View Full Version : dying 15" powerbook 1.2ghz

Apr 18, 2006, 09:06 PM
We have a situation where at any random time, any open application hangs into the beachball of death. Force quitting does not respond and we have to power down manually and restart.

An attempt to verify or repair permissions is met with the same fate.

I was thinking of reinstalling the OS and starting clean but can't find any documentation on how to do this, or if it would help.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Apr 18, 2006, 09:17 PM
Could be a dying hard drive.. backup your stuff fast..

Apr 18, 2006, 10:14 PM
How old is it?

Apr 19, 2006, 12:09 AM
Back up your data quickly.
Using the Grey restore CD/DVD that came with your computer you can Try an Archive and Install, which will reinstall the main components of the Operating System. That may fix the problem if its a Software issue.

Demon Hunter
Apr 19, 2006, 12:37 AM
What about RAM? If it's bad it could be paging and then give up? :confused:

Apr 19, 2006, 06:15 AM
It's about 2 years old with no apple care. Going to back up everything and try the archive/install. Is there any way to tell if the ram is failing?

Apr 19, 2006, 06:30 AM
Run the Apple Hardware Test. :)

Apr 19, 2006, 07:33 AM
What about RAM? If it's bad it could be paging and then give up? :confused:

I'd also check system profiler to see if the pbook is "missing" any ram. My powerbook 1.25 GHz, slowed WAY down suddenly (many beach balls) and a faulty ram slot was to blame.

I'd check that and run disk utility. If those don't help it's always a good idea to create a new user account to see if the problems persist there.

Apr 19, 2006, 08:43 AM
If your hard drive is making "clicking" sounds along with the beach balls, BACK UP YOUR DATA NOW. You have a dying hard drive. If you're not getting the clicks, you should still back up your data, just in case, and try some of the other things listed here. Check to see if you're missing RAM (a la a bad RAM slot). Of course, if that's the case, you really don't have any recourse since you have no AppleCare—I believe the fix for a bad RAM slot is logic board replacement, and that is PRICEY when you're no longer in warranty. At least a dying hard drive (if you manage to back up your stuff) is cheap and relatively easy to replace yourself (with appropriate instructions).

Apr 19, 2006, 08:47 PM
thanks everyone, I'm gonna try some of these things and I'll let you know what works. There's no audible clicking as of yet, but backing up is priority #1 anyway.