Why wont my PowerBook g4 recognise startup disk?

Recently, the hard drive in my powerbook g4 started making horrible clicking noises, I immediately turned it off. When I turned it back on, it wouldn't boot. I just got an image of a folder with a question mark flashing on it. After doing some research I came to the conclusion that the hard drive must need replacing, so i ordered a new one from ifixit and installed it but now it seems as though I can't install the os from a boot disk.

I insert the only install disk I have which is actually for my MacBook Pro (this could be the problem-I don't have the original one as this is a second hand lap top) and hold down "option" as it starts up and this is the screen that greets me:

Block Image

What am I doing wrong? Did I need to replace the hard drive? Do I need a different os install disk?

It should also be noted that it's a very old laptop (I think circa 2004) so I have also been wondering if perhaps the dvd drive is faulty or can't read the disk that the os install is on.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

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Do I need to replace the optical drive?

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Yeah! I finally got there! I booted my Mac Book in target mode and inserted the install disk then connected it to the G4 via firewire, booted the G4 holding down option and, hey presto!, I could finally install the OS on my new HDD. Yay!! It turns out the logic board is ok (for now) but the optical drive does need replacing.

Thanks everyone for all of your help!!!!! :-)

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The gray disk are machine specific. Your MacBook Pro uses a higher operating system than your PowerBook will take. Call Apple, with your serial number, and order a replacement installation disk for $15.

The 17" 1.5 GHz has this: Pre-Installed MacOS: X 10.3.3 Maximum MacOS: X 10.5.8

Or you can get a retail version of a system installation disk: http://fastmac.com/osx.php

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Thank you so much. I will give that a go.

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You may indeed have a bad optical drive. See if the disk can be seen on another Mac. If you have another Mac with a power PC processor you can use that machines optical drive and do the install in Target Mode via a firewire cable.

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Are you holding down the "c" key when you start it up with the os install cd in the optical drive? You have to do this for it to boot into the install disk.

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If I hold down the "c" Key upon startup with the OS install disk in the result is a finder folder with a flashing question mark.

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Yeah that sounds like the optical drive might be faulty and therefore may have to be replaced.

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Upon further rumination I thought before you go out and purchase another optical drive you might try to reset everything first from the firmware terminal.

When you start the powerbook quickly after the chime sounds press and hold all together (option-command-o-f) when the firmware terminal opens type (reset-nvram) hit enter then type (set-default) hit enter then type (reset-all) hit enter.

The computer will restart after the last command so you'll likely want to have your installation disk in the optical drive when you do this procedure.

Although as mayer said if it's a grey disk it won't let you install the os but if the optical drive is in fact working it should still take you to the select language prompt and from there (once you've selected what language you want) you should be able to go foward to the next page where you will get the message that you can't install that os on that machine but it'll still give you access to the utilities menu.

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Ok. Thanks for that Jeff. Now that I've done that I'm still getting the image of the folder with the flashing "?". Does this mean that the optical drive does need to be replaced?

BTW it is just a grey disk that I have so I'm gonna do what mayer suggested and call Apple.

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Yeah anelson I would say that the optical drive is hooped. It should have at least taken you as far as the window with the utililities menu if it was reading the disk. You'd get the same folder with the flashing "?" if you try to boot directly to your hard drive with no os installed.

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The (machine specific) grey OS disk of your MacBook Pro only has the Intel binaries on it and can therefor not be read at all. The retail version of Leopard has both - PPC and Intel code. To test your drive i'd recomment loading down and burning a PPC version of Linux and try that or get yourself a retail disk as Mayer suggests.

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im getting the same and my optical ios fine i tried a dvd movie and it workt great

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joel, what's the issue you're having? Mine was a dead HDD and optical drive. Once I replaced the HDD it was fine.

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hey Nelson, thanx for replaying my hdd is working fine, i have 10.5.8 installed on pb g4, i tried running the cd with the C button nothing, i tried the cmd;o;f nothing! i tried, cmd opt and shift delete nothing i even did the resart-all in boot and nothing i realy want to change over im bored and tired of this systemk that doesnt wok its not installing

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I'm still not 100% sure what it is you are trying to do. Are you trying to install a different OS? If so maybe you should have a look at this: What kind of Operating System for PowerBook G4?

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joel, just dreaming up keyboard commands does't work.

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I have change the hhd and optical drive when I try to put restar-nvram ok

Set-default.

Bad default ok what it does mean

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Nelson will be eternally grateful.
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