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iMac G5 Keeps Rebooting

Posted on 2009-04-26
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Last Modified: 2013-11-24
I am trying to fix a client's iMac G5 20" computer that was originally running Tiger. At first it was just running very slowly and it was no longer printing. Downloading & re-installing the printer driver took over 20 minutes and it still wouldn't print. Trying to reboot into Safe Mood failed. I rebooted it into Target mode and used my Powerbook to run Disk Utility, which stated that the HDD was damaged and unrepairable. The files on the drive were still accessible, so I backed up the HDD and tried to do a clean install of Leopard. The first time I tried to install, it failed b/c it found a problem w/ the HDD. I then rebooted the system back into Target Mode & ran Disk Utility to format the HDD using the Zero Out Data Option, which I canceled after 20 min b/c it was taking so long. I then tried to install Leopard & this time it took over an hour to install all the files and when the counter was down to "less than a minute remaining", I got an error message saying that the installation failed. It's odd b/c it seems like it got 99.99% of the way through the install & then failed.

When I start the computer now it seems like it's going to boot up fine, but it just gets caught in a loop where it keeps rebooting itself endlessly. Trying to boot into Single User Mode yields the same result.

I can start it in target mode and if I open the Disk Utility, it shows the drive as not having any errors and working properly. The SMART status shows the drive as "Verified."

I'm going to go back to the client on Monday morning to investigate further. I am bringing DiskWarrior, so I can further test the HDD.

Anyone have any suggestions on what might be happening here?


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Question by:anuneznyc
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strung earned 750 total points
ID: 24240709
Replace the drive. Drives are cheap and you can replace the old drive with a much bigger one (which will make the client happy) and give the client piece of mind.
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by:anuneznyc
ID: 24242064
Thanks Strung. That's very good advice. I'm at the client now. Installed the new drive and I'm currently installing Leopard. Says "Time remaining says 2 hrs & 4 min", but that should adjust downward soon (I hope!).

I have a question about restoring the data back to this new drive. I now realize that I should have used Carbon Copy Cloner to make an image of the old HDD before I erased it. But unfortunately I didn't. Instead I manually used Finder to copy the contents of the old drive over to a backup folder on an external Firewire drive.

So I have a feeling that I won't be able to use the built-in Migration Assistant to restore the previous apps & settings and files over to the new drive, right? Will I have to manually copy all the files back and reinstall whatever software the client previously had?
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by:anuneznyc
ID: 24243469
Was able to get Leopard installed on the new drive. When I rebooted the system after install had completed, the Migration Assistant popped up. It is now copying the files over from the external drive. However, I am now stuck at the "Transferring Information" screen & it says "Less than a minute remaining", but it's been at that screen for over 30 minutes now!

The progress bar is almost all the way to the right, but other than that I can't tell if this froze up or not??

How long would Firewire 400 take to copy 140 Gigs over??


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