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You could be in a screensaver mode or your graphics card might be blown. Try accessing system preferences and turning off the screensaver and/or powers aving options. Your G4 could be in sleep mode. Try starting from Disc Warrior and clean up your opertating system. May help.
Your MacBook detects that its cover is closed when a magnet in the display panel touches a magnet sensor (reed switch) in the keyboard shell. You can locate this magnet by running a non-scratching ferrous object gently along the side screen margins. (The magnets you will feel at the top edge of the screen are to keep the cover closed and are not the sensor magnets.)
If the reed switch is sticky, it will report to the logic board that the cover is closed even when it is not. Sometimes a few raps with your fingers can unstick the sensor. It is also possible that the sensor has become loose from the logic board and needs to be reseated, which an Apple-Certified technician can do for you. If the sleep sensor does not respond to tapping or reseating, the logic board will need to be replaced.
If safe boot doesn't work, follow the steps in this article:
Worst case scenario you'd need to do an Archive and Install (see how in http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1710) if you're running 10.4 or 10.5, or in 10.6 you can just reinstall the system without having to do anything special.
I would check the energy saver settings under system preferences and see if it is set to go to sleep after a period of time. Also check the schedule button under energy settings to see if there is a scheduled sleep setup. Hope this helps
Hold the power button down. Keep it down until the unit powers off. Then press power to start the machine up, and as soon as you hear the starting chime (boooong) press Command+Option+P+R and keep them held down until you hear the startup sound 3 times. Then you can let go and it should start normally.
On an Apple system, this is an indication that it thinks there is little or no battery left and goes to sleep to protect data loss. Your battery might be going bad (showing a full charge, but lasting for only a few minutes) or there may be a problem with your power supply.