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View Full Version : Can This Powerbook Be Saved? - apps crashing and more...




njmac
Aug 21, 2007, 12:28 PM
I have a rev b. 12" 1 GHz g4 powerbook with 1.25 GB RAM running 10.4.6

My PB, with all the latest updates, started crashing all of my apps, so I copied important files over to an external HD. I was also getting kernal panics every 10 minutes or so.

I reset PRAM, did several restarts, repaired permissions and then booted from a backed up bootable copy (from January) and tried to repair the disk from disk utility. It said something about not being able to repair the disk and can't exit...

so I deleted the hard drive and reinstalled my bootable copy which was working 100%

Now that copy is also crashing all of the apps but when I try to repair the disk, disk utility says its fine. Many of the icons are wrong too and many of them are missing.

I can not do software update because after a long time downloading, I get a message that says the certificate is not authorized by apple or something like that.

Is there any thing I can do to save my powerbook?

hmmm.... if no one helps me, maybe I should get a new MB? Too bad I can't afford one :(



Makosuke
Aug 21, 2007, 03:12 PM
The fact that it repeated itself isn't encouraging, but you should give a full reinstall a shot.

That is, backup, reformat the drive, then use the install discs to install a completely "stock" copy of the OS. Try updating that and doing a bit, and see if it still acts up. If not, that's encouraging--try bringing in your old data manually from a backup. Time consuming, but that's the only way to make sure its a hardware problem, and not something funky with your OS install (even the backup copy).

If it DOES act up on the totally stock install, there are two other things to look at before giving up completely:

It could be the hard drive dying--that would account for problems getting progressively worse over time. Try running the full Hardware Check from the disc that came with the computer, and/or TechTool or some such. If the hard drive shows errors (as in failing SMART checks or bad blocks, as opposed to just directory corruption), then that may be your problem, and a new one is a lot cheaper than a new laptop.

If the hard drive is fine, it could also be bad RAM--that's not a common issue, but it can lead to very irregular crashing/panic/etc issues. Try pulling the 1GB stick (I assume that's how you got to 1.25GB) and see if that helps. If not, try pulling the factory stick and leaving the 1GB one in (that does have both sticks accessible, doesn't it? I seem to remember only the iBooks as having RAM on the motherboard...), and try that.

If both are flakey, then it's probably your motherboard. Bummer.

njmac
Aug 24, 2007, 04:01 PM
Thanks for the advice :)

I did a full reinstall and it seems like its about 95% better. I'm still having apps crash on me but not constantly :confused: I will be checking the RAM. Thanks again!

Jasonbot
Aug 24, 2007, 04:05 PM
Maybe it's the copy of OS X you're using although bad RAM seem more logical as the mac probably addresses a bad sector and that kills it?

njmac
Aug 24, 2007, 04:07 PM
Maybe it's the copy of OS X you're using although bad RAM seem more logical as the mac probably addresses a bad sector and that kills it?

The RAM has been in my PB for about 2 years. Can it suddenly just go bad like that?

njmac
Aug 24, 2007, 04:19 PM
actually, I'm guessing its the hard drive because when I tried disk repair I got this:

83269

SmurfBoxMasta
Aug 24, 2007, 04:36 PM
actually, I'm guessing its the hard drive because when I tried disk repair I got this:

83269

Problem #1 is on that 1st red line of the report "invalid extents entry". This is usually a repair that almost always requires DiskWarrior to fix, but it may be correctable in problem #2:

You cant repair a disk while your machine is booted from it. You HAVE to boot from another disk, HDD, CD/DVD etc.......

njmac
Aug 24, 2007, 04:42 PM
Problem #1 is on that 1st red line of the report "invalid extents entry". This is usually a repair that almost always requires DiskWarrior to fix, but it may be correctable in problem #2:

You cant repair a disk while your machine is booted from it. You HAVE to boot from another disk, HDD, CD/DVD etc.......

Thanks for taking the time to help :)


I saved a bootable back up of my HD to an external about 6 months ago and booted from that to repair it.

I just checked DiskWarrior and it's $99.00:eek: I would guess I could just get a new Hard Drive... I do have everything backed up.

I would hate for it to NOT be the hard drive though after I replace it :mad:

Could the Hard Drive cause all of the mixed up icons?

EDIT NOW... I ran the verify disk on my bootable BACK UP external HD and it gave me the same error message!! Crap... I'm guessing its not both my hard drives with the same friggin error! :mad:

EDIT 2 hmmm... I get the error message on the bootable partition of the hard drive, but a partition that is not bootable where I store files is showing ok in disk utility.

Makosuke
Aug 24, 2007, 07:08 PM
Hmm... that isn't a terribly uncommon error, but when you put it together with the gradual degradation, it's looking a lot more like maybe a drive issue.

If possible, you might try backing up, COMPLETELY wiping the drive, installing a totally stock copy of OSX, then using the Migration Assistant to bring your user data over from the backup clone. That'd guarantee that any drive corruption was gone, and if it began acting up again or the drive developed errors quickly, then you're likely looking at a dying drive.

The drive controller could, theoretically, also be dying, but that's a lot less common than a flakey drive.

Also, yes, RAM can spontaneously go bad--I've seen it happen once before on an iMac. Fine one day, wouldn't even boot the next, problem was one bad RAM module that'd been working fine for several years.

It's not a COMMON problem, but it certainly can happen, and can cause all manner of corruption, crashes, etc, so I'd still recommend checking the RAM.

SmurfBoxMasta
Aug 24, 2007, 09:22 PM
Well, 1 point that seems to be getting missed here is that if you back up a fubarred install to another HDD, it's still gonna be fubarred. The fact that you got the same errors from your back up drive pretty much proves that point...... so we now know that at least some of your problem definitely lies within your OS X install.

And yes, Ram can & will eventually fail....it IS after all just a collection of electronic parts & circuits.....they do slowly degrade after years of use :)

therefore, do whatever you need to do to fix/eliminate the HDD and ram issues, then fix your OS X installation & you should be back in business asap :p

njmac
Aug 25, 2007, 06:51 AM
Ok... I'm going take care of that this morning :)

It just seems weird because I've had Tiger installed since the day it came out and my external back up is 8 months old and I've NEVER had any problems at all and now all of a sudden my laptop acts wonky and so does the back up :confused:

It does sound like the install should be it though, so hopefully I will get another year out of this laptop, thanks again :)