Weird PowerBook problem...

spencecb

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 20, 2003
960
17
I always take my PowerBook G4 to class with me for the purpose of taking notes during class. I was connected to the internet there, over the wireless network with no problem.

When I got back home, my PowerBook wasn't seeing the wireless network, but I knew it was working because my iMac is connected to it just fine. I tried restarting a couple of times, and actually typing the name of the network into the Airport drop-down menu. This all did nothing, as did repairing the disk permissions.

So, I popped in my OS X DVD to boot from it to use the Repair Disk feature. It came up with an error that said something to the tune of "incorrect number of threads." It repaired the disk without any probems, or so I thought (and so it thought).

Now, the computer will not function because it runs into a kernal panic, forcing me to hard shut-down the computer. It happens everytime, sometimes during startup, sometimes not until I get into OS X, but always soon after the OS starts.

I have the computer started in Safe Boot right now, and it is idling at the login screen ( I have automatic login disabled).

I was wondering if anyone out there would be willing to help me out, preferably even over iSight if anyone has the knowledge to help me out, and it would be much quicker than to keep replying from post to post.

Screen name is CoreyAtMiamiU if anyone can help. Thanks a ton!
 

spencecb

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 20, 2003
960
17
Update...

Well, the computer is no longer having kernal panics, but it has completely stopped recognizing the fact that there is an AirPort card installed.

I incidentaly had an extra Airport Express card laying around (long story) and it did not recognize it either. So I can assume that there is not a problem with the original AirPort Express card that was in place, so I replaced it with the original to no avail.
 

emw

macrumors G4
Aug 2, 2004
11,177
0
I wish I could help here, but I'm not sure anything I have to say is all that valuable. Still....

What version of the OS are you running - Tiger? Panther? If Panther, there's an Airport Extreme update on Software Update - did you install it?

Has anything else changed on your PB that might be causing these problems - software installed or anything?
 

spencecb

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 20, 2003
960
17
emw said:
I wish I could help here, but I'm not sure anything I have to say is all that valuable. Still....

What version of the OS are you running - Tiger? Panther? If Panther, there's an Airport Extreme update on Software Update - did you install it?

Has anything else changed on your PB that might be causing these problems - software installed or anything?
I am running the latest version of OS X...10.4.4, and there has to be something else that is going on, because when I was on campus today it was working just fine, and then by the time I got home it would not join my network.
 

spencecb

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 20, 2003
960
17
So out of all the people that have viewed this, no one else has any suggestions of what to do??? Come on guys, I need your help!
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,194
6
Adelaide, Australia
So let me get this straight, you've booted back into your regular account and OSX is running normally apart from not recognising your AirPort card? Have you tried removing com.apple.airport.preferences.plist? :)
 

spencecb

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 20, 2003
960
17
mad jew said:
So let me get this straight, you've booted back into your regular account and OSX is running normally apart from not recognising your AirPort card? Have you tried removing com.apple.airport.preferences.plist? :)
That is correct, and no I have not tried that...but I will now
 

spencecb

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 20, 2003
960
17
I could not find the file that you suggested, but I did find this:

com.apple.airport.assistant.plist

Should I remove this file?
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,194
6
Adelaide, Australia
Removing it won't do any harm but it won't help (I don't think). I guess it's worth a shot.

I was worried you wouldn't find the AirPort preference file, it's not a great sign. I'd take two steps. Firstly, I'd make a new account through System Preferences and cross my fingers that it'll trigger the AirPort card recognition however I don't think it will. I only say this because I really don't like the next option which is to do an archive and install of OSX. Make sure everything is backed up first.

Actually, considering the machine seemed to miraculously recover from multiple kernel panics (not good), I'd seriously consider doing a clean install (format and install). Of course, you'll lose everything on the machine so everything must be backed up. I really hate this form of troubleshooting (it's terribly Windows-esque) but there seems to be quite a few errors and a clean install could give you the chance to eliminate all of them in one process.

