Power Mac G5 not booting! please help!

I'm new to the forum but would appreciate any insights you all can offer. I have a one month old 2.0 Dual processor G5 Power Mac, 512 MB. I use it to edit video with about 7 external hard drives attached. For a month, it's been working fine. Last night it didn't shut down correctly. After I dismounted my hard drives, the computer wouldn't turn off (spinning gear for 10 minutes) so I had to manually turn it off.

This morning it wouldn't boot up AT ALL. I got the question mark icon and the fan whirred relly loudly. this happened twice and the other attempts brought the blue/gray screen of nothingness. I tried to boot up from the Utilities disc with the Install CD and the computer can't find it's internal hard drive. The apple Help people have told me; 1.) the logic board is damaged, 2.) the hard drive is ruined. Either way, I am screwed because I am editing on a project that is due this week and I can't bring my computer to a tech store until Monday (they aren't open here in the sticks on the weekend).

Does anyone have any advice for getting my computer back up and running again? Or understanding what blew up my hard drive itn the first place? I don't even use that computer for the internet so it couldn't have been corrupted files. I think the problem must be connected to the external drives but how?

Any advice is appreciated. i am desperate.

thanks, eva

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Unfortunately, it definitely sounds like a hardware problem. Most likely the hard drive was defective from day 1 and just failed. This is especially likely since the Disk Utility cannot see the internal drive. Not much you can do expect boot from your backup.

Otherwise, install OS X on one of your external FW drives and boot from that. Hopefully your project wasn't exclusively on your internal?

Dear Yellow,

thanks for your mail. is it possible the internal drive could have been damaged from day 1 and still have worked for a month? It had some problems with slowness and freezing but I figured that was the 7 external hard drives attached to it and slowing it down. And why did it suddenly die like that? Do you think there is any way I can save some of my internal drive contents? I have the project I am working on backed up -- thankfully-- so as long as my external drives didn't get damaged, I might be ok -- just really annoyed and frusterated.

Oh well, I will take it to the doctor tomorrow and cross my fingers,

It's definitely possible that the drive was defective and right from the start and failed far earlier then it should have. These kinds of things are almost impossible to detect by the manufacturers and companies that put them in their machines, so unfortunately, it happens. At least yours failed early so your warranty will cover replacement.

There's absolutely no way to tell why it died.

You could try some software solutions like Data Rescue X to get your data of the drive. There's also professional data rescue houses that do an excellent job, but you're looking at the possibility of spending thousands of dollars. The more difficult it is for them to get data off the drive, the more expensive it becomes.


I am hoping that you have backups tooo.

While your at the store, you might consider getting more memory for your computer. 512 MB is not enough for what you are doing.



thankfully most of my projects were backed up and it turns out that my external hard rives weren't damaged -- thank god -- that was my WORST fear! i went to the only mac dealer in the state yesterday and they tried a new internal drive and switched out the ram. all to no avail. it is most likely the mother board. i am so behind on my project that is due at the end of the week that i bought a lap top then and there because i can't afford to be down right now. i got apple care and eventually they will try a new logic board and see if that solves it. at this point i am really regretting the g5. i don't know if i'll ever trust it again but it is good to know i have an alternate editing computer if this happens again.

also, it makes me realize how careful i have to be in the future with backing up things and what not. i think i may even save up for a terabyte! pinch some pennies.

it feels good to be up and editing again and hopefully i'll hit my deadline!

thanks for the suggestions! let's hope apple can fix it for good!



Be careful of blaming Apple here. Until you know for sure what blew, be careful throwing the stone. It could have been a power surge, or a brown out; perhaps some dust overheated something, or a static discharge. It is possible that any other computer -- Dell, Compaq, Gateway... could have had the same thing happen.

What kind of Laptop did you get?

You might want to consider a UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) for your computer, and run your power from there. If there is a lot of static in the room, you might need to get a humidifier and take the zap out of the room.

And it is OK to have a second computer. As you get more involved with them, you may find yourself with a small army of them around. I presently have 6 in this room right here... 3 of them are on at all times, and the other 3 when I need to expirement with something special.

Most importantly, I am glad you are up and working again.


I have mac os x and when u turn it on it displeys the macosx with the blue indicator and freezes up at that point what do i do?

You want to see if you can get to your internal drive. Get another mac. Connect both together via firewire. Boot your G5 and hold down the T key while it is booting. It will show up on the other mac as an external drive. Then you should be able to extract any info from the drive. Should it not show up on the other mac....its fried.
I would like to know by what you mean by "one month old". You really have to go back several years to find a Mac that shipped with 512M and on top of that, a Power Mac? Whatever model you have is defiantly not a month old. You may of bought it a month ago, but certainly not from Apple.

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