Merrin's iBook decided to stop booting yesterday, opting instead for a lovely blue screen after the "loading OS X" graphic. Nice. Apple has some info on their support site about repairing a blue screen on load, but most of what they suggested was not terribly helpful.
Since her laptop is out of coverage, I was going to try as many things as I could before I took it in to Apple for repair. I suspect, but don't know with certainty, that her boot volume was corrupted… somehow. As unusual as that sounds, there was no physical problem with her computer, at least nothing that I could find.
I removed the additional RAM and rebooted – nothing. I attempted to boot to Safe Mode – no go, just the blue screen after the safe mode login screen. Damn. I then booted to the OS X Tiger DVD and tested the hard drive using Disk Utility, but it reported that there were no errors on the disk. Hmmmm.
I decided to reinstall OS X using the Archive and Install option. This process essentially saves all of the old data into one folder and then installs a clean copy of OS X, setting the new copy as the boot. A few minutes later, we're back and running again – with all of her user settings in place.
Now we just have to test the new install for a few days and then nuke the archive folder, assuming things go well. ((fingers crossed))