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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Classic Macs and Mac OS > "?" on start up-help!

"?" on start up-help!
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Mac Elite
Join Date: Oct 2000
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Jan 20, 2001, 02:27 AM
 
i'm trying not to panic, but i think my mac cannot find the start up disk. as soon as it starts... there is an unusually long pause and then a folder icon with a flashing question mark and 'smiling mac icon' i think it cannot locate the system folder.
do i start up from the cd? if so then how?

this is the first time such a thing has happened ever, so i have no idea how to go about it.

i am running a pismo 400, 128mb ram. that reminds me, the last time, before i shut it down, i had changed some virtual memory settings(increased it to 192mb). but that shouldnt be the reason for this right? i have mac OS 9.0.4.

any help, appreciated.
     
Mac Elite
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Jan 20, 2001, 03:07 AM
 
well i ran the software restore cd... and it says my hard disk cannot be read... and i have to format

is there a way i can save anything on it? i tried apple software restore, but it couldnt identify my HD

any way around that?
     
Clinically Insane
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Jan 20, 2001, 03:30 AM
 
Sounds like your HD is fried.
Have you got Disk Warrior to run over it?
Can Drive Setup mount it?

Cipher13
     
Mac Elite
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Jan 20, 2001, 03:44 AM
 
no disk warrior
drive setup?
no idea

i think i will HAVE TO initialize the disk

whats standard, and extended? which one do i select?
     
Clinically Insane
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Jan 20, 2001, 03:57 AM
 
If you can afford to lose your data, you want it formatted Extended.
What size is the drive again?

Cipher13
     
Mac Elite
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Jan 20, 2001, 04:09 AM
 
it says 5.5

u mean i can get back my stuff?? i just want to BIG game installers back.. it would be sucha pain to d/l that again... AND my icq list.. nothing important
     
Clinically Insane
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Jan 20, 2001, 04:29 AM
 
You can... but its costly.
You can try buying Disk Warrior, see if that helps.
But if its nothing really important, don't worry about it.

Cipher13
     
Mac Elite
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Jan 20, 2001, 04:39 AM
 
what the hell, why did flood control come into action? damn these PeeCees and their stupid browsers with even more screwed up cookies.


anyway... what if i do a standard format, back up my files.. and then do an extended format? would that be good enough?
     
Clinically Insane
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Jan 20, 2001, 04:42 AM
 
Standard format will clear your data as effieciently as extended.
The benefit of extended is it can hold more data, sort of. It has a smaller minimum block size, so for example, on a 4 gig drive, standard format, a 3 K file will use 64 K. In extended it will use 4 K.
Rough example.

Cipher13
     
Mac Elite
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Jan 20, 2001, 04:50 AM
 
alright... i'll just go in for the extended, and then d/l all the **** again.

anyways, thanks alot man.

i wonder what triggered such a thing tho.
     
Clinically Insane
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Jan 20, 2001, 04:58 AM
 
Sorry I couldn't really help.
Anything can trigger that... do you happen to have OSX installed?
Its basically random. Shouldn't happen, but does...
The HD may even be damaged, hardware wise.

Cipher13

[This message has been edited by Cipher13 (edited 01-20-2001).]
     
Mac Elite
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Jan 20, 2001, 05:09 AM
 
omg, that could be trouble for me, theres almost NO instant support here. the waiting period is too long.
i did not try anything like installing OS X, i just shut it down normally, actually i think i just put it to sleep. like i said, i changed some virtual memory settings, and was supposed to restart b4 the changes could take effect.
i never even d/led any crap for it to be a virus or something.

i was thinking about replacing the HD, get a bigger one, this one had become really noisy, as usual.
     
Clinically Insane
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Jan 20, 2001, 05:26 AM
 
Has it been making any funny noises on spin up and spin down lately?

Cipher13
     
Mac Elite
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Jan 20, 2001, 05:30 AM
 
no not really...
it just makes that constant 'buzz', the problem most HD that ship with majority of ibooks and powerbooks have. and it makes the normal sounds while accessing data.

well i just used software restore... but i think i'll do a clean install.
long day ahead...
     
