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Zotaccian
Nov 20, 2012, 03:42 PM
I have 15" G4 1.67 model and occasionally couple keys stop functioning, they are o, l and . plus one function key, for keyboard brightness. Sometimes those kes work just fine. When they don't, I have noticed that when I try to adjust volume there is heavy lag and I hear popping noise from speakers. The machine does not crash, it functions fine otherwise.

I have not yet disassembled the machine but has anyone here had these kind of symptoms with their powerbook, any tips? I'm hoping that it would just be loose keyboard connector or something.



eyoungren
Nov 20, 2012, 04:45 PM
I have 15" G4 1.67 model and occasionally couple keys stop functioning, they are o, l and . plus one function key, for keyboard brightness. Sometimes those kes work just fine. When they don't, I have noticed that when I try to adjust volume there is heavy lag and I hear popping noise from speakers. The machine does not crash, it functions fine otherwise.

I have not yet disassembled the machine but has anyone here had these kind of symptoms with their powerbook, any tips? I'm hoping that it would just be loose keyboard connector or something.
Yeah, I have had the problem before, but on my 1GHZ 17" PB. The solution as far as I can tell (at least it's always worked for me) is to shut the Mac down, flip the Mac over, remove the battery, remove the memory cover and then pull out the keyboard ribbon cable. To pull out the cable, you'll need to push two little tabs back away from the cable (you may want to look at iFixit for photos). Once those tabs are pushed back you can just pull the cable out. I usually just run a cloth over the end of it to clean it a bit (like the kind of cloth you'd use for cleaning glasses, microfiber). Push the cable back in, close things back up and restart. That has worked for me every time, but I can't guarantee it will for you.

Don't know if cleaning the cable is necessary. It may just be that the cable has slipped out far enough to cause problems.

Zotaccian
Nov 21, 2012, 05:20 AM
This is probably built a bit differently, but anyways. I unscrewed all screw necessary and I am now running the machine with the topcase being loose. Keys work at the moment, but they have already stopped working couple times. Cables seem to be firmly attached, those keys came back life after I just kept pressing them, same keys always stop functioning and actually when writing this, they were gone again but back now. Strange. I might need to take a look under the keycaps to see if there's something, dried liquid spill etc.

EDIT: There is definently connection problem, when keys were out, I tried to push the keyboard ribbon cable harder to the connector and keys were back, when I slightly pushed the cable to other direction, meaning that cable would disconnect a bit, keys were out. Not all but those which I mentioned. Now I reattached the cable as good as I could and taped it so it should stay in place. Let's see.

I'm bit disappointed that I bought this machine used over a month ago but only yesterday I was able to actually test. It has been pretty long time and I'm quite sure that the seller would not respond or believe me. I have bought from him before and everything has been fine so I don't believe that he lied but just tested bit too quickly before putting this on sale. Well, if this tape thing works then there is no problem.

eyoungren
Nov 21, 2012, 08:56 AM
I had this problem start randomly about a few days after I got my PB three years ago. The PB came with some other problems as well (I bought it with the understanding that it was on it's "last legs").

All I can say is that each time I have done what I explained this has fixed itself. Hasn't happened in a long time though so I put it down to the cable. If what you did doesn't work, you should know that the keyboard itself is replaceable. It seperates from the top deck. So, replacing the entire top deck won't be necessary. Note that this problem became considerably less when I updated to Leopard. I cloned my old drive to this Mac when I got it which was a mistake because the Tiger install I cloned only had system specific stuff for an older Mac and not this PB. Upgrading installed the missing pieces. No idea if that matters here or not, but all I can say is that this problem considerably decreased after upgrading.

It may be that the lock is not holding the ribbon cable in securely, IDK. Hopefully your tape will keep it there. I myself have electricians tape inside my 1Ghz Mac. Was replacing the sound board at one point and the speaker wire decided it wanted to split (age) so I stripped the wire on both ends, twisted them back together and bound it up with electricians tape.

Certainly not an Apple approved fix I imagine. :)

Zotaccian
Nov 21, 2012, 01:48 PM
This tape trick seems to work, I have used couple hours today and keys have worked all time time after that "fix". I have bought many defective Macs and then fixed them but this was supposed to be fully working one so naturally I was disappointed when I noticed that there is something wrong with keyboard, luckily there is no need to buy spare parts for this one. Got the machine for 90$ including shipping which is not a bad price I think.

When I opened the machine it seems that this machine has never been opened before me or if it has, the person has been very delicate because all that brownish tape Apple used was still like new.

eyoungren
Nov 21, 2012, 02:43 PM
This tape trick seems to work, I have used couple hours today and keys have worked all time time after that "fix". I have bought many defective Macs and then fixed them but this was supposed to be fully working one so naturally I was disappointed when I noticed that there is something wrong with keyboard, luckily there is no need to buy spare parts for this one. Got the machine for 90$ including shipping which is not a bad price I think.

