this helps!

Best,

John / Q
At the source of every error which is blamed on the puter, you will find at least two human errors, including the error of blaming it on the puter!
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At the source of every error which is blamed on the puter, you will find at least two human errors, including the error of blaming it on the puter!
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