My iBook is dying a slow death...

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by RedCroissant, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. RedCroissant Suspended

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    Aug 13, 2011
    #1
    I have an ibook G4 14" 1.42 GHz/ 1.5GB RAM and I have noticed problems from the moment that I got it, but I thought that it would still last. Sadly, it doesn't seem like I'll be keeping it much longer.

    The Firewire port has never fully worked and now it doesn't even recognize FW devices to send power to.

    The USB ports are off and on as far as working and now mostly off.

    The "Q" key and the "Delete" key suddenly stopped working, and WiFi drops often.

    SO, I think I'll be selling it for parts or something since the RAM is the thing in there that's worth the most and otherwise the computer works just fine for internet via the ethernet port and otherwise.

    It's a sad day, but luckily I have an iBook G3 900MHz and 640MB RAM to go to for my mobile computing purposes and extra cases so I can have custom looks.
     
  2. 4JNA macrumors 68000

    4JNA

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    #2
    finicky buggers.

    sorry to say, but that has been my experience as well. the 12" 1.33 were more or less bullet proof, and every 14" 1.42 i've ever been around has had a few to several problems. strange enough has been that i've not seen one thing be the problem, it's always different, or a different combo of problems. my background is supporting laptops from the g3 powerbooks on, i've had hundreds of 12" ibooks g3 and g4 that have gone to college with a recent high school grad, completed an undergrad degree, then been given to a younger sib or relative who went and also did an undergrad degree. the things last forever or until the graphic/chip freeze of death shows up. g3 800 holds the record for smartest system i've seen... undergrad, then associates, then undergrad and masters program, was on the third undergrad degree when it died... poor old thing was looking pretty worse for wear by that point!

    anyway. best of luck, keep the good parts, send the rest on their way. if you need ibook parts, let me know, i've still got bins of stuff about. last supported system finally went away last year, now i've nothing to do but figure out where to hide all the leftovers. :eek: best of luck.
     
  3. jrsx macrumors 65816

    jrsx

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    #3
    I have a 1.33 Ghz 12 inch, and it's been going strong for some time now. I bought it mostly as a school computer, as I didn't really think PPC could do much. Now I realized it can still do almost everything a modern Mac or PC can do, just perhaps at a lower speed, and using older applications. The rest of the world are poor saps, they just let their PPC machines collect dust. They are really good still today, and I'm sorry to see that loss.
     
  4. RedCroissant thread starter Suspended

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    #4
    Well that sucks that you noticed a trend in the 14" models. I thought that I was upgrading from my 12" 1.33GHz 1.5GB RAM G4 (that had everything working still perfectly)

    The 900MHz one that I have seems to be doing fine, but the fact that it can't run Leopard is an issue. It's not a huge issue, but I really like 10.5 and the extra WiFi capabilities that come with the OS. I know that I can connect to WPA and WEP, but now extra WiFi adapters won't work the way that I want them to or at all and I'll be stuck with a slow connection or basically have a small desktop when it's attached to ethernet.

    Do you have any experience with ethernet splitters? That way, I can have them both connected to the same ethernet homeplug that my iMac is currently using. I figured that since the homeplug is rated at up to 100Mbs, that it could handle having both machines connected at the same time and still provide the same speed.

    And yes, I would love parts but since I am attached to PC Macs for both experience and financial reasons, I can't even afford shipping costs for anything. It's times like this where I wish I didn't have to sell my 20" Intel iMac(1 year ago) or my PMG5 quad(6 months ago).

    And I still love your signature line.

    ----------

    Yeah, I had that same model and it worked perfectly. I even used it as my media hub to stream my iTunes library to my AppleTV and it worked just as well as my previous/more powerful machines.

    I agree that people do not give their PPC Macs enough credit for how capable they are and how advanced they were at the time to the extent that they have almost kept up with the demands of technological advancement.

    I think I will be getting a new machine at some point, but my "requirements" of a higher capacity HDD so that I don't have to have too many peripherals attached.

    My current machine (iMac G5 1.8GHz 2 GB RAM and 320GB HDD) is great, but without bluetooth or Airport or a larger HDD, I am using all of the I/O ports and I don't like it.

    I want to find a good iMac that was released before the ultra thin models without the optical drive were released.
     
  5. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #5
    I think I shall add my 17" PowerBook G4 1.67ghz HD-DLSD to your ailing iBook.

    Been working really funky lately and now it's getting to the desktop after boot/login and then beachballing. Third time I tried this morning it started beachballing after the login screen.

    Pretty sure it's the logicboard as it won't charge the battery and I know the DC In board is good.

    That'd make the second Mac to die on me in the last month. Sigh.

    At least I have that Quicksilver G4. ;)
     
  6. RedCroissant thread starter Suspended

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    #6
    Well that sucks! why not just find a new logic board? Just kidding.

    Is that really a beach ball? I've heard that a lot, and it does look like it, but I always thought that it look like a spinning disk.

