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Mac G5 not booting

Posted on 2009-07-14
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Looking for troubleshooting tips to help a Mac G5 that is not booting.  Not sure of the OS version.  When switched on, it shows an all gray screen.  I hear the boot chime, so I believe it may actually be booting.   I replaced the video card but that did not help.  Any suggestions would be helpful

JDF
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Question by:johnfaig
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by:strung
ID: 24850361
See if it will boot when you hold down the shift key to safe boot

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strung earned 200 total points
ID: 24850392
Also try resetting the PRAM by cold booting while holding down the command-option-p-r key combination until you hear the starting chime a third time.
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by:russianryebread
ID: 24853781
You could also try booting onto the installation media by holding down the 'c' key while booting with the CD in the drive.  If you can boot onto that, you can run a disk-check from the CD.
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by:johnfaig
ID: 24904485
strung and russianryebread,

Here is an update.  I cannot boot into safe mode.  When I try, I hear the startup chime and get a blank gray screen.  II reset the PRAM and I am able to boot into Target mode.  I would like to boot from a CD, but I cannot open the drive bay using the keyboard key.  

JDF
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by:russianryebread
ID: 24905132
Try holding down the mouse button while the computer starts to open the drive bay.  Also, if you boot into verbose mode (hold V down while starting) where does it hang, or can you even get to the black screen that gives you the "boot log"?
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by:johnfaig
ID: 24906518
russianryebread:

Booting in verbose mode didn't work - the same gray screen.  Holding down the mouse and booting DID open the drive, but booting while holding down the C brought the same gray screen.

JDF
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by:russianryebread
russianryebread earned 200 total points
ID: 24906632
I'm suspecting hardware issues, so is it possible to boot onto the hardware test media, (on a separate CD from the installation media for the G5's, if I remember correctly) or does that not boot to that either?  If you cannot boot onto that, you could try removing some of the memory modules, and try to ascertain if it is a memory issue.  If you can boot into the hardware test, can you post the results of that here?

Thanks!
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by:dakkonblackblade
dakkonblackblade earned 100 total points
ID: 24920883
Remember that when trying to boot the mac into single user mode or verbose mode you have to hold down the command key and the s key (single user mode), v (verbose) mode.  Single user mode will allow the machine to boot into what looks like a DOS or Unix screen.  Black with just lettering on the screen.  Check to see if the drive will mount then try to check the disk from the command prompt:

the prompt will look something like:  :/ root#

type /sbin/fsck -fy then return to run the disk check on the hard drive to see if there are any errors reported.  If there are, run the same command again until you get a message that says:  "the drive appears to be ok"  When you get this, type reboot at the prompt to see if the mac will then boot normally.

Hope this helps.
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by:pheidius
ID: 24956577
For a g5 I would beg borrow or ...... a copy of the real apple service diagnostic dmg. This is much more advanced then any built-in test. For any other machine after-market and common sense would work but g5 boards are beginning to look a little frankensteinish at this point. If you search sedulously I b et you can find a copy.
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