Oh COME ON (broken Pbook... already)

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Shacklebolt, May 4, 2005.

  1. Shacklebolt macrumors 6502a

    Shacklebolt

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    #1
    I suppose it's hubris for me talking about it so much.

    My brand new powerbook is broken, for no reason I can understand. I called up the apple techs, spent 20 minutes talking to them, and in the end, it's going to be a hardware repair. They're shipping out the box tomorrow. So maybe someone HERE will be able to help.

    When I turn on my Powerbook, all I get is the blank screen, like right before the Apple comes up. And it stays blank. The DVD drive spins up, because there's still a DVD in there, but eventually it stops, and the computer's screen is just blank. I've tried booting it up holding the option key to get to the firmware to eject the disc, but the screen freezes before that can happen. Nothing else seems to work.

    Does anyone have ANY suggestions? C'mon - we're all mac nuts. One of us must know what the problem is.
     
  2. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Location:
    Citizens Bank Park
    #2
    The Apple Tech is probably right. It needs a hardware repair. My guess it the logic board.
     
  3. California macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #3
    Another logic board vote. Apple is very quick on the return, btw.
     
  4. StarbucksSam macrumors 65816

    StarbucksSam

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    #4
    I'm so sorry to hear about that. Which Powerbook is it?
     
  5. Angrist macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Location:
    MI or NJ
    #5
    This might sound a little stupid but.....

    Did you check to make sure that the backlight is on? I'm pretty sure that it SHOULD default to full brightness, but try hitting the F2 key a couple of times.

    If the backlight is dead (happened to my studio display) then shining a flashlight at the screen should allow you to see what the screen is displaying.

    Unless of course I just misunderstood what you meant by "blank screen"
     
  6. stcanard macrumors 65816

    stcanard

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #6
    The same thing happened to me on a Rev A ALPB (except I get more or a glowing screen). I also have the lower ram slot failure people are talking about in other threads. Although my hardware diagnostic says everything's fine, it sure feels like a logicboard failure to me.

    Unfortunately mine's 7 months out of warranty so it's not worth trying to repair either a logic board or LCD failure. Fortunately in my case the external display still works, so I'm using it with an external LCD and bluetooth keyboard & mouse.

    Between this and my hard drive failure two months ago, there's no way I'm ever touching a Rev A machine again. I'll let somebody else find out the problems with their money.
     
  7. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020

    ChrisBrightwell

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    #7
    Call me simple -- but did you try hooking up an external display?
     
  8. teerexx52 macrumors 68000

    teerexx52

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    Location:
    Florida West Coast
    #8
    My one month old PB had to have the logic board replaced. It has been gone two weeks and counting.
     
  9. UTB_Avid macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    Location:
    Grand Rapids
    #9
    Just commiserating,
    One month old 15" PB 1.67 needs new inverter for screen brightness, possibly new screen as well. :( My screen apears to be mimicking a strobe light. Good job I live two seconds from an apple store. Fixed by next wednesday hopefully.
     
  10. zach macrumors 65816

    zach

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Location:
    Medford
    #10
    Sounds like logic board, same thing happened when my iBook's LB died.
     
  11. joecool85 macrumors 65816

    joecool85

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Location:
    Maine
    #11
    I have a rev a PB...12" 867 mhz G4. No problems what so ever so far. I've had it for almost 2 years now.
     
  12. Mo Tiggas macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2005
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #12
    Hard drive?

    nine days after, mine did the same thing and apple ended up replacing the hard drive. Did you get it figured out yet?
     
  13. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Location:
    Oxford/London
    #13
    AppleCare.
    What it's there for. Especially with Laptops you never know what may take a blow or come loose.
    AppleCare guarantees your computer a 3 year life.
     
  14. stcanard macrumors 65816

    stcanard

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #14
    Most people have no problems with most Rev A's. But based on what I've read over the last couple of years, if you're going to have trouble it's more likely on a Rev A than others.
     
  15. stcanard macrumors 65816

    stcanard

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #15
    Yeah, wish I had known that 2 years ago when I bought it :( One of the reasons that I bought a Powerbook was because of Apple build quality, and a $540 extended warranty is awfully expensive. It wasn't until later that I discovered that reliability has been slipping a bit the last few years and that Rev A's are known to habitually have problems.

    Next time its a Rev B or later. Not sure I'm going to buy an Apple laptop again, it may be a desktop. A 20% surcharge for extended warranty really starts to push the price of a PowerBook (or even an iBook) out of the park...

    Oh well, it's functioning reasonably well as a desktop now. Just not nearly as convenient as it used to be.
     
