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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Apr 13, 2010
    Posts
    15
    Question G4 powermac, flashing ?
    Hello All;
    hope i am in the right thread, 100% new to apple.
    G4 powermac, bought off craigslist for $10 has grey screen with folder icon
    in the center of screen. alternating smiley face icon and question mark.
    what is that?

    some say hard drive, comm. error or bad drive.

    please help!!!!!

    george

  2. #2

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    35,391
    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Well it could be a bad or no hard drive...but if the hard drive is present & working...then you need to install the Mac OS.

    You could also give this a read:

    http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/os-...-start-up.html

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  3. #3

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Location
    Nambucca Heads Australia
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    22,266
    Specs:
    Imac 27" Retina 5K, 512GB flash memory, 3.3GHz, 16GB memory, macOS Sierra beta.
    And it may not even have an operating system installed, Look for Tiger OS X.4 or Panther OS X.3 full retail install discs and do not buy the silver grey model specific discs sold on eBay and such.

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Apr 13, 2010
    Posts
    15
    other os
    can i install ubuntu to see if the hd is working.
    i put the disk in but still got the flashing ?.
    does mac see ubuntu.
    if so why did it not see my disk.

  5. #5

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Location
    Nambucca Heads Australia
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    22,266
    Specs:
    Imac 27" Retina 5K, 512GB flash memory, 3.3GHz, 16GB memory, macOS Sierra beta.
    Here are some suggestions. With no discs, the hard drive may be unformatted which is why you get zilch:-

    Cannot install Ubuntu on PowerMac G4 - Ubuntu Forums

  6. #6

    TheNewMacGuy's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    10
    Specs:
    Mac OS X 10.4.11; 15" CRT flat screened monitor; Powermac G4; 320 MB RAM; 20GB HD
    RE: Flashing Folder.
    In some cases, you may have a bad hard drive most people would say. I was in the same situation as you. I got a cheap Powermac G4 off of craigslist, and I was so excited to get it set up. I got home and Installed Tiger. But when rebooted, it gave me the flashing folder. I had the right Disc to install, but I made a mistake. I recently had Mac OS X 10.3.9 installed on the drive, and I clicked upgrade when I went to install tiger. In most cases the upgrade for some odd reason, screws everything over. So make sure you boot off of the CD or DVD(recommended), and go to the top of the screen where it has the Utilities button, click that, and open Disk Utility. And then from there, make sure you erase the hard drive, and re-partition it for Mac. Usually people throw in a PC HD thinking it will work when it does not. Make sure its formatted.

  7. #7


    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2010
    Location
    Victoria, BC
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    20,911
    Specs:
    Mid-2012 MBP (16GB, 1TB HD), Monoprice 24-inch second monitor, iPhone 5s 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB
    Quote Originally Posted by awannabeee View Post
    Hello All;
    hope i am in the right thread, 100% new to apple.
    G4 powermac, bought off craigslist for $10 has grey screen with folder icon
    in the center of screen. alternating smiley face icon and question mark.
    what is that?

    some say hard drive, comm. error or bad drive.
    I've never EVER heard the term "comm. error" regarding Macs. What next, they'll tell you it might be a virus?

    You haven't really given us much info to go on, so we can't be much help at this point. I'd suggest you locate and purchase (yes, PURCHASE!) a used *retail* copy of Tiger (black disc with Tiger logo -- do NOT purchase a gray disc) and boot from it. That should allow you to determine the machine's specs (actually they should be printed on the machine somewhere) as well as how much RAM, whether there's a hard drive and so forth.

    Assuming there is a hard drive that will work once formatted, be sure to ERASE that hard drive (preferably "zero it out") before installing a new system. This is a good practice for too many reasons to go into here, but just do it and you'll ultimately be glad you did.

    Once Tiger is installed, update to 10.4.11 for free via Software Update, purchase iLife 08 (not the current version, sadly you don't have the horsepower), max out the RAM and life on the net should be pretty darn good with that setup. Not perfect, there's a lot of the latest stuff that won't run, but pretty darn good nonetheless.

