OS X Boot Problems

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davintosh's picture
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I've got a really strange one here; a friend dropped off his G4 450DP yesterday because he couldn't get it to boot up. If you try to boot it into OS X (from the 10.3.9 folume on the hard drive or an OS X utility disk) you get the apple icon with the spinning doodad below right away, but then the apple changes to a different icon altogether; a circle with a slash through the middle, like the red circle/slash from the Ghostbusters logo. Once it gets to that point it sits and sits and sits... the spinning doodad below keeps spinning, but nothing else has happened.

One other thing I tried was target disk mode on my laptop, which worked to a degree; the three volumes on his drive showed up in the finder, but if I clicked on any of them trying to see what was in them or tried to run Disk Utility or DiskWarrior on it, it would take forever to do anything. I started up DiskWarrior on it before going to bed (at 11pm) and when I got up this morning (6am) it had gotten as far as displaying the list of disks, but had the spinning rainbow disk.

The owner of the machine was trying to add a second drive to it when things went south. I'm afraid he might have hose this drive but good.

Anybody ever seen the circle/slash on boot before? Any quick & easy solutions?

Thanks!
--
Dave

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iamdigitalman's picture
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Joined: Mar 2 2004
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same thing here

sorry, hijacked topic, but I get the same thing off a freash install of 10.2.3, from the disks iantm gave me. anybody know why it does this? is it a corrupted CD, and if so, how?

oh, I should say, it does everything, EXCEPT the spinning thing. that never come up.

either I get that, or I see the apple logo, then it's like some static on the TV come up over the apple logo, and it stays like that.

can anybody help me? qand if not, do you think apple will let me exchange the disks for a new set of 10.2 or tiger? it's a full legal set: install 1, install 2, and updater (updates to 10.2.8.)

thanks. -digital Wink

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Joined: Sep 23 2005
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jumpers

im sure you may have already checked, but i would take a look at the drives to see if maybe there arent two or more disks set to master all on the same IDE chain.

EDIT: and, i have seen the circle/slash before, but only when i was trying to install the intel OSX86 developer disk on my generic PC. (which DID eventually work) but in my case, the circle/slash indicated a hardware problem, or some part of the configuration is unsupported.

is the second drive the owner installed still installed? have you tried removing it? in a few PC's ive worked on, a bad IDE drive has popped up, that every time it is plugged in it makes the entire PC act crazy / and/or dead, even if no power is plugged into the drive. so, maybe its a wonky drive somewhere?

davintosh's picture
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Re: jumpers

evilrobot wrote:

im sure you may have already checked, but i would take a look at the drives to see if maybe there arent two or more disks set to master all on the same IDE chain.

EDIT: and, i have seen the circle/slash before, but only when i was trying to install the intel OSX86 developer disk on my generic PC. (which DID eventually work) but in my case, the circle/slash indicated a hardware problem, or some part of the configuration is unsupported.

is the second drive the owner installed still installed? have you tried removing it? in a few PC's ive worked on, a bad IDE drive has popped up, that every time it is plugged in it makes the entire PC act crazy / and/or dead, even if no power is plugged into the drive. so, maybe its a wonky drive somewhere?

That was one of the first things the owner thought of; right now it's got a single hard drive on one bus and the CD/DVD and a Zip drive on the other bus.

I wonder, though, if he didn't move a jumper on the hard drive that is making it wonky; if a drive is the only device on an ATA bus and it's set to slave, can that cause problems?

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Jon
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It could, but I do remember s

It could, but I do remember seeing posts around here about problems with G4 IDE controllers going south. Do you have a PCI card or another G4 to try the drive with? Do you have a FW enclosure to try to put the drive in?

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The Czar's picture
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In my experience, G4's prefer

In my experience, G4's prefer cable select over the hard-wired Master/Slave configurations. Try setting both devices on one chain to Cable select and go from there.

Another obvious suggestion: Have you made sure that the cable isn't damaged? If the drives are seen, but you experience problems accessing them, a damaged cable is often to blame.

I've had issues with Quicksilver similar to this and these two fixes (in different instances) have solved the problem.

Cheers,

The Czar

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davintosh's picture
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Solved!

This one was so obscure I surprised myself by finding it. I thought to check the jumper pins and to make sure that there were no bent pins on the drive connector, so I pulled it out & inspected things a bit more closely. It turned out that when the owner tried plugging in the cable one pin on the drive's connector was slightly bent. Instead of bending it further, pushing the cable onto it pushed the pin right through the back of the connector.

So I pulled the board from the drive mechanism to see if I could fix it, and the loose pin fell right out. I got the pin pushed back in its hole, pushed its connector up against it, soldered it back in place, plugged it in and it booted right up. Yesss!

Did you all hear me cheering when that happened? Wink

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Similar issues

I've had similar intermittent boot problems with my G4 MDD 1GHz running Tiger, until yesterday it completely died. Before then I found resetting the PRAM on the motherboard would do the trick. Not so yesterday. I tried each of my 4 hard disks in every combination possible, zapped the PRAM about 20 times, and I think the Mac had had enough, as it then proceeded to boot straight to a black screen.

To cut a long story short... that prohibited icon is what appear when the system cannot find a startup folder. It used to be a broken folder icon. If you boot in verbose mode (Command + V) then you will see it hangs with a message like "Waiting for root device". Like davintosh, my problem was due to a faulty connection, mine was on the IDE cable. I swapped it out for a fresh one and everything fired back up. Very close inspection of the old cable shows a very tiny scratch across it - but it would seem this is enough to cause a faulty connection.

I put a new 160Gb disk in, reinstalled Tiger and it obligingly copied over all my data from the old disk as part of the system install.

So, if anyone else is getting the prohibited icon, check all your connections. If that doesn't fix it, grab a Sonnet Tempo PCI IDE card and that will (only suitable for PowerMacs).