    That's right!!! Oh, and congrats on the SATA-ification of it! That's awesome. And whenever I have any free time, I would like to see it in action if you don't mind.
     
  7. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #7
    It's on my list, hey! :D

    Right after the video card for the QS and the logicboard for the 1Ghz 17", lol! :)

    Always looked like a beach ball to me, although I can see your viewpoint. However, SBBOD was coined at some point. Spinning Beach Ball of Death.

    Thanks!

    Come on over. You're welcome to, and I'll show it to you. Now, of course, it's SATA riding the PCI bus so the best I am getting out of it is about 45mbps transfer rate. That's a very far cry from SATA 1.0's transfer rate of about 1.5gbps.

    But it lets me use my SATA drives so I'm happy - and it does seem to be faster than the IDE drives. I've already wiped the Leopard install I made when I got the Mac.

    Things I've noticed. Since the Mac booted right up in SATA I never had to apply my Intech HiCap driver to see the 150GB IDE drive. Which is weird because when I made the Leopard install when I got the Mac I did have to install that. So, I guess there must have been some sort of driver from the older Leopard install on the SATA drives. Which is weird again, because that install was a 10.3.1 base install from the G5, updated to 10.4.11 and then updated to 10.5.8. I've had to rip out all the old networking stuff that applied to work in order to leave the stuff I wanted to keep (avoiding a reinstall). Which is funny because the MacPro I'm typing this on at work was upgraded from that same 10.5.8 install from the G5. I've got little things that shouldn't be working on this MP that are. Odd.

    Anyway, I found out yesterday that if you reset the PRAM you better have an install disk nearby. At least with my SATA card anyway. I had to boot up into the install disk to set the startup drive. There's something that seems to be happening at a low level as far as booting because my SATA card does not see the SATA drives when I boot holding down the OPTN key. But it will boot off SATA if the drive is set as the startup drive.

    All the way around I'm happy with this setup though. Just need (want) a newer video card.
     
  8. RedCroissant thread starter Suspended

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    #8
    45mbps? Is there a way to find an AGP SATA card to increase the transfer rate and then rely on a PCI card for the display? Or what about connecting a SATA drive to the FW port and running the cable from inside the machine to the port and booting from it? That should definitely increase transfer speeds. I don't know if there's a SATA-FW400 adapter cable, but it might be worth a shot.That's not bad transfer rate anyway since you're relying on the system bus and a least you can use higher capacity drives that way.

    Is the Intech driver then only necessary when booting from IDE drives?

    I need to get a "new" computer. I'm trying to stay with PPC Macs because they're less expensive and still very usable. But with my G4 iBook dying, the G3 only getting older, school requirements for flash players, and just my overall desire for a more powerful machine with more storage space: I think I'll have to move to Intel at some point. The only problem is finding a machine that I want (I still want one with an optical drive).

    If I can find a good PM G5 again with a display, then I would go for that since it can handle quite a lot.
     
  9. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #9
    Yeah, the SATA cases I have are USB 2.0. So I get a much faster rate using those actually. I thought about it. But, I like the whole internal thing and there is an unnecessary fan on these cases that makes a lot of noise I don't care for.

    I know it's slower, but I'm ok with that as at least I can use SATA drives.

    IDK. I'm seeing the full amount, but that 150GB hard drive is still connected via the IDE cable. So, no idea if it's because I'm booting from SATA or not.

    I can't really help there, except to suggest eBay. But knowing your situation I know that's not really an option.
     
  10. RedCroissant thread starter Suspended

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    #10

    What about having the HDD inside the machine and connecting a SATA-FW adapter (if it exists) and then the PM's fan would still do all the work even if the cable is connected to the external FW port? It's still MOSTLY internal and you get 4X the transfer rate that's pretty much always stable? It might not boot faster, but once it's booted, it should feel like a much more powerful machine.

    I also have no idea about the lack of need for the driver.

    Yeah, we'll see how it goes as far as finding a newer machine. Luckily, the new MacPro is out and is forcing prices of used MPs down to a more affordable level. The original ones won't run 10.8, but maybe if I wait another year, I can get one that will run Mountain Lion and have a pretty awesome Intel machine with tons of power. I don't really NEED tons of power, but it's fun.
     
  11. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #11
    Well…yeah. I might end up doing something like that at some point. Right now, I was really happy about getting this card and flashing it and not borking the whole process like an idiot. So I'm enjoying that for the moment. Once the slowness starts to get to me I'll probably move along.

    Right now though I think the bottleneck is the video card. I've got two sub-standard quality video cards in there. The NVidia MX2 using the AGP slot and a Rage 128 PCI. Neither one is great so I'm hoping to get a better AGP card soon.

    I'd also like to pick up a pair of 17" Studio displays. Not going for large, but the plastic one's with the kickstands would be cool and are also a product of the same era as this Mac.
     
