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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

Not booting after locking startup disk on only drive


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BearMoon

 
Member Since: May 31, 2012
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Sorry if this if verbose but I've spent hours solid reading very similar but ultimately unhelpful/irrelevant posts around the web. I have an old iBook G4 (OS X 10.4) that a friend gave me when her employer was going to bin it. I've been using it with no issues for 2yrs now, it's slow but it handles email and web browsing ok. I was just looking around at its specs and couldn't remember where the HDD specs were and out of curiosity ended up in the Startup Disk preferences. The only options were Macintosh HD and network drive. As I have no use for the latter, I just decided while I was there to select the Mac HD and lock the setting. I found the drive specs elsewhere and decided to shut it down to pull the RAM as I wanted find the right match to upgrade it before my trip abroad in one month's time. I was very careful (as always) to ground myself through the entire process, not touch any pins etc, and put everything back exactly as it was (I've been a tech since 1997, just with Windows systems).

When I went to reboot, I got the flashing question mark/folder gray screen. Having never seen this before I began googling. To cut the rest short, I've since booted into the Startup Manager and let it rescan numerous times, but it never shows any drives to select. I've also reset the PRAM via Command-Option-P-R and later performed the "reset-nvram" and "reset-all" via the Open Firmware prompt (which I got to by pressing Tab from Startup manager). Attempting to boot with the following had no effect: shift, x, cmd-s, cmd-v.
I never had a start-up disk or install CD or anything with this machine as it was getting binned before my friend snagged it.

I really need it for this trip as was planning to backup/store photos from my DSLR on it and also check mail etc. However, there may be a chance that I can take it back to my friend's place of work while I'm there and have one of their techs copy the drive for me or maybe (???) get it booting again. But I'd greatly prefer to not go that route and do it myself if at all possible.

Failing that, is there any way I can access the drive from my Windows box to backup the contents?
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mr.sparkle

 
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Yes if the drive is alive but it isn't for the faint hearted.

Here we go.

Burn a Finnix PPC disk on your Windoze machine.

Boot this CD on your mac. At the root prompt type 'ifconfig' to see the IP address. Then set a root password by typing 'passwd'.

Ok, now we have to mount the mac drive so you can see the contents. Type 'mount /dev/sda3 /mnt', if you don't receive any errors type 'ls /mnt' and check that you can see files in there. You can look for your specific files (if you like) with 'ls /mnt/Users/YOURUSERNAME'

If you can see them then the drive is alive and all we need to do now is get them from Windoze.

On your Windoze machine install WinSCP. It will open a two-pane file copy window, connect to root@IPADDRESS with the ip address and password from earlier. Once connected navigate the file system to /mnt/Users/YOURUSERNAME, select the files you want and copy them over.

Grab a cup of tea you're done.
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BearMoon

 
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Taken me a while to get back to this but thank you for helping me. Ok, I've got Finnix booting and here's what I get:

'ifconfig' shows no IPv4 for eth0 (it shows an IPv6 but my router doesn't support that) and is only giving me 127.0.0.1 for local loopback (as it would). The G4 is hardlined into my router on same LAN as windows box. Under OS X, I had it set to static IP (10.0.1.18 I think). Do I need to configure this in Finnix?

Attempting to mount the drive gives me the following:
Code:
mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/sda3,
missing codepage or helper program, or other error In some cases useful info is found in syslog - try dmesg | tail or so
dmesg tells me:
Code:
gem 0002:20:0f.0: eth0: Link is up at 100 Mbps, full-duplex
gem 0002:20:0f.0: eth0: Pause is disabled
ADDCONF(NETDEV_CHANGE): eth0: link becomes ready
eth0: no IPv6 routers present
scsi_verify_blk_ioctl: 36 callbacks suppressed
mount: sending ioctl 5310 to a partition!
mount: sending ioctl 5310 to a partition!
hfs: write access to a journaled filesystem is not supported, use the force option at your own risk, mounting read-only.
hfs: invalid extent max_key_len 533
hfs: failed to load extents file
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BearMoon

 
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Btw, I worked out how to configure the ethernet port. And if it helps, here's the output from "fdisk -l":
Code:
#           type                  name         length   base       ( size )   system
/dev/sda1   Apple_partition_map   Apple            63 @ 1          ( 31.5k)   Partition map
/dev/sda2   Apple_Free                         262144 @ 64         (128.0M)   Free space
/dev/sda3   Apple_HFS             Untitled   58342902 @ 262208     ( 27.8G)   HFS
/dev/sda4   Apple_Free                             10 @ 58605110   (  5.0k)   Free space
Block size=512, Number of Blocks=58605120
DeviceType=0x0, DeviceId=0x0
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BearMoon

 
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After wading through more than I care to elaborate, I finally got fsck working. End result, after fsck -fr /dev/sda3, is still "Invalid B-tree node size (3, 0)". Is there ANYTHING else I can try before having to shell out $99 for DiskWarrior or another prog?? If I had access to another mac, I'd try target disk mode, but that's not going to be an option.
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chas_m

 
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Disk warrior will fix that right up, but it's probably a sign the HD is dying. A replacement HD and restore from your backups is an alternative fix.
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BearMoon

 
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Well, I'm confused now. Everyone seems to say DW will fix Invalid B-tree node size errors (which prevent the drive being mounted) and yet, DW says it can't repair a drive that can't be mounted... talk about a catch 22! Sounds as though I'd just be throwing my money away purchasing DW then?
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You are correct. If Disk Warrior can not mount the disk, it can't repair it. The same holds true for any disk repair utility from the old Norton Utilities for DOS to the present.
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BearMoon

 
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serious brain pretzels now!! so how are so many people claiming DW fixed their b-tree issue if DW can't even mount the drive? Even DW's website says it will fix it. Is there a real-world case where an invalid b-tree node structure will still allow a drive to be mounted? what am I missing here? btw, thanks everyone for chiming in
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Just my 2 cents worth (don't have a soloution for your problem unfortunately).

I wouldn't spend $99 on diagnostics for an iBook G4. By the time you add up the new HD you almost cerainly need and DW, plus upgraded OS (have to check specs to see if that Machine will run 10.5 but I think it can) you are easily into the range where you could pickup up a used Intel MacBook.

I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .
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BearMoon

 
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My only concern at this point is getting my files off the drive. It's a real pisser that I'd actually decided that morning to do a backup later in the evening! the upshot is that this problem has gotten me interested in linux again (used to work with it at my job a long time ago) so maybe I can turn it into a little linux box and/or seti cruncher if I can sort the drive. But, for now, I just want to get my files.
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Not quite sure why DW won't fix that problem. I'm pretty sure that I have fixed that problem in the past with it though. There does come a time though where a drive is so badly borked that nothing short of professional recovery will fix it.

What version of DW are you running?

Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

"Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling
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BearMoon

 
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I don't have DW yet as I was trying to work out whether it would be money wasted. DW says it can fix it, but then implicitly contradicts that (see my second to last post). I might be able to justify the $100 down the road, on the off chance it might work, but right now $100 makes a fair difference in what I can get for a new laptop. Unfortunately, in this scenario it's probably a case of just having to bite the bullet to find out. Would be nice if they had a demo version I could try just to see if it will even see my drive.
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