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Now, what's going on with this iBook G4?


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In the interim while I am without my main Mac, I have pulled out an iBook G4 that I haven't touched in a looooong time. I believe it has 10.4 on it. Got the forgotten password sorted out. It starts up until it gets to the screen with the swoopy blue abstract design, does not load any further than that. No desktop stuff. 

 

It's been so long I don't remember what I have done with it, does this sound as if I loaded a software version (either too new, or for the wrong machine) on the hard drive before I installed it in this machine? I have in my possession disks of 10.4 that are for an iMac but when I tried to start from that disk there was a message that that version would not install on that machine. Is it time to cruise eBay for Tiger?

 

I also found the Lombard I toted halfway around the world back in 2008, I can't believe I was hauling something that heavy around!

Edited by Sludgedragon
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You can also burn a DVD or USB of Tiger yourself, if you'd like. Since you already own several copies (albeit currently non-functional ones) of Tiger, I see no reason why the copies of Tiger floating around the internet should not work. In fact, it is probably less risky to do it this way, as a lot of the DVDs on eBay are machine specific and run the risk of being duds. I think there is also a way to clone the DVD you already have to another disk, and edit a plist to make it work on more computers. --edit-- I found a guide here: https://www.insanelymac.com/forum/topic/279088-how-to-patch-any-mac-os-x-restore-dvd-gray-disc-to-work-on-any-computer/

 

 

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If I'm not mistaken, the iBook G4 came with Panther (10.3) so any version of Tiger, save the Intel specific one, should work just fine.  It does sound like the installation got messed up somehow.  The only time I've seen Tiger get stuck at that screen was when there was a HD problem and it couldn't finish loading the Finder.

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I would try starting up holding Shift, which will start it in Safe mode, skipping any third party extensions and startup items and clearing the user cache.

 

It seems the core operating system is loading properly but you're crashing either just before or just after login. If holding shift works, try once more without shift. It may simply be something in the user cache hanging up.

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Good thing my Macbook Pro is with me again, it just needed a new power cord! 

 

The iBook, on the other hand, has problems. I tried installing Leopard directly from the optical drive, no luck. So I tried using my iMac (early 2008) in target disk mode and that didn't work either. It goes so far and then it gets to where it says it has like 2 hours left, it quits and says it's unable to install and there's a big list of error messages. Now I wonder if it's a bad hard drive or something else which I won't know how to replace/fix.

Edited by Sludgedragon
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10 hours ago, Sludgedragon said:

Also, if it is the hard drive, is it hard to find one compatible?

Not at all. :)I would definitely recommend replacing it with an inexpensive and speedier SSD drive though.

 

Something like this adapter: https://www.amazon.com/mSATA-44pin-Notebook-Laptop-Enclosure/dp/B01GRMUQRG/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=ide+to+msata&qid=1609338268&sr=8-1

 

and this SSD: https://www.amazon.com/Zheino-120GB-Internal-Notebooks-Tablets/dp/B07F8P7VY3/ref=pd_bxgy_img_2/139-7974699-0572325?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B07F8P7VY3&pd_rd_r=91e61fed-9cfc-4dca-a76f-6fea1ecb5b4b&pd_rd_w=9yCis&pd_rd_wg=PIzQ8&pf_rd_p=f325d01c-4658-4593-be83-3e12ca663f0e&pf_rd_r=MJ1Y5AE5Y1AP7X1CK2YZ&refRID=MJ1Y5AE5Y1AP7X1CK2YZ&th=1

 

There are really good guides available here (just select the model of iBook you have, and click Hard Drive Replacement): https://www.ifixit.com/Device/iBook_G4

 

Make sure to use either the screw organization printout at the bottom of the linked guides, or an ice cube tray to keep track of the tiny screws.

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3 hours ago, Sludgedragon said:

What I have found so far indicates that there isn't enough room in this iBook to fit an SSD in an adapter.

This adapter should be exactly the same size as the original hard drive, so there shouldn't be any size concerns. I think they might be referring to another kind of adapter meant for desktop PCs rather than laptops like this one. The connector is 2.5" IDE which should also be compatible with the connector inside the iBook. I think several other people on this forum have had success with these parts, so they should be able to confirm this. (I bought them for my own iBook, but never got around to installing them :))

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11 hours ago, Sludgedragon said:

Think this would work? Naturally I'm looking to do things as cheaply as possible :)

Unfortunately, it would not work. This is a SATA SSD which is incompatible with the iBook G3. An adapter to make this drive fit would be too large for a laptop. The parts I linked retain the proper connectors for IDE, and they will fit inside your computer correctly. The SSD link I sent was for a 120GB drive, but you could get a 32GB drive for $5 or $6 dollars less. It would probably still be bigger than whatever failed inside the iBook.

 

Alternatively, you could try this product: https://www.amazon.com/Optimal-Shop-Digital-Adapter-Converter/dp/B00DGNYXQ0/ref=pd_sbs_147_3/139-7974699-0572325?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00DGNYXQ0&pd_rd_r=d6bb5943-9566-4c9b-9aa7-aa8a2dda24ea&pd_rd_w=WPtGc&pd_rd_wg=kid4W&pf_rd_p=ed1e2146-ecfe-435e-b3b5-d79fa072fd58&pf_rd_r=89M39EJEGJEH7JZNMZBZ&psc=1&refRID=89M39EJEGJEH7JZNMZBZ

 

It looks like it will fit you computer, and it is a SD card to laptop IDE converter for $12. A 64GB SD card would run you another $10, putting this in the same price range as the drive you linked. I have not seen as many people use it as the other products, but there are some reviews where people said that it worked in their iBooks. I wish I had found this product before spending twice as much money on the other kind of drives. :)

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I actually used one of the little M.2 SSDs on an IDE adapter in my iBook G3. The adapter itself was about $10. The whole assembly is about the same height and half the length of a standard 2.5" hard drive. I used some double-stick tape to hold it in place after it was reconnected to the ATA cable (you can't reuse any of the original hard drive mounts with one of these adapters). 

 

To try to rule out major iBook problems, see if you can find an external FW disk drive and install the OS to that (just delete the internal drive's partitions in Drive Setup and ignore it). If it works, you probably need a new internal hard drive. If you get the same errors, you may have larger problems with the iBook than just a failing drive.

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