  12. jrsx macrumors 65816

    jrsx

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    #12
    I was thinking about how PPC Macs were getting older as the years go by, and someone was using my iBook, and commented on how "does you internet browser play youtube very well?" as he *tried* to play something in TenFourFox. I showed him Mactubes and he said, "don't you use Chrome?". I tried to explain, but to no avail. Then someone else explained that he was selling his Powerbook G4 from 2005, and said, do you want a Leopard disk? I got one for free from an Apple tech guy. So now I'm getting Leopard on my G4 finally, and I'm happy about that since Tiger is getting so horribly unsupported.
     
  13. RedCroissant thread starter Suspended

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    #13
    Not dying anymore!

    Well, here’s an update!!!!

    I decided to try something that I didn’t expect to work, and it did!

    I got all of my information off of the iBook and then reinstalled OS X Leopard on it.

    Now the USB ports work normally and perfectly, and even the FW port mounted a FW device!

    The keyboard is working normally again (at least for now) so I think that’s pretty good news.

    I also went ahead and posted an ad on CL for it, and someone will be coming by today to buy it for $80.

    SO I’m glad that I reinstalled the OS and that I posted the ad.
     
  14. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #14
    Cool!

    I had something similar happen. When I got my first 17" PB I cloned my old drive to it. But that drive had been setup to work in my TiBook. Things were kind of funky. No backlight on the keyboard, missing items from System Preferences, etc.

    Then I upgraded to Leopard at some point and boom, everything that should have been working started working.

    Now, I just need a new HD for my other 17" PB. The 320GB WD hard drive has decided to fail. I'm hoping that's what's causing all my other issues.
     
  15. RedCroissant thread starter Suspended

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    #15
    Do you want the 120GB HDD that I pulled from one of the iBooks? I decided against installing that in the G3 since I'll be using it mostly as a classroom note taking machine and basic (non-html) email fetcher, and very basic internet browsing. I'm not even going to load any movies on it so the 40GB HDD it has in there now is more than enough for me.
     
  16. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #16
    Sure! Fair warning though. My intent is to replace the 320GB Western Digital with another 320GB (or better if they exist) so the 120GB would go in my son's PowerBook.

    If you're ok with that then we need to get together. I have some stuff for you you've been wanting.
     
  17. RedCroissant thread starter Suspended

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    #17
    a 320GB PATA drive? if you can find one, then good for you. I thought that the max HDD size for G4 laptops was 120GB anyway?

    But that's totally fine with me.
     
  18. eyoungren, Jan 23, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2014

    eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #18
    The one in my 17" PowerBook G4 1.67Ghz is 320GB. Western Digital Scorpio Blue. My wife's 12" PowerBook has the 250GB WD Scorpio Blue.

    Of course they are not being made anymore (see, I learn Intell!), but there is still stock out there. I've just never found larger than 320GB. All the AlBooks can use higher than the 128GB limit.

    I've already found a few on eBay. Just hoping not to pay the same price for it as I did in 2009 when I bought the last one.

    Thanks! Email me when you can get some time to meet.

    EDIT: Western Digital has removed the pages showing the different models (because they are not making them anymore), so here's my drive as listed by newegg.com. When I got it it was $109. Got it at Frys. Now it seems I'll have to get it via eBay or Amazon. Newegg is selling it in this link for TWICE what I bought mine for!
     
  19. RedCroissant thread starter Suspended

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    #19
    Well then why not instead get a SATA HDD with a ATA adapter? There might not be enough room in there, but then you should be able to get higher capacity drives for less and still be able to use them. Wouldn't that also in crease the R/W speed a little bit?
     
  20. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #20
    That might be an idea. The space is a bit tight though, even for the 17". Honestly, I'll do about an hour of looking or so and if I can't find anything larger (which is probably the case) I'll sift through the pricing on any 320s I find.

    Considering all the "I'm dying" vibes the Mac is giving me, I'm loath to do more than I have to. At a minimum, replacing the drive with the same capacity is what I want though. The drive in there now was a birthday present. :)

    This particular Mac is a great Mac, but it's not the one I use every day. I might just end up replacing the logicboard on the other one first because that is the one I use every day, IDK. We'll see how much all this costs.

    Have to see how much adapters are. Thanks!
     
  21. RedCroissant thread starter Suspended

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    #21
    Yeah, i figured the space would be kind of tight, but what if you got a smaller SATA HDD that was designed for say..a MBA or something? Then you would probably have the extra space for the adapter and have a high capacity drive.

    I hate the "I'm dying vibes." Hate them. I've been through that enough and really don't enjoy it. It just makes you think that almost anything you do on it will be the last thing. Almost like you could easily deal the final death keystroke.

    I think I'm going to get into fixing up computers more than I already have been and see if I can do it as a part time kind of deal either by helping people out or by actually selling what I fix for a little extra cash.
     

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