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PowerMac G4 won't boot

by forsy3 / June 29, 2008 5:22 AM PDT


the hard drive on my PowerMacG4 (AGP graphics card, 512 mb RAM, 733 MHz, OSX 10.4.11) went bad & I replaced it with a Seagate 120 mb ATA hard drive, then used the system restore disks to reformat the drive and install the original OS (10.1.x?). I then tried installing 10.4 from the DVD, but I got a darkened screen with a message in several languages that "You must restart your computer" tried several restarts but same message, so went back to 10.2 CDs and installed that, then 10.3, then 10.4...after getting back to 10.4.11 I shut it down and it wouldn't boot up - got the same "you must restart..." started whole procedure again with system restore, but got a "kernel panic" screen after 10.1.x was installed...tried these procedures several more times with either the kernel panic or the "you must restart..." screens coming up & the computer not booting...

sought help in Apple discussions...tried zapping PRAM and NVRAM, running "Hardware Test" numerous times (everything passed), replaced the battery, everything that was suggested but it still won't boot after being shut down, now not even after doing a system restore Sad

This went on for a couple weeks before I broke down & got a new iMac, but I'd like to fix my PowerMac G4...just cause I'm stubborn, I can anyone suggest something I should do to get this working again?


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Not much to work with.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 29, 2008 5:24 AM PDT
In reply to: PowerMac G4 won't boot

Did you try installing from a newer external firewire DVD drive?

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I'm wondering why you would install,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / June 29, 2008 5:56 AM PDT
In reply to: Not much to work with.

such an old OS, 10.1, and then move up to 10.4.

Far better to use the 10.4 DVD to boot the machine, format the drive and then install 10.4

Was there a particular reason for starting at 10.1 and working your way up?

Try this. Remove the drive and try to boot the G4 from the 10.4 DVD. No Boot? Remove one stick of RAM. No Boot? Replace the first stick and remove the other.
Still no Boot.
Leave the DVD in the drive.
Shut down, remove the power cord, remove the battery, press the "ON" button at the front of the G4. Replace Drive and RAM. Leave the whole thing for 30 minutes.
Replace the battery, power cord and press the CUDA button. Small rubber thing near the battery. ONCE.

Cross everything that can be and press the "ON" button and hold down the "C" key.

What happened?


What happened?

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re: I'm wondering why you would install,
by forsy3 / July 2, 2008 6:47 AM PDT

Hi, thanks for getting back...

the first thing I tried after installing the new hd was to install 10.4 from the dvd, but that resulted in the grayish multilingual screen with "you must restart your computer" message, so I went back to the system restore cds which installed 10.1, then did software updates online til there were no more for that OS version, then installed the next version & so on, unless I couldn't get past restarting in 10.1 and the kernel panic some advice from apple discussions and did what they suggested - PRAM, NVRAM resets; hardware test, etc., even tried reinstalling the old hd but that resulted in the multilingual grayish message screen...

anyway, I'll copy all that stuff down & give it a try...might take awhile...not a top priority, just a fixation now Wink

thanks again for all the ideas...I'll let you know if any work Happy

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question about RAM
by forsy3 / July 2, 2008 6:55 AM PDT

was wondering if the hardware test wouldn"t find if there was a problem with RAM? that's one of the things that's tested, and it passed, along with everything else that was tested...just trying to maybe save a step...

thanks again.

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update 1
by forsy3 / July 15, 2008 6:20 AM PDT


right now I'm about half way thru the 30 minute wait time after everything you suggested I do before didn't work: disconnected HD - wouldn't boot and only HALF the monitor screen worked! other half was black; removed 1 stick of RAM - wouldn't boot, monitor same (only half working); replaced first RAM, removed second-wouldn't boot & same monitor I reconnected HD, replaced both RAM, removed battery, pressed "on" button, and now I'm waiting the 30 minutes...

if it still won't boot, what's next? besides a trip to the "genius bar" at the apple store (even if I could get in with all the iPhone buyers clogging the aisles Wink lol)

thanks for the help so far...I'll be back in 15 min and let you know if there is any change...

thanks again!

