G4 Startup Problems/Failing Drive

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I have read here and on other forums about startup problems and getting stuck at the gray start-up screen. I am having this problem on my G4, running OS X 10.5. My priority is getting my information, but it would be great to get my Mac working again! I have done the following:

1. I disconnected everything except for the display and the keyboard. Restarted and still stuck.
2. I held shift after powering up for a Safe Boot. No result.
3. I held Command-s to attempt fsck -y. Nothing happened holding Command-s.
4. I held D after powering up to get to Diagnostic mode. Nothing.
5. I held option after powering up. The only bootable drive was my "Mac160," with a nice "X" next to it (drive failing, I suppose). Can do nothing from here.

Unfortunately, I do not have a Leopard Install Disk. So, what now? Can I get a Leopard Install disk somewhere?

I have read about DiskWarrior, but the opinions seem mixed. Will it help me?What about Data Rescue 3 or Drive Genius 2? What is my best option?

Thanks in advance!
 

chscag

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If you don't have a backup, it may wind up costing you some $$$ to get at your data. The problem with Disk Warrior, Drive Genius, or any other comparable software is that they have to be able to access the hard drive in order to get your data from it. You can certainly try one of them - I believe they (all) offer a trial version to test first.

As for a Leopard install disk, booting with it will only allow you to run Disk Utility which is probably going to tell you the same thing about the drive. However, you do need your original install disk to reinstall Leopard.

Buying a new copy of Leopard is going to be expensive. Probably around $200 or so.

Your best option for now is if you have another Mac or a friend with a Mac, you can try accessing your hard drive from the other Mac using Target Disk Mode. That requires a firewire to firewire connection.

See the following Apple KB article on how to do it. LINK

Regards.
 
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Thanks for the reply. It's good to know that those programs have trial versions. I guess a trial will let me know if it will do what I want it to.

I'll try the Target Disk Mode tomorrow with my MacBook; I'll post results by noon.

Thanks again!
 
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I am in Target Disk Mode, but only the secondary drive from the G4 mounted on my MacBook. Can I get the primary drive (failing drive) to mount as well?
 
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Update: I bought Data Rescue 3. I wasn't sure if it would work or not, but it was suggested to me by a few people. Also, its description said that it was useful when your hard drive won't mount. It was the best $100 I've spent in a while - I was able to recover ALL of my files from the drive!! If I find the Leopard Disk, I'll install it to one of the other 2 hard drives in the G4, and I should be back in business!
 
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One question ~ knowing how important the Leopard disc is, best utility around, how do you 'lose' it? I make a copy of mine for general use and keep the original under lock and key?
 
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Not lost. Never had it. The computer originally belonged to someone else in the family. When they brought it to me, they brought no disk.
 

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