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Can a 'broken' hard drive create a complete boot failure?

I've a G4 of unknown origin that I'm trying to repair, I have no previous knowledge of MAC's, but can deal with PC's.

At every boot I end up with the generic failure symbol.

So far I've reset the power management, reset the nvram and tried to diagnose the hard drive externally on a PC, this also fails to detect the HDD in the BIOS.

With a MAC OSX disc I've tried to boot from the CD, I don't get the boot drive options, I get a refresh and continue only.

So, if I replace the hard disk, which gives all the indicators of being faulty, will I be able to boot from the O/S disc and perform a fresh install, or is there another issue preventing the boot disc options from showing?


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Diagnosing a Mac from a PC is not a good idea. First remove the hard drive and insert the system installation disk and boot holding down the "C" key to see if the machine will even boot. This may or may not work according to what the system disk is. Is it a retail version, or the boot disk made for this machine or another machine? If it will boot and you have the correct system then you can install the hard drive, boot from the DVD, go to the second screen pull down menu, go to Utilities, Disk Utility and format the drive. I would choose the "write zeros" option to insure the drive. Next see if you can install the system. Try these things and let us know the results and we can go from there.

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I wish I'd seen this earlier, my own fault for not checking!

I'll strip down later (work interrupts diagnostics) to remove the HDD and try that, which to be honest I should have thought of myself. Doh! springs to mind.

The discs are from a friends G4 and I've the full set, Software Restore, Software Install and Developers Tools.

I'll check back later before stripping for any other useful gems which may come from that info.




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