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Mike, Mac Medic
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 8622
Experience:  Over 20 years IT experience with Apple computers in publishing, marketing and design.
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Customer Question

I have an iMac powerPC G5 with 2.5 GB memory running OS X 10.4.11. My firewire terminal has quit its connection to my Accomdata backup disk. I checked the disk and cable on my Mac mini and it works OK. A problem mounting CDs appeared at the same time. On inserting a disk I may get a message that the CD is not recognized, or the CD title indicates a blank disk, or sometimes the CD actually mounts correctly. Additionally my Classic apps now tend to crash the computer. I have done preference and hardware checks with Disk Utility and find no problem. I also reinstalled Classic but to no avail. The mounting problems are not fixed by disconnecting all peripherals. Any suggestions?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
Of course if we determine the hardware has failed that still counts as an answer, we can’t fix failed hardware. Plug it in and go to Apple Logo to About This Mac / More Info / then select FireWire on the left do you see the drive listed on the right?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The Firewire window simply says "FieWire Bus:" The rest of the page is blank.
Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
Restart and hold Command O - F you should come the a command prompt:

At the Open Firmware prompt, type:
Press Return.
Press Return.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Please clarify Command O - F. Do I hold down command, O and F; or command O, -, and F"
Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
Hold the Command key the O key and the F key all together
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I restarted as you suggested but got no open firmware prompt. Then tried command, zero, and F. Still no success.
Any way around this?
Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
OK try it this way:

Try resetting the PRAM.

1. Shut down the computer.
2. Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command, Option, P, and R. You will need them in step 4.
3. Turn on the computer.
4. Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys before the gray screen appears.
5. Hold the keys down until the computer restarts.
6. Release the keys.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I tried it but the computer just keeps restarting until I release the keys. Then it starts as usual. What now?
Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
That is what it is supposed to do ok. Unplug the drive and detach from power for a few minutes, then plug back in and repeat steaps to check the FireWire
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Turned off computer and unplugged. After about 5 minutes connected firewire cable and turned on but backup disk still does not mount. Tried restart with command O F pressed but it just restarts with no firmware prompt.
Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
They don't all have it. I'm afraid the FireWire BUS has failed does it have a USB port?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yes. I tried it after the firewire failure. The backup disk mounted but failed to mount the next time I tried. The USB port is still functional when connected to my printer. There may be something wrong with the backup disk though it works on my Mac Mini. Even if I give up trying to backup, I still cannot mount CDs, and Classic apps cause crashes. Is there a way to reset firmware with Terminal or by an upgrade from Apple?
Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
If you mean an upgrade for the G5 Mac I would not think it would be worth it all Macs have been Intel for years and the software is runnign out for the Power PC.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I just rechecked the FireWire status in the Apple menu and it now indicates "400 Mb/sec" but the disk still does not mount.
Any other ideas? Needless to say it is rather frustrating.
Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
Not really may be time for an upgrade, you will be amazed at the speed of ANY newer Mac from an old G5. Sorry, wish I had better news.
Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
Question answered?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I am no further along toward solving the problem than when I started with you. I have given up trying to correct the FireWire port and would simply like to get my computer working again. As I have already explained it will not recognize some CDs. I have burned one CD succefully but I would need to burn at least 50 to back up all of my files. Because this is not practical I am afraid to reinstall the system software. I plan to take it to a shop that can help me back it up unless you can provide any way out of this.
Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
I'm afraid it the FireWire ports are failing the motherboard is failing also, I would not expect anything to work correctly. Since Time Machine is not included in 10.4 you would need to use another backup method I suggest you take it in. Good luck.
Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.