Powermac G4 (450Mhz w/AGP video) intermittent boot/startup disk problems with OS 9.2

Posted on 2004-10-04
Last Modified: 2013-11-17
I have recently replaced the hard disk in my Powermac G4 ("Sawtooth" / 450Mhz / AGP) and am having the following problem:

Sometimes when booting up i get the "confused mac" question mark instead of the OS loading icon (after the chime), and it just sits there waiting. I can get out of this by booting on my MacOS9 cdrom and selecting the hard disk as my startup disk (even though it appears to be selected already), then rebooting. Then it seems to work for a couple of reboots before reverting to the above behaviour. More details:

The hard disk is new (a Seagate 7200RPM ATA-100 40GB). The old (apple supplied) hdd did not exibit this problem.
I have reinstalled the system twice (including initialising the disk to erase it) and the behaviour continues. I have even gone so far as to reformat it on a pc and run a surface scan of it, before re-initialising it on the mac (the test showed no problems).

If i hold ALT at boot, the disk does not appear in the system folder list (on those occasions that the problem is occurring).

Would be grateful if anyone who has witnessed a similar problem could give me some ideas. Problem has been nagging at me for a week so 500pts.

Question by:mikeadam
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Accepted Solution

weed earned 500 total points
ID: 12218316
Are the jumpers on the new HD set the same as the old HD? Could be coincidence that your battery has died at the same time? Have you run any maintenance utilities on it besides PC ones?

Author Comment

ID: 12218542

Jumpers are master on both drives.. Battery is producing 3.6V (=normal), have taken it out to check with multimeter (hence also resetting pram i think).

I have used the disk utility when booting on cdrom and get "the volume appears to be ok" or similar.

LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 12218933
Have you put the old drive back in and seen if the problem is reporduceable? It may be a problem we're attributing to the HD but isnt.
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Author Comment

ID: 12224940
Have now put the old hdd back in - the install on that drive also has problems, but the bootup/start menu folder problem is not one of them.
LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 12228210
When the machine refuses to boot, try restarting it, then holding down option to get you to the boot disk selection screen. See if the disk shows up there.

Author Comment

ID: 12228375
Okay, have resolved problem. I had ham-fistedly set the jumper to "restrict to 32GB" instead of master (the jumpers are at each end of the block with only a diagram on the drive sticker, so i had the drive upside down relative to the diagram. nightmare.)

Just goes to show the value of double checking the little things i guess.
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Expert Comment

ID: 12228409
heh that'll do it!

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