View Full Version : Please Help: Slow, Freezing, G4 ibook in Africa

Nov 28, 2006, 04:27 AM
Hi, my ibook g4 is running terribly. I have had no problems with my computer in the past.
1. It is extremely slow.
2. It freezes constantly (during start up, shut down, or normal use)
3. It has problems starting up - sometimes it freezes during start up or once it lets me log in, I have no access to the mouse or other programs.
4. If the computer is in sleep mode it will not resume normal functioning when it wakes.

Within the past 8 weeks I have doubled the amount of music in itunes (from hooking up other ipods to my compuer with software) I realize this is probably a contributer to teh computers problems as there is over 14.0 GB of music alone.

I thought of purchasing an external hard drive (not even sure if there is one for the mac) to move the music to and see if this improves the machine.

I have only 256 MB of ram and have read enough posts to deduce that increasing my ram may be a solution. I have moved to Zambia Africa and there is zero support for the mac on this continent! I can purchase more ram if this will help but I'm not sure which one to buy (the computer says 1.07 GH but the options to replace are for 1.0, 1.33 or 1.43, should I assume 1.07 is the 1.0?)

I did not bring to Africa the original disks from the purchase of the computer in 2004 so re-installing (which i also read on this forum) is not an option.

I need this computer desperately for work and appreciate any help that could be given to me.


mad jew
Nov 28, 2006, 04:36 AM
Africa! How exotic! :cool:

Yeah, you can assume the 1.07GHz chip is called the 1.0GHz chip. Getting more RAM should help (aim for 512MB or more) but firstly check that your hard drive has plenty of free space (over 8GB) and that your disk file system is okay (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=106214). If you're still having troubles, open a new user account and see if they carry across to there. :)

Nov 28, 2006, 04:39 AM
Thanks, I forgot to add that I am running OS X 10.4

I only have 4 GB of free space (would the external hard drive free some of this up once I dump the music on to it and are there such things for the mac?).

Sorry, not very computer savy, what is a disk file system and how do I know if its ok?

I appreciate your help,

Nov 28, 2006, 04:52 AM
There are many external drives available for the Mac.

You definitely need more RAM.

I would recommend deleting files you don't need to free up space. If you have iLife installed, you can dump the apps you don't use. Garageband is a particularly storage intensive app.

There are a few GBs of printer drivers you could delete as well as foreign language files. Try an application called Delocalizer, you can find it at VersionTracker.com

Would also recommend repairing permissions (you'll find the program in your Utilities folder nested in your Applications folder.

Lastly, have you been running file maintenance? Pick up MacJanitor to do that. Also at VersionTracker.com

Nov 28, 2006, 05:14 AM
Yes, also be warned that it is not recommended that you use Tiger (OSX 10.4) with less than 512mb of ram. You are running half that, and this is also straining your hard drive to work overtime. Not good, as hard drives are moving, mechanical items that do age and wear out.

Buy a 1 gig stick of ram and put it in.

Then get a back up external drive with firewire not usb - and use that until you can get back to a place where someone can replace your hard drive for you.

If you only have 256mb of ram, that means that you have a 1.2ghz or slower iBook. That means you have only a 30gig hard drive. Get at least an 80 gig, preferably a 100 gig 7200 rpm drive. And the ram. Then your little iBook will sing again.

Nov 28, 2006, 05:25 AM
It don't sound like lack of space or lack of memory to me,4gb free is O.K. and 256mb will make it run slow but shouldn't lead to freezes.Making a new account and trying that is the best start.Incidently if you own legitimate install discs getting copies off the internet should be possible and morally O.K. I also bet if you look hard enough you'll find a Mac geek somewhere around you,it's Africa not Venus.

mad jew
Nov 29, 2006, 01:17 AM
I'm 99% sure it's the lack of free space + lack of RAM that is your problem. Get yourself at least 8GB of free space and at least 256MB more of RAM and you'll be set. The RAM isn't as important as the free space at this stage. If your free space starts getting really low, you can start losing data. :)

Dec 1, 2006, 09:05 PM
I'm 99% sure it's the lack of free space + lack of RAM that is your problem. Get yourself at least 8GB of free space and at least 256MB more of RAM and you'll be set. The RAM isn't as important as the free space at this stage. If your free space starts getting really low, you can start losing data. :)

MJ is right. I'll send you a 128k ram chip for free if you PayPal me the postage to Africa. Very easy to install, it should help a little bit.

Dec 1, 2006, 09:28 PM
The iBook G4 uses PC2100 (266 MHz) DDR SODIMM RAM (200 pin). A PC2700 (333 MHz) DDR SODIMM is commonly supplied (you can use the faster RAM but it will still run at the 266 MHz RAM speed).

There is only one memory socket, so get the largest SODIMM you can afford for that - a 1 Gb would be ideal. The offered 128 Mb module, (if it is the right type), would make only a marginal difference.

However, sorry to be a gloomy gus, but as necessary as the additional RAM might be, the symptoms to me point to a bad OS installation or failing hardware, like a hard drive or worse. It is absolutely essential that you get some correct version, installable OSX CDs. You're not going to be able to diagnose the hardware until you sort out the OS, and can boot from the CD to run APple Hardware Test and Disk Utility: Repair Disk.

Dec 3, 2006, 04:04 AM
Thanks to all of your replies.

I am going to have more RAM and a external hard drive sent here. I also agree that running the disc utility is essential. However, my start up discs are in a storage bin in Chicago. I have no access to them for at least 6 more weeks (when I can convince a family member to go find it). I have tried the fsck -y, the computer says it does not recognize the word fsck. Am I doing this wrong? I hate to think my computer hardware is failing. Its relatively new and i have been very kind to the machine (except for recently overloading it with music).

Should I wait for the start up disks before attempting to install more ram or an external hard drive.

mad jew
Dec 3, 2006, 05:34 AM
Nah, I don't reckon you need to wait for the discs. Install the RAM and external drive as soon as you get it. I think your priority at the moment is to clear more space on your boot drive.