Trackpad is going nuts!

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by hurl everstone, Jan 9, 2004.

  1. hurl everstone macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2004

    has anyone else experienced problems with the trackpad on a Powerbook G4 12"? The arrow stays in the corner, as if it were magnetized, and quickly jumps back to the corner if you try and move it. The only way to get it to return to normal is to shut down the machine and restart. Plugging a standard mouse into the usb seems to work, but a real pain in the arse as it's on the left side.

    Thank you.
  2. freddiecable macrumors 6502a


    May 16, 2003
    iBook 12"

    I've got some problems with my trackpad - but not as severa as you describe it. when i use it - sometimes - the arrow jumps the other way or stands still...

    haven't had time to call support - but will do - obviously a hardware error...
  3. joker2 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 19, 2003
    DC area

    Have you tried cleaning the trackpad with rubbing alcohol on a soft cloth (that doesn't leave any threads behind)?

    I had that happen once with my 12"PB 1GHz, but had it happen much more often on one of the old iBooks. It usually turned out to be gunk on the trackpad itself. (Oils from your hands attracting dirt, etc.)
  4. mms macrumors 6502a

    Oct 8, 2003
    I've had the exact same thing happen sometimes on my G3 Lombard. I always thought it was just getting old. The only thing is, I wouldn't have to restart it; All I had to do was leave it alone for about five minutes and it would be fine. I never figured out why it happened. Now I just use a USB mouse all the time.
  5. RiseAgainst macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2003
    Does this happen all of the time with your trackpad?

    I'v had the mouse move all over thing before, but i notice that it only happens when its really cold in the room. I think it confuses the pad.
  6. oldschool macrumors 65816


    Sep 30, 2003
    Try this for me please next time this happens to your trackpad: Push The Command (apple)+option+D keys

    This is the command to show hide the dock.

    It seems to work for me every time.

    You might have to do the command a few times though.
  7. OutThere macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
    Try turning off all the options to protect the trackpad from accidental input in the System Preferences. Then turn off clicking, dragging and drag lock.
  8. mms macrumors 6502a

    Oct 8, 2003
    oldschool, how does your hint work? I don't see any relationship between showing and hiding the dock and the trackpad.
  9. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040


    Apr 21, 2003
    washington dc
    my g3 pismo trackpad gets a little cracked out on me too sometimes... i just put the cranky bastard to sleep and wake it back up and that usually does the trick

  10. oldschool macrumors 65816


    Sep 30, 2003
    You're right. Showing and hiding the dock has nothing to do with the trackpad. But for some reason it works...I have no idea why.
  11. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    Re: Trackpad is going nuts!

    i know that exact problem happened with a lot of the original ibooks and the culprit was mac os 9.0...but apple quickly fixed that bug in the revised mac os 9.0.4 but since it rarely happens on my ibook, i do quite well with 9.0

    i am sad to hear that's a problem in os x and i wonder if it's one of those quirks with programming which show up as that type of problem with a trackpad...i know when i started learned java, there were certain quirks which would show up in the same weird ways over and over again:rolleyes:
  12. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    I used to have the exact same problem

    I used to have this problem with my PowerBook G4 (no longer mine). I solved it by putting the machine to sleep, waking it up again, then leaving the trackpad alone for 5 seconds. That always fixed it.
  13. hurl everstone thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2004
    Thanks for your responses

    Thanks to everyone who has responded. The trackpad still occasionally goes wacky. Removing the dock (apple+option+D) works sometimes. Lately, when it happens I run my fingernail around the outer edge of the trackpad and it seems to work. Putting it to sleep works, too, but it's usually next to impossible to get the arrow up to the menu bar to do it. (Is there a keyboard command to put it to sleep?) Since my Powerbook is less than 1 year old, I may take it in to the mac service center and see what kind of analysis they'll give me.

  14. rueyeet macrumors 65816


    Jun 10, 2003
    Since it's a PowerBook, you don't need the menus to put it to sleep--just close the lid, and open it a few seconds later.
  15. yellowgoose2 macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2004
    Powerbook Ti G4 400 trackpad frozen

    Hi there.

    Another solution for frozen trackpad in the upper left corner after startup.

    Symptom: Error happens after restart under OS 9.2.2, OSX or InstallCD.

    - Reset: does not work.
    - Deactivation of USB system extensions: does not work.
    - Deactivation of all system extensions: does not work.
    - Resetting parameter RAM: does not work.
    - Firmware update: does not work (newest firmware was installed)

    First of all: Thanks to Apple Support not giving any hint for this problem!

    It was a problem of static electricity. I opened the Powerbook and removed the battery and harddrive. Then i put my fingers onto the trackpad board and grounded it (bare-footed), assembled the Powerbook and restarted again: did work!

    Good luck with your own G4.
  16. abhishekit macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2003
    akron , ohio
    it happened with my previous g4ibook..i even talked to apple support...but they couldnt do anything as it was a fairly intermittent problem...
  17. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    Re: Powerbook Ti G4 400 trackpad frozen

    the interesting thing is, as a pc tech and owner of a pc laptop (over 4 years...compaq presario), i never had this trackpad problem or seen it on anything other than an's still usually very rare and mac laptops are otherwise much better than any pc laptops in just about every other category
  18. sinser macrumors 6502a


    Sep 16, 2003
    Happy to find this thread since i often experience the same problem on my 15" Alu Pbook with the trackpad quickly jumping to the (usually left) corner...Hurl, have you contacted a Mac Genius? Is it a software or hardware (hope not since it has already been in repair twice) issue?


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