15" Powerbook HDD Failure?


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 15, 2005
Hey, I recently inherited a 15" PB 1.5ghz from a coworker running OS 10.3.9. When I received it, it was freezing up all the time (no mouse movement, no commands accepted, only forced reboots worked.) I promptly bought Tiger, zero'd the HDD and installed. The computer ran fine for the first day or so, then began freezing again, once or twice a day. Yesterday, it began kernel panicing as well, so I called AppleCare and went through a day and a half of phone conversations and emails to get a tech tell me to reset the PMU, NVRAM, and PRAM and use the computer in safe boot for several hours to see if it still crashed. Well, it didn't crash in the hour I had it in safe mode, but after that I had to actually get work done and booted back into the regular OS. Worked fine for a couple of hours, then got an odd freeze where several lines of white text on black showed up onscreen. Forced a shutdown, then used it again for several hours, but when I went to set it down for a moment, I shook it a bit and it froze again. This feels alot like HDD failure to me, but I was wondering what the more experienced Mac users thought.


katie ta achoo

macrumors G3
May 2, 2005
it very well could be HD failure. Get the CDs that should have come with it, put it in before you boot, and hold down ALT so it boots to CD. Run the hardware tests.

If it is a bad HD, run to the apple store, hope you have AppleCare (or under warranty), and get the HD replaced. Back up all your stuff, and GOOD LUCK! :):):)


macrumors member
Jun 22, 2005
Bare with me here, my history is from the PC side, but I'd say this smells of memory issues, maybe a failed module or something.... Cant see why a dodgy HDD would necessarily make the whole OS freeze (mouse pointer etc).

Has the RAM been upgraded, have you tried reseating it?


macrumors G3
Aug 20, 2003
sitting on your shoulder
I agree that it's more likely memory. If you get a chance, boot from the Tiger install disc, run Disk Utility, and check the S.M.A.R.T. status, of the drive, it should say if anything is wrong. Also, boot from the install/restore/hardware test DVD, and run the hardware test. It might not pick up bad RAM, but it would most likely find a bad HD.