Powerbook on the fritz... help please?

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enathan1085

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Joined
Nov 17, 2003
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23
So I have a 3-4 year old 15" Titanium Powerbook G4 1GHZ, 1GB, 60GB, 10.3.9 with all the latest updates etc. A couple of days ago I noticed extreme slowdowns and spinning beach balls when doing such mundane tasks as opening up safari pages, opening up mail, and the like. I checked to see that I had adequate free hard drive space and I do (around 13GB). I rebooted the computer but to no avail, I then tried to run cocktail and repair permissions but the computer froze up mid-cocktail session. No spinning beach ball, the ball was frozen.

I then attempted to restart the computer, but it wouldn't boot past the grey apple screen with the clock-wise rotating thingy. Rebooting into safe mode didn't work (I held down shift immediately after the chime, and nothing, grey apple screen but no clockwise spinning thing), eventually I rebooted it and it made its way to the login screen. When I clicked on my name the spinning beach ball popped up again for 5-10 seconds, and the computer always freezes before the finder/desktop fully loads. I've tried holding down cmd-option-p-r while rebooting, and while the second chime sounded it never made itsway past the grey-apple-clockwise-spinning thing screen.

I ran the extended Apple Hardware Test off of the included CD a few times and it came up completely clean.

I tried repairing permissions twice. The first time froze right at the end of repairing permissions, the second time it appeared to go all the way through, but when I tried to click on anything I got the spinning beach ball. Subsequent reboots reveal the problem is unchanged, although now it sometimes boots all the way to the desktop, then one of the auto-launch programs starts bouncing, bounces a few times then the computer freezes up again. Bah.

I tried booting into single user mode and running "fsck -fy" which displays this after only a few seconds:

** /dev/rdisk0x5
** Root file system
** Checking HFS Plus volume.
** Checking Extents Overflow file.
Invalid node structure
(3,297)
** Repairing volume.
** Rechecking volume.
** Checking HFS Plus volume.
** Checking Extents Overflow file.
Invalid node structure
(3,297)
** Repairing volume.
** The volume Macintosh HD was repaired successfully

***** FILE SYSTEM WAS MODIFIED *****

.... the problem is, no matter how many times I run "fsck -fy" the same message keeps coming up

Currently the problems have progressed to the point where any attempt to reboot the computer (single-user mode, safe mode, etc.) leads to the grey screen with the flashing finder icon / ? mark. I put in the software restore/install cd to see if I could try repairing permissions from there again. However, when I open disk utility, the 55.89 GB disk shows up but the volume underneath that has no name. Whereas before it was named "Macintosh Hard Drive" or something like that.

I apologize for the length of the post but over the past 2 days I've exhausted just about all of my knowledge of home-trouble shooting and wanted to know if anybody here had any ideas at all before I give up and take it in to the neighborhood Apple Specialist. Thanks for your time.
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2006
Messages
246
My first thought would be a failing hard drive, given that you are able to boot successfully from the optical drive.
 

enathan1085

Thread Starter
Joined
Nov 17, 2003
Messages
23
Failing hard drive eh? I was afraid somebody was going to say something like that....
 
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