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  1. #1

    jhonrox's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 07, 2009
    Location
    Bristol, UK
    Posts
    46
    Specs:
    15 " MacBook Pro 2.66GHz 4GB 320GB HDD; 15" PowerBook G4 1.25GHz 2GB 80GB HDD
    Exclamation Signs of a failing hard drive?
    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?

  2. #2


    Member Since
    Jun 11, 2009
    Posts
    186
    Specs:
    MacBook Pro 500GB hard drive 4GB ram PowerMac G5 Dual 2.2GHz Mirrored 500GB HDD, Mac Mini, and more
    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
    Ce's GeekBook PC guru wana Be turned Mac geek

  3. #3

    Kevriano's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 02, 2006
    Location
    Crawley, England
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    4,558
    Specs:
    20" Intel iMac 2.4 Ghz/3G Ram/320HD, Snow Leopard. PBook G4, 1.5Ghz/1.5 Ram/250 HD, Leopard 10.5.6.
    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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  4. #4


    Member Since
    Jul 03, 2009
    Posts
    12
    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

  5. #5

    Collin Bl's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 07, 2009
    Location
    Napier NZ
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    3,298
    Specs:
    27 iMac i5, MBP 13 & iMac 20, 2TB dual TC, AppleTV, iPh4S
    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

  6. #6

    jhonrox's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 07, 2009
    Location
    Bristol, UK
    Posts
    46
    Specs:
    15 " MacBook Pro 2.66GHz 4GB 320GB HDD; 15" PowerBook G4 1.25GHz 2GB 80GB HDD
    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!

  7. #7

    vansmith's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 19, 2008
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    19,782
    Specs:
    2012 13" MBP (2.5 i5, 8GB)
    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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  8. #8

    dtravis7's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 04, 2005
    Location
    Modesto, Ca.
    Posts
    28,930
    Specs:
    iMac 2010 27" QuadI7 OSX10.11, iMac 2008 OSX10.11, MBP Late2011OSX10.11 , iPad Air, iPhone 3GS
    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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