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Old Sep 5, 2009, 01:46 PM   #1
sc2sick
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Powerbook G4 complete failure?

I got a used Powerbook G4 about a month or so ago with the following specs: 12", 1.5 ghz, 512MB RAM, 60 GB HDD, CDRW/DVD combo, airport, bluetooth, etc..

I had been running OSX 10.4.11 with all current updates and last night it began to lock up. It kicked me out of firefox so I rebooted. On reboot I could not get firefox, safari or adium to launch.. I figured since I'm an Apple noob for the most part and I didn't have anything on the drive that wasn't already backed up somewhere else I would just reinstall the OS. The 10.4 reinstallation failed saying there was an error, please try installing the software again.

I then tried using the OEM restore CD for 10.3.7 and that failed as well (possibly because it was pretty scratched up, but it passed the disk check at the beginning of the install)

I then wanted to determine if it was more a hardware or software issue so I tried running Ubuntu 9.04 PPC Desktop CD since I had successfully run that in the past with no issues.. it eventually came up with distorted lines and told me it was running in low graphics mode... and wouldn't work...

I tried resetting the PRM and NVRAM I think it was, holding command option P R.. and the other remove all sources of power, hold power button for 5 seconds etc.. no effect from those as well..

Thoughts? I just sold off my Eee901 netbook an hour before this happened and I really don't want to have to go buy another laptop after selling a perfectly good one last night.. I'm currently posting from an old Thinkpad P2 400mhz running WinXP (ick)

Could it be the video card? Possibly the hard drive? Fixes?
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Old Sep 5, 2009, 02:05 PM   #2
the vj
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Strange... I have had 4 12" powerbooks just like yours and I still having 2 of them working just fine. One got damaged a year ago (motherboard) and the otherone got stolen a month ago.

It may be mother board and video card since the video card is fixed with the board and everything hast to be replaced.

Well, I have chnaged about 3 motherboards on my 12" powerbooks and I believe once was because of the same problem as your.

Because I always got a faulty motherboard 2 month after the warranty expired I just photoshoped the receipt and got a new warranty again because is not possible that all the equipment in my house from early 80's still working just fine and the ****** Apple product brake up a month after the warranty expire... **** U I won't get Apple care for expensive low quality hardware.

Any way... I belive you have a video card isue. Try to reinstall system again, remember to start up the computer without the battery and unpluged to clear up pre ram. If you takle it to an Apple service depratment they will say the motherboard is fried... video card.

Those are my gesses.
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Old Sep 5, 2009, 02:12 PM   #3
sc2sick
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FML, I think I might just go buy an MSI Wind if I can't get this running.
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Old Sep 6, 2009, 02:53 PM   #4
sc2sick
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I replaced the existing 60GB OEM hard drive with a known good 40GB drive. I tried running the Ubuntu Alternate installer to get a minimized text based installer to try and rule out the video card.. it still failed.. somehow the cd didn't pass the integrity check.. I then tried the OSX install again and it failed as well @ 82% of installing the base system..

is hard drive controller a common issue or could it be the CD Rom drive somehow failing? That wouldn't make sense though I supposed since I wasn't using the CD drive at the time of the original failure.
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Old Sep 6, 2009, 04:20 PM   #5
allebone
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Fight it out...I'm seriously attached to mine. I just posted a thread because I am stuck trying to find a top/bottom case for mine, a huge luggage rack at the Airport crushed the corner...luckily no internals are messed, it actually runs, but it looks like a peanut butter/jelly sandwich someone has peaked inside of too many times. I can actually peel it back and check out the insides...

If you see anything in your journey that looks like the same aesthetics, let me know!

Good Luck.
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 01:01 PM   #6
sc2sick
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Well I gave up on it and got a Wind which is quite possibly the best laptop I have ever had. It's smaller than the powerbook, but works very well.

Still going to try and find a fix for this powerbook so I can give it to a relative or something, but I didn't have time to mess with it last week and I needed a laptop up and running for work.
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