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Unable to Boot iBook G4 Laptop

Posted on 2009-03-30
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Last Modified: 2013-11-24
My friend recently bought a used iBook G4 (Model #A1054). It worked fine for about a month but now it won't boot. The computer powers on, makes the Apple chime sound and starts to boot. Even gets to the initial splash screen w/ the Apple logo and the the spinning clock circle (not sure what the official term is), but at some point the spinning circle freezes up and nothing else happens. Just sits there on the Apple logo screen.

I'm not sure what version of OS X is on this laptop. I tried to insert a Tiger DVD and held down the C key to boot from it, but just got a black screen. Also tried holding down Command S to go into Single-User mood, but just got to a black screen w/ NO command prompt. Also tried holding down Command-Option-P-R to reset the PRAM. Still nothing.

I was able to boot into Target mood and then ran Verify Disk (on Disk Utility) from my attached Powerbook. DU said the HD was OK.

Not sure what else to try??
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Question by:anuneznyc
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by:anuneznyc
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Correction to above. I actually do get to the Apple logo screen when I boot from the Tiger OS DVD, but then it just seems to hang there.
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Author Comment

by:anuneznyc
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Tried rebooting and holding down Command-V to see the console messages. Here are the last 5 lines that displayed before it froze up:

ADB present:8c
mbinit: done
Security auditing service present
BSM auditing present
rooting via boot-uuid from /chosen: C64F2319-C621-336D-8F52-2F2C3F8F2C69
W

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Expert Comment

by:calldrdave
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I'd suggest backing up the data, reformatting it target disk mode, and then try reinstalling from the Tiger DVD.  The tiger DVD could be bad
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Author Comment

by:anuneznyc
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OK. I reformatted under target disk mode. Ran a disk check after and it reported that the HD appears to be fine. Tried rebooting off Tiger DVD and still not getting to the Installation screen.

My DVD seems fine as I can read it when I put it into my Powerbook.

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Expert Comment

by:calldrdave
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is this a retail version of Tiger or could it be possibly one that come with an Intel based Mac?
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Author Comment

by:anuneznyc
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Retail specifically for power PC
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by:calldrdave
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How much RAM do you have.  Also, you are sure nothing is connected to the system ast the time of install
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Author Comment

by:anuneznyc
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I have no idea how much RAM is on this laptop. I've never been able to boot up to the desktop to find out. Am I sure nothing is connected to the system...?? Not sure what you mean?
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Expert Comment

by:calldrdave
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It's very possible you don't have enough RAM to boot into Tiger.  Can you boot off the original CD that came with the system?
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by:anuneznyc
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512 total. 256 onboard plus an extra 256 Mg DIMM in the memory expansion slot. Just out of curiosity, I swapped out the DIMM and replaced it w/ another spare 256 Mg chip I had on hand. Now it allowed me to reboot and get to the tiger install screen.

So it seems like that extra DIMM has maybe gone bad? I've never heard of DIMM going bad after a month of use, but I suppose anything is possible.

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Assisted Solution

by:calldrdave
calldrdave earned 150 total points
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You nailed the problem!  Glad I was able to help.
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Author Comment

by:anuneznyc
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Maybe I didn't quite nail it down yet! I was able to fully install Tiger and rebooted successfully. However, then I went to download & install SW updates and it locked up 1/2 way through. Total lock-up...couldn't force quit & mouse pointer was frozen. So I forced a shut-down & rebooted. Now I'm back to my original problem and unable to boot up.

Could this be a bad motherboard issue?
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Accepted Solution

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pheidius earned 350 total points
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Maybe all is not lost yet. It would seem that you were using the auti updater. I never recommend that be used at all. It is always best to download the manual update dmg and apply that. The files are more complete. I have had several cases where g4 towers working fine before an auto update behave just as your does. Try a reformat and fresh install and then apply the manual update. Also check the firmwware version before you update and be sure it is the latest available.
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Author Comment

by:anuneznyc
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OK. Could you please send a link for getting the manual update dmg and also for how to download & update the firmware version. I have never done either on a Mac. Thanks.
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Assisted Solution

by:pheidius
pheidius earned 350 total points
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Here is the firmware link. Go to  Apple/about this mac/moreinfo and check the boot rom version against the info on this link http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1395?viewlocale=en_US  Glancing at it it doesn't look as if your ibook will need one but there were three ibook models that did.
This link has the PPc 10.4.11 combo update dmg. First download it. Then fix permissions with disk utility. Then open and apply the update following the easy onscreen prompts. When it says it is done,then reboot it and fix permissions again.
http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/apple/macosx_updates/index1.html
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Author Comment

by:anuneznyc
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Thanks for the links. What exactly do you mean by "fix permissions with disk utility"? Sorry, but I'm a Windows guy. Have limited experience w/ Macs.
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Author Comment

by:anuneznyc
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This problem was never resolved. My friend went back to the guy that sold the iBook to her and traded it in for another system.

Thanks for the suggestions. I will assign points.
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Author Closing Comment

by:anuneznyc
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This problem never got resolved, but I'm splitting points to acknowledge the effort made. Thanks!
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After years of analyzing threat actor behavior, it’s become clear that at any given time there are specific tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) that are particularly prevalent. By analyzing and understanding these TTPs, you can dramatically enhance your security program.

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