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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 1:55 pm 
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Hi all. Yes, I’m still in this realm and until yesterday, my Power Mac G5 dual core 2.0—which I have owned since Apple made it in 2005—was one of my daily drivers.

I had been at the seashore for three weeks, which is a little longer than I usually am away for any reason, in a very warm period of the summer here. I’m in a 120-year-old house with no central air conditioning and my apartment’s “Mac cave,” as I affectionately call it, has no local cooling unit. According to a cheap wall thermometer it’s about 85˚ in here, on a relatively nice day outside. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was pushing 90˚ at times while I was away.

I should also note that for the first time EVER, I actually went to the trouble of disconnecting all three of my desktops (PM G5/2012 Mini/unmentionable) from AC power, because we have had SO much stormy weather here lately.

I plugged them back in on Thursday night but did not have time to sit down with them at all.

Yesterday while puttering with re-entry chores, it suddenly flashed through my mind: What if after three weeks of disuse in a hot room, having been taken off power, the G5 can’t boot?

Extremely sad to report that little voice in my head was right. Nothing but a folder with a flashing MacOS symbol and question mark.

I powered off, turned on all the external drives that hold my backups, and tried again to boot the G5. Same thing. Oh nice, genius, now how do you unmount the externals? Ugh. Finally after looking at a couple of conversations via my Mini, I remembered the installation disk in my desk drawer. This made it happy. Me, not so happy because it clearly had no idea it had an internal drive any more.

I went to Startup Disk and told it to restart using the Super Duper clone. (I should have used Disk Utility to unmount the other external before restarting I guess :( ). The clone is on an OWC Firewire drive. It didn’t work, which surprised me. The computer reverted to the program on the install disk. This time I told it to go for the “Boot 10.5” partition on my G drive; that worked. Internal drive was and is still MIA.

I put both Macs to sleep and just now returned to them. Other than things done in the last month or two, I’m pretty confident that everything the drive contained is available in my assortment of backups, including a clone I saved to a separate partition on the Mini several years ago. But of course I can never again use the G5 the way I have done for 14 years if its internal drive has completely failed, which is sad. Not to mention how annoyed I am at the prospect of having to organize an archive.

So I wanted to ask you all if you have any suggestions on how I should proceed. Any chance there is something going on here other than complete HD failure? For example, do internal drives ever get disconnected if the machine is jostled, as I might have done when I was messing around trying to disconnect the A/C power? I don’t want to pronounce the drive dead until I have tried every rescue measure that can be tried. I also don’t want to extinguish the last bit of life that might be left in it by doing things that will stress it, like repeated attempts to get the machine to boot off it. Thanks in advance!

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 2:11 pm 
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G5s are very easy to pull the drive & check, or to replace even...

https://eshop.macsales.com/upgrades/pow ... nal-drives

https://eshop.macsales.com/installvideo ... mac_g5_hd/

Does it boot to Single User Mode, CMD+s keys at bootup, if so try...

/sbin/fsck -fy

Repeat until it shows no errors fixed.

(Space between fsck AND -fy important).


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 2:42 pm 
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Thanks. Of course, when I asked it to restart, it started up from the external drive again. Even though I had selected "network volume." There is no way to select the internal drive, it isn't seen.

So my question to you now is, how do I keep the external from getting trashed in this troubleshooting? I am kind of paranoid about not ejecting (which I obviously can't do in the present state) or turning off the drive's power switch at the wrong time. I guess it will be OK if I power down the computer and then switch off the external drive's power, yes?

I have a feeling I will just get the flashing question mark folder again, but it's worth a try to execute the single user/FSCK thing.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 3:00 pm 
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Yes you can power down... did you try holding alt key at startup?


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:03 pm 
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No but thank you for the reminder. I need to refresh myself on boot keys. A quick search brought up some pages at Apple and elsewhere that will serve that purpose. But now that the external is off and the install disc has been removed, the G5 will be forced to look for the internal drive when I attempt the single-user boot again tomorrow. For now, we sleep :)

