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New to Mac...can someone help?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I got the PowerMac G4 (I think it is a digital audio) for free from a friend who was throwing it out. I do not know ANYTHING about Macs so I am flying by the seat of my pants here. The computer had i assume some sort of hard drive failure in the master hard drive it looks like so it is not recognizing any OS. I am trying to boot from a cd to get Mac OS 9.1 or Tiger to load but using a standard non-Mac USB keyboard and it doesn't seem to be working.

I keep getting the grey screen with the folder with the two faces and question mark flashing alternating. I am holding down C and starting it to boot from cd. It starts like it is going to read the cd then it spits out any disk I put in.

Any help with this problem would be greatly appreciated!
post #2 of 4
The "faces and question mark alternating" means that the computer can't find a bootable system, which means that the OS that's on there is broken (for lack of a better word), non existant (your friend may have wiped it before giving it to you) or the physical disk itself is malfuntioning.

It's possible that the powermac just doesn't like the keyboard, so it won't respond to any of the normal startup modifiers.

It's also possible that the machine can't read the disk you're putting in. Check for obvious stuff like scratches on the disk or stuff jammed in the disk tray/slot. If it's not an original disk (ie, a copy of an install disk), it may not be formatted so that the mac can read it. Try to use an original OS install disk if you can get your hands on one.
post #3 of 4
hold cmd option P R at startup until it chimes 3 times. put the disk in & restart, this time hold option. see what it gives you.

is the disk a dvd? your drive might not be able to read dvds, depending on how old it is. try an external dvd drive, but has to be firewire. or you can try another mac, hold T at boot on the 2nd mac & see if it will boot from that drive (hold option on yours at boot.).
15" MacBook Pro 2.4 Ghz Unibody | MacBook 2.4 Ghz Unibody | AirPort Extreme - Gigabit | "Sawtooth" PowerMac G4 in B&W (G3) case, 1.2Ghz, 1TB Mirrored RAID
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15" MacBook Pro 2.4 Ghz Unibody | MacBook 2.4 Ghz Unibody | AirPort Extreme - Gigabit | "Sawtooth" PowerMac G4 in B&W (G3) case, 1.2Ghz, 1TB Mirrored RAID
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post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by travelingmom View Post

I got the PowerMac G4 (I think it is a digital audio) for free from a friend who was throwing it out. I do not know ANYTHING about Macs so I am flying by the seat of my pants here. The computer had i assume some sort of hard drive failure in the master hard drive it looks like so it is not recognizing any OS. I am trying to boot from a cd to get Mac OS 9.1 or Tiger to load but using a standard non-Mac USB keyboard and it doesn't seem to be working.

I keep getting the grey screen with the folder with the two faces and question mark flashing alternating. I am holding down C and starting it to boot from cd. It starts like it is going to read the cd then it spits out any disk I put in.

Any help with this problem would be greatly appreciated!

Reboot your system. Then do a disk checkup. Could be a problem with your OS. Could be corrupt.
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