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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

OS 10.4 - !! HELP !! Formatting HD for Reinstalling Mac OS


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YaZ

 
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Hi All,

I just purchased a used PowerBook G4 which I gave to my wife (to replace her old PC so we can BOTH be with the Mac World). However, because of her lack of knowledge with Mac OS X, SHE HAS MADE A SERIOUS MESS WITH THE SYSTEM FOLDERS & FILES. Some apps dont open such as Safari, and even Software Update doesnt work. The PB is connected to the internet fine, its just not letting us browse with Safari or Firefox, etc.

Ive tried EVERYTHING to fix her PB (Disk Utility, Repair Permissions, etc) but unfortunately its still bad. Therefore i decided to reinstall Mac OS X (Tiger), BUT, its giving me problems.

When I insert the Mac OS DVD, i click on the INSTALL TIGER, and the window comes up that tells me to RESTART. However, after the restart, the grey screen shows up (with the spinning wheel) then a blue screen appears with NOTHING but the mouse cursor on the top left hand corner. Then the DVD stops spinning. Ive tried holding C upon restart, and EVERY other step you can come up with, and I still end up with THAT blue screen and mouse cursor.

Which leaves me with no option except:
1. to back up her personal stuff
2. connect her PB to my iBook (via Firewire, so that her PB HD will show up on my desktop)
3. completely ERASE her HD with Disk Utility using the Mac OS Extended Journaled format)
4. then finally, install a fresh Mac OS X on her PB over again.

But before I do this, I just want to know if the above is the correct way to fix the problem. Can I avoid this? Is there something I should do before opting to go ahead with this FINAL option?

Your feedback and advice will be highly appreciated.
And sorry for the LONG background, but then, thanks for your patience too!!

My wifes PB specs are Powerbook G4 15 inch, 1.67Ghz, 1 GB Ram, 100 GB HDD, Bluetooth, Airport.

Cheers!!
Regards,,
!! YaZ !!
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YaZ

 
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Its me again,,

Just got an update from the wife,, she recalls deleting stuff on her second day using the PB, and Im 100% certain she DELETED something from the HD system folder, and the Library folder. She doesnt remember what exactly she deleted, but again, i think its preferences related.

Just thought i should mention this to help with the issue.

Cheers!!
Regards,,
!! YaZ !!
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hughvane

 
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It's actually very difficult to delete stuff from the System folder. Even moving items to the Trash requires Authentication (ie. password). Does your wife remember doing that? Deleting Preferences however is straightforward, but the OS renews them on restart if they are part of the native System. User-generated preferences need to be re-done by the user, because they contain the settings that the user defined.

You appear to be following the usual procedure in trying to reinstall Tiger - but is it the restore disk that came with the computer (computer model-specific), or is it a full-install retail version? You could (I guess) try cloning your computer's HD to your wife's HD, and then making changes as necessary afterwards.

You've tried connecting the two computers (one in Target mode I'm guessing). A time-consuming activity I know, but if you're both using the same OS, then comparison of the two System folder files could help you determine what might be missing from your wife's computer.
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YaZ

 
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Thanks for replying,,
My wifes memory is similar to the restart system of a mac os x computer!! Meaning,, the more she sleeps, the less she remembers of the past !!!
But anyway,, she recalls putting in her password for MANY things - I want my PC BACK !! <<<< (those were HER words) !!

Anyway,, thanks for your input,, and regarding the Mac OS X,, its actually a full retail version DVD, which means we dont have the original CD's that came with the PC !!

Do you think that "maybe" the start-up issue has anything to do with DOWNGRADING ??? The reason why im asking is because the system is UP-TO-DATE (Mac OS X 10.4.11 ,, Security Updates, etc) But again,, my experience with Mac OS is not that great either,, it was just something i read of the Apple Troubleshooting web page for Tiger.

Replies will be appreciated!

Cheers!!
Regards,,
!! YaZ !!
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Chilbear

 
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Have you tried restarting and holding down the C to start from the DVD? If this is possible then I would try an Archive and Install first to hold on to the old data till it starts up. At least if you can get it to start then a backup is possible one would think.

In my house I have a few kids who are use to PCs and I have them setup as users that are not Admin. At least they cannot kill the machine. As they get more comfortable they can be elevated to admin and this may be a good solution to the wondering/deleting user. My youngest one freely mods his PC startup files and wonders why it crashes to it's knees soon after.
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YaZ

 
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Chilbear,,
I setup my wife as Admin because its her own PB ,, but now youve mentioned it,, I will set her up as just a user,, but that is AFTER Ive figured out how to reinstall Tiger.

Regarding holding down the C key,, YEP !! Ive tried EVERYTHING !! Its a pain in the bum ,, cuz we have to share MY iBook for connecting to the internet, whereas she can still use some apps for her offline work, etc !!

But thanks again for that tip !!

Cheers!!
Regards,,
!! YaZ !!
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louishen

 
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have you tried target disk mode yet, you should be able to rescue stuff off that computer and maybe install on to it

You will need a firewire cable

How to use FireWire target disk mode

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YaZ

 
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Louishen,
Forgive me for my lack of Mac OS knowledge, but when you mentioned rescue stuff from the PB, what exactly do you mean? What are the procedures, etc?

I have a firewire cable, and I have connected my wifes PB using this cable to compare the system folders and library to check if theres something VITAL missing. But that seemed ok !!!

Nevertheless, my issue is not "rescuing" the PB,, as I have backed up ALL her important data on to an external Hard Drive. The main issue is,, I want to completely erase her disk, to reinstall Tiger all over again. Therefore, I just need a confirmation that the steps I mentioned in my first message are ok to go ahead with (at my own risk, obviously). As for the troubleshooting, I have had a FRUSTRATING time trying EVERYTHING (along with the wifes "nagging" ) with no positive results.

Am I applying the right steps for erasing a HD (Mac OS Extented - Journaled format) to reinstall Tiger as I mentioned in the first message??

Is there "anyone" that has successfully done this method before?

Your replies are MUCH appreciated !!

Cheers!!
Regards,,
!! YaZ !!
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hughvane

 
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From what you've posted, you seem to be doing things according to Hoyle. So, please bear with me while I go through the procedure step-by-step:

1. Insert the Retail Tiger disk in your wife's PB drive.
2. Reboot the PB, and immediately on hearing the startup chime, press and hold the C key. Keep holding it until the Apple logo appears.
At this stage there are some big 'IFs'. IF you see the usual grey Apple logo you see in normal circumstances, and you don't hear the dvd spinning vigorously, then the PB hasn't latched on to the dvd as a boot disk. Try again.
IF however, you get a slightly (markedly?) different startup screen, then ...
3. Release the C key, the PB is booting from the dvd. You'll hear the disk spinning madly.
Once (IF) you've got the Tiger desktop showing on the screen, you should be presented with a series of dialogue windows prompting you do a Clean Install or Archive & Install [Note: I may not have the exact terminology there, but it should give you the right idea.]

If what's listed above doesn't work, even after repeated attempts, then I think we have a hardware problem with the PB, perhaps a faulty optical drive, maybe a faulty dvd. Let us know how you get on.
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