Ibook G4 Goes Nowhere After Log-in


My partner has an IBook G4 bought around Christmas 2004. 256MB RAM. It doesn't get very heavy use and doesn't have anything unusual installed on it. No virtual PC.

We have been pretty good about running the disk utility, verifying / repairing permissions, downloading updates etc. It had 10.4.2 on it.

For some time it has occassionally had problems waking from sleep, something that I've never experienced with Powerbooks.

A few weeks ago she began getting messages about problems with her Office 2004 database and specifically having problems with Entourage. We went through the process of repairing the office database.

About a week ago Entourage stopped working altogether and we had to start using a previous backup of the Entourage database. At much the same time all the photos (a few thousand) photos became inaccessible through IPhoto. The jpg files were still on the harddisk and so I was able to get everything back into IPhoto.

Subsequent to fixing the database and IPhoto, I upgraded the memory in my newish Powerbook and I had the Apple Shop take out a surplus 256MB and transfer it to my partner's computer. Seemed to be find.

At around the same time I deleted 2 other - non-administrator - users (these were user accounts which had been set up on a temporary basis for guests and had been very little used.)

Last night, the IBook was rebooted for some reason. Following the reboot the login screen came on as usual. Entered password as usual but then nothing. The password dialogue responds normally to correct or incorrect passwords but once a correct password is entered all that can be seen is the default wallpaper and nothing else - no dock, no nothing.

The trackpad works fine, the various keyboard based functions (eject disk, volume up/down, brightness up/down) work fine but nothing else happens.

I've removed the additional memory which was added last week - no difference.

I've booted from the Tiger install disk and gone through the disk utility verify/repair procedure - no problem.

I've gone into the command prompt and run the checking routine - no problem on the disk.

I've reinstalled Tiger - archiving the more recent 10.4.2 in favour of the original install. All seemed to go fine but no change.

I'm out of ideas and it's sitting here taunting me. Any help would be much appreciated.