Powerbook running realllyyyy slowwww...

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by MacFan25863, Aug 28, 2005.

  1. MacFan25863 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 20, 2004
    Hi everyone,

    In the past day or so, my Powerbook (12in 1.33 GHz 512 MB RAM 10.3.9) has seriously slowed down. It takes 10 min just to boot it up, and then another 5 to login. Safari won't open, it keeps bouncing in the dock until I Force Quit it. Same with iChat, Firefox, and pretty much every other app. iTunes (when it does open) plays a song but has constant pauses (a 15 second pause every 10 seconds or so) when playing, and isn't very responsive. When I put my mouse at the bottom of the screen for the dock, it takes a min. or so for it to appear. Same with Expose features and menus (Airport Menu, etc). The Finder takes a few minutes to load up a folder, and the entire computer is basically at a standstill.

    At times the entire system locks up and I have to do a hard reboot. I repaired permissions, as well as run the terminal commands to do the monthly, weekly, and daily repairs. I also updated the prebindings. Nothing has worked.

    I have 20 GB of free space left, so I don't think that is an issue. The disk utility has started to hang on me when it opens as well, so I can't do anything else in there. I tried to install AppleJack, but the Finder is crashing when I try to open the disk image.

    I really don't want to have to reinstall the OS, since I have a lot of programs that I don't want to loose, as well as all my music (which is on my iPod, but I still don't want to delete it). This has only started happening in the past 24 hours or so. Anyone have any ideas?

    PS: I'm typing this from my old Dell. Yeah, it's gotten so bad that even Windows is better :eek:
  2. eva01 macrumors 601


    Feb 22, 2005
    Gah! Plymouth
    boot from the OS disk and try to repair disk. If that doesn't work then suck it up and reinstall OS.

    And also run the applecare disk
  3. FocusAndEarnIt macrumors 601


    May 29, 2005
    Can you get it to repair permissions?
    Call Apple. heh, use that as your last resort, they'll just say reinstall Mac OS X, lol.

    If you can't get it to repair permissions, try what that guy just said (don't know his name)

    Hope that helps! :)
  4. ricgnzlzcr macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2005
    I have the same powerbook and sadly when that started happening to me it got to the point where it wouldnt boot anymore. When I tried to reinstall the OS it wouldn't show a destination to install. That meant that I had a hard drive failure. I sent it to apple and they took care of it. Goodluck with yours though
  5. doucy2 macrumors 65816


    Jul 7, 2005
    sorry to hear that
    hope all goes well with the repair permissions
  6. killmoms macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2003
    Washington, DC
    This is hard drive failure. Copy any important and irreplaceable files to an external backup volume IMMEDIATELY. Don't bother trying to repair it, you'll likely only hasten its permanent death and not save any of your files. If you are under warranty with Apple, call them and request a replacement.

    EDIT: Just realized I can have an avatar now! WOO!
  7. MacFan25863 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 20, 2004
    I just booted from the Apple DVD and opened Disk Utility. Can't find the S.M.A.R.T. status, but when I tried to Repair Disk, I got some error. Now I gotta figure out how to fit 25 GB of stuff onto a 20 GB iPod, then it's off to try and reinstall the OS :eek:

    I know these things happened, but I never thought it would happen to me and my dear Lappie. I've had her for over a year now without a hitch. It's weird how in the past week, I've had like 5 things break on me (cell phone, keyboard, LCD screen, chair, and now this). What did I do wrong??? :(
  8. Capt Underpants macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

    Jul 23, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    This isn't a software issue. Your hard drive is dying. Have you heard any weird noises coming from it? Clickes? Scrapes :eek:? I hope you didn't have anything too important on that laptop, or at least that you had a backup. If not, chances are you're screwed.
  9. MacFan25863 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 20, 2004
    Nothing too important, except my music (which is backed up) and my pictures (also backed up). Only thing I'm worried about is all of my websites, but those can be recovered.

    I havn't heard any weird noises.

    I just ran the Extended Hardware test off the CD, and it passed, everything fine. Is that a beacon of light, by any chance?

    How much does this normally cost to fix? I'm good with computers, and I know how to change out a hard drive, but I've never worked inside a laptop before. Whats the price difference between doing it myself and going through Apple? I'm guessing I can just buy a laptop hard drive and pop it in, but I don't want to have to take out the logic board or something to do it. Though some extra room to store stuff on would be nice, so maybe I can pop in an 80 GB drive instead of the 60 in there or something....
  10. aznsal612 macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2004
    There's a big difference. If it's a logic board failure, it'll be the cost of the part plus labor. If it's a level 2 repair (meaning the more pricey one), it's $185 at least on top of the price of the board.

    Sooooo....this is the time where AppleCare would come in handy, but I shouldn't be talking...I don't even have it...YET.