  16. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Location:
    Oxford/London
    #16
    It's true that it's expensive, but it's no more than a laptop insurance policy (that covers repair or replacement).
    Applecare is now $349 for the 15" Superdrive model ($2,299). So that's $175 a year or 7.6% of the laptop's price. - Not bad I think!
     
  17. stcanard macrumors 65816

    stcanard

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #17
    If I buy the 15" through apple.ca, it turns a $2900 15" powerbook into a $3440 15" computer. That's a huge premium to pay, and really makes the difference between an affordable and a very expensive computer.

    What worries me is that people seem to think that applecare is a must, whereas in the industry its generally considered that extended warranties are a lose for the consumer. That speaks to an abnormally high failure rate in apple laptops, which logic board failures on iBooks and apparent logic board issues on powerbooks bears out. I'd prefer to see the reliability issues fixed.

    This is not an isolated incident, when mine failed I went to the powerbook forums on the apple site, and these hard drive, display, and ram failures are very common topics. Realistically, it's unacceptable and for a company that has built a reputation on quality it does serious harm to the image.

    P.S. That's 7.6% _per year_, right?
     
  18. ZoomZoomZoom macrumors 6502a

    ZoomZoomZoom

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    #18
    Word.

    The apple tax. (Well, for portables at least... I don't worry about desktops too much.) Really sad when I've read so many hardware horror stories that I don't feel as if it'd be sane for me to purchase a laptop without immediately tacking on an expensive warranty.
     
  19. BKKloppenborg macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Location:
    La Mesa, Ca
    #19
    I feel you guys FIRST DAMN DAY i got my BRAND new Powerbook after 15 min of being on it it sarted acting wired randon reboots for no reason then finally it died.. Tried Everything and it would not turn back on. I took it to Apple store and it was the logic board .... At least they took it back no probelm and gave me a new one... So so far so good...
     
  20. dzavitz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    #20
    Brand new 15" 1.5ghz combo upgraded to superdrive. I had a logic board failure after about 2 months.
     
  21. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Location:
    Oxford/London
    #21
    I think we have to remember that these forums distort the problems somewhat. Only a percentile of Mac users are on these types of forum, and most of them joined due to needing a fix for some problem or other.

    The vast majority of people still have problem-free Mac experiences. I believe Apple's QA is among the best still - it's not like these kind of things don't happen with Dell or any other machines.

    EDIT: Yes AppleCare is a profit-making scheme when it comes down to it, but so is the computer itself! - This doesn't stop you buying it!? The vast majority of people have home or car insurance also, and these schemes are no different! In the end i guess it's personal preference, but I think I'll go with Applecare. Compared to the price of the Mac it's a little extra that means your Mac will have a guaranteed working life of 3 years. After this time it's more than likely you will be thinking of upgrading anyhow.
     
  22. alexprice macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    #22
    I think you need to get the DVD out, same thing happened to me with a 12" and a Tiger DVD, eventually after leaving it to cool down, it allowed me to eject the DVD, and the machine worked fine after that. Power on then quickly hold down the eject key for ages, or failing that try holding the mouse button.

    Good luck!!!!!

    Alex Price
     
  23. stcanard macrumors 65816

    stcanard

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #23
    True, and I will admit I am very bitter after having my hard-drive fail 6 months out of warranty, then having the display and RAM slot fail a month later. However judging by the forums this is a common failure mode in systems that do fail. Combine that with a battery recall on my powerbook (plus a second recall now on newer ones), white spot issues on my powerbook that warranted extended service, and iBook logic board problems that were bad enough to warrant a repair program, and I think we're beyond a little bit of bad luck and into component reliability issues.

    Apple wouldn't be fixing these things (batteries, logic boards) if they didn't know there was a reliability issue. Just like it took several years for them to admit to the iBook problem, I expect we're going to see a similar admission on powerbooks in the future. At least I hope so.

    I bought my powerbook because I wanted something that would finally last longer than the Gateway and Compaq laptops that I had previously gone through, and unfortunately those outlasted my PB by more than 6 months now. Yes, that has left a bitter taste in my mouth. I still love the hardware and OSX but no, I can no longer recommend them as a more reliable alternative.

    I admit I'm still having a significant disagreement with your concept of a "small" cost. For the price of Applecare I could buy a Mac Mini.

    Small is a 5% or a 7% surcharge. 20% of purchase price is significant in my books.

    As I said earlier we're talking about the difference between $2900 and $3440 for a 15" superdrive. That's a very significant increase. For a lot of people that's the difference between affordable and not. For that price I could buy two of these, which effectively gives me a 2 year warranty with a new computer at the end of the first year! That then takes you back to the argument of having to pay an unreasonable premium for Apple hardware (note, I did no searching for a best price, I just picked the first one listed).
     

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