Startup problems, machine must die

flash

Mad Mod Mojo
It's getting so that every time I have to reboot, I have to reinstall Mac OS X.

It started a few days ago. The system was churning (uptime 10 days) and taking forever to do simple things. I rebooted the system. It came back with the Blinking Icon in a Floppy Disk.

Using a Windoze machine, I look for information on kbase.info.apple.com &etc. [What a horrible site! About 50% of my pageloads came up with webobjects errors or "can't find this or that"]. I breathed a sigh of relief whenever I was able to actually get a page to load.

The blinking "?" means that the machine can't find <50 bytes of information about where to startup from (unless the disk is bad).

I boot off the Mac OS X CD, and when the install program is running, I select "check disk" program from the menu. No problems found, nothing to fix.

I try to boot off the 9.1 disk, thinking that I'll use the startup disk control panel to specify where to start from. During boot, I get "unimplemented trap" error, please restart and hold down shift key. I think the system is joking with me, but I try it anyway, no change.

I try to boot off a 9.0 disk, same problem.

I zap PRAM.

I hold down "option" and get into the boot manager.

Nothing helps.

All I can do is boot off of Mac OS X CD, reinstall (going from 10.0.4 to 10.0), and then download 30 megs of upgrades.

Phew, I thought. That horrible thing is over.

Then, during the next reboot a few days later, it happens again. I reinstall again.

All this because the system apparently doesn't know its startup disk. Well, I go to System Preferences in X and set it to boot off Mac OS X. Then I lock it so it can't change. Then I close System Preferences. Then I open. System has reset boot disk to Mac OS 9.1.

I change it to Mac OS X again. Reboot. Everything goes smoothly (i.e., no reinstallations necessary). I go to system preferences. System has reset boot disk to Mac OS 9.1. I click to change -- only first I have to "unlock" the settings by entering password. Good to know the settings can't be changed by just anybody.

[a] What happened to my 9.1 system, why can't I boot off of it like I used to be able to?

Why the $#%^& can't I reliably boot off Mac OS X?

[c] Why can't I boot off the CD without getting acrash.

[d] Why can't the system keep track of a line of ascii text like "boot_from:/dev0s5/yadda/System"

Any help or commiseration would be great.

Here's my config. TiG4, 256 megs RAM (1/2 apple, 1/2 dealer), 9.4 Gig HD, presently running 10.0, will be running 10.0.4 in about 1.5 hours.
 

Matrix Agent

Masochist Mascot
I had a problem just about the same as yours, except that instead of getting just a ?, i got nothing becuase it could no longer mount its disk. Eventually, for some reason, it recognized the disk. So i reninstalled OS X, but afterwards, i backed up everything by using "target-disk mode" (hold down t at startup and the computer will boot as an external FireWire drive, allowing you to exchange files inbetween two FW computers.)

Anyway, after this backup was done, i reformatted the disk and installed 9, then proceeded to install OS X. I've had great stability, no kernal panics.

As far as having to update OS X to 10.0.4, you might as well wait until later this week when we find out whether 10.0.5 or 10.1 is coming out. If 10.1 comes out, you could be able to get the whole update by CD, or you could download one installer insead of many. Thats about all I can offer...

Good Luck
 

flash

Mad Mod Mojo
Try the battery...
I asked the battery nicely but it didn't do anything for me. :) At one point I thought the system was giving me grief because the battery was low or dead -- but both of my episodes to date happened with the laptop plugged into the wall. Sigh.

Matrix agent --
As far as having to update OS X to 10.0.4, you might as well wait until later this week when we find out whether 10.0.5 or 10.1 is coming out. If 10.1 comes out, you could be able to get the whole update by CD, or you could download one installer insead of many. Thats about all I can offer...
Thanks for your helpful post. It's good to know I'm not alone!

Booting with 'T' held down sounds like an excellent way to backup the machine. Thanks for the hint! Until I get some other firewire hardware, tho, I have to ethernet to a crumbling Beige G3 with zero disk space. It's a big production and so consequently I never back anything up. I have like $1200 worth of SCSI equipment from aeons ago which I now mostly can't use.

Anybody know if the USB->SCSI adaptors really work?


I'll cross my fingers for the 10.0.5/10.1 possibility you mentioned. Reinstalling from 10.1 would be much better than reinstalling from 10.0. :)

For the record, I'm finding some Mac OS X behaviors very odd: [a] self-resetting startup disks, alert and iTune sounds disappearing, [c] inexplicable stacking and repositioning of icons on desktop and in windows for no good reason. I do love OS X, but tries my patience.
 

Trilogy

Registered
I'm sorry to say I've had simelar problems with my TiBook. The disk was found allright, but shortly before the Login the sartup stopped. Apple Support (the so-called specialist support that comes with a protection plan) was unable to offer anything apart from re-installing.

So I did. And it was OK for a while. And it happened again. So I formatted the whole drive with HFS and re-installed once again. So far it's holding.

I suspect that some TiBooks have a problem with their Harddrives. There is a very quiet rumour going around Apple Service about some new specs on the HD's.

I wish you and me and all others lots of luck.
 
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