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Major Problem with OS X; not starting

Hi,

I have an Apple G4 Dual 2x 450MHz that has dual boot OS 9.2 and OSX 10.3 Panther OSX 10.3 Panther.  I usually just use Panther.  Ok, I just plugged it into the net today after about 3 or 4 weeks and let the software update run.  Now I can't get into my system.  All I get at start up is the following message:

You need to restart your computer.  Hold down the Power button for several seconds or press the Restart button.....other languages below this.

The only thing is that it keeps happening over and over and I cant get into my system.  I am completely stumped about what to do.  I have tried presing the PMU button but to no avail.  

Sometimes if I let it sit at the message it will go in and looks as if it is gonna start up only to go through the blue status bar and all the service names and do nothing else.  It may also say "you cannot log in at this time as there is a problem, please contact your administrator" or something to that effect.


 Anyone got any ideas?
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markmcelhone
Asked:
markmcelhone
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1 Solution
 
ozoCommented:
Can you boot from CD-ROM?
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markmcelhoneAuthor Commented:
I havent actually tried booting from cd-rom as dont have the install disks for the computer.  I have though, install disks for OS X 10.2, could i try using the disk repair utility in these??
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Andrew DuffyTechnical Services CoordinatorCommented:
It sounds like there's a problem with system files, either missing or becoming corrupted. Was the last update interrupted before it completed? Either way, a reinstall might be the only course of action.

But before you do this, yes, try Disk Utility on the system CDs you have. Repair permissions and the disk and see if that helps.
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markmcelhoneAuthor Commented:
Hi,

just a short while ago I zapped the PRAM using CMD-OPT-P-R at start up.  This seemed to do something as the machine then started up in OS 9.2 and looked like I was able to work away.  So I again restarted and no problems coming into 9.2.  I then went into the Sys Prefs and changed start up disk to 10.3...problems again.  Came up with the same message as before "You need to restart your computer..." it then went on into the desktop background and that was it!!

Before I zapped the PRAM i did try to boot from the CDROM by pressing C on startup but to no avail.  I will try again when I get back home from work.

Oh yes, the last update was interrupted before completing...
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Andrew DuffyTechnical Services CoordinatorCommented:
Right, your last sentence is the key to the problem. Updates for the System basically rewrite a lot of fundamental stuff. So because it got interrupted, the System was only partially rewritten and will therefore not start up. You have two options at this point:

a) Reinstall from scratch.
b) Remove the hard disk, install it in a different Mac running OSX and use that machine to download the update that failed. You can then install it on the hard disk from the other machine and it should repair the damage.

Obviously b) is preferable because it will take less time and you won't have to reconfigure the system again. But in the event that b) doesn't work, a) is your only option.
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markmcelhoneAuthor Commented:
thanks in-effect.

If i do remove it and put it in another mac how will i still be able to update it though.  Would I have to remove the start up disk from my work one and replace with other one or just put the damaged one in?  Havent tried anything like this before so any pointers would be much appreciated.
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markmcelhoneAuthor Commented:
By the way, I say work one as thats the only other mac i come into contact with (should have explained what I meant by work one in last post)
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Andrew DuffyTechnical Services CoordinatorCommented:
Okay, you can install the 'broken' disk alongside the disk in a working Mac. It's quite straightforward:

a) Disconnect the ATA lead (wide grey lead) and the power connector.
b) Undo the single screw that holds the drive enclosure' to the case and remove the enclosure.
c) Turn the enclosure over and unscrew the drive (four screws).
d) You should then have the drive on its own. You now need to change the jumper (little plastic block) between the connector and the power socket so that it's set up as 'Slave' (it will be set up as 'Master' by default. If the instructions how to do this aren't on the label on the top of the drive, they'll be under it (or they should be).
e) Open the case of the working Mac and locate the drive - it will be in a chamber exactly like yours. Sit the 'broken' disk on top of the other one and connect the wide ATA lead and a spare power connector.

Now when you boot up the working Mac, you should have two hard disks on the Desktop. Download the update (the same one that was being installed before it failed) and when you install it, choose the 'broken' disk as the destination. This *should* work. But no promises ;0)
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Andrew DuffyTechnical Services CoordinatorCommented:
Mark, provided the other Mac has OS X running on it, it should work.
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markmcelhoneAuthor Commented:
Ah right get you now, stupid me never even thought about master and slave, and I work in IT?? (Although most of my experience is PC based).

I have second disk in my working MAC so will it be ok to just remove the cable from it and use it for the 'broken' one?

And the other MAC has OS X 10.2.8 running on it so will this be Ok?
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Andrew DuffyTechnical Services CoordinatorCommented:
Yes shouldn't be a problem - the update is relative to the disk you're installing it to, not the OS you're using to actually install it (if that makes sense).