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:08 am 
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Best to start with basics... there are a myriad of reasons why a formerly bootable disc no longer is... but before dealing with that, is the drive in there? Run Disk Utility, does it NOT see a drive where it is supposed to be (never mind about mounting)? Power down, remove and re insert the drive. Still not there? Try a different disc to see if the path TO that drive is OK. If another drive can not be seen by Disk Utility, there may be an issue with that path... oh, a drive not showing up on the desktop is NOT the same as it not being seen by DU.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:18 pm 
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Paulc: I'm not clear on your proposed troubleshooting re "is the drive in there" (???) , "remove and reinsert," "try a different disc," but to answer your question: No, Disk Utility does not see the drive. And to make sure my typically lengthy set-up wasn't typically indigestible :P we're talking about the internal drive that is original to this 2005 machine. Well, almost original—no need to get into that, but the drive had been in more or less daily use for 14 years.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:20 am 
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I was just searching for a starting point, OK, we've narrowed it down to 2 issues, so to eliminate one as a source of the issue, can you put another drive into the same physical space this bad one is in and have DU see it? If so, that should be telling you it's the drive itself and not the connection to the machine. If you still do not see that "other" drive, then then issue lies in that part of your SATA bus (the connection for hard drives). As my guess is you see "other" internally mounted drives inside the computer, that narrows it down to the physical connection.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:25 pm 
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I would try shutting down and pulling the disk out of the G5. If you have two internal disks only one can come out at a time, and they go in a particular order (like bay 1 has to come out first, then bay 2 can come out because one of the connectors will slide down to 1 at some point).

At least I think that's how it is. It's been a long time since I've had my G5 apart for more than just dusting.

After you remove them, put them back in. If you have two drives I would reverse the order, so drive 1 goes into 2, drive 2 goes into 1. If you only have one drive then it should be easy, just put it into the other bay instead.

Another option is to get a USB to SATA adapter or dock and try connecting it up outside the G5. Nice thing about this method is it's a lot easier to hear drive clicks and whirring. A repeating pattern of clicks followed by the drive spinning down is a very bad sign.

It's possible the drive is fine but your motherboard battery is in a half-dead state and has corrupted values stored in the PMU. It should be a little button in the vicinity of the PCI/PCIe slots, have the system plugged in but shut down, hold it for a couple seconds, release, give it a few seconds, then put it back together and try to turn it on.

That being said, if that is the drive it came with (or is a transplant from an older system) it's lived a long life and may have simply stopped working.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:20 am 
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Thanks for your replies, Monkey Boy and Paulc. Sorry to disappear for the week. Since I had been away for an unusually long stretch I had a lot of personal/household tedium to attend to and I knew I could not afford to get off on a tangent with the G5. I also knew I wouldn't be patient enough with it if there were too many other things hanging. And patience, as all you wizards know, is an absolute requirement of troubleshooting.

As both of you have suggested, having another drive to connect would be helpful. I don't, but I may order one, since I am insane enough to seriously consider installing it in the machine. (The computer seemed otherwise okay once I fed it the installation disk and also identified which of its external drives it could boot from.)

I do think there is weighty truth in your last sentence, Monkeyboy. Yes, this is basically the drive it came with in 2005. The computer was misbehaving quite a bit when I first got it so I think the Apple techs just said f-it. They replaced everything that could possibly have been at fault, which included the logic board, the SuperDrive and the internal hard drive. So this drive has been at work for almost 14 years. I cannot complain. And I do have decent backups because I knew this day could not be too far off. But the thought of having to actually implement those backups is making me very cranky.

I still find it maddening and frustrating that this happened, out of the blue, the first time I tried to boot the G5 after my three-week absence (during very hot weather, which may have been a factor?) AND that it happened after I had unplugged it from power to protect it from any weather-related surges—which I had NEVER bothered doing in my life, but such electrical calamities seem to be an enhanced risk where I live now compared with conditions in NYC where I lived for ~40 years. The thought that I had when I decided to interrupt another task to go power it up was something along the lines of "what if three weeks of disuse causes it to follow my Mac IIsi?"—which croaked almost as soon as my new Power Mac 7600 arrived. Computers can be spooky like that. All academic, I suppose.

I'd like to get back on the case today, as it is really bumming me out. Not being much of a wizard myself, I am also of course petrified of mayhem due to static electricity. I do have an antistatic wristband around here somewhere. Since there is no carpeting anywhere in my apartment (thank gods), the wristband should suffice, no?

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 7:26 am 
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Wrist band should be fine.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:00 am 
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BDAqua wrote:
Wrist band should be fine.

Thanks!

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:12 am 
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On further rumination I've realized that a USB to SATA anything isn't likely going to do any good for you with a G5, they're not USB bootable. Or at least none of the G5s I've ever interacted with (PCI-X and PCIe) have been. That leaves Firewire if you want to play with the drive outside the case, and Firewire... is expensive...

That being said any 2TB or under drive should be fine in your G5 as a replacement. There is a 512byte vs. 4096byte (4K) block issue but in my experience G5s and 10.5 get along well with the newer drives. Unfortunately you'll still need to partition and install an OS on it and whatnot to make it work.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:32 am 
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I think 10.4.6 & up handle Advanced Format/4096 Byte Sector Disks.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 6:58 pm 
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Nina R wrote:
BDAqua wrote:
Wrist band should be fine.

Thanks!


