HELP! PowerBook doesn't boot reliably

Posted:
in Genius Bar edited January 2014
Since two weeks my PowerBook G4 Titantium 1Ghz doesn't boot reliably. Maybe every 10th time it works. All the other trials get answered with 4 beeps and the LED flashes 5 times. I've checked the Apple support site, where it says "no good boot images in the boot ROM (and/or bad sys config block)". What doesn't make me much smarter. Can anyone translate that or explain, how I can fix the problem?

Thanks in advance for your help

eclectic



P.S. A week ago I replaced the harddisk, because I thought it's the troublemaker since DiskUtility said "S.M.A.R.T.-Status: failure". Now S.M.A.R.T.-Status is ok, but start up problems still exist.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,700member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by eclectic

    Since two weeks my PowerBook G4 Titantium 1Ghz doesn't boot reliably. Maybe every 10th time it works. All the other trials get answered with 4 beeps and the LED flashes 5 times. I've checked the Apple support site, where it says "no good boot images in the boot ROM (and/or bad sys config block)". What doesn't make me much smarter. Can anyone translate that or explain, how I can fix the problem?



    This is not good. Keep your fingers crossed that it's just bad ram making it look like a bad ROM. If it is a bad ROM, you'll have to replace the motherboard, sorry . How much RAM do you have in the machine?



    Oh, or, when you replaced the hard drive you dislodged a ribbon connector or some such. Make sure all internal connections are sound.



    Quote:

    Originally posted by eclectic

    P.S. A week ago I replaced the harddisk, because I thought it's the troublemaker since DiskUtility said "S.M.A.R.T.-Status: failure". Now S.M.A.R.T.-Status is ok, but start up problems still exist.



    Yes, that was a good idea (to replace the Hard Drive). How did you copy the stuff from old disk --> new disk?
  • Reply 2 of 7
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mr. H

    This is not good. Keep your fingers crossed that it's just bad ram making it look like a bad ROM. If it is a bad ROM, you'll have to replace the motherboard, sorry . How much RAM do you have in the machine?



    I have 2 x 512MB. I removed each of them and tried to start up with just one of them installed, but it didn't solve the problem.





    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mr. H

    Oh, or, when you replaced the hard drive you dislodged a ribbon connector or some such. Make sure all internal connections are sound.



    I'll open the PowerBook again and will check that. But I'm not very optimistic about it, because start up problems already existed before the replacement.





    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mr. H

    Yes, that was a good idea (to replace the Hard Drive). How did you copy the stuff from old disk --> new disk?



    First I tried to make a backup on my external FW-Disk with Carbon Copy Cloner, but it didn't work properly anymore. So I tried to move the files manually. Luckily most of them copied correct, so I didn't loose much data.
  • Reply 3 of 7
    trowatrowa Posts: 176member
    So you did a clean install on a new hard drive and you got the same problems when booting up?



    it sounds like it could be either bad hardware or software. If you get the same problems with a new hard drive with a clean install then something is wrong with the motherboard.



    have you tried resetting the motherboard and zapping PRAM?



    to reset the powerbook, unhinge the keyboard. to the top right near the power switch you will find a tiny button. Make sure you take out the battery and power plug. Press the tiny button for 10 seconds. reboot machine. Zap PRAM



    if that doesn't work, you may have to send it somewhere. A bad boot rom can cause a lot of havoc. As you already know. but it could get progressively worse, where you may never be able to boot up the machine again.
  • Reply 4 of 7
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,700member
    If you haven't already got everything backed up, make sure you do it ASAP. When hardware is possibly failing, there's no telling what it might decide to do to your hard drive.



    Did you try with only one stick of RAM in both the lower and then upper slot? (i.e., if it didn't work in the lower slot with the upper slot empty, move it to the upper slot with the lower slot empty)
  • Reply 5 of 7
    Quote:

    Originally posted by trowa

    So you did a clean install on a new hard drive and you got the same problems when booting up?



    it sounds like it could be either bad hardware or software. If you get the same problems with a new hard drive with a clean install then something is wrong with the motherboard.



    have you tried resetting the motherboard and zapping PRAM?



    to reset the powerbook, unhinge the keyboard. to the top right near the power switch you will find a tiny button. Make sure you take out the battery and power plug. Press the tiny button for 10 seconds. reboot machine. Zap PRAM



    if that doesn't work, you may have to send it somewhere. A bad boot rom can cause a lot of havoc. As you already know. but it could get progressively worse, where you may never be able to boot up the machine again.




    That's what I fear, not to be able to boot up again. I did reset the powerbook and zap PRAM after installing the new harddrive but neither helped. Now I do not anymore turn off the machine at all since days, because the last time it took so many trials to get it running again that I'm afraid it could have been the last time.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mr. H

    If you haven't already got everything backed up, make sure you do it ASAP. When hardware is possibly failing, there's no telling what it might decide to do to your hard drive.



    I've backed up as much as I could, before I reformatted the harddrive. Just missing some songs in the library and mails from last 30 days.



    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mr. H

    Did you try with only one stick of RAM in both the lower and then upper slot? (i.e., if it didn't work in the lower slot with the upper slot empty, move it to the upper slot with the lower slot empty)



    I guess I didn't try it with the same stick in the upper or the lower slot. Will do that, thanks for the advice!
  • Reply 7 of 7
    i had similiar problems my powerbook.. nothing as severe as you... but mine would just reboot itself randomly while im typing in an app... and when it did reboot it would have a click from time to time, and then i re-formatted the entire machine.... w/ jaguar to test to make sure it was ha.. then he problem went away... then i got a hold of panther and reformatted to panther, and now my G4 titanium powerbook works beautifully... now if ic ould only get wireless interent in the school... tehy set a password to their netowrk now that they got entire wireless access... my screen never made weird colors like you discribed though..



    im sorry, hope that hlps... doesnt hurt to re-format... save all your applications and what not you want back them up, and then just re-format the machine w/ w/e operating system your using, pnather, ext... see if that works... if your having problems still.. then it could be that motherboard problem... but give it a shot first re-formatting, dont install music, photos, other apps until you confirm that that was the problem or not...



    hope that helps... good luck
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