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Powerbook G4

Posted on 2011-09-23
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I'm having trouble with a 17" powerbook g4. Safari, software update and more programs are crashing and I cannot connect to a wifi network through airport.
I would like to re-install the os (10.2.8) but I can't get the machine to boot to cd.

Thanks for the help!
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Question by:unnameduser
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by:jhyiesla
ID: 36586359
Do you have another Mac available to you?  If you do and it you have a firewire cable, you could use target disk mode to make the other Mac's optical drive an external disk to the powerbook and install from there.

http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1661
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by:unnameduser
ID: 36586382
Unfortunately no other Mac available. All Windows machines here!
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by:jhyiesla
ID: 36586432
If the machine is basically sound, you could purchase an external CD/DVD drive and use that to install.
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Author Comment

by:unnameduser
ID: 36586492
When I try to boot from the disc, internal or external, it shows a folder with a ? a few times and then boots normally.
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by:jhyiesla
ID: 36586552
Try starting and hold down the Option/Alt key until it shows you available boot sources; does the drive with the disk show and can you select it?

Also, is the disk you are using the install disk AND is it the disk that came with your Mac?
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by:strung
ID: 36586762
1. Try safe booting by holding down the shift key. This will force a drive repair. Once you have completed booting, open Disk Utility and note the S.M.A.R.T. status of the drive. If it is anything other than "verified" you need to replace the hard drive. Then run "verify disk" and let us know if it reports any problems.

2. Cold boot holding down the command-option-p-r key combination until you hear the startup chime a third time. This will clear out the PRAM which may be corrupted.

If the above two do not solve the problem, try resetting the Power Management Unit:

http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1431

Let us know if that doesn't solve the problem. We have more ideas.

By the way, is the CD you are trying to boot from the one that came with the computer? You cannot boot a Mac from an OEM disk that came with a different model. The disks are keyed to the particular model they came with.

You did remember to hold down the C key when booting from the CD?
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by:unnameduser
ID: 36587609
Thanks for the suggestions. No progress so far.

It is not the disc that came with the machine, that has been lost.
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by:jhyiesla
ID: 36587678
As we've mentioned, that's very likely the problem.  Macs need either the disk that came with the machine, one from another exact machine produced at the same time, or a retail boxed version that is at least as new as what came with the machine.

You might try looking on eBay for a suitable disk. I have an old iMac from 2001 and have upgraded it through several version of OS X by purchasing the appropriate disk on eBay.
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Accepted Solution

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strung earned 2000 total points
ID: 36587812
The newest system your G4 can run is 10.5.x. It will not run 10.6 which requires an Intel Chip.

So if you are looking for a full retail system you need something older that 10.6.
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by:jhyiesla
ID: 36587952
Something else to think about is the media that the OS comes on. I know that the old iMac that I have has ONLY a CD drive and When I wanted to install Tiger, which is a new as  I can go, a major problem that I had was that Tiger was only produced, as far as I know, on DVD. I had to end up using Target Disk Mode from my newer imac and used it's DVD drive as the remote install drive for my older iMac.
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