I assume your wristband is at least connected to the ground pole on a wall socket? If it's just floating, it's useless.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:47 pm 
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My favorite ground strap ends in a C14 that you plugged into the power cord you just unplug from whatever it is you're working on. So you unplug the power cord from the back of the Mac/PC and plug it into the ground strap. I think mine came with a Newer Tech G3 card for a 7500/8500/9500.

Every so often I look for another one. Closest I just found tonight is this scary looking fellow for UK outlets:
Image

In theory the voltage shouldn't apply since it only connects to the ground pin on the C13 connector, which should make it universal (or at least as universal as whatever power cords are plugged into it).

That being said I damn near hammered an alligator clip into the C13 end of a power cord at work and made a very ungainly (and not OSHA compliant) equivalent.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:00 pm 
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I once ran into a Warehouse that was wired by inebriation & half the ground receptacles were HOT, killed every PC, somehow the Ataris didn't complain much!


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:52 am 
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Thanks all. I had to go out of town again for about 9 days because they were refinishing the extensive hardwood flooring in the apartment above me. With no concern for toxicity or ventilation, natch. Now I'm back to puzzling over this depressing development.

Pleasantly surprised, though, to find that although it cannot connect to my 2016 MacBook Pro for some reason, the MBP can connect to it, and copy things, so that gives me some options for saving some of the more important contents from the two external drives that are attached to the G5 without having to get into the tedium of cables and adapters. (Still a lot of storage space left on the MBP.)

Monkey Boy: Nothing wrong with your suggestion, I don't think? The G5 is running as I type this off its external G-drive, which has a boot partition I made long ago to cover this sort of situation. So if I remove the drive that's MIA and attach it via a SATA-USB connection, and the system (DU etc.) still doesn't see it, that's definitive. I wouldn't need the computer to boot from it via USB. Right? or am I forgetting something here?

Squishy Tia: Last time I used the wrist strap I just clipped it to the metal case of the G5. Not good? I'm not wild about the idea of actually being connected to power LOL. That is an interesting gizmo that Monkey Boy posted, though.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 12:17 pm 
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Make sure the G5 isn't trying to use AFP, (dropped by Apple), & is using SMB only.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 12:38 pm 
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BDAqua wrote:
Make sure the G5 isn't trying to use AFP, (dropped by Apple), & is using SMB only.

Thanks. I thought that could be an issue but I couldn't find the setting to check and possibly change it. Will look again.

UPDATE: Duh. Went right to it this time and yes, AFP was checked, SMB was not…

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Last edited by Nina R on Mon Aug 05, 2019 12:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 12:41 pm 
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Sys Prefs>Sharing>File Sharing>Options & Finder>Go>Connect to Sever>Favorites... delete any afp:// or just try smb://ip.of.other.mac, assuming other mac has File Sharing enabled.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:14 pm 
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Ah, yes, if the only need is to plug in a drive and never boot off it, a USB adapter would be fine and relatively cheap. You could also get a dock, which look less intimidating

I actually have that particular adapter at work, though I don't have that dock - Orico is usually an okay budget brand so long as you're not going to use it regularly. The docks I use regularly cost a bit more, though I've got a lot of Orico SATA cases floating around. (lot is probably an understatement)

Advantage of the adapter is it works with both laptop & desktop IDE/PATA as well as SATA, while the dock is only SATA. Of course since you only need SATA so either will work.

The dock can be a little tricky to use because the connector is in the dock and you have to slide the drive down into it, sight unseen, and make a solid connection between the two connectors. I don't think it's all that hard of an operation, but there's a guy at work who either slides the drives down so it somehow sits in front of the connector in the dock, meaning it doesn't make a connection, or he puts the drive in upside down (with the same result). I try not to take vacations.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:15 pm 
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Good idea MB...

https://www.amazon.com/Drive-Adapter-Co ... hyprod-20&


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:56 pm 
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Quote:
Squishy Tia: Last time I used the wrist strap I just clipped it to the metal case of the G5. Not good? I'm not wild about the idea of actually being connected to power LOL. That is an interesting gizmo that Monkey Boy posted, though.


You're not plugged into power. You're plugged into ground. This way any static electricity you generate goes through your wrist strap into the ground pole and not to any electronics. The plug I have doesn't actually have the plastic pieces that go into the hot/neutral sockets though, just the ground pole. First thing I'd probably do is clip those two plastic prongs off. Plastic or not, me no likey anything that touches live lines.

And the only way this device backfires on you is if your lines are wired incorrectly (i.e. ground is hot and one of the two socket lines are ground), in which case you've got a whole lot more to worry about. Like a house fire just waiting to happen. To be 100% safe, buy a line tester that checks hot/neutral/ground. If it shows all is OK, you can safely use an ESD wriststrap. If it shows ground is hot, get an electrician out there pronto or lose your house.

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