    Good luck with the hard drive.
  11. florencevassy macrumors regular


    Jun 1, 2004
    Princeton, NJ
    Sorry about all of this. How long have you had the PowerBook?
    Glad your stuff is backed up. Let us know what happens.
  12. ajampam macrumors regular


    Jul 31, 2005
    I was really tossing when I was getting my mac; to go for the Applecare or not....seeing posts like these made me go for it....it sure does give a lot of peace.....as for you buddy, I hope everything works out...it is interesting that the hardware test came up good...I think you should try calling apple....also cant you do an archive and install when you are reinstalling the OS so that you dont lose anything...provided everything else is fine....all the best!!!
  13. MacFan25863 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 20, 2004
    I got it in June 2004.

    Applecare really wasn't affordable (and still isn't) for me. I'm just a student, and I have to spend my money on other things. My parents said they would pick up the tab on this one, so at least thats one worry off my back!

    aznsal612, I don't think it's a Logic Board failure, its a hard drive failure. Even the S.M.A.R.T status (which wasn't appearing earlier for some odd reason) is Failing.

    If I go to, say, a Genius bar to have it repaired, is it possible for me to ask for a larger hard drive and pay the difference out of my pocket? It would be really nice to have an extra 20 gigs or so....

    The computer is still working, just really slow, so I decided to risk it and get everything possible off of there. I have 3 DVDs of stuff, all of my important things. The apps can be reinstalled, but everything else is nice and safe on DVD or on my iPod.
  14. aznsal612 macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2004
    I think it's possible if you ask nicely, although I don't know the policy on that.

    And, if the cost of the repair is more than AppleCare ($239), then....well, you really can't afford the repair! I'm just saying.

    Actually I'll shut up. I spend all day selling AppleCare anyway. I hope a clean install will fix everything, or at least some sort of reinstall.
  15. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    Unfortunately, no. The Hardware Test CD is pretty basic. If it finds an error, that's a positive indication. But when it doesn't, you aren't necessarily in the clear. Apple dealers can run a deeper test.

    I go along with the hardware failure diagnoses. Reinstalling the OS has about a 0.001% chance of solving your problem IMO.
  16. James L macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2004
    You can get hard drives for your laptop now up to 120GB... Apple only goes up to 100GB so far. I believe they are all 5400rpm (the ones I am thinking of).

    If you get a new HD, take this opportunity to get the biggest one you can.

    As to all the Applecare comments, they are meaningless to you right now, as you don't have it and have to deal with this current situation.

    Good luck!
  17. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    I'm sorry to hear about your recent string of problems. Hopefully things will start to improve. It's very fortunate that your parents are willing to help out. I'm sure that they would install a larger HD.
  18. XNine macrumors 68040


    Apr 7, 2005
    Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?
    Use Tiger's zip or Stuffit's Stuffing to compress your files into archives, burn some to disc, others to iPod.

    And then your data will eb all good.
  19. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    Installing a new hard drive yourself is not that difficult. It just takes some patience. I wouldn't even bother getting it diagnosed unless that is free at the genius bar then go for it. Otherwise just get a new laptop hard drive. I prefer Toshiba but any brand is good. Oh and if your laptop is like other Apple products I have repaired you will need a Torx (star shaped) screw driver set.
  20. yuwing macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2005
    i wouldn't recommend toshiba harddrives. I've read they are not that great.

    The top picks for laptop harddrives are:
    1) Hitachi
    2) seagate
    3) western digital

    seagate's performance is better than hitachi (I heard). but hitachi produces less heat (increases life of harddrive)
  21. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    I vote for new Hitachi. 60gig/7200rpm or 100gig/5400rpm. GREAT luck with them here. Not like the dreaded Apple OEM drive Fujistu
  22. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Yikes... if the SMART status is reading as Failing, you're looking at failure any minute, and I wouldn't even turn it on except to back stuff up (even then, I'd use Target Disk mode, since it's only a matter of time before the OS fails completely).

    Replacing the hard drive in one of those things is difficult, but doable so long as you start with the right tools and are very careful about it.

    Here's a tutorial with photos that you can use to get an idea of whether it's worth the hassle to save the money on professional installation:


    (Personally, I generally go for the FixItYourself method, but then you can cause a lot of damage in a laptop if you screw up so it's not to everybody's taste.)

    Scroll button and the Lappy, together at last... (couldn't resist)
  23. faintember macrumors 65816


    Jun 6, 2005
    the ruins of the Cherokee nation
    Another vote for the Hitachi Travelstar 100gb/5400rpm HD.
    I just put one in my TiPB and it is running great, no problems with heat that i noticed (and i always use my laptop in my lap), and the battery life is the same, maybe a little better, but that may just be wishful thinking! :p

    Sorry to hear about your Mac though, although it gives you a reason to upgrade the HD.
  24. killmoms macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2003
    Washington, DC
    How you ever learn to scribby-scroll so fast?


    I got my buttons on scroll and all the ladies in check—did you find the spare key to my apartment yet? What.

  25. me_94501 macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2003
    And that's why I like to scroll...

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