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Thread: Start up panic

  1. #1


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    Start up panic
    Here's the story - bought an iPhone 4, it didn't speak to my powerbook g4 running 10.4.11. Now this beloved machine is obviously a bit long in the tooth so decided to bite the bullet and plump for a new macbook pro. Then I realise that my macbook pro doesn't speak via wifi to my powerbook. What to do? Rather than wait for the firewire 800 to 400 converter cable to arrive from amazon, I thought it would be worth copying my powerbook to a hard drive (already had a free 500GB USB number handy) as I've never done this before so good to have a back up in general, and then copy to my mac book pro. Look it up online and go with the super duper programme. This programme crashes 2 hours into the back up. So I do a hard shut down on my mac.

    The problem when I turned on my powerbook again I got this very sad screen with the finder icon flashing with a question mark. I have tried to restart my computer in safe mode to no avail. I have managed to load some sort of options in the startup menu, but can't find anything online to tell me what they are, both are arrows. One is a round arrow that I would interpret to mean "restart" but am happy to be corrected. The other is an arrow pointing to the right. Can anyone enlighten me as to what these items mean?

    Or any other advice would be massively appreciated.

  2. #2

    Stretch's Avatar
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    The flashing ?Folder means it can't find an OS to boot. Your hard drive may have crashed while you were doing the backup. As for the two arrows, I'm not sure. Can you get a picture?
    Blog and Photo Gallery: http://philolin.me/

    Currently running OS X 10.10

  3. #3


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by emoh View Post
    I have managed to load some sort of options in the startup menu, but can't find anything online to tell me what they are, both are arrows. One is a round arrow that I would interpret to mean "restart" but am happy to be corrected. The other is an arrow pointing to the right. Can anyone enlighten me as to what these items mean?
    Yup - circular means restart, right arrow means "start." You need to be able to select a working startup drive before the right arrow works.
    - You are talking about the startup volume chooser menu you can get by holding option key at startup.

    It really sounds like a hard drive problem - drive is broken or needs to have OS X reinstalled.

  4. #4


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    Hi All, so finally managed to get back to my parents place to pick up my old start up disks. Have entered into my old power book and held c when turning on to boot up from the disks. Thank god it has stopped the sad clicking, it was breaking my heart. I am now being prompted to reinstall OSX or "choose quit from the installer menu and click Startup Disk". Just chucking it out there now to see what people recommend. Is my only option to reinstall OSX, and risk loosing the data? Or does anyone know if there's a way to use my powerbook as a target disk without it running a valid OS? May be a silly question but want to try to be as safe a possible with my data!

    Thanks in advance!

  5. #5


    Member Since
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    If you get to that point with the Install DVD/CD, you should find Disk Utility in the menus and use it to repair the hard drive.

    Target mode doesn't require a working OS X:
    How to use and troubleshoot FireWire target disk mode

  6. #6

    Stretch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emoh View Post
    Hi All, so finally managed to get back to my parents place to pick up my old start up disks. Have entered into my old power book and held c when turning on to boot up from the disks. Thank god it has stopped the sad clicking, it was breaking my heart. I am now being prompted to reinstall OSX or "choose quit from the installer menu and click Startup Disk". Just chucking it out there now to see what people recommend. Is my only option to reinstall OSX, and risk loosing the data? Or does anyone know if there's a way to use my powerbook as a target disk without it running a valid OS? May be a silly question but want to try to be as safe a possible with my data!

    Thanks in advance!
    At this point, it may be too late for your hard drive. Clicking is a telltale sign of a dying/dead hard drive. Does the hard drive show up in the Disk Utilities on the installer?
    Blog and Photo Gallery: http://philolin.me/

    Currently running OS X 10.10

  7. #7


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    Nope. Hard drive does not show up on disk utility. Although the clicking does stop when it's running the os from the disk. Gonna try a reinstall unless anyone has any other ideas?

  8. #8

    Stretch's Avatar
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    Specs:
    15in i7 MacBook Pro, 8GB RAM, 120GB SSD, 500GB HD
    A reinstall is not going to help. If it works, you'll be reinstalling on a dead hard drive so you'll be exactly where you are now. You need to get a new hard drive and install that in the computer, then reinstall OS X.
    Blog and Photo Gallery: http://philolin.me/

    Currently running OS X 10.10

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