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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Oct 10, 2009
    Posts
    12
    Target mode killed my eMac
    Well okay, it was probably me actually but Target mode made me do it!! I have scoured the internet and I can't find any mention of this issue anywhere so I'm hoping the brilliant minds on MacForums can help me figure out what I've done to my poor little eMac.

    Backstory: I bought a pre-loved 800MHz eMac running 10.3.9 which came with an unknown password and auto log-in. All was fine until I decided it was time for a fresh system install and went to copy my files over to another Mac using the seemingly benign "target mode" technique. I followed the instructions to the letter, hooked the two Macs together with a functioning firewire cable, restarted the target eMac, pressed the "T" button on the keyboard and then.... nothing but a blank grey screen looking back at me. 5 minutes later, still holding the "T" button, still no bouncing firewire icon or mounted hard drive on the 2nd Mac, I released the "T" button and then I sort of, um... yanked the firewire cable out of my 2nd Mac before powering down either one! (how stupid, I know) Immediately thereafter my once happy little eMac began flashing the ? blue folder of death at me and has been doing so ever since. I'm pretty sure I've annihilated this little critter but just in case there may yet be hope I thought I'd pass along my dliemma see what you guys think.

    Details that may be useful: installer disk loads but can't find a "destination volume" to reinstall the new system to. I don't have the proper version Apple Hardware Test for this eMac so I haven't been able to check the disk with that, but I did run Disk Utility (from the 10.3.5 installer disk) and it can't seem to find the hard drive either (shows the installer CD itself, but nothing else).

    My symptoms are:
    - Normal chime and fan on start-up. Oh, and the occasional Jurassic type thumping noise from within (is this bad?)
    - Dark grey screen for: 1 minute
    - Followed by flashing ? blue folder of death for: ever

    Things I've tried:
    - unplugging keyboard and mouse during start-up
    - zapping the PRAM
    - using Disk Utility from Installer Disk (can't find the hard drive)
    - trying to start in "Safe" mode (grey screen with flashing ? of death)
    - unplugging the power cable for a while
    - heaving the thing from the nearest rooftop (well, not yet anyway)

    Any brilliant thoughts/ideas/prayers you might have would be much appreciated!

    Thank you!

    Lesley

  2. #2

    hughvane's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 18, 2008
    Location
    Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
    Posts
    3,296
    Specs:
    MacMini 2.4, 8 Gb, OS 10.10 and 10.6; MacBook 2.4, 4 Gb, OS 10.6.8
    Hi Lesley - welcome both to Mac Forums, and to the world of eMacs, not that you're having a terrific time with them presently.

    Several statements from you indicate a failed hard drive. The "thumping noise" does indeed bode ill. The flashing ? indicates a corrupted system folder, or that sector of the hard drive which contains the system folder is damaged in some way.

    What to do? I would remove the hard drive to have it tested. Easily said, but difficult to do with an eMac. If you feel competent to give it a go, please forward to me by Private Message an email address to which I can send you an eMac technical manual, or a link to one, the sort that shows you step-by-step instructions.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Oct 10, 2009
    Posts
    12
    Hi Hugh, thanks so much for your reply. I may like to have a crack at your recommendation of removing the hard drive to test it and will forward you my email address momentarily. I don't know if this might change your initial impressions at all but I figured out that the thumping noise was coming from the CD drive when it was trying to read an install disk rather than the hard drive itself. It seemed to stop once the disk was mounted so I'm pretty sure that's what it was. Does that change your thoughts about removing the hard drive for testing? If I do have it tested though and it turns out the problem is a corrupted system folder, would that be something that can easily be fixed or would I need a new hard drive?

    Thanks again.

    Lesley

  4. #4

    Mac SK's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 21, 2006
    Posts
    1,513
    { Details that may be useful: installer disk loads but can't find a "destination volume" to reinstall the new system to. I don't have the proper version Apple Hardware Test for this eMac so I haven't been able to check the disk with that, but I did run Disk Utility (from the 10.3.5 installer disk) and it can't seem to find the hard drive either (shows the installer CD itself, but nothing else).}

    Sounds like the HD crashed. When the machines traded format information it was enough to crash your hard drive. Ive seen drives work fine one day and be gone the next. When you get the drive out hook it up as a slave in another machine and see if you can format it.

