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Old 07-31-2009, 01:01 PM   #1
unusualmuse
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1
iBook G4 freezes

Okay, here's the story:

I have an iBook G4 1.42 running Tiger. Yesterday it froze, and on restart I got stuck at the gray screen. Now here's where it gets interesting: At first it wouldn't even boot to the install CD! When booting to CD, I got as far as the Apple logo and spinning wheel, but then the spinning wheel froze up. It did this with both the OSX install disc and the Diskwarrior disk. When doing a regular boot, I just got the gray screen and nothing else.

The next thing I tried was booting it into target mode and hooking it up to my Macbook Pro, where it showed up briefly but then froze my MBP when I started browsing through the iBook's hard drive! A thing worth mentioning about this is that even in target mode the iBook would freeze after a couple minutes; that is, the firewire icon on the screen would stop bouncing around, and that's when the Macbook Pro it's connected to would lock up.

I eventually figured out that I could get a couple minutes of browsing out of it in Target mode each time before it would freeze up, so I ran Disk Utility on it and everything came back fine!! (Hmmmm...) After going through all the usual stuff (PRAM, NVRAM, etc. etc. etc.), I eventually got it to the point where it would boot to either the desktop or the install CD (though if I try to boot to the Diskwarrior CD it still freezes at the spinning wheel). I'm not sure what I did that got me around the gray screen, but... having gotten this far, I ran Disk Utility again from the install CD just to see what would happen, and once again no errors were found. I also did a fsck -f and everthing came back fine.

So, I happily popped in my flash drive and started copying over the files that hadn't been backed up (just in case), and sure enough, after about 2 minutes of copying files, the computer froze again (we're talking full-on freeze, i.e., pointer not moving, hard-shutdown time). Basically, I would have to do a hard shutdown, wait a few minutes, then boot it back up and copy a couple more gigs of files before it would freeze up again. Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat...

Where I stand now is that it will boot, but will eventually freeze. Hard drive is apparently fine according to all the diagnostics I could run (and is comparatively newer than the computer itself). I have no idea what's happening, but based on its behavior it almost seems like the drive controller is overheating(?) or something, since the computer will freeze after a while but will boot if I hard-shutdown and let it rest.

Does anyone have any thoughts?
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crash, freeze, gray screen, hard drive, ibook g4

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