:: Serious Issues :: Please Help...

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by tj2001, Jan 16, 2004.

  1. tj2001 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
    Location:
    Florida - USA
    #1
    I bought a new Mirrior Door Dual 1.25 G4 back in July 03'; in September it freakishly booted up with the flashing "?" folder icon... Apple sent me a HDD and it was replaced as well it was taken in to a Apple repair center they replaced the logic board. Now about 2 weeks ago the same exact thing happened... the machine was running perfectly normal as far as I can can tell, it was shutdown and the next day when I booted up there was the flashing "?" again... so Apple had me bring it in again. The techs at the service center are not "positive & sure" what did it... so they are just replacing the HDD again... now if this was the problem I would be happy with just a HDD switch, but the aggravation for rebuilding and being that the Logic Board & HDD have already been replaced what could be doing this?

    I had a very lengthy talk with Apple earlier and expressed my concern for my machine and I can't get an Apple Care because I'm in Florida... my warranty expires in July so it's roughly close... I would seriously be broken hearted if I take back this machine and it decides to freak out again after the warranty expires. Shouldn't Apple just replace the computer in whole for sake of assuring no problems with it? What should I do? Thanks for anyone who took the time to read and anyone that helps.
     
  2. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Location:
    The West Loop
    #2
    Re: :: Serious Issues :: Please Help...

    -tj2001

    Check your ATA ribbon cable and connections - it's just struck me.
     
  3. Chappers macrumors 68020

    Chappers

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2003
    Location:
    At home
    #3
    Before your warranty runs out - push for a replacement. Sometimes its also not a good idea to be too polite.
     
  4. crazytom macrumors 6502a

    crazytom

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    IL
    #4
    I'd agree: check the ribbon cables.

    The flashing question mark means that it can't find the system folder, which would mean that either: a) the ribbon cable is bad or not connected securely, b) the power connection to the HD is flakey c) the power coming from the power supply is flakey, d) you're trying to boot into OS 9 with your HD in the rear bay (ATA 100) --- OS 9 only recognizes ATA 66 (the front HD bay), or e) some kind of weird power surge, sun spot activity, alien presence, or EMP is mucking up your HD.
     
  5. hugemullens macrumors 6502a

    hugemullens

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2002
    Location:
    Michigan
    #5
    Does florida have a lemon law?? Some states if it goes in 3 times you can get a replacment by law.
     
  6. scterrell macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Location:
    USA
    #6
    Bad RAM Has Unexpected Results

    Hearing your account was like deja-vu. In early 2003, I had purchased a new dual 1.25 GHz G4 and I let the local mac dealer talk me into loading it up with less expensive RAM from a non-Apple vendor. The problem you described began about a week after I took it home. The mac dealer told me to bring it them to replace the RAM because they had been having similar problems with several machines where they had installed RAM from that vendor. I thought it seemed far-fetched to blame the RAM, but after they replaced it in front of me, the problem went away and never repeated.
     
  7. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #7
    Re: :: Serious Issues :: Please Help...

    I thought you could get AppleCare anytime in the first year. I know Apple called me one year (to the day) asking if I wanted to get AppleCare. I don't know the policy, but I think you can get it anytime during the original warranty period.

    Good luck.
     
  8. tj2001 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
    Location:
    Florida - USA
    #8
    As far as the lemon law goes I do believe Florida has it but doesn't only pertain to vehicles? Also yes you can buy and Apple Care Plan anytime during the first year, BUT for some reason the Florida law does not permit the purchase of that protection here.

    I have checked and replaced, the ATA cable for the rear bay single drive that is causing this problem... the worst thing that makes me upset is that the technicians where it is being serviced said they don't know what's wrong and that everything from the utility (Apple Hardware Disc, Disk Warrior, etc...) testing checks out fine! It's not fine... it's not their computer so why should they fret over it...

    I appreciate every ones input and hopefully something will be done about this soon... as for the RAM situation goes that is a possibility! What RAM should be in there? Kingsington? Crucial? What RAM does Apple ship new Macs with?
     
  9. Zeke macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2002
    Location:
    Greenville, SC
    #9
    As far as I know Apple uses Kingston. Both Kingston and Crucial make very good RAM. I wouldn't have thought this was a RAM issue, however, as that usually causes system instability. Although, if scterrell has actually seen this with a bad DIMM I'd believe that. Good luck.
     
  10. Calliander macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Location:
    Long Beach, CA
    #10
    Re: :: Serious Issues :: Please Help...

    This could be any number of reasons:

    1) Hard Drive
    2) Jumpers on Hard Drive
    3) IDE cable
    4) Which IDE bus cable is plugged into
    5) Logic board
    6) Processor
    7) RAM
    8) Modem
    9) Power Supply

    Some questions for you. Does the place you're taking it to have an Apple-badged technician there? It's not totally unheard of that this issue might arise again with the same parts, but if your service location is guessing at parts you might want to consider finding an Apple Store or a certified AASP. There are many tests that they can do and parts they can swap temporarily to make fully certain of the diagnosis.

    If you want, you could give me the e-mail address of the service provider and I can e-mail them instructions to resolve the issue. They might not have the experience required.
     
  11. Calliander macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Location:
    Long Beach, CA
    #11
    This is what makes me call them into question. Definitely see if there is a closer service location.

    It changes with the phases of the moon and where you bought your machine and if Steve Jobs combed his hair to the right or left. Generally, I see Samsung and the company I can't identify (M with a halo).
     
  12. PixelFactory macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago
    #12
    The M with a halo is Micron, major vendor of OEM RAM.
     
