Need Help Understanding PowerBook G4 Random Sleep

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by doppelganger, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. doppelganger macrumors member


    Jun 15, 2005
    imagine nation
    Hey MacRumors! I'm reaching out to see if anyone can help me make sense of a problem I'm having. I have been searching these forums and Google for many, many, many hours and can't nail down what exactly is going on. In full disclosure here, I'm a novice and I'm not technical at all.

    My PowerBook G4 (1.67 GHz, 2GB RAM Crucial, Rev. C? Pre-Glossy Screen) has begun to show signs of age. It just starts randomly sleeping. Sometimes it gets to the point where it won't wake up at all. I'll take you guys through the problem and hopefully you can point me to the direction of something I've missed.

    After using these forums and Google I started to see many users describing the same problems I have. Even the support document above. Full disclosure again, without pictures I'm kind of lost about what an Upper Case or a Temp Sensor are. Here are the steps I did. Please keep in mind, it keeps sleeping throughout this process.

    Set System Preferences to never sleep.
    Trashed PowerManagment.plist.
    Reset PMU, NVRAM, Safe Boot.
    Apple Hardware Test.
    First Time. Error Message: 2STH/1/2: Cpu Bottomside
    Switched Upper and Lower 1GB Ram Chips
    Apple Hardware Test, Again.
    Second Time. Error Message: 2CPU/10/9: CPU0
    Installed Factory RAM from Apple 512 MB.
    Apple Hardware Test, Again.
    Restart. Sleep Again.
    Console: Error Messages Galore.
    "Power Management received emergency overtemp signal. Going to sleep."
    That message repeated a lot of times.
    Read the forums and internet about PowerBook narcolepsy, sleep crashes, cutting out Temp Sensors, going into Terminal and turning off sensors and about N.A.P.
    Read faulty Temp Sensors are the #1 cause. Specifically in the track pad.
    Download, "Temperature Monitor"

    This is where I'm stuck.

    There should be a reading for "trackpad" in Temperature Monitor, but there isn't! I only Have listed Battery, Power Supply Bottomside, Processor Bottomside and Processor/Controller Bottomside. Nothing for the track pad and nothing for the Hard Drive. The readings aren't that crazy (I haven't gotten over 162F or seen some of the ones described like spiking to 200 degrees) but I still keep getting sleep crashes. Even when the temp is low, around 100F.

    As I said, I'm pretty much a novice at repair (I know how to install RAM. Easy, I know.) and don't know anything about system code. I'm just hoping someone with a good deal of knowledge could walk me through a potential fix.

    Thanks everyone for your time and I hope to hear from someone soon!
  2. d88co88 macrumors 6502


    Dec 8, 2009
    This to me sounds like a logic board issue, which even now is a costly fix. It MIGHT also be the hard drive, but logic board is more likely IMO.
  3. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    Wasn't there some warranty extension for faulty ram slots or something like that? My guess is it's either that or it's overheating.
  4. doppelganger thread starter macrumors member


    Jun 15, 2005
    imagine nation
    Wow, such quick replies. You guys rock!

    I had the logic board replaced in February of 2008 during that extension. The lower RAM slot died and was covered under that program. Unfortunately, that program ended in July of '08 and Apple will not cover any more repairs. I hope it isn't that again because I was told that this repair would've cost $900 if they didn't extend the warranty.

    I did look at that document and I don't know what the Upper Case is or what the sensor is and how to unplug the sensor. If this is something I attempt, how would I do that and what should I look for?

    Thanks again everyone! Keep those replies coming!
  5. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    sorry for your sleeping powerbook

    the main reason for me to avoid certain Mac's and not even considering at buying them , despite i would like them in my collection but that puts me totally off as i do not like spending money on something thats likely to fail soon (considering my luck when it comes to something like that )
  6. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    The problem seems to be very widespead for that model of PowerBook :( So there might not be a cure...
  7. doppelganger thread starter macrumors member


    Jun 15, 2005
    imagine nation
    Great news everyone my PowerBook G4 is up and running for the last few hours! Knock on wood!

    After hours and hours and hours of searching, the answer was to remove the Trackpad Temperature Sensor! For a novice like me figuring out where sensor lies in the computer was very difficult to figure out. The following links were absolutely crucial to my success. A friend took out the sensor with a soldering iron. I hope these links will help any one else in the future that has absolutely no idea how to correct this problem. Lamb/N.A.P./N.A.P..html

    Thanks everyone for all your support!
  8. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

    Jan 20, 2010
    The faulty RAM slot causes a system-wide hard-lock, not sleep.

    Glad to see you got it figured out! If it ended up being that something still isn't right, you can replace the logic board yourself for $200 or less, as opposed to having Apple do it for more than 4x that amount.
  9. andyriot macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2010
    I know this is a very old post, but I just wanted to say THANK YOU! and bump this information for anyone else who might being experiencing this issue with their PowerBook.

    I just did the "lobotomy" on my PowerBook G4 after having it randomly sleep a few times last night. Saw the console log with the overheating message. Got Temperature Monitor and noticed my Trackpad was only reporting "---" no actual temperature, which I read means it is messed up and when it does randomly work it will be over 100 and then make the computer shut down due to temp.

    Followed the very simple guide and glad I wont have to deal with that anymore! It took maybe 20 minutes, seriously. Aside from the tons of screws in taking apart the PowerBook, the actual surgery was very simple. Snipped it on one side, and bent it back till it broke off on the other. Just like many others said. Covered it back up and put it together and now Temperature Monitor indicates the Trackpad sensor is disconnected. Perfect!!
  10. doppelganger thread starter macrumors member


    Jun 15, 2005
    imagine nation
    You're welcome! I'm so glad this worked for you. The PowerBook G4 is a great machine. Enjoy it!
  11. jbarley macrumors 68040


    Jul 1, 2006
    Vancouver Island
    A year or so ago I had this same problem with my 15" powerbook.
    I did the usual google search for a fix and ended up doing the surgery fix myself.
    I used nail clippers to remove the offending little chip and the powerbook has worked well ever since.

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