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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

PowerBook - Signs of a failing hard drive?


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jhonrox

 
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Member Since: Mar 07, 2009
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Hey Guys,

I was just wondering how a dying hard drive would behave. I'm asking this because my PowerBook G4 (15" 1.25GHz), which has been running perfectly till now, is having trouble starting up.

Normally, just as I press the Power button, I hear the start-up tone and the super drive clicking about (at the same time), and the hard drive whirring about 2 seconds later, followed by the white boot screen with the grey Apple logo. But recently, nothing happens after the start-up tone and the super drive's clicking - its just a blank screen! I have to switch the PowerBook on and off a couple of times to get the hard drive to start-up. And it usually happens during a 'cold start'.

I don't know if this is a hard drive issue, because once its started up, there is no problems at all! No file accessing errors, unexpected OS crashes, or anything else!!

What do you think? Time to change?
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csegeek

 
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Jhonrox,

I am stumped a bit here .. do you have a startup disk dvd or cd .. does that have the same issue if you try to start up from one of those?

try going in to single user mode cmd and the S key right after the ding
does that get you to a unix command prompt..

Usually when I start having problems with hard drives I get the spinning ball.
or applications start to crash for no reason.. but not specifically start up i
issues or problems like you are seeing ..

Hope this helps a bit

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Kevriano

 
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Run Disk Utility from your install disc, and see what it throws up. It will let you know if there's a problem. Failing HD's do make weird clicking noises sometimes, so it may be that your hearing.

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manning28addai

 
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if you have your recovery cd or dvd i would try to boot off those and go into disk utilitys or when you boot up your computer and repair the disk permissions but it does sound to me that your drive may be out the door best wishes mike oh ps how old is your powerbook g4 is that the orignal drive in it because if it is it might be time to find a new or gently used one off ebay
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Collin Bl

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manning28addai View Post
if you have your recovery cd or dvd i would try to boot off those and go into disk utilitys or when you boot up your computer and repair the disk permissions but it
If it starts sometimes and not the next it is hardly likely to be permissions as they don't change back and forth randomly. See here Troubleshooting permissions issues in Mac OS X
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jhonrox

 
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Sorry about the late reply guys, I was away for a while .. And thanks to everybody who has replied


Quote:
Originally Posted by csegeek View Post
try going in to single user mode cmd and the S key right after the ding
does that get you to a unix command prompt..
Hi, even though I wouldn't know what to do with the unix command prompt, I tried Command+S combination at startup, but didn't get any responses. The weird thing is that every time I tried this, I got the blank screen problem, but after restarting, it boots up without any issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by manning28addai View Post
it does sound to me that your drive may be out the door best wishes mike oh ps how old is your powerbook g4 is that the orignal drive in it because if it is it might be time to find a new or gently used one off ebay
I guess that is it then! Because my PowerBook is definitely more than 4 years old, but I'm not sure about the exact life. And yes, its the original drive - 80 GB, 4000 rpm ..

Has anybody here replaced their PowerBook G4 hard drive? On a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is very easy and 5 is very difficult, how would you rate your upgrade experience?

Thanks again everybody, and keep those replies coming!
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vansmith

 
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Here are the instructions for replacing the HD. If you follow the directions carefully, especially if you're new to upgrading hardware, you should be fine.

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I have one other thought. Does the time/date every appear off when you first boot into OSX?

I was wondering if maybe the PRAM battery might be going bad. I checked and some powerbooks are a pain and require replacement of some USB board with the battery. Just a thought as I have had those symptoms on many desktops Macs before.
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