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I've ran disk utility's disk verify on Mac OS 10.4 on a PowerPC G4, and it told me the computer's volume should be repaired. I lost the install disks for now, so I booted it off a Tiger installation disk from another computer, only to get a kernel panic (white text with a black background on top of the Apple logo while booting). When booted from the startup disk and not the install disk, the computer boots and runs perfectly. I tried again with a disk I burned of a disk image I got online (this is legal because I already legally own Tiger) and got the same exact problem. I'm not entirely sure about this, but I think both of these disks are PowerPC versions.

First of all, is there any way I could avoid this and finally repair the disk (well I might be able to boot from another computer or something, but I doubt this is a normal problem)? Second, how can I make sure these really are PowerPC disks, and aren't just Intel disks that are screwing it up (which I somewhat doubt)?

Thanks so much for the help, this is really weird.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

If your Mac was released after the version of OS X on the install disc (e.g. if it's a 10.4.0 disc, but your Mac was released after April 2005) the disc is probably missing drivers or something needed to support your Mac.

That doesn't mean you're stuck, however, as you can still run a volume repair by booting from the HD in special modes. First, try Safe Mode by holding down Shift as you boot the computer. This will (among other things) run a basic check-and-repair process on the disk as it boots. If Disk Utility doesn't find anything wrong after that, you'll want to reboot again (without the Shift key this time) to get back to normal.

If that doesn't do the trick, try booting in Single-user Mode by booting with the Command and S keys down. This'll drop you into a full-screen command line interface, with only very minimal parts of the OS running. Enter the command fsck -fy to run the check-and-repair process. If it reports that everything is OK (something like "The volume Macintosh HD appears to be OK"), use the exit command to continue the boot process normally. If it says "FILE SYSTEM WAS MODIFIED", run it again as it may not have found & fixed all problems on the first pass. Keep running it until it gives the all clear, or reports errors it can't fix (in which case there's something seriously wrong, and you should look at backing up the important data and reformatting).

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Thanks, that was a really helpful answer! Safe boot, though it took forever, fixed the problem. – Nicolas McCurdy Nov 21 '10 at 17:24

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