iBook G4 - replace or attempt fix?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Meags816, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. Meags816 macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2005
    Hi there...

    I've been running an iBook G4 since 2004 - OSX 10.4.11

    The other day I was running my usual apps - firefox, iChat and word...computer froze. Force quit didn't work. Did a manual power off, and restart...stuck at the grey apple screen.

    Tried starting in Safe Mode - no luck.

    Tried starting off the install disk and running Disk Utility. Disk Utility tells me it cannot repair - because the disk - my HD cannot be unmounted.

    Tried to do an Archive/Install - could not unmount disk.

    Called apple - started in single user mode, ran fsck and got Single Node Error.

    Tried starting from the disk to do zero disk and reinstall - same message, could not unmount disk....

    Is there anything left to do? Is it worth attempting to place the HD? (I was told it could be the HD or it could be the Logic Board)

    I've never had any problems with the iBook until now...my husband and I are already in the market for a new computer for him. He's running a hand me down iMac G5 that is slow, and filled up with someone else's stuff.

    We were going to use some of our money to buy him a brand new MacBook (poor guy has never had a brand new computer of his own).

    So now we're in the market for possibly 2 new computers...and I am balking at the cost of 2 Macbooks for us - we could go refurbed....and we also get the educator discount. I'm also toying with the idea of 1 MacBook and 1 PC? - but it seems the PCs I'm pricing are not all that far off from the refurbed MacBook.

    So - better to go 2 brand new MacBook? One new - one refurbed? One MacBook and one PC? Or attempt to fix the iBook?

  2. gorjan macrumors 6502

    May 16, 2009
    Well, you can buy a new HDD for the iBook cheap and install it yourself. That's the cheapest option. The question is, do you feel that it's worth it? Do you find the iBook slow or does it fulfill your computing needs? If it does, then there's no need for a new Mac right now. I would buy a new HDD, install it and save the money so your husband can get a new Mac. Then you can buy a new one when you have tha money and you feel that the iBook is getting too slow.

    Of course, if the iBook's too slow for you, then, sure buy two Macs if you have the money. I still use a iBook G4 from time to time; after I maxed the RAM and upgraded the HDD it's still a great computer. Good luck! :)
  3. Darth.Titan macrumors 68030


    Oct 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Also just so you know, replacing the hard drive in a G4 iBook is a major PITA.

    Just something else to factor into your decision.
  4. wilsonlaidlaw macrumors 6502


    Oct 29, 2008
    Replace don't mend

    The logic units in the G4 iBooks are notoriously fragile and enormously expensive to replace. When my G4 iBook died, I took it to a specialist Mac mender in London, who showed me a huge stack of dead iBooks, all with duff logic units. I would not spend any money on your iBook or like me, when I replaced the HDD soon before it died, you may be throwing money away.

  5. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
  6. brendu macrumors 68020

    Apr 23, 2009
    sounds like you got your moneys worth out of that mac... and as stated before replacing the HDD is a major undertaking that is really a pain. Seems like as good a time as any to pick up a new macbook. If you live near a microcenter you can pick one up in store for $799 (no mail in rebate involved). Thats the best deal I can think of.
  7. milbournosphere macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2009
    San Diego, CA
    i would attempt to repair the hd before writing off the machine.
  8. SkyBell macrumors 604


    Sep 7, 2006
    Texas, unfortunately.
    It's true that replacing a HDD in an iBook is a real pain to do, there's no doubt. But if you have a good guide telling you what to do every step of the way, it can be done and for much cheaper then a new Mac.

    The choice basically is, save a lot of money by changing the HDD out yourself and having the same old iBook back, or save a few hours of very tedious work and have a much faster machine.
  9. cmuench macrumors member

    May 15, 2007
    Well I just helped a friend yesterday tear-down his ibook to replace the hard drive.
    We used a guide from ifixit. Keep in mind I have been doing IT for 5 years now.
    This was a pain to do. Here is a picture of the tear-down I took.

    the hard drive is located in the front left slot. I would only attempt this if you have couple of hours free and really can't afford new macbook. Otherwise says adiós to it and enjoy the new models that are much faster :)
  10. Meags816 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2005
    Thanks everybody!!

    It's looking more and more like I'm in the market for a new computer...my iBook was running fairly slowly - but with limited problems..I'd hate to replace the HD and then have the logic board crap out. And what's more exciting than a brand new Mac?? Technically speaking, we do have the funds available...it just feels so extravagant! It's unfortunate that this happened just as we were already prepared to buy my hubby a computer...but at least now I won't be green with jealousy. haha
  11. brendu macrumors 68020

    Apr 23, 2009
    like I said before, if you live near a MicroCenter, you can pick up a brand new macbook in store for $799... the two new york locations are long island/westbury and Yonkers... although im not positive the yonkers location is open yet...
  12. rtheb macrumors 6502

    Jul 21, 2008
    Tearing an iBook down is a major undertaking starting with prying the plastic lower case apart, and then sorting and storing the 50 odd different size screws so you can put them back in the proper place.

    If you are not careful you can easily break the power supply to the logic board as well so...

    I suggest you look on a local Craig's list for another iBook which you should be able to buy very inexpensively.
  13. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Agreed. Your G4 is already 6 years old. I wouldn't invest any more money into such an old computer.

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