I have an iBook G4--no disks--daughter left them at school
Cannot boot up
Went into single user mode and ran /sbin/fsck -fy
came up with disk0s3: I/O error
Invalid key length
(4, 12283)
** Volume check failed

any suggestions

Many thanks in advance


That's very bad. Nowhere on the web can I find any way of fixing this error without formatting the disk and starting from scratch again. You do have your data backed up, don't you?

Do not have backup data but there was nothing important on the machine.
I am new to mac--been using pc's--is there anything I need to know when I reformat the hard drive--does it matter what version os.

Thanks again

First of all, you need OS X install discs. If you don't have the ones that came with the computer, you'll need to purchase them. No, it doesn't really matter what version you get, as long as you aren't concerned about features or price. The latest version, 10.4 costs $130. Older versions cost $10-20 dollars, depending on where you get them.

I'm doing this all from memory, so please excuse any mistakes... Once you get the disc, boot off it by holding down the 'C' key while your Mac starts up. Once you've entered the installation program, you need to erase your disk completely. From the Utilities menu, choose Disk Utility. Select your hard disk. (The topmost icon in the left sidebar. Anything below it are the individual volumes of the disk.) Go to the Erase tab. Hit the "Security Options" button, and make sure "write zeros over disk" is selected. Then hit the erase button in Disk Utility to erase the disk.

Quit Disk Utility, and you should be back in the installer application. The rest is easy. Follow the prompts and you should have no problem.

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