: Major headache with booting a PB G4 Ti 500. Help!

Jul 26th, 2006, 05:41 PM
Ok, lets see if anyone knows something that I am just missing or what. I have been trying to get this PB Ti 500 to boot all day long and have run out of ideas. Here is the story:

The owner of this said that the optical drive does not work and they wanted me to replace it for them. No problem there. They also told me that it boots to a flashing ?... Easy there as well. So before, I ordered a replacement drive, I wanted to get the computer booting to the internal drive first.

When I actually got the computer, it would not do anything at all. No power when trying to turn it on. They owner told me that they have not tried to turn it on in a few months. Ok, so probably a drained or dead PMU battery. I left it plugged in over night without the main battery and tried to power it on this morning... nothing.

I put in a known good backup battery from an old Wallstreet and it powered on right away. Since the optical drive is now out of the computer, I left the wallstreet battery in to get it going.

I installed Tiger onto the drive using FW Target Disk Mode from my newer PB. Tried to boot the machine and it hung at the blank blue screen just before the blue splash screen should pop up. I booted in Safe Mode and was able to get it to boot to the desktop with no problems. I decided to create a disk image of my Tiger install disk and throw it on my iPod. I wanted to to install the OS using the actual machine in case there were unit specific things that were not installed going over FW using a different computer. Same thing happens, I can boot in safe mode, but it gets hung up on the blue screen right before the splash screen should pop up.

Ok, so now I took out the extra RAM which was actually running at 133 instead of 100, but should not make a difference anyway and it did not make a difference. I put the bad optical drive back in in case the computer was looking for the drive and was hanging it.... no deal.

I have zeroed the hard drive in case there were some bad sectors that were storing important system data and even though there were a lot of bad sectors that were taken out, I still have the same problem.

If I boot into Verbose Mode I don't get any alerts from what I can tell, but when it leaves Verbose it goes right to the blue screen and hangs.

I have already done the normal repair permissions, reset PRAM, reset PMU, reset-vnram, reset-all, fsck -fy, etc....

Does anyone have any idea why the computer would run perfectly while in Safe mode, but hangs after Verbose Mode and right before the blue splash screen?

I will try to get a system log that I can post as well too.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks all!

Jul 26th, 2006, 05:46 PM
Oh another thing...

When I first ran fsck -y on the drive after this happened, I got a weird error on the catalog hy. It said something like, "login window should be 0 instead of 10".

I thought that for some reason something screwed up and there was a delay for when the window would come up. It repaired it and said it was fine, but it did not fix anything.

I have never seen that error message....

I think is is not loading the kernel environment, but how do I fix that?

Jul 26th, 2006, 06:59 PM
When you install an operating system onto a computer using Firewire Disk mode the OS installer thinks you are installing a system for the computer that was booted. It sees your Tibook as just another hard drive in the boot computer.

Safe mode may work since it is a stripped down version of the system and many key features are disabled. When those features are enabled during a normal boot there is probably a conflict between the OS and hardware that is different than what was expected and the system crashes or hangs.

One scenario might be video acceleration. The OS thinks it is booting a newer Mac with a different video card. The acceleration software doesn't work with the older laptop so the system comes to a halt.

I'd recommend booting from an external firewire CD or DVD drive on your Tibook and doing the OS installation that way. The OS installer will recognize the boot computer as the Tibook and install the appropriate system software components.

Jul 26th, 2006, 07:12 PM
Yeah, I thought the same thing. That is why I installed it from my iPod using the actual Ti500. Still a no go.

Jul 26th, 2006, 07:51 PM
I'm assuming you were booted in safe mode in order to access the iPod disk image. I'd still be a little suspicious that the install wasn't entirely clean since the drive wasn't reformatted. I think it still makes sense to try booting from an external firewire CD/DVD drive so you can reformat the drive and do a clean OS install.

It's also quite possible that there is a real hardware issue causing the hang on a full boot. Safe Mode is just like booting with extensions off in OS9. This bypasses lots of hardware issues so you can at least boot to do repairs or troubleshooting.

Jul 26th, 2006, 08:06 PM
I booted to the disk image on the iPod. Here I did a complete zero of the drive in the Tibook and then did the install.

