will not start up from HD or CD

I am trying to repair this iBook and am not having any success. When the power button is pressed, the screen lights up, the Apple logo appears, and after a few seconds the universal "NO" sign appears and it goes no further. When I try to start with a CD, it spins, and it sounds like it is starting up. However, all I get is the Apple logo on the screen, and after a few seconds it just freezes with the Apple logo.

Here is what I have tried so far.....replaced the hard drive, replaced the logic board, replaced the AC Adapter, replaced the fan, replaced the memory, and bought new CDs for Panther OSX 10.3. I can get it to show target mode with another Mac, but it does not show a HD, just the CD. I have noticed the fan never starts up, but don't know if that is normal or not. I'm at a total loss, and appreciate any advice.

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(Try Starting using and holding down Command + E ) When it boots up, go to Sys Pref and re-highlight(select) your Start Up DIsk.

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Majesty, you have been so helpful and patient, and I appreciate it. I finally resolved the problem! Apparently, I had a couple of issues going on, and led myself down the wrong path with a logic board replacement. I put the old logic board back in and confirmed I still could not install OSX 10.3....however, I now believe that is because the disks I bought were not the retail version that was advertised. Then, with the borrowed iBook that has OSX 10.5 installed, I cloned from it to mine via Target Mode. This time I let the clone finish to completion....before, I think I ended it before the verify was done, as I thought it was complete. Lo and behold....both Mac iBooks now run flawlessly with OSX 10.5.

So, this has been a great learning experience for me with Macs. I did not realize the difference between the install disks that originally come with a Mac and the Retail versions...and the impact they can have on installation. Guess I was using too much Windows mentality. Still find it interesting that you cannot use certain install disks to reinstall, but you can clone from the HD and all is well.

Again, thanks for staying with me on this. The solution was much more simple than I expected....as is usually the case with computers!

Ron

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Have you tried to boot to an external drive? I would try to connect to an external drive with a bootable OS and see if that works. If your Mac boots to the external then you can narrow it down to the drive or drive flex cable like remacberlin suggested. Another thing, I would remove the drive and see if it boots in another machine. It can also be a kernel panic. After resetting PRAM, try to boot into safe mode. If it boots, quickly reboot normally. Im leaning towards the Kernel Panic because you are not getting the Spinning wheel, and you can't boot to CD, this means the kernel is not loading the proper services. Do you have the CD's that came with this machine?

Update

The last option you have is to reset Open Firmware.

Shut down the computer

Start computer up holding down Command + Option + O + F

A screen comes up with a command prompt

At the prompt type in reset-nvram, and hit the return key

At the prompt type reset-all, and hit the return key

The machine will reboot.

this failing I would have to say that you have faulty boards or some type of electrical short.

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+ you had to work for this one.

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Since you already changed nearly anything and your HDD doesn't show up in target mode i'd check the HDD flex cable. Is the logicboard you fitted a known good one?

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Thanks for the reply. The "new" logic board was guaranteed to be working, and since my symptoms are exactly the same with it, I do suspect it is something else. I tried firewire connecting the iBook to another Mac, and was able to copy files to the HD, so was assuming that meant the HD was connected OK. Are there any start-up key combinations I can try? I am knowledgeable in a Windows environment, but very limited in the Mac world.

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Tricky. Have you tried a PRAM reset? Press Alt-Apple-R-P keys, hold them down and start up. Keep them pressed until you hear at least two start chimes.

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No prob, Ron. It was a learning experience for both of us. Yes, Macs can be very picky when it comes to System and retail CD's. Im glad you got it resolved and good luck with your machine.

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Again, thanks for the responses.

1. I have not tried the PRAM reset with the new logic board, however I did it several times with the old board. Also, I don't recall hearing the "chime' with the new board as I did with the old board, so I will verify the speaker cable is connected properly and try a PRAM reset.

2. Booting to an external (USB OK?) drive sounds like a good idea....but I'm not sure how to do that. I do have a drive with OSX 10.4 on it. Is there a key combination to make it select an external drive?

3. I know how to boot into SAFE mode with a Windows machine...how do I do it with a Mac?

4. I do not have another Mac to try booting the hard drive in.

5. The OSX 10.3 CDs are ones I purchased on Ebay, but they appear to be OEM Apple CDs.

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To boot from an external drive hold down the alt key during startup. It lists all found bootable devices then. Instructions to boot safe can be found here: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1455

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Thanks. I tried both the SAFE MODE boot and the Boot From External Drive boot. Both ended with the universal "NO" symbol after the Apple logo was up for a few seconds. The Alt key boot did not show any drives at all. I inserted the OSX CD and tried the Alt Key boot again, and it showed the Optical drive. I selected the Optical drive and booted from it, and got the usual frozen Apple logo after several seconds.

Interesting that it does not seem to recognize a hard drive at all, internal or external, but does recognize the optical drive. I had a loaner Macbook a few days back and did a Target boot with it. It did show the iBook hard drive, so I copied the Macbook OS to it, hoping that would make it bootable....but I continue to get the same results.

