Help, worrisome AluPB System Problems!

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Earendil, Feb 18, 2004.

  1. Earendil macrumors 68000

    Earendil

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    Washington
    #1
    I'll start by saying thanks for reading this post. These boards are awesome, and it's not because of the site itself, it's because of you guys ;)

    Also, so that my post can be read in the correct light, I am not a new user to either computers or Macintoshes (made a 400K boot disk for the Macintosh 512K today, it hadn't breathed for 10 years). I'm 19, I'm in a my prime :D

    That said, I am new to OSX (don't ask).

    I purchased a 15" Aluminum PB last Nov with my hard earned summer money. And now it is having fluky problems. And new ones are occurring in an even more frequent rate.

    The first annoyance started from day one, with a lack of predictable waking up after sleeping do to closure. It seems[/] as if it has a higher chance of occurring if it is plugged into the wall, closed, power cord taken out, and walked off with to be opened up later. This coma state normally requires a hard restart to solve. But doesn't always happen, so it's hard to stick a finger on. Maybe happens 5% of the time, 10% if the "shut lid-power cord out-opened" scenario happens.

    Starting a month ago-
    I have the screen set to dim after 3 minutes if running on battery. When it "awakens" from this screen off mode, the music in iTunes blips or skips. Small and infrequent at first, now it's almost 100% of the time. I thought perhaps it was a weak battery, but then it happened with the power cord in :(

    Last week-
    For the first time, I had my computer not start up properly. It started up to a blue screen, and then flashed a square icon with a world in the middle. I didn't know what this symbol meant, so I restarted with everything unplugged (phone line, ethernet, mouse, headphone jack) to the same symbol. restarted off Boot CD and repaired the disk and permission and it cured that.

    First Kernel Panic was 4 days ago.

    And as of today, I have another disturbing occurrence. The screen brightness has 3 times changed suddenly. now I know what you're thinking, I have it set to auto adjust, and that is true. But that's not it. The first time it happened, I thought I was seeing things. But this is quite different. I have it in my room, out of direct line of site with the only light in the room. It auto adjusted its self to about 1/4 brightness, but just a few hours ago it bumped down to a single notch. didn't think much of it, but twice now it has jumped without that nice "easing" that it uses when it auto adjusts. No, It flashed to the brightest setting. And all this time there was no change in light, nor was there anything covering the speakers(where the light sensor is).

    This is a completely stock PB. All changes to it were made before it reached my hands, at Apple.com
    There is new software, of course, but nothing drastic I can think of.

    I have a small white spot developing on my screen, so I will end up sending it in to Apple eventually, but I don't want to send it in until I can name all the other issues it may be having. And right now, I can't name what is causing all these other problems. Does anyone have any ideas? is my PB going to self-destruct in the next few days if I don't give it more love?

    Please help me love my baby the way it needs to be loved!

    Tyler
    Earendil
     
  2. tomf87 macrumors 65816

    tomf87

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2003
    #2
    With a kernel panic and sleep problems, it seems that memory would be a likely candidate for testing.

    If I'm correct in my thinking, when a computer sleeps, it stores its state in memory and the battery keeps the charge there. I have a 17" with 1GB of RAM, and I have none of the problems you mentioned. If you have to take it to Apple for the screen anyway, I'd have them check it out. If you bought AppleCare, it is covered for 3 years.
     
  3. Earendil thread starter macrumors 68000

    Earendil

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    Washington
    #3
    Sorry if what I said was misleading. The computer doesn't sleep, the display sleeps or "dims" to the point of going off. Last night I had the Mac doing juke box for the music, and so it happens the computer isn't touched for 15 minutes and so the screen goes to sleep. This time though, I noticed that the music blips and skips (lapsing a second) when the screen goes OFF, as well as when it returns to life.
    I can manually turn the screen off and on all day and with nice speed using the keyboard with no ill effect on the music (and God knows what else it could be doing to other tasks/programs/hardware). It only comes into effect if the computers own timing shuts the screen off, and then again when waking from that.

    When you say memory you mean RAM correct? I have 512 straight from Apple. Not to say it will be perfect from Apple, but 512 is suffient to run iTunes and a few hidden programs (not using the proc) and not murder the current track. And while it could be bad RAM, would the problems really crop up 4 months later after heavy use? My understanding of RAM was that it is pretty blunt in how it tells you that it's bad, and never waits.

