Help! iBook G4 14" problems!

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by RedCroissant, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. RedCroissant Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    #1
    Some strange behavior with my "new" iBook is bothering me. It was working almost completely normally yesterday until it suddenly refused to fully recognize my magic mouse and also is not fully recognizing the built-in trackpad and buttons. Here's the description of the problem:

    Safari/WebKit:

    Can select a few buttons and can log into MacRumors, but I cannot select any of the tabs for statistics or select any other buttons as well. The it stops scrolling altogether.

    Disk Utility:

    I can select a disk from the sidebar, and even select "verify disk," but it will not let me click "Verify Disk permissions" or "Repair Disk Permissions."

    Finder:

    Within Finder I can again easily navigate between folders and devices on the sidebar, but once I start navigating within the applications folder, the mouse first stops scrolling and then loses the ability to navigate manually using the scroll bar as well.

    I also cannot use the built-in trackpad to quit applications properly or to close finder windows.

    What I have tried:

    1. Disconnect magic mouse
    2. Verify Disk(worked)
    3. reconnect MM(I can move the pointer around the screen but it does nothing)


    Any ideas from the community? Just to give all of you an idea of this machine's history: I got it free from someone on CL because they realized they couldn't sell it due to its problems. The battery is dead, firewire port doesn't work, upon initial startup the date is set to December 1969, my WiFi network has to be connected to each time I boot as well.

    I did back up my home folder to an external and can easily put everything back onto the 12" iBook that I'm using to post this, but I was really hoping to keep using the 14" for its design advantages over the 12".

    Thanks in advance for any advice/comments/ideas!
     
  2. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    Phoenix • 85037
    #2
    Well, if you had the 15 or 17" PowerBooks I'd recommend disconnecting the trackpad/keyboard cable and cleaning it, then putting it back in. I've no idea if that's possible for your iBook.

    Considering that there is already one port dead perhaps it's the bluetooth controller board? Does the iBook have that?

    The startup date changing indicates your PRAM battery or whatever the iBook uses is dead. If the iBook uses the main battery for that then this would explain it.

    As to Airport, you could probably delete all the networks, wipe the settings (it's a couple of preference files), reboot and add the networks back in. BUT, I suspect the date defaulting is the primary culprit. That sort of thing for some reason seems to cause memory loss in regards to being connected to a network.
     
  3. RedCroissant, Jun 20, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013

    RedCroissant thread starter Suspended

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    #3
    I was able to get my hands on a retail version of Leopard(family pack). Do you think reinstalling the OS would help at all? I also have Tiger and considered downgrading it to that as well since I now took the 1GB RAM module back and reinstalled that in the 12". I also downloaded the combo updates for Tiger-Lion so I was just going to burn those to disc and then update the machine that way instead of taking a while to download it. what do you think?

    I thought that bluetooth was controlled by the usb controller or something like that. of course I could be completely wrong.

    I think it has its own PRAM battery but the date/time issue is really not that big of a deal because once I connect to WiFi or just get connected, then opening the date/time preferences automatically updates the time and it stays updated until I shut down and reboot the machine.
     
  4. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #4
    Reinstalling the OS won't hurt it. I updated from Tiger to Leopard and even though it was not a full reinstall it put back parts of the OS that were missing on my Macs because the original installs had simply been cloned over from my old TiBook. Given your issues though I would clone a backup first before doing that though. If issues crop up when installing you could be stuck in a halfway space that's going to be difficult to get out of.

    Yeah, burn the updates. Easier that way. I don't know about the iBooks. But the 17" PowerBook actually has a blutooth module (little circuit board). I only know because it has to come out when replacing the DC-In board. So, I was speculating. No big deal as you said with the PRAM battery (again, assuming the iBook has one). But it bothers me that the iBook does not remember the time/date after you shut it off IF when you have it off the Mac is plugged in.

    If it's not plugged in when you have it off then this makes sense.

    Sorry for all the assumptions/hedges but I've made assertions here before on Mac models I don't have and been informed I was wrong. Kind of embarrassing, LOL. :D
     
  5. RedCroissant thread starter Suspended

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    Aug 13, 2011
    #5
    Yeah, the main problem is that both of my iBooks are cloned OSes because I got the 12" from a non-authorized reseller(I found out afterwards) and the 14" from a CLer that treated it like SH--. SO I cloned 10.5.8 from the 12" to the 14". Actually it went like this..... OS from iMac G5---> 12" iBook ----->14" iBook. Now that I have a genuine copy of Leopard though, I'm going to make the iBook legitimate. I have my home folder copied/cloned/backed up so I'm not worried about other settings and stuff that I can easily redo. After all, the 12" was only used for internet browsing and school after I sold my Intels.

