PPC Mac Service & Repair Anecdotes

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by AmestrisXServe, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. AmestrisXServe macrumors 6502

    Feb 6, 2014
    I'm starting this thread to converse regarding PowerPac repair, and service. This is a thread for anecdotes, not 'help requests'. Fee free to discuss any stories that you have to share here, and, assuming that others participate, to learn some valuable information.

    Try to constrain yourself to stories, and information; please post specific help requests in their own threads.

    The Case of the Haunted TiBook
    One of my more recent projects was to set up a lab of networked Titanium G4 systems, of different configurations, including VGA and DVI models. This works via a Netboot configuration, and mopst of the units are diskless, meaning that they use a shadow disk on the network for storing files.

    One unit, out of the lot, refused time, and again, to boot from the Tiger, or the Panther Netboot images. It would pass POST, and the spinning globe would appear, followed the the usual spinning circle. After about thirty seconds, the unit would inexplicably power itself off!

    I zapped the PRAM, and reduced my Netboot Server down to the Panther Netboot image, and the process repeated itself. I then switched so that only the Tiger netboot was active, and had the same result. Next, I enabled only the Panther NetInstall, and instead of powering off, the system kernel panicked, giving the Shut Me Off' message screen, which is at least an improvement over a self power-off.

    My expectation here was one of two things: Corrupted PRAM, from loading one of the other Netboot images, or faulty physical RAM. I decided to ty zapping the PRAM once more, and to load the Panther NetInstall.

    Lo! It works! The system reached the installer screen, without problem. It could still have faulty RAM, but I think that it was a PRAM corruption, and that one zap simply was not enough. Why it rejected the same Netboot images that the other systems gladly accept, is still a mystery to me.

    The simple fact that a multi PRAM-Zap helped, leads me to believe that the official Apple propaganda, that one zap is enough, is false. I suggest a triple-zap, any time that you encounter some odd conundrum, as the fist step in diagnostics. I have held this philosophy for decades, and it has saved much of my valuable time.

    Otherwise, I would officially declare this TiBook as haunted.

    Feel free to share your own stories, and include any technical knowledge that you think others would find useful to others.
  2. eyoungren, Mar 4, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014

    eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two

    It's August 2006 in Glendale, AZ at Pueblo Publishers (where I work). We produce the Glendale Star and the Peoria Times, two weekly community newspapers. I'm also the "IT" person.

    So, we finally get our server replaced because it's died and the boss has just dropped about $10,000 on new Dells and the PowerEdge 980 server running Windows Small Business Sever 2003. With Exchange and ISA.

    The first thing wrong is that the boss and I had discussed getting Macs. The second thing wrong is that the guy hired for all this had promised an on-site Mac expert to integrate the three Macs back in Compsing (my area) and the guy isn't there. Nevermind that my boss had briefly considered bringing me in on a Saturday as well! :(

    Anyway, so, it's me that is on the phone with this Mac expert! Since the IT guy has bound us to an internal local domain with Exchange it means that the Macs need a certificate generated to work with email. And then the IT guy who only thought about the PCs is faced with the conundrum that Entourage X will not work with Exchange. So, Entourage 2004 is put on order.

    Next, over the phone I have to be walked through disabling server signing, DHCP reservations for the Macs and putting in an exception in ISA that allows the Macs to be ignored by the internet rules so that they can access the internet (because the server controls access).

    In the coming weeks and months it's me that figures out how to grant FTP access, install push antivirus from the server and generally a whole host of other things that the Mac "expert" who never showed up didn't mention.

    One of those being getting DAVE installed. We we're on Panther at the time, so just trying to do ANYTHING on the server was excrutiatingly slow!

    The thing I learned here is that when it comes to Macs, the IT guys always forget. They deal with PCs so any of our issues are never a consideration. Despite the fact that the Macs in the back are the ones that actually do the work of putting the papers out each week!
  3. Graveyard macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2009
    Mac, why you no boot disc?

    I guess the title kinda says it all about something i encountered a couple of years ago.
    I got a call from a friend of mine, that someone had a Mac that didn't work. Ok, bring him over and we'll see what's wrong with it. So here comes my friend with this jackass. He had a 17" 1.67 GHz PowerBook G4, loaded up with all the goodies one can get into that machine. Hires screen, max ram, 250 gig hdd... You get the picture. That dumb son of a bitch got it from the USA from a buddy of his. I live in Romania. I call him such cute names because the mofo brought the poor portable to me in the poorest of conditions. He had played football (soccer for you non europeans) with the poor thing when he saw that the damn thing "didn't work". Actually the computer worked flawlessly, but in a moment of great revelation, the narrow minded freak considered that Leopard was a piece of crap compared to Windblows... So he burned a disc with "Doors 7", and he started messing with the computer, looking for the BIOS to install that piece of crap. When he saw that the thing didn't boot from any damn discs he had, he started using it as a ball on the hall of his dorm. I wasn't a bit surprised when i found a windblows 7 disc still locked in the dvd drive. So i changed the whole case to make it whole again, the screen was hanging by the way, and reconditioned the computer back to its original state.
    When the dumbass came to get it back, he couldn't believe his eyes. He didn't think that i can bring it back to life. So i instructed the retard about the differences in architecture between that and a P(iece of)C(rap) computer, and why he cannot boot windblows on it. Needless to say i wanted to buy the computer to save it from becoming a doorstop again, but the jackass didn't want to sell it when he saw it. I don't know what happened to the computer after he took it from me, and i really don't wanna think about it because i'd start crying like a little kid... I charged him quite a fee for the repairs and that was all...

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