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update 2
by forsy3 / July 15, 2008 7:02 AM PDT
In reply to: update 1

okay...waited 30 minutes, reconnected everything, pressed cuda button, replaced battery & power cable, tried starting from DVD drive...same thing...1/2 the monitor is black and there's half a black box in the middle of the screen after the apple logo comes & goes....

tried restarting from HD...monitor same (1/2 black)...and kernel panic screen comes on...

replaced OSX install DVD with hardware test dvd...starts, but monitor the same (1/2 black)...and can't tell if hardware test is running because can't see top of box on screen to click to run it...

so...any suggestions?


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Not much you can do with only half a picture
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / July 15, 2008 9:18 AM PDT
In reply to: update 2

Either the monitor is starting to shuffle off this mortal coil or the Graphics card already has.

Try reseating it, don't hold your hopes too high though, and reboot. Ooops, shut it down first! Happy

I wonder if the card could be dragging the rest of the system down and causing a panic.

Note that you get a panic even when starting from a DVD which has an OS on it that should never get corrupted.

Try it and get back with us


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thats what I was afraid of :(
by forsy3 / July 19, 2008 9:19 AM PDT


thanks for getting back...was afraid it might be the graphics card...I'll try what you suggested and get back with soon as I figure out which is the graphics card Sad

thanks again for the help!

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re: not much to work with
by forsy3 / July 2, 2008 6:39 AM PDT
In reply to: Not much to work with.

thanks for getting back...

to answer your question, I don't have a firewire dvd drive, only the one thats in the G4.

thanks again.

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I'd borrow or buy one.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 19, 2008 9:29 AM PDT

It's something I found I needed to play with Apple gear.

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I'm the only person I know who uses Macs
by forsy3 / July 19, 2008 9:33 AM PDT
In reply to: I'd borrow or buy one.

thanks for the suggestion...unfortunately I'm the only one I know who uses Macs Sad

thinking of seeing whats on ebay...

thanks again.

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(NT) Let's ask MrFixit if some USB DVDRW drive works?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 19, 2008 9:38 AM PDT
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by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / July 19, 2008 11:18 PM PDT

They certainly do, although not as well as the Firewire version does.

Unless this G4 has had a USB 2.0 card added, the native USB speed is that of USB 1.0 which as very
S L O W !

That said, OWC have Firewire and USB SuperDrives available, around $80, but I guess the purpose of the question was to see if it would be possible to use a USB optical drive that is currently being used on a PC.

As long as the system supports it, OS X definitely supports Panasonic devices, and with a little help from a utility call Patch-Burn, most other devices can be supported too.

Hope this helps


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post didnt show up
by forsy3 / July 20, 2008 5:51 AM PDT

for some reason your post didn't show up, only the title Sad

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(NT) = No Text.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 20, 2008 6:32 AM PDT
In reply to: post didnt show up
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still missing
by forsy3 / July 24, 2008 9:48 AM PDT
In reply to: = No Text.

sorry but it's still missing Sad

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(NT) If I make a post that does not have any message body
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / July 24, 2008 10:13 AM PDT
In reply to: still missing
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(NT) the subject line looks like this
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / July 24, 2008 10:14 AM PDT
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But a post with a body, looks like this
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / July 24, 2008 10:14 AM PDT

There was No Text (NT) in the post that Bob made


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then why post?
by forsy3 / July 25, 2008 2:48 PM PDT

I'm confused....there was nothing why post?

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(NT) Because I wanted mrmacfixit to chime in.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 25, 2008 11:47 PM PDT
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(NT) And I responded as requested
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / July 26, 2008 12:28 AM PDT
In reply to: PowerMac G4 won't boot
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