  13. Calliander macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Location:
    Long Beach, CA
    #13
    How sad is that, I'm telling him to find another company and I didn't know the RAM was Micron? :)
     
  14. tj2001 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
    Location:
    Florida - USA
    #14
    I'm not real technically inclined deeper than installing PCI cards, HDD, RAM or Disc Drives so the likes of this repair center only using programs to try and determine the problem is nothing short of what I could do myself... The company, Atlantic Computer http://www.atlanticcomputer.com, is whom my machine has been brought to for these 2 issues. The email for repair is - servicemgr@atlanticcomputer.net

    All I'm asking is for a proper working machine that my $2000 bought. That isn't too much to ask now is it? I know this behavior is normal and very Apple like. My wife's Book that was purchased back in 2002 has ran flawless since day one. So something has got to be wrong with my G4 that the program utilities isn't able to detect or see...
     
  15. tj2001 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
    Location:
    Florida - USA
    #15
    Update

    Called Apple Support and had a very lengthy debate for what has been going on since I bought this! They are contacting the repair center who has been working on it and they can't seem to fix it or know what's causing it...

    Apple is pondering the machine's current state and I'm hoping a brand new replacement will be Apple decision.
     
  16. GigaWire macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2001
    #16
    I had a computer that did this once. It turned out that somehow the startup disk get reset to be a network disk, which of course didn't exist, so i got the flashing folder question mark until I reset the startup disk. Might be worth a shot.
     
  17. scterrell macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Location:
    USA
    #17
    That's a very good point and something easy to check.

    If your machine is trying to find a network disk (and failing), then you may be able to manually choose your hard drive as your startup disk by holding down your <option> key while booting up. Eventually, you should see your available startup disks (only one if your system is set up like mine). Eventually the wheel stopped spinning, I chose my hard drive as my start up disk, and then clicked on the big arrow pointing to the right. If you succesfully boot, you'll need to go to your system preferences and change your system disk to be your hard drive. I tried this on my PowerBook (running Jaguar) just before making this post and it worked for me, although I almost gave up while waiting for the spinning wheel to stop.

    Of course, you would rather not have the problem again, but if you keep your machine and it fails after the warranty expires, then certainly try this procedure before paying for a repair. Toward the end of your warranty, you might also ask your Mac dealer if they would consider giving a generous credit toward trading up for whatever the hottest machine is at that time. :)
     
  18. hob macrumors 68020

    hob

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #18
    I was at school one time with my ibook, and for once rebooted it... can't remember why... anyway, got the flashing ? so i rebooted again and again... nothing... So in the end I just ran the disk utility, and did a reinstall of 10.2.0 from 10.2.6/10.2.8 (can't quite remember...)

    Anyway, don't know if that helps??

    (didn't know about the <option> key thing - try that first :p)

    Hob
     
  19. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #19
    Re: Re: :: Serious Issues :: Please Help...

    We can buy AppleCare in Floriduh, but unless it's a machine for business, you can't use the AppleCare policy. It has to do with Floriduh wanting the insuring company to put away the amount equal to the price into an account for warranty disbursements for no other use. The law is designed to protect consumers. Most companies have third party solutions for Floriduh consumers, but Apple hasn't done anything about it.
     
  20. tj2001 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
    Location:
    Florida - USA
    #20
    Did try the "option-key" boot and thing is it's not that it isn't just finding the OS it isn't seeing the HDD at all! I mean like as if there wasn't one even on that ATA bus. Disc Warrior doesn't see it, Tech Tool Pro 4 don't see it; not even the Panther or Jaguar Apple OEM Install discs see it!

    The repair center says they got it on the bench and when they booted up from a Apple Hardware test CD and ran it nothing showed up wrong then they said they put in my Jaguar CD and it seen it... so the problem has to be intermittent, so when it was at home it didn't see it but when it got there at least they could start seeing the drive... then they said there was no data on that drive. It was my main drive it had my OS, apps, docs, etc... so my data just disappears? What do I have to do here? I really wish someone could give me a proper answer to fix it...

    When I say "someone" give me an answer I mean like Apple or this repair center I was told to bring it to. For me being young and luck enough to have purchased this machine I'm stressed because I don't have $$$ to just buy another even though I shouldn't have to and I'm afraid the one year warranty is going to expire and I'm going to be screwed over. Sorry for ranting but it's breaking my heart seriously.
     
  21. tj2001 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
    Location:
    Florida - USA
    #21
    Update...

    They are replacing the power supply a IDE cable and the RAM. One notion I came upon was that if say it was the power supply which was cause damage to the HDD or say the IDE channel itself... now that they have already replaced the logic board back in September and the power supply has been the culprit and is getting replaced now who is to say that the logic board or IDE channel isn't messed up again now...

    I just really feel like I'm being spun in a circle and not getting anywhere...
    Does anyone thing reporting this to the BBB be of any benefit or render any proper repair help? All I want is a working machine for which I bought...
     
  22. Calliander macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Location:
    Long Beach, CA
    #22
    Re: Update...

    You need to be really vigilant in calling Apple. Get a case number, and constantly call and reference it. They'll call the repair center for info on the machine. If you've had this many parts ordered, and they ordered three in a clip. they might be reviewing the machine's history already. They DO keep on top of these things, you just have to force their hand. They might give you a G5 if you're annoying enough. :)
     
  23. tj2001 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
    Location:
    Florida - USA
    #23
    Re: Re: Update...

    That would be really nice, but truthfully all I want is a working G4 that I bought...

    I'm going to call Apple today and ride them some more on the issues... hopefully it will get attended to and be fixed!
     

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