Last Rites

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
Ok, so my computer is dying. I'm OK with that...but I still need to recover some stuff. Here's my problem:

I'm using an ancient G4 (Quicksilver) Dual 1ghz, 1g RAM, OS 10.4, ca. 2001 It's been deteriorating for a long time, now to the point where nearly every program has to be opened via terminal. All new installs show full file size, but gives the error that 'Files May Be Damaged Or Incomplete.' This is also true of the 10.5 Install Disk I just got (sealed in Apple packaging). I can't boot to disk (holding 'C' does nothing, just loads like normal). I've tried some other boot options (Option, Target disk, etc) but none of them will initiate. I'm hoping for some advice to get this OS to a last resort I could re-install an older, smaller hard drive and hope it'd boot to disk then. But I was hoping for the easy answer. To let ya know how far gone this system is, I can no longer do simple tasks like Drag-Drop, or copy/paste without getting the 'You Must Restart Your Computer' warning screen.

I know there's no fix for old age, but I'll be ordering a new MacPro in a couple weeks, just need something other than my iPhone to get me through till then. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!


  • Reply 1 of 3
    kmac1036kmac1036 Posts: 278member
    yeah, you might be losing the hard drive.

    try unplugging the internal hard drive & then see if it will boot off the DVD. The bad drive might be tying up the IDE bus if it's failing hard or there's a short circuit in the controller board.
  • Reply 2 of 3
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    You said you need to recover data...?

    If you have another Mac with Firewire use Target Disk Mode. This turns your G4 Mac in to a hard disk that mounts on the desktop of you second computer. This is a GREAT feature that Macs have that I've wished PCs had for over two decades! (Yeah that's right, we even had this with SCSI!!!)

    Here is how you do it:

    1. Connect two Macs with Firewire.

    2. Turn on the second Mac (the one that you will be copying files to.)

    3. Turn on the first Mac that you want to recover files off of, but as soon as you turn it on, hold down the "T" key. (T for Target) until you see a grey screen with the Firewire logo.

    4. Your old Mac's hard drive should show up mounted on your new Mac's desktop. Copy what you need.

    This is also useful to fix the hard drive, which you may be able to do, with disk utilities such as Apple's own Disk Utility in the Utilities folder in Applications, or third party applications like DiskWarrior or TechTool Pro. Try those, and then try erasing and reinstalling OS X on your G4, that may fix it, it may just be corrupted.

    One other note...when NOTHING else works to rescue data off of a hard drive that is dying or corrupted, try Data Rescue. It does not write to the disk (possibly overwriting files) and retrieves stuff when NOTHING else can.

    Good luck!
  • Reply 3 of 3
    48v48v Posts: 5member
    Thanks, everyone...I did swap the HD and the new OS installed without issue. Luckily, the bad drive wasn't so far gone that I couldn't back up the important data before tossing it in the bin.

    Thanks again, should be getting the new Pro in a couple I can finally let this thing die.
Sign In or Register to comment.