CAUTION: New 17" PowerBook Problems

BWhaler

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jan 8, 2003
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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.

BW
 

BWhaler

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jan 8, 2003
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mad jew said:
Is it 1MB of memory or 1GB?

It's not really good enough either way. Hopefully the fix will be along soon. :)
Sorry, it is more than 1GB of memory.

1 gig and below, and there is no problem.
 

MtnMona

macrumors newbie
Oct 28, 2005
1
0
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?
 

yoda13

macrumors 65816
Sep 26, 2003
1,460
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Texas
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.:)
 

zap2

macrumors 604
Mar 8, 2005
7,242
1
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
 

icecold336

macrumors newbie
Oct 16, 2005
4
0
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.
 

eisa01

macrumors newbie
Jan 6, 2004
14
0
Norway
icecold336 said:
My 15" powerbook doesn't have the same problem,
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.
 

icecold336

macrumors newbie
Oct 16, 2005
4
0
Alberta, Canada
eisa01 said:
It only happens if you have use more than ~1 GB of the memory.
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.:(
 

eisa01

macrumors newbie
Jan 6, 2004
14
0
Norway
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..
 

groovebuster

macrumors 65816
Jan 22, 2002
1,215
39
3rd rock from the sun...
icecold336 said:
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.
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.

groovebuster
 

BWhaler

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jan 8, 2003
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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.
 

Chrispy

macrumors 68020
Dec 27, 2004
2,126
1
Indiana
BWhaler said:
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.
The uneven backlighting issue exists in the 15" model as well. Where is your screen noticeably darker? Mine was in the upper left corner.
 

Koodauw

macrumors 68040
Nov 17, 2003
3,936
165
Madison
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?
 

Texas04

macrumors 6502a
Jul 2, 2005
880
0
Texas
now im scared... I was Just about to buy my Powerbook in December... :(
was gunna be 15" with 1 GB of RAM exactly
 

anthonys

macrumors member
Oct 10, 2005
57
0
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:
 

Chrispy

macrumors 68020
Dec 27, 2004
2,126
1
Indiana
anthonys said:
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:
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:
 

Demon Hunter

macrumors 68020
Mar 30, 2004
2,245
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Texas04 said:
now im scared... I was Just about to buy my Powerbook in December... :(
was gunna be 15" with 1 GB of RAM exactly
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.