When I opened the machine it seems that this machine has never been opened before me or if it has, the person has been very delicate because all that brownish tape Apple used was still like new.
That's great! Glad it's working.

You're lucky. My first 17" PowerBook was sold to me without any case screws! The owner thought he had a dying Mac so he opened it up to look around but either lost all the screws or didn't know where the one's he had went.

I have since replaced all the screws, but this Mac was a project. LVDS cable replacement, LCD replacement, soundboard, and three DC Inverter boards (not all at once). It still has a failed cache (which I am told is a logicboard issue) but it's been going strong for three years.

I have a good chuckle with myself every once in a while because I paid $152.50 for this Mac and made it work. When you let the seller in on that they never seem to want to reply to your email about it. :D

$90 for your Mac I think is an excellent buy, even if you had issues with the ribbon cable.

Zotaccian
Nov 21, 2012, 03:18 PM
It seems that your model has 256k L2 -cache built into the processor and 1MB L3 is outside, on the motherboard.

It's not that bad if you have only L3 damaged but having no L2 cache hurts performance really bad, but I think that it requires the processor to be damaged and probably it wouldn't work at all if that was the case.

Back in the day when Intel debuted Celeron, those CPU's had no L2 cache at all and were even slower than older generation Pentiums running at much lower clock speed. Celeron was meant to be the cheap alternative of course but Intel did too good job in decreasing the performance :)

eyoungren
Nov 21, 2012, 03:39 PM
Well, I'll just say this. It's made me figure out a lot of stuff I would not have otherwise. I mainly use this Mac for web browsing and email with some light photo editing and word processing.

Optimizing Aurorafox/TenFourFox/Firefox has been an experience. I have it now where at idle I can pull about 15-25% CPU, even on Facebook. Getting there involved a lot of Google. And I've found out a lot of other things. For instance, iStat Menus 2 has a memory leak. Over time SystemUIServer, which is the menu bar process will pull increased memory because of iStat. Periodically I restart the menubar.

There's also been a whole bunch of delving into the file system to find the stuff that is slowing me down. Stuff like a VNC server I left running a long time back and didn't turn off because I forgot about it, etc, etc.

She's a good Mac and optimizing all this junk has managed to keep me almost even with my other Mac which is fine as far as cache goes.

But I hate tossing Macs because someone somwhere believes that it's lifespan is over. A bit of love is all this Mac really needed. Well, that and Torx wrenches and screws and a new LCD and…

ChrisMan287
Nov 21, 2012, 08:36 PM
Optimizing Aurorafox/TenFourFox/Firefox has been an experience. I have it now where at idle I can pull about 15-25% CPU, even on Facebook. Getting there involved a lot of Google.

Go on..

eyoungren
Nov 21, 2012, 09:08 PM
That's a rather lengthy thread involving a bunch of edits to about:config and a few other things. I'll have to collect it all and post back. Give me some time.

Some basic stuff from the top of my head though. I overrode the cache management and maxed it out. I then used Bettercache to force domains to cache. I just recently found some values to add in there that also cache text, javascript and images. It means I frequently have to force reload a page but the upside is when I switch between tabs I don't have to wait for background elements to reload.

As I mentioned earlier, No Script, RequestPolicy, ADP and Element hider for ADP are also what I use and Stylish. I tossed Ghostery a while back because it seemed to be pulling CPU cycles.

Keep in mind. All of this is still not as fast as Fluid or many of the other webkit browsers. But I'm running quite a few addons and it's reasonably quick in light of that.

I also have a few other tricks. iFreeMem when the browser is pulling excessive amounts of ram and I also made an applescript that does a shell script purge command. The purge command needs the dev tools installed and is essentially a system tool that clears some caches and frees memory.

You have to be careful with that though as when you purge or use iFreeMem, the browser is still expecting stuff that's no longer there. It tends to lag for a bit until things clear up.

Oh yeah, not optimizing but making things easy for me. I tend to like to keep the same setup on all the Macs I work on. I got tired of trying to keep the browser's syncing straight, so I moved the profile directory to a Dropbox account I share between the three Macs I use the browser on. You just have to remember to quit the browser when done. You don't want conflicts between the browsers.

One last tip. I've found that closing the lid when I am done makes the browser slower when I come back. So I just sleep the Mac or quit the browser.

Zotaccian
Nov 22, 2012, 04:45 AM
Well today the issue returned so my taping didn't hold. It seems that I have most problems with Macs while my Fujitsu Esprimo -laptop just works even though I accidentally sat on it once :D Couple days ago my Magsafe exploded...

I guess I'll try cleaning cable contacts and use better tape or something.

Zotaccian
Nov 25, 2012, 09:32 AM
The issue seems not to be the cable but instead a small chip which located at the bottom right of the touchpad, it is basic bad solder problem. I created a shim by using paper and tape and now it seems to work well but for how long I don't know. I'm bit disappointed, maybe I'll try to change the whole topcase or the touchpad logic board if I see one with decent price.