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

Old G4 sick after power cut

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Blue Straggler
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Hi all. Sorry if this has been covered before - I did do a search and failed to find any relevant messages.

I have an iMac G4 800Hz (yes, old and slow, a bit like me, but I've never felt the need to upgrade the hardware yet! It's running Tiger though), it dates back to about 2001

I had a power cut recently and upon restoration of power, at first the iMac was really struggling just to boot up. After a few tries, it seemed to be back to normal...except all the shortcuts and icons (even the Mac Hard Drive one) off my messy desktop had disappeared, leaving only the background image and the dock. Further to this, almost all the applications on the dock won't open, you click the icon and they "bounce" quite optimistically about 3 times then settle down; nothing happens. I can't even open the Finder. All that seems to work is Text Editor, the terminal window/command shell thing, Dashboard, and Safari (which is not my default browser!). Via the command shell I've been able to ascertain that nothing's been zapped from the hard drive. Oh, the Preferences work, I tested this by changing the background image!
I've tried rebooting in Safe Start mode (holding X whilst restarting) but this made no difference.
A similar thing happened a couple of years ago when a scanner died whilst attached to the Mac, and tried to take the Mac down with it. That time I rebooted from the start discs but it was a little unnerving as, at one point, it seemed like the DEFAULT option was to format the hard drive - I was lucky that I was properly alert that day! So I am loth to do this again if there's another way round. Starting in OS 9 then switching to OS X rings a bit of a bell.
It has a 60Gb hard drive which is very full and in need of cleaning up, and 512Mb RAM.
This is only the second time it's PROPERLY crashed.
I only really use MS Office applications (sorry!), Photoshop, iTunes, MatLab and Firefox.

Any hints appreciated, and sorry for the long post.
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Can you run Disk Utility and check for drive errors?
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Blue Straggler
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Originally Posted by Alexis View Post
Can you run Disk Utility and check for drive errors?
I don't think so, I'm fairly sure that's one of the non-opening apps (from the dock)
Can I run it from the Command Shell (sorry, I'm a bit of a Luddite with these things, I'm happy with things I can click but not sure how to run directly - maybe there's a simple command like "run Disk Utility"?) I'll try when I get home (am writing from work PC) and let you know

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Blue Straggler
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Hi. Tried running Disk Utility from the Terminal, but it looks as if I need to run the command:
diskutil repairVolume [/Volumes/Somedisk] but I don't know where to point it for [/Volumes/Somedisk]

A bit of googling suggested trying various versions of fsck, but this didn't do anything in the Terminal - I went for Single-User reboot (scary plain white text on black screen ! ) and tried fsck -y and fsck -f followed by a safe start reboot. Again no change, as far as I can tell.

I have all the installation discs that came with the Mac and also my more recent Tiger installation DVD. Any idea if I should resort to using these (and how? Which disc? The original Mac OS X intall, the Tiger install, the Apple Hardware Test? Or the six Software Restore discs?)

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