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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

PowerBook - Can't get into my system after reboot.


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The Jeepster

 
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Brief background: Upgraded my G4 17-inch Powerbook hard drive to a Seagate Momentus 5400.3 160GB one. Formatted & installed Leopard. Working fine for the last couple of weeks.

The problem: decided to erase my trash using 'Secure Empty Trash'. The process got down to the last 25 items to erase and seemed to hang. I hard-rebooted the machine, then continued emtying the trash. Same problem, just hung at these last few items, though the computer was otherwise functioning OK.

Then an automated upgrade came through and I said OK to proceed. The upgrade required a restart, so I said OK to restart. However, it couldn't do a soft restart so I had to do another hard reset (holding down the power button).

When I booted it up it went straight into Setup Assistant so I answered all the questions and...it went back into Setup Assistant. Whatever I tried it would always come back to Setup Assistant. I then chose the setup option to transfer files from another Mac volume on my computer and it displayed the correct amount of free space on my hard drive, but indicated there was no system.

So what's gone wrong? How can I get back in (I NEED to recover some important files)? Any help gratefully appreciated!
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novicew

 
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It sounds like you have deleted some vital file (system files) from your Mac. If you have access to a external HDD enclosure, you can connect the PB HDD and transfer all your important files to another Mac. Once you recover all what you need, you could do a fresh installation. May be there is a better fix, but this is what came into my mind.

Good luck!
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The Jeepster

 
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Thanks novicew, that is my feeling, too. Something has become corrupted rather than an actual HD failure. is there any 'repair' option with OSX like with Windows, where you can stick the OS disk in and fix such problems?
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novicew

 
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You can select the Archive and Install option. This way you can preserve the rest of your data.
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The Jeepster

 
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Thanks novicew - this option (which I was unaware of) seems like it might do the trick. Only one thing...I haven't backed up my home folder anywhere (as I recently upgraded, the only item I need to retrieve is my mail).

I found this Mac Archive & Install help document, which contains this paragraph:

The Preserve Users and Network Settings option (selected by default) imports existing user accounts, their Home folders, and your network settings into the new system after installation. If you deselect this, you should have a current back up your important data, network settings, and user Home folders available. The Mac OS X Setup Assistant will not appear after this kind of installation.

I take it this means that it will copy my home folder (containing all my mail?) to the new system. Is the emphasis on having backed up my data beforehand just for added security? Do you think I can safely proceed with this?

Thanks again
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The Jeepster

 
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oops...my mistake....I've just noticed it says 'if you deselect this', so presumably by selecting it my data will be safe...?
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The Jeepster

 
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Ah, good old Apple (and help from this forum)...everything restored just fine using Archive & Install
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