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Power Mac G4 OSX Tiger 10.4 Freeze on boot screen

OSX Tiger 10.4
Power Mac G4
1.42 GHz  DP / 512 MB
PC2700 / 120GB / SUPER
R9000 PRO / 56k

Hello Experts,

My brothers Power Mac freezes on the OSX Boot screen during start up.  He had this problem twice before.  After installing Operating System the Mac will work for month without problem.  Then all of a sudden it will not be able to complete the boot up process.  No new software or devices have been installed.  

This is the third time this problem has occurred and normally he would re-install OS to solve.

I'm wondering what anyone might suggest as the culprit behind this reoccurring problem?
I suspect a new hard drive might help the situation...

Is there any free utilities to check hard drives for errors on Macs?

Thanks for any suggestions or help in advance!!!

Dan
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dyoung520
Asked:
dyoung520
3 Solutions
 
chuckyhCommented:
You can bootup with the OS X install cd and there's a disk utility to check the Hard drive.
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strungCommented:
See if it will boot while holding down the shift key. This is a safe boot without any startup items and it automatically runs a disk repair.

Once booted he can open Disk Utility (found in application\utilities) and run Verify Disk to see if the repair was successful.

I would also recommend downloading and installing the freeware SMARTReporter: http://www.corecode.at/smartreporter/

It puts  a green icon in the menu bar. It then hourly runs a SMART test on the hard drive in the background to check to see if the hard drive is starting to fail. If the drive fails the SMART test, the green icon changes to red and you know it is time to buy a new drive.
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hobowankenobiCommented:
The best stess test out there is to write zeros to the drive in Disk Utility.  Yes, you have to erase the drive, but if you have to start over anyway, write zeros to the entire drive first.  If it passes, the drive is likely OK.  If it is on the way out, it may die during the test......which is better than after you have it configured again.  Be aware that it will take several hours, depending on the size of the drive/

If you want a fast fix, simply grab a new(er) ATA drive, and away you go.

The other tips are all good and helpful, but failing drives will sometimes pass both SMART status, and and Verify Disk in DU, so consider them good, fast indicators.........but not the last word.
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dyoung520Author Commented:
Thanks for the replies and sorry for my delay...

I've used the install CD to run the Disk Utility and received the following errors:

Invalid Record Count
Volume Check Failed

All I can turn up on the errors is that some of the data on the drive is corrupt, but there is still data.

Two Questions:
Is this most likely caused by a failing hard drive?
Is there any way to correct the disk? Utility? Free?

Thanks!
Dan
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strungCommented:
Did you run Verify Disk or Repair Disk?

Also, in  Disk Utility check the SMART drive status. If it does not show verified, then your drive is dying and needs replacing.

If Disk Utility detects errors it can't fix, one possibility is to buy Disk Warrior or TechTool Pro to repair the drive, but there is not guarantee they will work either, and for the price of one of those utilities, you could just buy a new drive.

If you have a second drive to back up to, you could use Carbon Copy Cloner (http://www.bombich.com) to make a clone of the drive, then re-intialize the old drive and clone back to it.

At this point, though, my inclination would be to replace the drive. You can use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the old drive, or, alternatively, put fresh operating system on the new drive and copy settings and files using OS X's built in Migration Assistant.
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dyoung520Author Commented:
Thanks for the advice.  Think we will just get a new drive.  This one came with the Mac that was purchased from eBay - sold by EA Sports...  The hard drive has probably had its fair share of use.

Thanks Again!
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