By the way, did you run Disk Utility from the OSX disks whilst the PowerBook was plugged into the wall?
 

spencecb

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 20, 2003
960
17
mad jew said:
Removing it won't do any harm but it won't help (I don't think). I guess it's worth a shot.

I was worried you wouldn't find the AirPort preference file, it's not a great sign. I'd take two steps. Firstly, I'd make a new account through System Preferences and cross my fingers that it'll trigger the AirPort card recognition however I don't think it will. I only say this because I really don't like the next option which is to do an archive and install of OSX. Make sure everything is backed up first.

Actually, considering the machine seemed to miraculously recover from multiple kernel panics (not good), I'd seriously consider doing a clean install (format and install). Of course, you'll lose everything on the machine so everything must be backed up. I really hate this form of troubleshooting (it's terribly Windows-esque) but there seems to be quite a few errors and a clean install could give you the chance to eliminate all of them in one process.

By the way, did you run Disk Utility from the OSX disks whilst the PowerBook was plugged into the wall?
Yes, the PowerBook was plugged into the wall while I was running Disk Utility. I'll try the new account first, and then see what happens from there. Thanks for your help.
 

spencecb

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 20, 2003
960
17
mad jew said:
No problems. :)

I don't have high hopes for the new account but it's a much easier solution than reinstalling.
Yeah, the new account definitely didn't work, so I am installing OS X right now. Might actually be a good thing to have a fresh start on the PowerBook :)
 

spencecb

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 20, 2003
960
17
Okay, so that absolutely did not work. I don't know what the **** is going on with the PowerBook. If anyone can help me out that would be great.
 

DIXIE

macrumors member
Let's check the facts.

spencecb said:
Okay, so that absolutely did not work. I don't know what the **** is going on with the PowerBook. If anyone can help me out that would be great.
spencecb,

I know this problem is upsetting, but if you start doing too many major things the issue can become worse!

First, if your original airport card is functioning with the school network, it's not a card defect. Make sure when you reinstalled that card it was firmly seated and the little aerial cap FULLY inserted.

Since your home network is the trouble spot, I believe your problem could be a corruption in the configuration of your AirPort Base Station.

STOP! Before you try to reset the ABS, check the Network configs in System Preferences. Is it set to Automatic or a specific network? Since you bounce from network to network, Automatic is probably best for you. Also check/click Network Port Configurations pop-up list and see if AirPort is on the top and checked.

If all that seems correct, SHUT DOWN your computer .... disconnect the power cable ... remove the battery. Disconnect the power cable from the AirPort Base Station and WAIT about 10 minutes (have a cookie).;)

Reconnect the power cable to the ABS; while the ABS is rebooting, reinstall the PB battery, then reconnect the power cable to the PB, reboot the PB ... Repair Disk Permissions (/App/Utilities/Disk Utility).

Now the main event: Open up AirPort Admin Utility (/App/Utilities/AirPort Admin Utility), look at the picture on the right side ... under the figure the firmware number should be v6.3 for AirPort Express or v5.7 for AirPort Extreme.

If the number is NOT updated, go to Apple Support Downloads and install. Only when that number is correct, click on the Configure icon on the top row, when the new pane opens reset all applicable info starting with the AirPort button, etc... When completed with the reentering of ALL the necessary data, do not forget to click the Update button on the bottom.

After all that, cross your fingers and promise not to yell!:rolleyes:

DIXIE
:D :D
 

comictimes

macrumors 6502a
Jun 20, 2004
874
1
Berkeley, California
I checked the apple support forums (which usually have some really useful info) and there were a few other people with this problem. Unfortunately, the only one who solved it said that they had to do an archive-reinstall of OSX.

Sorry bout that mate, but it looks like that may be your only choice...
 

spencecb

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 20, 2003
960
17
DIXIE said:
spencecb,

I know this problem is upsetting, but if you start doing too many major things the issue can become worse!