Yes, replacing the broken disk with the second disk should be fine. You know more about Macs than you think you do!
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markmcelhoneAuthor Commented:
Cheers, will give it a whirl and let you know
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markmcelhoneAuthor Commented:
I have put the 'broken' disk in as a slave but it never appeared on the desktop.  I went into the disk utility and it recognised it but says:

Disk Description: Media
Total Capacity: 0,00 Bytes (o Bytes)
Connection bus: ATA
Connection TYPE: INTERNAL
Connection ID:  Slave
Disk write status: read/write

Then with the most recent update downloaded i ran the file but it said the package may only be run on MAC OS X, version 10.3 or higher.

Any suggestions?
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markmcelhoneAuthor Commented:
is there any way i can repair/verify disk from OS 9.2 if i can get back into it???
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Andrew DuffyTechnical Services CoordinatorCommented:
Hmmm... no, you can't examine an OS X disk in OS 9 unfortunately. Sorry about the update not working - it was worth taking a chance to save doing a reinstall.

You said you couldn't boot from the OS X installer CDs - this is odd. Perhaps you could try starting up from them on the other machine now it's got the broken disk in it?
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markmcelhoneAuthor Commented:
No worries, you're right it was worth a go and if the good machine i am using was running 10.3 then it may have worked as it would then possibly have given me the choice.  I just took it out again there now thinking it was no use keeping it in there and had left the OS X 10.2 installer cds at home anyway.  

I will put it back in the other machine, boot into 9.2 (providing I can) and then set, in the preferences, the start up disk to be 9.2 and try booting from the cds then.  WOuld this work do you think?
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Andrew DuffyTechnical Services CoordinatorCommented:
Should do. And if booting from the CDs doesn't work by holding C then set the CD as the startup disk  via OS 9. Good luck.
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markmcelhoneAuthor Commented:
Ok

have just booted from the CD ROM and repaired permissions on the disk but still nothing is happpening, do i really have to do a clean install of OS X??  

The only thing is,  i do not have install cds for 10.3 as it came pre-loaded (from ebay).  Definitely nothing else you can think off i could try??
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Andrew DuffyTechnical Services CoordinatorCommented:
The only other possibility would be to put the disk in a machine running 10.3 and trying to install the update that went wrong. Otherwise, yes, you'll need to install from scratch as this would be the only way to repair the system.

Obviously 10.3 didn't come preloaded on the machine when it was purchased (due to its age) so you should have been given the CDs to install it when you bought it. It could be worth going back to the seller and asking for them.

Otherwise you'll have to buy a copy - it's not all that expensive (and it's worth it in my opinion).
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markmcelhoneAuthor Commented:
actually found back ups of the OS s on the second hard drive on the machine but they are compressed.  No probs burning them to disk but when I put a blank cd in in OS 9.2 it tries to initialize the disk and then the screen goes blank.  Must be more probs than orig thought?

I can easily connect the mac to my pc, transfer the files across to it and then burn the files to disk although would the files need to be burned to disk on a  Mac or would they work if burnt on a pc?  And if the CDs contain the OS are they automatically bootable or is there something else i need to do?
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Andrew DuffyTechnical Services CoordinatorCommented:
In what format are these compressed backups?
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markmcelhoneAuthor Commented:
I think they are toast files as far as i can remember
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Andrew DuffyTechnical Services CoordinatorCommented:
Is there an extension on the end of the filename? It's likely you'll have to use a Mac to burn them. If they're images, they need to be burned using either Toast or Disk Utility in MacOS so that the original format of the images is preserved i.e. you can't 'decompress' the images and burn the files - this is unlikely to work.
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markmcelhoneAuthor Commented:
Nothing is ever simple.

Now when i put a CD in when booted into OS 9.2.2 i get three options.  Choosing the first and third (standard and universal) results in the disk being ejected with a message saying could not write to this disk as it is locked.  Choosing the second option (extended) results in looking as if the disk is being initialised but when the byte count goes down to zero the disk is ejected and Finder crashes.

I can get my hands on an external CD Writer and so should be able to burn the OS X images to disk.  Will this be OK and the cd be in the right format?
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Andrew DuffyTechnical Services CoordinatorCommented:
Let's assume the images are in native Apple .dmg or .iso format. Provided you have a Mac running OS X with a CD writer installed then yes you should be able to burn the images:

In Jaguar (10.2), open Disk Copy from the utilities folder. Drag the first image into the program window and choose Burn Image from whichever menu item it's under (I think it's File) and this will render a fresh CD from that image with the correct format etc.

