G5 wont start up


My G5 won't boot up. I know other people have had this problem, but let me explain my situation, because it's probably slightly different.

It was working fine, and then it froze, and I was forced to turn it off with the power button. Then when I tried to restart it, it would give me a white screen with a gray Apple logo and no startup chimes. It would sit at that screen with no spinning wheel, and the fans would begin to get really loud, so I'd turn it off.

I've tried things that have been suggested (removing peripherals and RAM, fsck, safe boot), but nothing has worked. I finally found my Tiger install DVD and booted up while pressing C. It started up fine, but when I opened disk utility and tried to "Repair Disk" ("Repair Disk Permissions" was grayed out) I got this error message:

Verify and Repair disk "disk0s3"
Checking HFS Plus volume.
Catalog file entry not found for extent
Volume check failed.

Error: The underlying task reported failure on exit

1 HFS volume checked
1 volume could not be repaired because of am error

Can anybody tell me what this means, and where I should go from here?
What it means:
Sure, MacOS X damaged areas of the hard disk drive. Not physically, but file / data wise.

Where to go from here:
Reinstall MacOS X and all the related updates. It the new way to solve most MacOS X problems. Quite Windoz'ish if you ask me.

You can also hope that Apple Computer actually releases a fully working (non beta) copy of MacOS X before Microsoft releases 'Vista'. OK, that is a bit untrue (harsh), since MacOS X 10.3.4 was the closest to being a actual MacOS X 10.0.0 release.

Oh yes; and, back up regularily!
Also repair permissions regularly with OnyX. I do this every time I install software, add files, etc. Great piece of software. It also optimizing the HD better than Apple's Repair Disk utility.
barhar said:
What it means:
Sure, MacOS X damaged areas of the hard disk drive. Not physically, but file / data wise.

Where to go from here:
Reinstall MacOS X and all the related updates.
If I do that will it erase everything on my hard drive? Is there any hope at all in recovering data?
Have you tried repairing the hard drive, not permissions, but the hard drive? If so but that didn't work, then you could try an Archive and Install. It makes an archive with all the files it can read on the HD. If that doesn't work, format, and reinstall.
OSX won't install on a bad volume without repairing or reformating it first, so you need to either repair the volume or rescue your data and reformat. Also trying to install on a bad volume is just storing up trouble.

Have you tried booting into command line and running fsck? If you can, keep running it until there are no more probs, then go back to the boot cd and run disk utility again. If the problem is beyond disk utility and fsck, then a third party app like Disk Warrior may salvage it.

You could also use the your diagnostics cd to check that the problem isn't disk failure.

However, the best solution would be to reformat the drive and run a fresh install of OSX.

If you have access to another mac with some disk space and a firewire cable, link the two with the cable and boot the G5 in target disk mode (reboot holding down the "t" key). this often works when all else dosn't. The G5 should then mount as a firewire hard drive on the other mac and you can resue any essential files etc before reformating.
I doubt the G5's hard disk drive is physically damaged. Most likely areas accessible only by the Operating System (and 'not' the user) have been corrupted, etc..

One possible attempt to save the current data - not the OS and not any installed applications, would be to:

01. Turn OFF the G5.
02. Turn OFF another Mac, running MacOS X. Hopefully, 10.3.x or 10.4.x.
03. Connect a Firewire cable to the two Macs.
04. Turn ON the G5 with the 'T' key pressed. Hopefully, your G5 will go into 'Target Disk' mode.
05. Turn ON the 'other' Mac.

If the G5 appears as a volume on the 'other' Mac's 'Desktop' - create a folder on the 'other' Mac's 'Desktop' and drag the G5's 'User' folder onto it. Also, consider dragging the 'Applications Support', 'Image Capture', 'PreferencePanes', 'Screen Savers', and 'Widgets' folders of the 'Library' folder (yes, the '/Library/' folder) over also.

06. Drag the G5's volume icon to the 'other' Mac's Trash can to unmount it.
07. Disconnect the Firewire cable from the Macs.
08. Contemplate having to do a full MacOS X install and the subsequent updates.
I tried using another computer, and it wouldn't recognize my hard drive, but I'm trying Data Rescue, and that seems to be working. So, once I get all my files transfered, I'll just reformat the hard drive. Thanks for the help.