Question.....should the machine normally boot up from the optical drive even if there is no hard drive installed? If that is the case, then I am beginning to wonder if the problem is with the optical drive "or" the install CDs.

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Yes, you should be able to boot into the CD, but I once had an issue witgh a drive upgrade and during that I could not boot into a CD. After i sorted things out the CD booted just fine. So It is not safe to say its the optical drive just yet. Are the CD's in working order? clean? scratch free?

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Plug in the external drive and dont press anything at boot up. It should automatically detect the OS. TRy that again with no key combinations.

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This is extremely puzzling, it's strating to sound like a hardware issue....but with two boards the same exact problem? Very unlikely!!! Have u tried a SMC reset? If not< shut down your mac, remove it from power supply and remove the battery. After this is done, hold down the power button for ten seconds at least. Then reconnect battery or power supply and re-boot.

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When you copied OS, what software did you use? Did u make sure you chose the option to make the clone Bootable??

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The CDs appear to be clean and scratch free.

The external drive powers up, but there does not seem to be any recognition of it. This is a USB connection...is that OK?

I am working with only the AC Adapter, no battery, but have tried the power drain.

Yes, when I copied the OS from another Mac, I did selet the bootable option.

Another bit of info I just learned, based on an earlier comment about the HD cable. I examined it and it appears OK and connected well. Out of curiosity, I unplugged the cable from the logic board, and tried a few different start-ups.....they all gave the exact same results as the start-ups tried with the cable connected. That suggests it is never getting to the hard drive. Also....when booting from the CD, I never get the spinning wheel with the Apple logo....just the logo, then it moves a couple of pixels on the screen and freezes. I can hear the CD drive spinning....so maybe I have a bad CD disk?

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U know what? Completely disconnect the optical (CD) drive and try to boot up without it being connected.

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This machine HAS been successfully booted with a USB external.

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I disconnected the optical drive cable and tried booting up. The HD spins, the screen lights up, and it sits with small flashing folder in the middle of the screen, which alternates between a ? and a happy face icon. I tried this with no keys pressed and with the C key pressed, same result.

If I leave the optical drive disconnected, and connect a USB optical drive, do you think it would try to boot from that? I've already tried booting from a USB HD, that has OSX 10.4 on it, and it does not recognize it.

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ok, so either ur HD is bad, Ur HD connector is bad, or there isn't a loadable OS on your hard drive. Try to boot into the USB Optical DRive and see what happens.

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Well it doesn't see the USB optical drive at startup either. Since it does not start up with a OSX install CD, whether there is a HD installed or not, doesn't that indicate something other than a HD problem?

I think my next step is to see if I can get my hands on a working iBook to compare things with. Hopefully, that will help me zero in on the problem.

I really do appreciate the help, and will post back if I learn anything useful.

Thanks.....Ron

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Honestly Ron, after doing some slight research on this machine, it appears that this machine suffered from a defective Logic Boards. I have found numerous forums with dozens of people with the same issue you are having. I say this because after reading about this, two logicboards with the same exact issue doesn't seem so far fetched anymore. If u get a known working iBook, try to boot your drive from it and if possible try to use the working machines HD cable and see if your machine works then.

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Majesty, I'm inclined to agree with you on the logic boards, although I hate to believe someone would sell a known failing item advertised as working.

If I can get a good iBook, I will be able to verify what is failing. Now it has become a challenge to figure it out.

Once again, thanks for the help.

Ron

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No prob Ron, please keep me posted as I have been intrigued by this situation. Best of luck Ron.

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Well, I'm back and still unresolved. I bought a used iBook G4 14" A1055 (identical to the problem machine) and verified it works as designed. So, I attached the problem machine to it in Target Mode and did a disk clone. Still no go. Next I took the hard drive out of the working machine and put it in the problem machine, and lo and behold, it booted up. Unfortunately, it will only run a few minutes, then it freezes with no cursor activity or anyway to get it going except a power reboot. I'm surmising this points to a logic board problem. I'm going to put the original logic board back in it and see if that makes a difference. Still cannot get it to start up from any install CDs. More later.

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Looks like a Logic board problem.

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I tend to agree with the logic board(s) conclusion, however one thing puzzles me. When I cloned the "good" OSX (onto a new HD), I could not use the cloned copy in either machine, although the clone appeared to work A-OK, and was identified in the cloning process as bootable. However, the original "good" OSX works in both machines...it just freezes in the problem machine. That makes me wonder if there may be some weird Apple kernel related issues with trying to run the "good" OSX in a machine it was not originally installed on.

I'm thinking I might put the original logic board back in, and try to locate a copy of 10.4 install disks. Not giving up yet!

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Don't give up. I suspected the kernel panic but, you never informed me of the results of the Safe Boot attempt, so I figured you attempted it and failed. I'm not sure how to restore a BootROM if the problem is a Apple kernel, thats beyond my reach. It can still be a faulty Logic Board, I'll do some research/consult with one of the more knowledgeable vets here.

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Ron will be eternally grateful.
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