I have a G4 dual 800 running Tiger which I use as my business office, e-mail, Internet, billing etc. Yesterday, Safari froze up, so I quit it and on restart, got a "?" on the little folder where the happy Mac face usually is. So I booted with Disk Warrior and it said the directory was damaged beyond repair. Data Rescue was able to recover files from it, but my Tiger Installer (I tried to do a clean install) won't show the disk at all.
So what's up with this? I have been using Macs since 1988 and have never seen this happen. What should I do with it? Take it to the Apple store? Time for a laptop? Doorstop?
Sounds to me like it's just the hard drive that died. You should hopefully be able to put in a brand new drive, format it, and instal OS X and everything will be fine.
As for your data, I dunno. If disk warrior couldn't fix it I'm not sure an Apple store would have much more luck. You can ceratinly take it to them and ask them to try. They might have some tricks up their sleeve.
Failing that, google up "data recovery hard drive failure" and see if you can find a business in your area that recovers damaged hard drives. That can get pricey, so if you have backups and don't need much off the drive I'd say to just forget it.
But overal, no, I wouldn't worry about the Mac itself. I really think it's just the hard drive. If you DO take it to an Apple store you should ask them to check that, though...have them make certain there's not something else wrong. But that's just a precaution, the computer itself should be fine.
Well, I put in a new HD and same result, the Tiger installer couldn't see it, the first startup icon was a blinking globe which then turned into a blinking folder, going from smiley face to question mark. So I guess I will take it to Apple today...