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I cannot boot form external harddrive

iMac g5 20" tiger 10.4.11

apple store diagnosed a problem as bad hard drive

i had them remove the drive as i have an external drive firewire 400 that i can boot from. At first the mac could not recognize the external drive so i held down option key during start up to choose disk,after 4 or 5 tries it finally did boot. i used system pref to set start up to the external drive. i turned it on and off 5 o 6 times and it worked properly. Ran it for 3 days (without shutting down) no problems. shut down it as i was going to be away for 3 days. when i came back and restarted it would not boot from the external drive. tried reseting pram, booting from tech tool disk that came with my apple care package(got to apple on screen with a "no"symbol, and a different hard drive no good , Booted from system install disk(that came with the g5) ran system profiler which did not show anything in the fire wire port.

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tried that before like i said in my first post, the option key to pick start up doesn't work

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Most likely your drive is the wrong format, if it is the wrong format it may be difficult for Mac OS to discover it, if you have another computer, reformat the drive to Mac OS Extended.

To check if the drive is bad, you can connect it to another computer, and to check if your firewire port is bad, you can use a firewire 800 to usb 2.0 adapter (you can get these all over the place) and connect the drive to a usb port and see if it works.

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not the problem it is formatted extended journaled

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So have you tried connecting to another computer and seeing if it works there? Then we can rule out the drive as the issue.

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external drives not the problem they boot up my g4 and my lap top just fine

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Do you have or can you get then a Firewire to USB adapter you can use to try connecting to a usb port? In case the firewire port is broken.

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no but i attached a fire wire cd drive and ran sys profiler from install disk and it was recognized so the fw ports (both of them ) seem ok

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So try this:

1) connect drive to computer

2) hold down option button

3) turn on computer, and keep holding the option button until you see the boot menu (might be a while)

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tried that before like i said in my first post, the option key to pick start up doesn't work

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Possibly a bad FW port than, you should definitely try with a FW to USB adapter then.

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ok thanks

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