    I can't send it off to Apple without knowing pretty well what is happening. They are likely to check the memory, maybe even replace it, and send it back to me without solving the problem :(

    Tyler
    Earendil
     
  4. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #4
    I suggest backing up all your important stuff and doing a clean reformat and install. That might cure some of your stuff. But first, try running the Hardware Test and/or TechTool Pro.
     
  5. Earendil thread starter macrumors 68000

    Earendil

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    Washington
    #5
    After sifting thought he OSX Utilities, I don't see anything that could involve a Hardware test, and I don't have Techtool.

    I'll look into a complete OS restore. But currently I have the largest hard drive in the family, and all my friends put their money into hp and hd, not to mention all of them are Windows kids.

    could a none clean install (an "unclean" install?) do any good?

    I've heard about logic boards failing and causing really odd problems before they completely die. Any thoughts there?

    Oh dear...

    Tyler
    Earendil
     
  6. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #6
    The hardware test is a CD that came with your computer. It should be called "Apple Hardware Test" or something similar. I believe that to use it you simply put it in, restart and hold C until the hardware test panel comes up. This will test all your hardware for faults. You should probably run this first.
     
  7. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #7
    That won't quite work here. The restore/install disk and hardware test disk are on one DVD with the PB's so you have to hold option at startup and then select the disk and go from there. Concept's the same though :)

    If you can't do a reformat, try doing an "Archive Install". This will take the old System and Library folders and make it so you can't boot from them (deblessing). Then it will reinstall the system from the DVD, and you'll have to do all the updates from there. This might not cure your problems though, because when I got my PB (basically the same as yours), I was having weird audio problems, with random static. It even appeared in the waveforms when I checked them out. It was cured by a complete erase/install in preparation for Panther.
     
  8. NicoMan macrumors 6502a

    NicoMan

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Location:
    Malmö, Sweden
    #8
    Re: Help, worrisome AluPB System Problems!


    I believe that basically, the computer thinks it doesn't have enough power for a restart. I've seen it happen a few times. To get it to power back on, just plug in the power supply. And hopefully that should do it.
    Now it also means that if you're not planning to use your computer for a couple of days, you should power it down, not put it to sleep.
     
  9. Earendil thread starter macrumors 68000

    Earendil

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    Washington
    #9
    Thank you so much for that tip Counterfiet!! No hard feelings for OutThere, he didn't know it was on one DVD same as me. After OutThere mentioned the hardware CD I kicked myself for not thinking of that. I worked for a brief time doing Apple repair, and while I never had to use a Hardware Test CD, I remember seeing them.

    Unfortunately, Counterfit, you post comes too late. I already tore apart my entire room looking for the grey hardware CD :D
    This did get my to drag back out the box it came in, where I found the Panther manual, weee :D

    Thanks for the help, I'll do the Hardware test tonight and drop a post tomorrow morning.
     
  10. NicoMan macrumors 6502a

    NicoMan

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Location:
    Malmö, Sweden
    #10
    Re: Re: Help, worrisome AluPB System Problems!

    I meant 'enough power to wake from sleep mode'...
     
  11. Earendil thread starter macrumors 68000

    Earendil

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    Washington
    #11
    Re: Re: Re: Help, worrisome AluPB System Problems!

    I am not normally prone to newby computer issues. The computer may have a glitch in the hadware/software where it thinks it doesn't have the power. But it's not a glitch in the user that thinks the PB has the power when it doesn't.

    If what you suggested is the case, would it likely be software or hardware side? On the hardware side, what items? the battery? a control mech inside the PB? The logic board its self?

    Hopefully the HD test will turn something up, that way Apple can deal with it :D (note to apple: I love you)

    Tyler
    Earendil
     
  12. Earendil thread starter macrumors 68000

    Earendil

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    Washington
    #12
    Hardware test came back clean.

    I guess my next question should be - How good is the hardware test? Can it be trusted? does it test for dead components, or could it tell if something was working, but flawed? Obviously my computer still runs...

    I'll have to do the OS some time, but currently my computer is tied to to many deadlines...
    Hope it lasts long enough to complete them.

    Tyler
    Earendil

    EDIT: For bad nasty gwammor...
     
  13. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #13
    Bad RAM can pass all sorts of hardware tests, and still manage to **** your system over pretty hard. Try to reinstall the OS, and if that doesn't work, try the complete erase and install. However, you should try to *cough* "acquire" (;)) a copy of TechToolPro 4 and run it, it checks more stuff than the Apple Test, heck, Apple even ships a lighter version of it with AppleCare! :)
     

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