    Trying to burn the updates didn't work on the 12". Could this be because it doesn't have a superdrive but only the combo drive? I would try t on the 14" but since I was unable to do most things, I'm not even going to atempt it.

    Where can I get a PRAM battery? Is it basically a normal battery that I can pick up at Fry's, Radio Shack, etc....?

    I think I'm going to try and scrape together some money for a universal toolkit that iFixit sells or even from Best Buy or Fry's. What do you recommend as far as that goes and do you know if there's a place that I can get a much better deal on something like that?

    The 14" iBook battery is completely dead as well, so this along with a bad PRAM battery could be causing some problems.

    There's no need to apologize since I don't know what the hell is going on with this machine. the 12" has been great(mostly) but the 14" is a very needy and high-maintenace psychopath.
     
  6. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #6
    You're in the same spot I stupidly put myself back in late 2009 then. Yeah, reinstalling the OS will help in this case. The installer will see the iBook as an iBook. The retail disk is great, but it only installs the stuff pertinent to the Mac it's running on at the time.

    Yeah, the combo drive is not a superdrive. It lets you read CDs and DVDs. But only the Superdrive burns CDs/DVDs. You could try hooking the 14" up to the 12" via Target Disk Mode and see if the 12" will pick up the burner on the 14" as a burner. No idea if that will work or not.

    No idea on PRAM battery. iFixit would have a better idea (and should be able to tell you if your Mac uses a PRAM battery or not).

    As to tools. Torx wrenches. I got mine at Frys over on Thunderbird off the I-17. The one down in Tempe may be closer to you, but I've only been in there once and they didn't ever seem to have as much as the one off the I-17.

    A spudger, or something similar. You can use a credit card or some sort of thin piece of plastic. Dental tools are great too. Mirror, pick and hook. The pick and the hook are good for getting at hard to reach connectors and pulling them up without ripping them off their base.

    Personally, I think iFixit charges too much for the tools. Spudgers I've seen going for as little as $1-3.
     
  7. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #7
    iBooks don't have PRAM batteries. They use the main laptop battery to keep the clock running.
     
  8. RedCroissant thread starter Suspended

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    Aug 13, 2011
    #8
    Thanks for the advice about the tools. Here's a question for you, let's say that the 14" is basically screwed. Could I remove the superdrive from it and install it in the 12"? This along with anything else that I could take would be awesome. I wonder though, if its previous owner cloned the Tiger onto it the way that I cloned Leopard, could that possibly be the reason for the partially responsive FW port? It recognizes that something is plugged in by sending power to it, but no data. And when I ran ASD on it, it passed everything...

    ----------

    Are you certain of this? I ask because I was previously told that they did have their own PRAM batteries.
     
  9. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #9
    Very certain. Apple service manuals for all iBook models make no reference to a PRAM battery besides the "Removing the main battery resets the PRAM" stuff.
     
  10. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #10
    Installing Leopard on it from the install disk is the only way to tell. I can't answer if it's that or not. I know I have had two ports fail before and it came down to replacement parts, but IDK.

    As to the PRAM battery, I do believe Intell has corrected me on this before. That being the case it would explain your time resetting issues.

    I would also assume that things like the airport card you could bring over. IDK about the drive. I would take a look at teardown photos of both your iBooks on ifixit. If they look similar, maybe. No idea if the 12" has the capacity to handle a superdrive - although I assume it would. Intell could probably answer this question better.
     
  11. RedCroissant thread starter Suspended

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    Aug 13, 2011
    #11
    The reason I asked that is because i had already been told that the iBook didn't have a separate PRAM battery and then another member posted this:

    "No. The iBooks had a PRAM battery, which can be replaced. See this photo from ifixit. It's located just above the HDD. You can get a replacement battery for a few cents from any electronic store nereby. Of course, you have to open the iBook all the way until step 36...

    http://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net...QXQVBQ6IX.huge

    I also recommend getting at least a cheap replacement battery from ebay for 20-30 bucks or so. It won't last very long (approx. 1-2 years depending on usage). However, you will have less problems with a fresh cheap replacement battery. It's possible that the wifi keys are stored in the Airport Extreme, which is powered by the logic board. I'm not sure on this one, though."

