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Author Topic: Powerbook New Hard Drive - Won't Start Up! HELP!!!
JamesDublin
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Icon 1 posted June 30, 2008 01:46      Profile for JamesDublin   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hi! I've always been lucky with answers in this forum in the past and I'm really, really, really hoping that someone can help this time.

The 80GB hard drive that came with my Powerbook has failed. I bought a new one (250GB) and installed it myself. I researched exactly what kind of drive I needed (IDE not SATA, etc). I downloaded a very thorough manual showing how to do it, and I was incredibly meticulous with every step. I actually drew diagrams of each spot where a screw came from and taped it to the diagram to be sure I didn't mess anything up.

I was confident that I was careful and followed the instructions but when I tried to turn it on finally - it wouldn't start. When I try to power on, it starts up and the "start up chime" kicks in but only for a second and gets cut off. Then nothing happens; it doesn't start to boot at all. Black screen.

I tried all sorts of start up key combos like holding "T" and having it plugged into another mac to see if I could access the newly installed drive from a second computer and hopefully do a disc utilty on it and format it, but the other mac doesn't see it or mount it - probably because it doesn't actually get into boot mode.

After all that I tried inserting the Leopard start up disc in case that worked. The drive accepted the disc (I didn't force it in - it "ate" it like normal) but all that happens is the disc spins, sounds like it's reading it, then stops, tries again a couple of times, and then just spins down. Absolutely nothing seems to be working.

I love this laptop so much and have always taken such good care of it, and can't afford a new MacBook Pro (but if I could I would!!). To be honest, I can't really afford to send it in for repair but that's looking like the only alternative.

Can anybody help? I feel like a friend has died!

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I still love my 17" PowerBook G4!

Posts: 56 | From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted June 30, 2008 03:10      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Did you try resetting NVRAM ?

Disclaimer: I'm far from being a Mac genius, but an actual Mac genius once told me that resetting NVRAM can cure all manner of ills. Follow my advice at your own risk.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

Posts: 10702 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
JamesDublin
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Icon 1 posted June 30, 2008 03:32      Profile for JamesDublin   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks for the tip - that's the first I heard of that. Unfortunately I'm still just getting a cut-off start up chime, black screen and a DVD that tries to read but just spins down after a few seconds.

I found a repair shop here in Dublin but I'm really hoping I can figure it out before it comes to that.

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I still love my 17" PowerBook G4!

Posts: 56 | From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged
littlefish
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Icon 1 posted June 30, 2008 04:20      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There is a slight possibility that a static discharge has screwed something up.If it has, that is very bad. If the hard disc is fried, you should get an unhappy mac pic when you boot, and should be able to boot from the leopard DVD by holding down C on boot.

If nothing happens with the screen, then the screen may be dead. You could try sticking in an ethernet cable and pinging it from another machine.

Posts: 2421 | From: That London | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
JamesDublin
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Icon 1 posted June 30, 2008 04:54      Profile for JamesDublin   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh boy, this is sounding worse and worse! Yikes.

I'll Google "pinging", thanks!

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I still love my 17" PowerBook G4!

Posts: 56 | From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged
Snaggy

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Icon 3 posted June 30, 2008 07:41      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
James, did you follow the iFixit guides?

http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/

I'd disassemble again and re-assemble, making sure every step was followed correctly.

I replaced the HD's in both our PowerBooks using these guides, and if I remember correctly, one of them wouldn't boot after, and I had to disassemble again. Turns out I hadn't pressed hard enough on a connector.

good luck!

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JamesDublin
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Icon 1 posted June 30, 2008 07:47      Profile for JamesDublin   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Wow, reply from Snaggy - thanks!

That actually is the exact same manual that I used! I was impressed by how thorough but user-friendly it was.

I gotta tell you, you've just refreshed my hope hearing that you did the same but it was just a connector needing to be tighter. I was very attentive to details but never put too much pressure on any of the connections I had to unplug.

Just before I throw in the towel and send it in for repair I'll give it one more try.

Thanks!!

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I still love my 17" PowerBook G4!

Posts: 56 | From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged
JamesDublin
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Icon 1 posted July 01, 2008 01:21      Profile for JamesDublin   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well I can hardly believe it but I took Snaggy's advice and opened it up one more time before sending it in for repair. I simply pushed a little harder on any of the connections I had to touch to install the new HD, turned it on...

...and it worked!!!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

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I still love my 17" PowerBook G4!

Posts: 56 | From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged
maximile

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Icon 1 posted July 01, 2008 04:36      Profile for maximile   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Woot! Congrats!

It always scares me how force you have to use on some things inside computers.

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted July 01, 2008 05:27      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
___________________ James __ Computers are like #$#)& you must do every thing to their satisfaction, or they won,t work. No, thats good enough, My way or no way.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


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Posts: 5855 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
JamesDublin
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Icon 1 posted July 01, 2008 05:50      Profile for JamesDublin   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks for the support everyone - much appreciated!!!

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I still love my 17" PowerBook G4!

Posts: 56 | From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged
drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted July 02, 2008 11:02      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by JamesDublin:
Well I can hardly believe it but I took Snaggy's advice and opened it up one more time before sending it in for repair. I simply pushed a little harder on any of the connections I had to touch to install the new HD, turned it on...

...and it worked!!!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

That'll be $36.50.
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macmcseboy

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Icon 1 posted July 02, 2008 15:22      Profile for macmcseboy     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
ummm I charge 50$ minimum diag... 79$ per hour for labour...

All prices in CAD and these are actually cheap in these parts.

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Live long and prosper.

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted July 02, 2008 17:09      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yeah...Snaggy is right on the money - I've seen weird stuff happen with HD connections. I've seen computers working for years that all of a sudden stop recognizing the HD. Mind you, on the Dell laptops this has happened, it's utterly trivial to fix as there are two screws to remove, and a simple tug is required to remove the drive. Putting the drive (and screws) back in solves this phantom problem 95% of the time.

(Mind you, it actually isn't /that/ hard to get the drive out of a MacBook...but nowhere near as easy as PC laptops!)

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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JamesDublin
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Icon 1 posted July 03, 2008 02:04      Profile for JamesDublin   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well the whole thing was quite stressful because I'm super protective of my poor little Powerbook.

It was a great relief that it worked after checking the connections and that it wasn't something more serious. I was starting to worry if there had been some roll on effect where my having opened it up just tipped something else over the edge like the screen failing.

I know to never force a connection, but I also know not to press to lightly. I'm so glad that Snaggy offered that advice - I had so many other ideas to try after much Googling, such as resetting the PRAM, changing the ATA bus, etc..

Thanks again for the advice. Long live Geek Culture!!

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I still love my 17" PowerBook G4!

Posts: 56 | From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged


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