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IBook will not start up!

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My iBook will not start up all the way. It gets to the gray apple screen and just spins.(3hrs) I tried everything. It will not start up with 10.3 CD or OS9. It will start up with nortons CD but you cant see the Hard Drive. Hardware test CD starts and

My iBook will not start up all the way. It gets to the gray apple screen and just spins.(3hrs) I tried everything. It will not start up with 10.3 CD or OS9. It will start up with nortons CD but you cant see the Hard Drive. Hardware test CD starts and every thing checks out fine. What to do. I hope its not its final day.

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Paul,
Do you have OS X 10.3 installed on it?
Try booting into Safe Mode. This will take quite awhile longer than a normal startup because it does a file check and repair of the hard disk.
If this works you will see your normal desktop. Once completely started up in Safe Mode, try to restart normally, and go to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility. Click on the top hard drive icon in the left sidebar and note the S.M.A.R.T. status at the bottom right of the pane. What does it say?
Select the named boot volume in the left sidebar, and repair permissions on it.
See if you are able to do a little hard drive maintenance to helps things out.
If it won't start up in Safe Mode, you can try Single User Mode and fsck, but if Safe Mode won't do it for you, fsck may not, either.
Keep Norton far, far away from any hard drive with OS X installed on it. DiskDoctor is known as DiskDoctor Kevorkian around here. It finds non-existent "errors" and sets about "correcting," them, killing your hard drive in the process.
If none of Apple's own disk repair procedures work (Safe Mode, Disk Utility from the Install disc, or fsck), it may be wise to invest in DiskWarrior. It can often find your hard drive and repair it when Apple's own utilities cannot. DiskWarrior has saved my hard drive more than once.
Good luck.

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