Help me fix a broke powerbook please.

Discussion in 'Apple Products' started by foofighter06, Jan 9, 2007.

  1. foofighter06

    foofighter06 Gawd

    Dec 17, 2003
    I work in IT, and today I got a broke powerbook g4 placed on my desk.

    Thing had been dropped.

    Turns on fine.

    But sits at what I think is the mac load screen(apple with a pin wheel spinning below it).

    I know how to take the harddrive out(found a guide online)
    However, ive never used a mac.

    So how do I get to the boot menu and all that(bios type stuff).

    And what will I need to do to get a new OS on the machine>? Just the discs that should have come with it>?

    Basically i need a lil course on how to use mac stuff when first booting and how to get an OS on. Any built in dianostics i can run to make sure its a harddrive?

    Thanks for any links or help.
  2. Deific

    Deific Limp Gawd

    Jun 8, 2004
    If the system was dropped and the symptoms appeared after that, it's extremely likely the hard drive is messed up.
    However, if the issues showed up on their own after a few weeks/months, it's more difficult to determine if the drive is the issue or if it's software corruption.

    Get the discs that came with the system or a newer copy of the system software and put it in the drive.
    Restart the computer with the letter "c" down to boot to cd.
    Continue with the installer up to the screen you select the hard drive from. Click options and select "Erase and Install". You could also try an Archive and Install instead, but it really depends on if you need anything from the drive. It's going to be much safer to erase it, but that's up to you.

    If you want to zero out the drive instead of a quick format, go to the "Utilities" menu at the top of the screen or go to the "Installer" menu if it's an older version of the OS (like 10.3 or 10.2). Choose "Disk Utility", then pick the drive from the left side, choose the tab that says "Erase" and then click the options there and choose "Zero All Data". That will make sure the drive can be written to completely.

    Once you go through the reinstall the system should boot properly if the drive is going to work at all.

    Most powerbooks use a standard IDE laptop drive so you can pick up any from the store.
    Make sure you erase the drive using the disk utility and then restart the computer, then the installer will proceed fine on any version you install.

    Good luck.
    - David
  3. foofighter06

    foofighter06 Gawd

    Dec 17, 2003
  4. deadpuppies

    deadpuppies n00b

    Jan 5, 2007
    Hi, I'm an Apple warranty technician and I see this all of the time. Apple has service manuals on their support website which take you through every single step of a take apart. If you don't have a GSX login then they may be harder to find but if you look hard enough then you should be able to come across one. If not, the hard drive on powerbooks are generally located on the bottom left of the laptop just under the palm rest assembly. Take out all screws on the bottom, batter compartment, and side and the use a flat piece of plastice or something to lift the palm rest assembly from the bottom. Good luck.
  5. KaosDG

    KaosDG [H]ardForum Junkie

    Apr 3, 2000
    Have you tried booting in single user or verbose mode? (hold down apple + s or apple + v when its booting)

    It sounds like the laptop "sees" the HDD. Generally if you try to boot it and the HD is bad some other icon pops up. (flashing ? or a prohibit icon)