G5 PowerMac won't boot

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
My PowerMac (G5, 1st gen, dual 2.0 GHz, 4 GB RAM, Tiger) is not booting, gives me the folder with the question mark alternating with the folder with the Finder logo on it.

Booted off the Tiger install disk to run disk utility on my main hard drive and got the following error message

- Invalid B tree node size

- Volume check failed

- Error: The underlying task reported failure on exit

- 1 HFS Volume Checked

- 1 volumed could not be repaired because of error

So does this mean the hard drive has failed, or would it be salvageable with Disk Warrior?

Thanks for any help!


  • Reply 1 of 6
    lundylundy Posts: 4,466member
    Definitely try Disk Warrior first, unless you have the luxury of a recent backup and can just format the drive. Disk Warrior works backwards from the files to recreate the directory, rather than try to "fix" the directory. It can restore a lot of things that Disk First Aid can't.
  • Reply 2 of 6
    f1turbof1turbo Posts: 249member
    Now I've tried DiskWarrior, but still no luck. It hangs on, I think, step 5, with an attendant message saying something about errors slowing it down. I checked the DiskWarrior help page, and they said it will be slow, but should still work. I let it run for 15 hours and saw no change on the step #, message, or progress bar. At that point my concern for damage to the monitor became larger than my concern for the hard drive. Rather than trying to reformat the hard drive at this point, I ordered a new drive (400 GB to give me some more space). My latest backup (using Backup to an external drive) was probably 3 or 4 weeks old, unfortunately, so I would like to see if I can recover any of the data.

    My question at this point is, can I swap the A drive into the B position and try to recover data from it after installing the new drive? I do have a second drive in the B position now. Is there any problem swapping drives around like this? My current B drive is just used for video, so I could re-rip videotapes if necessary.

    Related question: Am I correct in my understanding of .Mac Backup program that it will only backup for 1 user (owner of .Mac account)? I have four users on this PowerMac and can't get the installed Backup program to work for the other three users.

  • Reply 3 of 6
    You don't have to switch drives. Just install OS X on the new drive and start the system from the new drive.
  • Reply 4 of 6
    f1turbof1turbo Posts: 249member
    But if I want to try to recover files from the original drive, what's the best way to do that? If I have enough space on the firewire drive, I could possibly install Tiger on that, and try to recover the files before installing the new drive?

    Seems to me like the most straight forward way would be what I suggested above:
  • Reply 5 of 6
    f1turbof1turbo Posts: 249member
    Continued (sorry about that, didn't know tab would submit with no second chance)

    - take out original boot (A) drive

    - install Tiger on new A drive

    - take out B drive, install original A drive in B slot

    - recover files

    - take out original A drive, replace with original B drive

    - restore anything else from (3 weeks old) backup firewire drive to new A drive

    Will this work? Any complications to be aware of?
  • Reply 6 of 6
    f1turbof1turbo Posts: 249member
    Installed the new hard drive, but PowerMac isn't acknowledging the drive--so probably wasn't a hard drive failure. Looks like I need to take it into Apple to have them see what the problem is.
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