Okay, here we go: I have to ask for help regarding my Mac. It's screwed
up. Well, not it so much as the external hard drive, and my only
consolation is that it's not the Mac's fault, it's mine. I apologize
that I will be posting this in other Mac groups as well. I am most
pointedly NOT cross-posting, rather I am making individual posts in
other places; but I want to reach people who may not look here, so I am
going to cut-and-paste the message into a couple of other Mac groups.
What happened was, I had gotten tired of the incredible slowness of the
original HD on my Mac (400MHz G3 iMac) and finally got the idea to use
my external FireWire HD as the startup disk. Why this took me so long, I
don't know. But I had already put OS X 10.3 on it so I could run
DiskWarrior on my original HD. I just hadn't thought of it as a startup
disk. So I thought I would try it; I switched my startup disk to the
external HD, restarted, and it fired up like a dream. Fast, fast, fast.
No problems whatsoever. Then, because it suggested so when it fired up,
I decided to upgrade to 10.3.6.
Here's where I screwed up: while it was installing the upgrade, I
somehow got the fool idea that it might revert somehow to the original
startup disk and I decided to check the system prefs to make sure. (I'm
a slightly-OCD checker. When I leave my apartment, I never close the
door unless I have my keys in my hand, and usually I have to be looking
at them, *just to be sure.* Then when I leave the building to go to my
car, I check my keys again, even if they haven't left my hand, *just to
be sure.* It has its benefits: I haven't locked my keys in the car in
years.) So while it was running the upgrade, I checked to make sure I
had the right startup disk. Except that froze the system.
I waited for a little bit for the system to somehow magically get going
again, but it didn't; it remained stuck in the same place it had seized
up. So. What could I do but restart the whole thing? I forced a restart.
The external HD was still the startup disk. I got the graphite-on-gray
Apple logo for a few minutes, and then something I had never seen
before: a graphite circle-slash symbol. A great big NO right on my
screen. I let it sit and spin for a few minutes and then forced another
restart, detaching the FireWire cable in between forced shutdown and
It restarted, looked for the startup disk, couldn't find it, and so
defaulted to the original HD. No problem there, though it took longer
than usual. (Quite a bit longer.) I tried restarting with the external
HD as startup again and got the same problem. Forced restart again; ran
DiskWarrior on the external HD. It said it found (and fixed) problems.
Cool. Restarted it; got the same NO symbol again. Gack. Forced restart.
Got the original 10.3 install disk and re-installed Panther on the
external HD. This took approximately forever. Restarted. Got the big NO
symbol again. Grrr. I ran the Disk Utilities on it, cleaned it up and
did a restore, and restarted. Great big NO symbol again. Restarted. This
time, I got the idea--a good one, I think--to go to Apple's site and
download the 10.3.6 upgrade and try that. So I downloaded the upgrade,
rather than going through the Software Update feature. Once I downloaded
the upgrade, I ran the install program on the external HD. This took not
very long at all (I am guessing because the original installation was
mostly in place but had been interrupted.)
After the install, I restarted with the external HD as the startup disk.
This time, I did not get the big NO symbol; all I got was the graphite
Apple logo. But that was it. I decided to wait it out to see if it would
eventually get the idea and restart. While I was waiting, I fell asleep
and slept for the next 6 hours. When I woke up, the thing was still
sitting there with the little spinning symbol and the graphite Apple
logo. Obviously it had improved, but not by much. I did a forced
restart, let it restart from the original HD, re-attached the external
HD, and that's where I left it. I'm really lost as to what to do now.
I've tried two reinstalls, several restarts, Disk Utility, and
DiskWarrior, all to no avail. Does anyone here have any idea what I can
do to get my external HD into startup-ability?
It was so beautiful, the first time it started from the external HD. But
only the once. Please tell me it won't be the last!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Don't Blame Me...I Voted For Jed Bartlet
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