PowerBook G4 New HDD Problem

Networking/Security Forums -> Macintosh

Author: achilles PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2004 2:54 am    Post subject: PowerBook G4 New HDD Problem
Hello all.

I have a powerbook G4, I wan to replace the HDD.... but when I plug in the new HDD it wont even recognize it...doesnt give any msg.. just a folder type of thing appears when it starts.. with a question mark in it/human face..

I havent used mac before so can anyone please guide?

Thanks in advance.

Author: catwomanLocation: Edinburgh, Scotland PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2004 1:07 pm    Post subject:
Hmm, yes the folder with the question mark normally means your hard drive or OS is corrupt, or it can't recognise the hard drive. Just a thought, if you go into your system preferences and select "startup disk", does your hard drive appear here? It may simply be a case that you haven't told your computer which drive to use at startup.

... or it could be that you have no system software on your new drive, in this case it'll need to be installed before you're computer will boot properly. I would boot from the system CD (hold down the c key at startup) and see if it lets you do that. Then, I would install the OS onto your new drive and re-boot. Hopefully the computer will recognise both the drive and software.

I hope this helps, although I've never had a problem using OS X, since I started using it 2.5 years ago, I used to get this periodically in OS 9 - usually the system software was corrupt and needed re-installing.

Author: achilles PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2004 9:30 pm    Post subject:
Thanks for the reply catwoman.

Yes, as I mentioned its a new HDD so it does not have any OS installed (had windows 2000 previously, i guess) but the Mac wont recognize that..

Can I boot using any other boot cd such as "hiren's Boot CD" or "Super Win Pe" etc? becuase I dont have the Mac OS Cd right now, or do I have to get Mac OS and then boot using that cd?

Also can you please tell me how to go into the "System Preferences" ?

Looking forward for your reply.


Author: 5oger PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2004 12:52 am    Post subject:
sounds like you have a catch 22 there tbh being a mac the x86 boot disks will not boot the powerbook, to boot be that off the harddrive or cd you need to use a OS for the hardware which in the mac's case is PPC not x86, ie to boot using a cd you need to use a mac os disk on the whole, i think there might be a live liunx disk for a mac?

if you still have the orginal harddrive? i'd put that back as at the moment you have hardware with no software. failing that you will need to get a OS disk be that a clssic mac os disk, mac osx, or one of the open source operating systums such as linux BSD and such, but as it is that powerbook is a nice looking paper weight till you get a operating system in it.


Author: achilles PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2004 3:02 am    Post subject:
Thanks 5oger

I tried booting it using knoppix and IMO it should have woked, since it does have the linux kernel, but it didnt. The same folder with a question mark appears.

Can any one please tell me how to get into the "Bios" (System Preferences) for a Mac?(PowerBook G4).


I hear Macs do not have BIOS and they store the OS in ROM.. Correct me if I'm wrong.. However is there any way to get into the system preferences or something and check that the HDD Is working fine or not?


Author: 5oger PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2004 4:33 pm    Post subject:
okay the knoppix live CD is for a ibm comptable computers a pc in other words, not a mac so its not going to boot, using a knoppix live CD. while you can get versions of linux that run on mac hardware that isn't one of them.

for bios read open firmware, that said as there is no viable OS on the harddrive, wether the hardrive is ok or not is a mute point unless you get a OS disk so you can install a OS as quite obviously with out a OS the powerbook isn't going to boot. ie unless you have the orginal harddrive? you NEED to get a either a mac OS disk or get a PPC linux disk. as at the moment the powerbook is useless.


Author: catwomanLocation: Edinburgh, Scotland PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2004 5:32 pm    Post subject:
Yep, I concur, you absolutely need the OS or the Mac will not recognise the drive. Buy (or borrow) a copy of Mac OS X, preferably Mac OS X.3 (called Panther), as it's the most recent, and boot from that (insert the CD, while the computer is switched off, then hold down the "c" key and press the power button, hold down the "c" key as the powerbook starts up and it will boot from the CD). You should then get an option to install the OS onto your HD - do this and re-boot as normal and the powerbook should recognise your new HD.

The system preferences I mentioned are an intergral component of Mac OS X - it's where you change monitor settings, network options, select the start-up drive, etc. However, there will be no system preferences on your powerbook as the OS was on the HD you removed, and is not yet installed on your new HD.

Author: achilles PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2004 1:03 am    Post subject:
Thanks alot for your replies .. Catwoman and Roger.

I'll buy the Mac OS Cd.. most porbably the Mac OS X or whichever version I can get my hands on. Lets hope it works..


Author: arcsineLocation: Los Angeles PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 7:33 am    Post subject:
another problem may be the type of drive you put in the powerbook...

is it compatible?

it sounds as though you pulled it out of another machine since you mentioned it may have had windows 2000 previously....

It may be a good idea to get to know your mac a little bit before you start messing with the hardware, although I know it's fun.

Author: siaradLocation: Near Swansea UK PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 11:27 am    Post subject:
As above the Mac uses a different CPU from IBM so the programs you tried have no chance in working. However you've not said why you wish to change the drive. You can put the original & new into an IBM & use a disk copier such as Ranish & copy them. This only makes an exact copy so if the new is bigger the extra won't be used. No idea how a Mac will view this. You really need the Mac OS CD as you've said.

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