From what I know a Safe Boot only loads the system fonts (disabling the rest), runs the directory check at boot, clears some cache files and disables some kernel extensions (except the ones needed to boot).

I went in and removed all the fonts except the system fonts and it did not help. The only other thing a safe boot is doing is not loading all the kernel extensions. I am sure that one of these is causing the problem. I just cannot figure out which one and why.

I am not ruling out hardware, but it just does not seem like it, but then again...

Jul 26th, 2006, 08:23 PM
I didn't know you can boot from a disk image. How do you do that?

Jul 26th, 2006, 08:47 PM
How about trying installing OS9. If it won't boot OS9 either then there must still be a serious hardware issue. If OS9 boots properly it may indicate that OSX doesn't like the ram installed or there is some OSX software issue.

Jul 26th, 2006, 09:00 PM
I didn't know you can boot from a disk image. How do you do that?

I put my Tiger install disk into my other Powerbook.
Connected my iPod (actually my wifes because it has to be a FireWire iPod).
Opened Disk Utility
Selected the iPod on the left
Clicked the 'Restore' tab on the right
I dropped the Tiger Install disk from the left onto the Source section on the right.
I dropped the iPod Disk from the left onto the Destination section on the right.
Clicked on erase (not sure you have to do that, but I have the stuff on her computer).
Then clicked on Restore.

It basically takes the Tiger Install disk and makes a bootable copy on my iPod. So when I connect the iPod to the TiBook 500, it mounts just like the DVD would.

Jul 26th, 2006, 09:02 PM
How about trying installing OS9. If it won't boot OS9 either then there must still be a serious hardware issue. If OS9 boots properly it may indicate that OSX doesn't like the ram installed or there is some OSX software issue.

Yeah, I thought of that as well. I just found my old OS 9 Disk. For some reason I cannot do the same trick with the iPod with the OS 9 Install disk. I guess I will try to do it using the FireWire Target disk mode and see what happens.

Jul 26th, 2006, 09:20 PM
That's a cool trick to boot from the iPod. :clap:

Will the same process work to put a bootable disk image on a regular firewire hard drive, or is there some unique feature of the iPod that allows you to do this?

Jul 26th, 2006, 10:20 PM
I think you would just have to partition the drive and use one partition for the boot backup. It will work with other drives, not just the iPod....

Well, my OS 9 disk was too scratched and I can't find my backup of it, so I could not install that. I did find my 10.3 disks so I installed that and the same thing happens. I can boot into safe mode, but it hangs at the blue screen if I do a normal startup. I am at a loss! It makes no sense to me.

Jul 26th, 2006, 10:37 PM
Your L2 cache may be failed - I've seen that in towers - tricky one.

Jul 27th, 2006, 10:23 AM
I thought about it last night...

all the I/O ports work, even in Safe Boot except for the Airport card and the modem, which are not supposed to work in Safe Boot. They do show up in System Profiler in 10.3, even though they don't in 10.4, so I pretty sure it is not a faulty I/O port causing the hang. From my experience I have not seen a faulty I/O port cause these symptoms. So with everything else I have experience trying to get this to work it is likely the L2 cache. Thanks for adding that MacDoc. Thanks to Rob for your input as well.

If anyone else has any suggestions feel free to chime in, but at this point I am convinced it is going to take a logic board replacement to get this beast running correctly.

Jul 27th, 2006, 09:16 PM
I still think it's worth trying an OS9 install. It's not as fussy as X, and you can also check if the L2 cache is seen in System Profiler.

Jul 27th, 2006, 09:59 PM
I still think it's worth trying an OS9 install. It's not as fussy as X, and you can also check if the L2 cache is seen in System Profiler.

Good point. I booted into Safe Boot and checked ASP in 10.3 and the L2 cache is seen in there, but I think it has to be something to do with that. Or at least something on the logic board. Because the L2 cache shows up in ASP does not mean that it is working, but then again, normally you get the boot tone when the L2 cache has problems.

I have installed multiple OS's on this machine and I get the same problem over and over again.

If I can find my backup of OS 9 I will give it a go and see what happens.

I don't know.... I took a day off from that machine. I will try to find OS 9 and give it a shot tomorrow.