Clinically Insane
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Jan 20, 2001, 05:34 AM
 
Good luck... keep an eye on that drive.
I suggest you partition it, with a small partition for a backup boot volume.
If this happens again, and BOTH partitions are stuffed... you have a hardware problem on your hands.

Cipher13
     
Mac Elite
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Jan 20, 2001, 05:41 AM
 
err... okay now how do i partition it? d/l a software for that?
i think i will only get a new internal HD when i go to the us myself... it would be a pain ordering it here, not worth it.
     
Clinically Insane
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Jan 20, 2001, 05:45 AM
 
You can use Drive Setup to partition it.
I THINK you go to Custom Initialisation or something (its a button somewhere... don't think its a menu but I could be wrong), and set up the partitions with the popup menus and the little diagram. Make sure the backup partition is big enough for a System Folder. Having two "desktops" will confuse you at first, and it'll be a pain, but you'll get used to it.

Cipher13

[This message has been edited by Cipher13 (edited 01-20-2001).]
     
Mac Elite
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Jan 20, 2001, 05:51 AM
 
there was no option for a custom initialization

i will try drive setup after i get connected (im gonna time myself this time)
     
Grizzled Veteran
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Jan 20, 2001, 10:00 AM
 
Maybe you can use the old drive in a firewire case for backups, and DO get a copy of Disk Warrior! It is indespensible.

You must have a 2nd Mac I take it to get online here and stuff... get the new hd and dw and maybe you can still recover the data if you haven't initialized the drive.

Partitioning can be helpful, especially if you don't have a backup drive. I keep upgrading my disk drives and now have a couple spares sitting on the shelf, but I always have two backup disk drives plus some on zip.

Drive Setup is on the Mac OS CD and can also be used to Test drive to map out or check for bad blocks (physical check). There is a bug in 9.0 system and booting - Disks First Aid 8.6 corrects this bug (as does 9.1). There have also been problems with Energy Saver sleep.

If you only have 128MB and feel you need more, VM setting of 192 puts more work on the disk drive, slows down system most likely, and with Crucial selling RAM for $130 for 256MB... and only $60 for 128MB, I'd go for physical RAM. Also reduces using battery by not having to keep the disk drive spinning. My drive spins down even during long sessions online.

Gregory
     
Grizzled Veteran
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Jan 20, 2001, 10:04 AM
 
Also,

Zap PRAM (command option PR) to reset some settings, and then you can force resetting the pointer to boot volume (reason for flashing ?) using command option OF to get into Open Firmware. But sounds like not ready for that step.

Booting from CD, running Disk First Aid, updating the drive with Drive Setup - not initializing - and reselecting the boot volume - are things to try before wiping the drive.

Greg
     
Mac Elite
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Jan 20, 2001, 11:07 AM
 
ahh.. finally back online using icab. everything seems to be normal, but i cant 'feel' it.
i cant believe how pathetic IE is. it never worked for me after i did a clean install of the OS. it crashed my computer twice, and had me d/l the icab installer twice also.

i did not partition the disk, i should have, and i still can, only i couldnt figure it out in drive setup. couldnt find the option. for that i started up from the software install cd, to try and partition my hd. it did not work, so i started up normally. then i find this folder in my hd folder that says 'previous system folder'. i wonder why that was created. it had the same contents as the hd AFTER i initialzed. anyway i deleted it.

another thing, i cant install the voice commands control panel/extension(which one is it?). whenever i click on the installer from the software install cd, it gives some error, saying it cant install cause there is a difference in the version or something.

i'd buy disk warrior IF it were available here! same goes for RAM, well almost, i can try the dealer again. i guess i will leave VM on, with physical + 1mb, to avoid any further problems.
i will also zap pRAM...
i had some more questions, but i cant remember 'em. damn!

thanks for all the advice
     
   
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