Boot up problem, help needed..virus?...


Every time I try to start my powerbook g4, a message comes up in 4 languages that I have to restart my system and won't let me do anything else. It reads : "You need to restart your computer. Hold down the Power button for several seconds or press the restart button." Its inside of a black box with a big power buttun sign in the background. Please help. I am fairly new w/ these machines and have no clue where to start.



That is not a virus. There are no MacOS X viruses. You have a real problem with your computer, but I forget what it is. When did you first notice this problem? Do you remember an event that immediately preceded it?


What you are seeing is called a kernel panic. Apple Knowledge Base article 25392 offers some hints on troubleshooting KPs.

KPs can be caused by software issues, but hardware is by far the most frequent problem. First clear out any setup issues by booting while holding down the command=option+p+r keys until your Mac "chimes" at least four times, then release the keys and see if it boots normally.

You can eliminate software issues by booting from the OS X install CD. Put the install CD in the optical drive and boot while holding down the "C" key to force it to boot from the install CD. If you have the same results booting from the install CD then your problem is likely hardware.

Hardware troubleshooting steps include:
  1. Remove all USB and Firewire devices, including hubs, except the keyboard and mouse.
  2. Remove any third party PCI cards.
  3. Selectively remove your DIMM modules one at a time.
If you can boot from the install CD
  • On the Install menu select Disk Utility
  • Select your hard drive, not the volume on the drive then look at the bottom of the DU frame for "S.M.A.R.T. Status" if it is anything other than "Verified" your hard drive has failed and will have to be replaced.
  • Run "Repair Disk" and if errors are reported, run Repair Disk again and again until no errors are reported or DU reports errors it cannot repair.
  • If there are irreparable errors you will have to use DiskWarrior or TechTool Pro to effect repairs or erase the drive with the write zeros option and reinstall everything.
There are other troubleshooting steps for KPs but these will get you started.


Did that, and also a few things on the phone w/ Apple. My local (well not really) apple store/repair center looked at it, there were no signs of physical damage were my fault. My school sent it back to apple for me (still under academic warranty), because their troubleshooting failed as well. Thanks for helping me get started, made my phone call w/ applecare rather easy.