Dying (?) PowerBook--I hope not!

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by sedlseav, Aug 8, 2005.

  1. sedlseav macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2005
    My PowerBook G4 is one of the first Titanium PBs—400MHz, 10GB HD, combo drive—I bought it in August 2001 and have loved it. It’s been my desktop computer and my carry-everywhere computer. AppleCare expired on it August 2004—so I’m on my own here now. And a rash of troubles have lately emerged.

    Around the end of June, the CD/DVD reader became unreliable. It will sometimes refuse to operate at all—will just take in the disk and not even make a sound. Other times it’ll churn and churn and not mount it. But then it’ll decide to operate fine for a spell—there’s no telling whether it’ll cooperate from one day or moment to the next. This, of course, poses quite a problem in efforts to boot from a CD for diagnostics. Luckily, I was able to do so both to run Disk Utility and to run Apple Hardware Test—both of those checks showed no problems. So what’s the source of the litany of new symptoms lately?

    BTW, these symptoms gradually emerged after we had a brown-out. The brown-out fried our router. (Despite everything being on surge protectors!) We had 3 computers on the router—mine (my dear TiPB), my husband’s, my daughter’s. My husband’s is fine. My daughter’s has had lots of other problems predating this router-fry episode—but since then has also presented with a new problem just like one of mine. (Oh, also, the cable modem seemed ok but the signal needed work after this fried-router event. Since the cable company came out, the modem has worked fine.) Anyway, here’s the litany:

    My TiPB will only connect with the web through Ethernet via the modem directly—not through our new router. It doesn’t even light up on the new router’s T-slot, so it can’t “get” the DHCP address assigned automatically. (This is the same new symptom my daughter’s troubled G4 tower now has). Went through troubleshooting with the router people. My husband’s computer has no problem hooking up through the router and neither does my daughter’s new iBook. Just my TiPB and the G4 tower. The router tech said it sounded like my PB has a bad network card—it can deal with the signal direct through the modem, but not through the router.

    Dropped USB printer suddenly. (Happened once only). I heard the printer respond to this, then it couldn’t even “see” the printer to reinstall it until I reestablished the existence of the printer through complete reboot of both and repowering and reconnection of them in the “proper” order. (That happened once only).

    Wouldn’t wake up. (Happened once only). I think what may have finally booted it was my daughter trying the shift-power approach. Turned out that this was in the aftermath of having booted from a CD and it didn’t have a system selected—has seemed ok since I’ve made sure that it had the OS 10 system selected as the start-up. However, now I’m checking the start-up disk setting and see that it occasionally needs to be reset again.

    Wouldn’t “see” that it was plugged into the power cord! (Happened once only). Battery therefore drained completely and poor TiPB shut down. I suspected power problem and we tried 3 different power cords. Some with the “light” that indicates orange-for-charging and green-for-fully charged—and the light wouldn’t even light up! Anyway, none of the cords helped, until maybe after the 5th or 6th replugging, when it finally “saw” the power cord was plugged in and the light went on and the computer could reboot and recharge.

    Lost the setting on the sound (happened once only), so the on-off sound button on the keyboard didn’t affect the speakers—they stayed off. I had to go into the advanced sound controls directly—where I saw that “mute” was selected (despite the fact that the keyboard button and on-screen display showed otherwise). I reset on the advanced sound controls and things straightened out.

    In the course of various efforts to deal with the problems, as they evolve, I’ve reset the PMU and done the diagnostics mentioned above (Hardware Test and Disk Utility repair). The “once only” problems aren’t a big deal if they don’t recur, but what about that Ethernet/network card issue? Or—can all these things be somehow related? Is there any hope for this beloved TiPB? Thanks for any suggestions.
  2. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    If it were mine I would take it in to my local Apple Store or reseller. That way they could run a quick diagnostic check. The you could discuss options.
  3. hob macrumors 68020


    Oct 4, 2003
    London, UK
    I understand that you love your PB, but do you think it's maybe time to get a new one? If a computer of mine was out of warranty, and displaying so many different problems I'd probably just end up selling it on eBay for Spares/Repairs and getting a new one. Believe me, fixing all that stuff could be almost as expensive as getting a shiny new one!!

    Just a thought...
  4. chucknorris macrumors 6502a


    Jun 28, 2005
    Moscow, ID (No Kremlin here!)
    What kind of warranty does the surge protector have? Most are insured against x thousand dollars of equipment loss. If you can figure that out, I would file a claim through the surge protector manufacturer.
  5. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    I've had your same Tibook. I recently sent it in to Daystar Technology for a CPU upgrade and diagnostic look over. Good thing about the upgrade is it comes with a new warranty.

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