: No System Folder on B&W After Reboot

Apr 5th, 2004, 09:11 AM
This just started up yesterday. I have a B&W G3 400 which has been running OS X for some time now (10.3.2) which I use a file server for my home office. I needed to reboot the machine yesterday and upon start up all I get is the system folder with a quetion mark.

I booted from CD and within disk utilities I can see the Maxtor 40GB but the partion itself (Macintosh OS X) is grey'd out. I also tried to change start up disk, no luck and I'm getting errors when I try to verify the disk... Any ideas as to how I can boot?

I also have a PB G4 can I boot from that in target disk mode?

Apr 5th, 2004, 09:50 AM
Is your B&W a revision A or B? Revision A machines have a well documented controler problem that can resuld in data corruption when using newer high speed drives or even just additional drives. Unfortunately B&Ws do not support FW target disk mode.

Having said that, I currently run 3 drives in my RevA with no problems. You first course of action here is to boot from your OSX install CD, from the menubar select disk utility, and "Repair Disk" as well as "Repair Permissions" on the drive. When you quit the installer you should be prompted to change the startup disk.

Apr 5th, 2004, 10:01 AM
The B&W is a Rev B, I tried to repair the disk but got an error which wouldn't allow me to go any further? Is there and option to repair permissions? I don't recall seeing that when booting from CD...

Apr 5th, 2004, 10:03 AM
Great, now it seems that the neither of my drives will show up in disk utility, this is bad I take it!

Apr 5th, 2004, 10:09 AM
First, disconnect any USB or firewire peripherals. Then reset thr pram by holding down "option + apple + p + r" while you reboot. Hold the keys till you hear the startup chime at least 3 times.

Apr 5th, 2004, 10:14 AM
Will do, stay tuned as the saga continues...

Tony Wong
Apr 5th, 2004, 01:54 PM
Sounds like the partition map or driver is busted...this link may give you some insight into recovering data...


Apr 5th, 2004, 02:11 PM
Tried zapping the PRAM thats a no go, I can get the 10GB drive to be noticed in Disk Utility which was empty, just my luck OS X won't install on it? Its been sitting at the 4min left on the install od CD 1 for 3hrs now? I recall disk 1 install much quicker in past instal 10.3.x

Apr 5th, 2004, 02:54 PM
I've run across this problem occasionally with early versions of 10.2 when I was installing Linux, which also involves editing Open Firmware.

The solutions are:

Open the Mac and remove/reseat the drive connections and the power connectors. Remember to reseat the drive cable on the motherboard as well. If your drives are connected to a PCI card, reseat those too. Try to boot.

Run the Apple Diagnostic CD (choose full diagnostics) and look after anything it flags.

If you're using an SCSI card and don't need that drive to boot, remove the card temporarily.

Try just waiting. Hard reboots while that flashing ? is up may further corrupt the partition map. That question mark may go away once it finds the path to the drive again; all the time that question mark is up it is looking for a valid System Folder.

Boot the Mac and go to work or do something else. I had to wait a very long time before it found the system folder; at least 20 minutes to an hour, but 2 hours is probably enough to be sure that method won't work.

Boot into Open Firmware (Command-Option-O-F during startup) and try:
mac-boot [hit return]

Wait a long, long time, as before.

You can also try (again boot into Open Firmware):
boot [return]

Wait, etc.

If you have OS9 installed, you can boot into OS9 and use the Startup Disk control panel to reset Open Firmware to the OSX drive's pathname. You should be able to install OS9x on a 10GB partition with no problem if it's not installed now. Reboot into OSX.

Startup from the CD and go to the OS9 control panels folder (System Folder/Control Panels; not via the Apple menu), find the startup disk control panel, launch and reset to OSX, reboot.

At any time, if you actually get into OS9 or OSX, reset the startup disk from the control panel before you reboot again.

You can physically remove the drive and try to copy (backup) on another Mac if you have access to one and the space necessary, reformat the drive, and reinstall it on your computer.

You can remove the drive and use a PC to format the drive (fdisk) as Fat16; reinstall it in the Mac and format it normally. The Windows drive should mount in Disk Utility for reformatting.

The drive may be going bad; if you have access to a Mac that can do a SMART diagnosis that might be worthwhile. If the drive checks out OK and none of this works, either your partition map is damaged or the OSX installation is corrupted.

[ April 05, 2004, 03:12 PM: Message edited by: gordguide ]

Apr 5th, 2004, 11:46 PM
So after some fiddling, I've got by B&W G3 booted off the second drive which has 2 partions 18GB each running 10.3.3 I can still see my primary 40GB Os X drive but its label (partion) Macintosh OS X is still grey'd and I can't mount it. If I attempt to repair I get an error and it won't allow for the repair to continue further the verify/repair permissions buttons are also grey'd out? Any thoughts?