In Panther, open Disk Utility from the utilities folder. Drag the images into the left-hand pane of the program window (under where the devices are listed) and click the Burn icon.

In Toast, click the Other tab and it should say 'Drop a disc image file here'. Once you've done that, you should just be able to click the Record button and you're away.
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markmcelhoneAuthor Commented:
There is something wrong with disk burner in 9.2 as keeps giving errors and wont recognise disks, cant remember error messages off hand.

well i tried, in 9.2, writing to external cd but even to copy (never mind burning) the files to the cd took nearly two days for one disk.  I am thinking now that i will install the 10.2 I have and then when can get in to OS X, install toast and use OS X to burn the images to cd and then go through the isntallation to 10.3 using the newly created disks.  This seems like a solution i think.  All should go well if disk burner will work in OS X?
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Andrew DuffyTechnical Services CoordinatorCommented:
Agreed - I never imagined it would work in 9.2 anyway as it's incompatible with images created using OS X
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markmcelhoneAuthor Commented:
And everything is right in the world again (well almost).

So used the cds I had for 10.2 and installed OS X.  Then linked to my PC and copied the OS X image files over to it.  I then burned these images to DVD.  I took it to my work Mac and burned the images to cd.  So took these home and installed OS X 10.3 cd 1 - something stopped 2 and 3 from installing but done it manually apart from couple of packages which wouldnt install.  Then installed the 10.3.6 update which had downloaded and burned to disk.  Then ran software update and updated the computer.  and now everything, well as far as can tell at the minute, is running ok apart form cd burner which the computer says isnt supported?  Would I have to download drivers or something for it?  

anyway, it is with great pleasure I award you the points, thanks for all your help over the past week.
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Andrew DuffyTechnical Services CoordinatorCommented:
Hey, my pleasure. It was a hard slog but worth it considering you got a result. I think Apple seriously need to do something about the way their updates are distributed because Macs do crash at the wrong time and power cables do get kicked out of their sockets. In my mind, this whole mess was unneccesary.

And well done for using plenty of your own logic and initiative - I hope you feel you've learnt something from this.

The CD burner. Is it external or internal?
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markmcelhoneAuthor Commented:
Learnt something?  Yeah plenty, seems i now do know more about Macs and making sure updates arent interrupted for starters.

CD burner is internal - Philips of some kind, can't remember the exact model.

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Andrew DuffyTechnical Services CoordinatorCommented:
So was that the drive the Mac came with or is it an upgrade? Either way, I can't immediately imagine why it wouldn't recognise it, assuming it's worked before.

Is the drive visible in Disk Utility? And (worth checking) is it plugged in correctly with the right jumper settings? I know you've not interfered with this while removing the hard disk etc. but it's the first thing to check.
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markmcelhoneAuthor Commented:
This was the drive that came with the machine - built in.

What happens is:

when I insert a blank disc up comes the window asking what I want to do.  I clikck ok with the action being to Open Finder.

Then the disc is ejected and a dialog box appears with the following message:

"The disc could not be used because the disc drive is not supported (Error Code 0x80020025)

and I click OK.

From the system profiler:

PHILIPS CDD7052:

  Manufacturer:      PHILIPS
  Model:      PHILIPS CDD7052
  Revision:      B1.5
  Serial Number:      
  Drive Type:      CD-RW
  Disc Burning:      Not Supported
  Removable Media:      Yes
  Detachable Drive:      No
  Protocol:      ATAPI
  Unit Number:      0
  Socket Type:      Internal
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Andrew DuffyTechnical Services CoordinatorCommented:
And has the drive worked with OS X before or is this a new problem?
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markmcelhoneAuthor Commented:
Well I had never actually used the drive before as have only had the Mac a while and usually used my PC when burning discs.
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Andrew DuffyTechnical Services CoordinatorCommented:
And this is the machine you bought on eBay?

It's possible that if the G4 didn't originally come with a CD burner that the previous owner has installed one later. As far as I know, any ATAPI drive should work seamlessly with OS X but it's conceivable that it's incompatible. I've looked for a compatibility list but can't find one I'm afraid.

I'll keep looking.
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markmcelhoneAuthor Commented:
Hi in-effect, I downloaded PatchBurn.

PatchBurn is a tool to patch existing CD/DVD-drivers (under Mac-OS X 10.2.x) or to generate and install new device profiles (under Mac-OS 10.3.x and later) and now can burn away until my heart is content, both through Itunes and finder, havent tried it on OS 9.2 but never use it so what the hell, class.  Thanks again for all your help.
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Andrew DuffyTechnical Services CoordinatorCommented:
Well you've taught me something - thanks!
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