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Oct 10, 2009
    Posts
    12
    Hi Mac SK - thanks so much for your input too. My other Mac I was trying to use as the host for the target mac has a newer operating system which I thought was the ideal when using target mode, but do you think the difference in formatting might have thrown the older eMac into a tailspin or something? Seems weird to me but maybe like you said the hard drive was getting ready to go anyway and the intrusion just pushed the thing over the edge.

    When you suggested hooking up the hard drive as a "slave" in another machine, did you mean to remove a working hard drive from a different mac and replace it with this possibly bad one to try to get it going?

    Thanks again.

  6. #6

    Mac SK's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 21, 2006
    Posts
    1,513
    Quote Originally Posted by amerikiwi View Post
    Hi Mac SK - thanks so much for your input too. My other Mac I was trying to use as the host for the target mac has a newer operating system which I thought was the ideal when using target mode, but do you think the difference in formatting might have thrown the older eMac into a tailspin or something? Seems weird to me but maybe like you said the hard drive was getting ready to go anyway and the intrusion just pushed the thing over the edge.

    When you suggested hooking up the hard drive as a "slave" in another machine, did you mean to remove a working hard drive from a different mac and replace it with this possibly bad one to try to get it going?

    Thanks again.
    No you do not remove the boot drive. You either use an IDE to USB adapter making it show as an USB drive or hook it up as a second drive to the ide ribbon. You have to move the jumper on the drive to slave. I use an old PC to hook up drives to nuke them or to see if there still good.

  7. #7

    hughvane's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 18, 2008
    Location
    Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
    Posts
    3,296
    Specs:
    MacMini 2.4, 8 Gb, OS 10.10 and 10.6; MacBook 2.4, 4 Gb, OS 10.6.8
    Further to what MacSK is suggesting, I too use external slave drives via IDE-USB adaptors*. Purely for storage I must add, and therein I'm a little confused as to just what drive MacSK might be suggesting, although I see s/he says "when you get the drive out". You cannot get to the IDE connection inside either of your eMacs unless you open up the casing - a difficult job.

    *These adaptors are readily available in NZ from TradeMe, eg. Digitus USB 2.0 IDE & SATA Adapter for sale - TradeMe.co.nz - New Zealand (that's expensive - I paid about $20); or search this forum, the topic's come up before. Bare drives, or ones inserted into home-made polystyrene cases can be very useful as backups and, as said, storage. Just remember though that your 800 eMac is USB1.1, so data transfer will be rather tedious.

    Another thought - have you considered networking your two computers (once both are operating) to transfer files?

  8. #8

    Mac SK's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 21, 2006
    Posts
    1,513
    Lets update. The OP thinks his HD is dead in his Emac. Hughvane can tell you how to get it out the right way and not mess up your machine. Once out hook it up with an USB adapter or set it up as a slave in some other machine and see if its reconized and try to reformat it. Then you will know if you need to buy a new drive. Just wanted to offer this idea to you to check out the drive yourself and save some money that may need to go on a new drive. Hughvane knows lots more about Emacs than I do...back to Hugh. Good luck to ya.

  9. #9

    hughvane's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 18, 2008
    Location
    Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
    Posts
    3,296
    Specs:
    MacMini 2.4, 8 Gb, OS 10.10 and 10.6; MacBook 2.4, 4 Gb, OS 10.6.8
    Cheers SK!

  10. #10


    Member Since
    Oct 10, 2009
    Posts
    12
    Thanks so much for your thoughts guys. I'll have a closer look at the adapter Hugh mentioned and will have a go at getting the hard drive out of my little eMac. Will be sure to post back and let you know how it all goes!

    Thanks again for the great suggestions!

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