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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

Cannot startup from nor initialize G5 iMac hard drive


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Leonard B.

 
Member Since: Jul 06, 2014
Location: New York City
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I posted a version of this question in the official Apple discussion group a few days ago (no replies as yet).

I have an iMac that I keep around for running older graphics and web building software that I cannot afford to replace, and to run a Classic application occasionally. It worked fine until a few weeks ago.

Hardware:
17" G5 iMac (iSight) 1.9 GHZ (2005)
160 GB Hard Drive
1.5 GB RAM
10.4.11 (prior to attempt to erase drive, see below)
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It froze while viewing and copying multimedia (Quicktime) files (it was running OS X). After attempts to restart, recover, repair, etc., I eventually erased the drive, or so I thought, using Disk Utility (via Firewire Disk Mode and my Macbook Pro). Then I tried to reinstall from the backup, minus unneeded document files. I was unsuccessful, though I didn't note the error message (I think it was the same as those I'm getting now, one of which is copied below). I am just now getting back to attempting the reinstall again. First, I used Disk Utility (from Macbook Pro; iMac in FW disk mode again) to verify and repair the iMac. I get these results:
*
Checking file system
Error: This disk needs to be repaired. Click Repair Disk.
*
Disk Utility stopped repairing “disk1s2”
Disk Utility can’t repair this disk. Back up as many of your files as possible, reformat the disk, and restore your backed-up files.
*
Neither Disk Utility nor Drive Genius III will reformat the disk.
*
Carbon Copy Cloner states that 52 GB are in use on the iMac, though no files are visible in Finder.

Since CCC says there are files on the drive, I attempted to boot from the iMac's hard drive:
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I get the grey screen with a flashing ? for over a minute
Then it finds the internal HD; that is, I see the grey screen with the apple logo and spinning wheel. This lasts until I turn off the power (ten minutes or so; blue screen never appears).
*
If I boot from an external backup clone (selected via option key at startup):
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grey screen for a normal time (very short; much less than a minute)
then the blue screen and login window
I select user and log in
the desktop never appears; ten minutes later, still nothing
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To me, this suggests a problem other than (or as well as) a bad hard drive, since it boots from the external clone, but won't get to the desktop (it used to work fine when run from this external drive.

Any suggestions would be most welcome.
*
Many thanks.

Leonard (new member, first post)
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pigoo3

 
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The simple answer is…the hard drive may be dead…and needs to be replaced.

- 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
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Leonard B.

 
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Thanks for the reply. Dead hard drive was my first thought, but shouldn't the computer have started up from the external drive regardless of the condition of the internal disk?
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonard B. View Post
Thanks for the reply. Dead hard drive was my first thought, but shouldn't the computer have started up from the external drive regardless of the condition of the internal disk?
Sorry…there was a lot of info in the first post…I must have missed that detail. Yes…if the external drive has a compatible Mac OS version installed on it…it should boot from the external drive.

- What OS version is installed on the external drive?
- Also…just to be sure the computer "knows" to boot from the external drive...hold down the "option" key during the boot process.

* 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
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Leonard B.

 
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Hi, thanks again.

The external drive has a 10.4.11 system. In fact, I had used that clone to install the system on the iMac in the first place. I got the iMac used, and it had 10.5 installed. Originally, I ran the computer from that external drive (when the iMac still had 10.5 on it). Eventually, I wiped the internal drive and cloned the clone onto it. It worked fine until the previously mentioned freeze-up.

Yes, the option key startup. That is how I got the computer to recognize the external drive.

Leonard
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pm-r

 
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Any chance you have the 10.5.x or 10.4.x install disk you could use to boot and use Disk Utility etc.?

Or maybe you could borrow one from an Apple Support place???
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harryb2448

 
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Mac Specs: iMac i5 2.7GHz, 16GB memory, OS 10.10.1

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How did you try to boot from the external? Most PowerPC models will not boot using USB. FW will work great.

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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Slydude

 
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Good catch Harry. That completely slipped my mind when I read this thread earlier.

Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

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harryb2448

 
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Arghh you old fellows sleeping half the day Sly!!!!!

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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pm-r

 
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I'm assuming FW as they stated "(via Firewire Disk Mode and my Macbook Pro)".

But never assume 'nothin'.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
Arghh you old fellows sleeping half the day Sly!!!!!
Sometimes I feel like it Harry. I've forgotten a lot of the troubleshooting subtleties for older machines. Sad given that I had a G5 for several years.

Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

"Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling
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Leonard B.

 
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Wow. All these responses since I went out for dinner.

Yes. Firewire. My new machine (Macbook Pro, mid 2012) will boot from USB, but not the one we're talking about. It needs a firewire connection.

I do not, alas, have install disks.

Leonard
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harryb2448

 
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No install discs Leonard since Lion was released ~ all by download. That message about not being abl to repair disk spells doom alas. Failed hard drive.

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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