  8. #8

    Mac SK's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 20, 2006
    Posts
    1,513
    You know to hold down the C key to boot from the optical drive?

  9. #9


    Member Since
    Apr 13, 2010
    Posts
    15
    flashing g4
    ok i turned off machine, turned it back on holding r p alt and wind.
    didnt work.

    held down r p alt and wind. waited for second chime, held c. would spin disk but not boot from it.

    turned machine off restarted held down r p alt and wind, waited for second chime, nothing but flashing ?.

    turned machine off held down obove untill second chime and than held c entered got to window that had mac-boot or shut down options.
    entered mac-boot and end up with flashing icon again.

    still need help!

    it seems the mobo is doing what it is supposed to, except it would not boot from cd, even after i held c at boot.

    i had a pc that did this, it kept trying to reference the original os. should i take out the cmos battery or is there a set of jumpers to reset the mobo. and than add os. i dont want to buy an os if the machine has a trashed mobo.

    please advise!!

  10. #10

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Location
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    Posts
    22,266
    Specs:
    Imac 27" Retina 5K, 512GB flash memory, 3.3GHz, 16GB memory, macOS Sierra beta.
    Nothing has changed as we still do not know if you have an operating system installed. When you buy for cold hard cash your Tiger OS disc, pop it in, reboot and that is when you hold down 'C' top boot from the disk. With no disc nothing will happen.

  11. #11


    Member Since
    Apr 13, 2010
    Posts
    15
    g4 powermac flashing ?
    you Ausies are a hard bunch and i respect you for it.
    i will cease untill os is purchased.
    cheers!

  12. #12


    Member Since
    Apr 13, 2010
    Posts
    15
    ps
    will c work with ubuntu.
    i installed ubuntu cd.
    turned machine on holding c.
    light at cd drive lit and spun for a few seconds than stopped.
    emailed the guy i bought the machine from and he said the hard drive was wiped.
    do you think the os will work or could there be other issues.?
    i had problems with a pc trying to reference the original os but i was able to clear the cache because an os was still on the machine.
    i have a funny feeling this machine is trying to do similar, but i dont know, if in your experience i am just being paranoid ok. but if you think there may be something up i will not waste the money on the os.
    cheers!

  13. #13

    Mac SK's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 20, 2006
    Posts
    1,513
    Quote Originally Posted by awannabeee View Post
    will c work with ubuntu.
    i installed ubuntu cd.
    turned machine on holding c.
    light at cd drive lit and spun for a few seconds than stopped.
    emailed the guy i bought the machine from and he said the hard drive was wiped.
    do you think the os will work or could there be other issues.?
    i had problems with a pc trying to reference the original os but i was able to clear the cache because an os was still on the machine.
    i have a funny feeling this machine is trying to do similar, but i dont know, if in your experience i am just being paranoid ok. but if you think there may be something up i will not waste the money on the os.
    cheers!
    Is the Ubunto CD a Mac PPC version as a windows version will not work. You either hold down the C key before the chime or the Option key. The CD has to be in the drive first then restart and hold down the key, keep it down until the Mac logo or Linux comes up. You have to format the drive if its clean. From the installer window. DO NOT punch any DOS codes or key strokes into a Mac. This not a windows machine, no taking batteries out to reset the cmos.

  14. #14


    Member Since
    Apr 13, 2010
    Posts
    15
    roger that. it will take me awhile as i am a windows user.

    thank you for your help

  15. #15


    Member Since
    Jan 19, 2009
    Posts
    5
    i got that screen the other day then shut down and rebooted, same. then tried holding down "C" and it booted and has been o.k. since but i copied the HD to slave with carbon copy cloner and also have time machine. now i just need to move the slave upstairs to master and pop in a 300 gb HD i have in the shop as slave. mine still works but i get the beach ball a lot, video isn't in sync with audio and scrolling... these are old machines, i have two for parts. the computer will outlast it's usefulness the way things are going to the intel macs.

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