    ----------

    Well then in about 45 minutes for 10.5.1 and then roughly another 30 minutes for the combo update; I'll find out for sure and then let you know.

    If Intell is right then that's awesome and saves me time and money opening up the iBook for a PRAM battery that doesn't exist.

    Does the Superdrive require more power? I thought that the superdrive was simply more capable and as long as they were both connected via ATA, then that should work. Anyway, I'll do what you said and take a look at iFixit to see for sure and then let you know about that as well.
     
  12. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #12
    If both iBooks have a slot loading drive, it should be easy to move one drive to the other. If they are both tray loading, you may have to swap the tray covers. If only one is a tray loading drive, you may not be able to get it to work. Cloning Tiger over via FireWire shouldn't effect FireWire's ability to work. Your link doesn't work. Exactly which model is your iBook?
     
  13. RedCroissant thread starter Suspended

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    Aug 13, 2011
    #13
    They're both slot loading drives.

    The two iBooks are:

    Mid-2005 12" iBook G4 1.33GHz

    Mid-2005 14" iBook G4 1.42GHz

    The thing is that I wasn't able to use the firewire from the beginning of using the 14' iBook that I got from the CLer. Whether or not they cloned it over via usb is a hopeful assumption. TDM doesn't work at all on the 14". The FW port however does send power to external devices when they are connected, but no data and the drive is not mounted.
     
  14. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #14
    That iBook model, like all iBooks, doesn't have a PRAM battery.
     
  15. RedCroissant thread starter Suspended

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    #15
    Thank you very much!
     
  16. RedCroissant thread starter Suspended

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    #16
    14" iBook G4 now almost perfect!

    Well, I found a replacement battery on eBay for $9.99(free shipping), along with iLife for 19.99(since Leopard retail doesn't come with it). I now have only one problem that I don't see myself being able to fix(firewire). Every other issue though has been taken care of and it is now my primary machine and working VERY well. The new battery even holds a great charge and the iBook now runs on battery for almost 5 hours(moderate use of course).
     
  17. California macrumors 68040

    California

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    Aug 21, 2004
    #17
    I don't know if anyone answered your optical drive question but the ide slot load superdrive works in all models of the G4 iBooks. A new UJ845 was a great upgrade when someone wanted to upgrade the combo drive and paltry 40gb stock drive on the 12" 1.33ghz. Though gimped by the 32mb video card output, the 12" iBook 1.33 and the 14" iBook 1.42 were wonderful computers.
     
  18. RedCroissant thread starter Suspended

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    #18
    Hey California,

    I don't remember if that was answered or not so it probably wasn't. And that's good to know but I would only do that now if this 14" iBook fails. The main reason that I wanted it to begin with is for the larger screen, so if I can find a really good display, then I would go back to the 12" and install screen spanning doctor(I think that's the name of the app) and then use the external display.

    I found a 250GB HDD on CL yesterday, but $30 is a lot when I have to sell something I own first in order to pay for it. And the seller(understandably) did not think trading the HDD for retail versions of Windows XP Sp2 and Vista Ultimate was a good idea. :(
     
  19. ihuman:D macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    $30, which is about €20, for a 250gb IDE 2.5" HDD! That's a steal compared to over here! I payed around €70-€80 for mine.
     
  20. RedCroissant thread starter Suspended

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    Aug 13, 2011
    #20
    I know and that's why it bugs me that I have to try and find something of value to try and sell it, but by the time I sell whatever I find; that deal will most likely be gone.
     
  21. ihuman:D macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    We're in totally different markets though, plus there is much more people in the USA than Ireland.
     
  22. skateny macrumors 6502

    skateny

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    #22
    Hey Cali. Did you replace your optical drive with the UJ845? If so, how difficult would you say it was?

    I went to iFixit but didn't go through all the many steps in the process.

    Look forward to your thoughts on this.
     
  23. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

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    #23
    You are correct. Apple switched to using the laptop's battery when they made the batteries not user replaceable. The iBook, however, has a dedicated PRAM battery (probably a CR232 button cell).
     
  24. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #24
    iBook's don't have a PRAM battery.
     
  25. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #25
    It wasn't me this time Intell! :D
     

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