Ping (zestyping) wrote,

  • Mood:

Sad, sad Mac.

Sigh. My iBook G4 is having lots of trouble starting up — i noticed yesterday that it took a couple of tries to start properly, but didn't think much of it. Today it just froze up in the middle of normal operations and i haven't gotten it to successfully boot since.

It always starts up with the LCD backlight completely off, so the only way to see what's on the screen is to shine a bright light at just the right angle. The backlight came on during one of the many attempts to boot, and my desktop background loaded up so i thought there was hope for recovery, but before i could do much of anything it froze up again, and there were little horizontal black streaks flashing in columns down the screen. I've tried removing the extra RAM, thinking it might be a memory problem, but it still refuses to start. That is, the screen just remains black as far as i can tell. If i shine a bright light on it, i can sometimes see Trogdor (i replaced the startup apple image with a greyscale picture of Trogdor) with the spinning spokes underneath, but that eventually disappears.

Single-user mode appears to start properly, though. Does anyone know how to start up networking in single-user mode so i can get my data off this machine? /sbin/SystemStarter doesn't seem to be enough (en0 isn't listed in ifconfig even after i run SystemStarter).

Alternatively, does anyone know which system disk to use, or how to create a CD i can use, to boot the system and have access to the hard drive and the Ethernet so i can transfer my data to a safe place?

Update: I have used Command-Option-P-R and Command-Option-O-F to reset both the PRAM and the NVRAM. The backlight comes on now, but the system remains unwilling to start — it displays the grey spinny thing as usual, then clears to a light blue screen with no mouse cursor and stops there. Single-user mode still works fine.

Update: Adam figured out how to start networking. Thanks, Adam! After starting single-user mode by holding down Command-S during boot, the magic incantations are:

/usr/libexec/register_mach_bootstrap_servers /etc/mach_init.d
At this point, ifconfig should show an entry for en0, and then you're on your way. There's also a pretty good detailed description of the boot process over at
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