CAUTION: New 17" PowerBook Problems

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by BWhaler, Oct 29, 2005.

  1. macrumors 68000

    Jan 8, 2003
    I have just purchased the new, 17" PowerBook, and I must pass along two serious issues to be aware of.

    1. The new 17" PowerBooks have the LookupD issue which drops airport connections and spikes CPU use so the computer grinds to a halt. This only happens with PowerBooks with over 1 GB of installed memory

    The only way to "fix" it is to reboot. The only permanent "fix" is to remove memory to stay at 1 MB. This has been an issue with some of the last generation iBooks with the same memory configuration.

    2. There are many reports that screens will sporadically "freak out" in the bottom third for a split second. Apparently, turning off the option to adjust the screen to ambiant lighting fixes this problem (although there is some debate.)

    It appears both of these issues are software issues which (HOPEFULLY) will be fixed soon by Apple. (Although I am nervous given the fact that this issue has been around on the iBook for a year.)

    I love the new PowerBook. I upgraded from the Rev B 17", so the speed and screen are amazing.

    But I wish I had known about these issues before hand. Unfortunately, it wasn't until I noticed them both myself within the first 30 minutes of using my new Mac that I went and did the research on macfixit and the Apple boards.

    So, please proceed with some measured caution. Not everyone is reporting these problems, of course. And given this is Apple's high end PowerBook, I am optimistic that there will be a software fix for people like me. Hopefully in 10.4.3.

  2. Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    Is it 1MB of memory or 1GB?

    It's not really good enough either way. Hopefully the fix will be along soon. :)
  3. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 8, 2003
    Sorry, it is more than 1GB of memory.

    1 gig and below, and there is no problem.
  4. macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2005
    trouble free on my 17" so far.

    *fingers crossed*
  5. macrumors 68030


    Aug 5, 2004
    a profane existence
    Sorry to hear of the troubles on your new PB. Hopefully things work out with any fixes.
  6. macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2005
    I'm new to this forum but wanted to weigh in on the new PB. My screen also has the glitch that was reported here, where does one report this? Do I call Apple?
    Also, my dock won't recognize the genie effect, anyone else having this problem?
  7. macrumors 6502

    Sep 18, 2005
    so is 1 GB ok?
  8. macrumors 68020

    Apr 16, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    yep, its 1gb and below that is fine.
  9. macrumors 65816


    Sep 26, 2003
    Sorry to hear about your troubles. I hope they get that airport thing straigtened out for you, and the screen as well. Good luck, mate.:)
  10. macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    good thing we only going to have 512mbs(she is really not a power user) on my Mom's new PB 17'':) i guess if Apple never fixed that problem we will also have space to upgrade:p
  11. macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2004
    This is a problem with the new 15" models too.

    I'm pissed, who wanna sue? :mad:
  12. macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2005
    Alberta, Canada
    My 15" powerbook doesn't have the same problem, however it has a similar problem, I can't walk more then 20-30 feet from any wireless router and I lose my signal, in fact right now I am sitting 2 feet from it and I still don't have full range, I have tried everything I can think of to fix the problem short of pulling the computer apart which I am not about to do. The other problem I have is that when running off the battery when it gets down to the point where it warns me it will go to sleep soon because the battery is low, it doesn't go to sleep it just goes until the battery is completely dead and then shuts off.
  13. macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2004
    It only happens if you have use more than ~1 GB of the memory.

    You can check this by opening activity monitor, and observe the cpu usage of kernel_task. When you reach a critical point somewhere above 1 GB used memory, that task will start hogging the CPU.
  14. macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2005
    Alberta, Canada
    I know, that is why I said I don't have the same problem, I have 1 gig of ram so I won't experience the exact same problem you guys are having, I'm just saying that I am having problems with airport even though I don't have over a gig of ram...

    From what I have read, over 1 gig of ram causes loss of airport and the cpu to go nuts, which renders the computer useless until restart. The problem with my pb is that my airport signal is very weak, no matter where I am I can't go more then 25 feet or so from any given wireless access point.

    Ultimately I'm just mentioning my problem on this thread because I seem to be alone with regards to my specific problem and I just wanted to vent to people having problems somewhat similar to my own.:(
  15. macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2004
    Ah, ok. I'm a bit upset so I have a hard time understanding other people right now :p

    I'm running with 1 GB ram myself now, and it works just fine. I haven't checked the range yet, as my house is a bit small. But I wouldn't be surprised if the range is poor..
  16. macrumors 65816


    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd rock from the sun...
    Check if the antenna cable is connected correctly to the airport card. My father had exactly the same issue with his iBook and it turned out that the cable wasn't plugged correctly. That was all.

    Good luck.

  17. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 8, 2003
    Well, as a follow-up, I decided to call Apple and get it fixed.

    The airport and screen flicker issues are most likely software based.

    But the uneven backlighting is pure hardware.

    Fingers crossed I get a new Mac which works.
  18. macrumors 68020


    Dec 27, 2004
    Avon, IN
    The uneven backlighting issue exists in the 15" model as well. Where is your screen noticeably darker? Mine was in the upper left corner.
  19. macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2003
    Can someone else explain this > 1 GB of memory issue to me?

    I currently have 1.25 GB of memory in my 12''er, and have no problem what so ever.

    Is it just the new Rev. E 15'' & 17'' with this problem?
  20. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 2, 2005
    now im scared... I was Just about to buy my Powerbook in December... :(
    was gunna be 15" with 1 GB of RAM exactly
  21. macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2005
    Moorestown, NJ
    1GB is safe, anything ABOVE 1 GB can cause these problems. Read you silly goose:p
  22. macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2005
    bottom 3rd "freak out"

    i just noticed this today. i hope they fix it.
  23. macrumors member


    Oct 10, 2005
    London, UK
    I don't know why Apple doesn't have a stricter quality control. They run their production by design so that they can control everything; the way the OS runs through to hardware config, so they are in a perfect position to ensure everything works when it leaves the factory -but they don't ever seem too. :mad: And it's not like you're getting the hardware cheaply, it should be built in to the price they charge.

    I had a rev A 15" PB with uneven illumination problems and screens replaced it's whole life (until I got sick of it and sold it off cheaply), a Rev A 20" iMac with a bright bar along the bottom left that needed a screen replacement too, and a dull screen with dark corners on a Rev C 12" PB. Out of the 3 macs I've owned they all have badly made screens.

    I now need another Mac and was going to buy the 15" PB but this has just put me off completely. I thought with the higher res screens they'd maybe fixed any issues. When the last 15" revision came out it had problems with the track pad that I guess they eventually fixed? But I still see lots of people with uneven illumination on all PBs!

    For 95,000 yen I can buy a Mac Mini with pretty comparable specs (assuming it's the updated one) to the 15" PB, the PB sells for 240,000 yen. The biggest difference is the PB comes with a screen, but who would want to pay 145,000 yen for it! :eek: I can get a decent Samsung LCD for 1/3 the price and it will be brighter and evenly illuminated.. :rolleyes:
  24. macrumors 68020


    Dec 27, 2004
    Avon, IN
    Amen! Could not have said it better myself. If my iMac has ANY screen issues then I am going to get a powermac and an external screen so I will know that the screen works. Heck, maybe I will just get a mini and a screen and be done with it :eek:
  25. macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    Yeah, I wanted to upgrade. This sucks. :(

    And of course if you wanted any BTO options, Apple makes life more miserable by not allowing returns.

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