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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Need help with PowerBook G4

Need help with PowerBook G4
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Aug 16, 2011, 09:30 PM
 
I recently purchased an old PowerBook from a surplus sale. The problem is they erased the hard drive and the OS along with it. I've been trying to install Ubuntu onto it using a Cd but with no luck. I'm extremely new to macs and would really appreciate some help. So far when trying to boot from CD it just shows me a gray screen and a ? I've tried holding "c" and command and shift and a few other variations but nothing helps. Is there any easy way to check to see if the hard drive or other components are working?
     
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Aug 16, 2011, 11:16 PM
 
You need an OS of some sort for that unless you want to go poking around in Open Firmware.

Find a Panther (10.3) or Tiger (10.4) CD to test with if you can.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Aug 17, 2011, 02:29 AM
 
Holding the 'c' key down during boot should be sufficient. Note however that you need a PowerPC Ubuntu disc to boot from - the usual x86 ubuntu CDs won't work on a PowerBook.

You can get Ubuntu PPC downloads here.

We need to know what PowerBook it is if you want to run Mac OS X on it. Different PowerBooks are compatible with different OS X versions.
     
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Aug 17, 2011, 07:06 PM
 
Yep I was using the wrong version of Ubuntu trying to install. Thanks for giving me that hint, probably wouldn't have figured it out, still in a PC mindset. Thanks a bunch for the help.

I have a 15" G4 that was made in 2005. Not sure how to go about finding the exact model number though.
     
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Aug 17, 2011, 09:30 PM
 
A model or order # will be on a sticker. On the bottom, or back side, or perhaps in the battery bay. I'm not a laptop owner, but it will be there somewhere.

Three PB 15" models could have been made in 2005. It's probably not the first one, but the date ranges are (barely) compatible.

PowerBook5,4 A1095
order #s M9421LL/A (1.33 GHz) M9422LL/A (1.5 GHz)
OS X 10.3.3 - 10.5.8

PowerBook5,6 model A1106
order #s M9676LL/A (1.5 GHz) M9677LL/A (1.67 GHz)
OS X 10.3.7 - 10.5.8

PowerBook5,8 model A1138
order # M9969LL/A (1.67 GHz)
OS X 10.4.2 - 10.5.8
     
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Aug 17, 2011, 10:07 PM
 
Its in the battery bay on a sticker. Probably on the front 'wall'.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
   
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