First, if your original airport card is functioning with the school network, it's not a card defect. Make sure when you reinstalled that card it was firmly seated and the little aerial cap FULLY inserted.

Since your home network is the trouble spot, I believe your problem could be a corruption in the configuration of your AirPort Base Station.

STOP! Before you try to reset the ABS, check the Network configs in System Preferences. Is it set to Automatic or a specific network? Since you bounce from network to network, Automatic is probably best for you. Also check/click Network Port Configurations pop-up list and see if AirPort is on the top and checked.

If all that seems correct, SHUT DOWN your computer .... disconnect the power cable ... remove the battery. Disconnect the power cable from the AirPort Base Station and WAIT about 10 minutes (have a cookie).;)

Reconnect the power cable to the ABS; while the ABS is rebooting, reinstall the PB battery, then reconnect the power cable to the PB, reboot the PB ... Repair Disk Permissions (/App/Utilities/Disk Utility).

Now the main event: Open up AirPort Admin Utility (/App/Utilities/AirPort Admin Utility), look at the picture on the right side ... under the figure the firmware number should be v6.3 for AirPort Express or v5.7 for AirPort Extreme.

If the number is NOT updated, go to Apple Support Downloads and install. Only when that number is correct, click on the Configure icon on the top row, when the new pane opens reset all applicable info starting with the AirPort button, etc... When completed with the reentering of ALL the necessary data, do not forget to click the Update button on the bottom.

After all that, cross your fingers and promise not to yell!:rolleyes:

DIXIE
:D :D
Thanks a ton for taking the time in typing all this out. I guess I should have stated earlier that I don't even use an ABS, it is a lynksys router, and has been restarted, although I know that is not the problem, as all three other computers (including this iMac I am typing on right now) are functioning properly.

The problem lies within the PowerBook. It has ceased to recognize that the Airport card is even there. There are no options for it in System Preferences. It is like the device does not even exist. Even when using Airport Setup Assistant, it tells me that no Airport card can be found.

And to Mad Jew, I completely erased the hard drive and installed OS X, not an archive and install. I didn't worry about any of the information on my PB because it is all stored on my iMac.

So, I think I am just going to give up. I don't want to pay to have it fixed, because all too often are Apple computers way too expensive to repair. I believe I am going to sell it to PBfixit.com, and put the money towards a MacBook Pro.

Or, if anyone in this forum would like to make an offer, go right ahead.
 

yoshe200

macrumors member
Oct 4, 2005
41
0
Champaign, IL
hello, I had a very similar problem with my powerbook... got kernel panic everytime i booted up or it would just boot up sometimes but not detect the card... and I called applecare and all that... and had them send a new airport express card... but stupid me when I looked at the card, it wasn't connected properly. I would make sure that the card really connected (you have to push it in all the way) and the connector thing is a bit tricky too, that has to be in all the way.
Maybe you could give it one more try- recheck the connection
 

DIXIE

macrumors member
Rerun the video tape!!

yoshe200 said:
hello, I had a very similar problem with my powerbook... got kernel panic every-time i booted up or it would just boot up sometimes but not detect the card... and I called applecare and all that... and had them send a new airport express card... but stupid me when I looked at the card, it wasn't connected properly. I would make sure that the card really connected (you have to push it in all the way) and the connector thing is a bit tricky too, that has to be in all the way.
Maybe you could give it one more try- recheck the connection
________________________________________________________________


spencecb,

This is what I cautioned you to check; this could account for the non-recog by the AirPort Assistant and System Preferences. Don't be so quick to wave the white flag!:eek:

If the AirPort card was not working or recognized at home, how do you explain that there isn't any problem, when you are in range of the wireless network in school? :confused:

Are you forgetting about some operative detail that would account for such an anomaly? Is this a repetitive sequence of events or a one-timer sudden onset? Remember, Aluminum PBs do not pick-up a modest output signal (at home) as well as iBooks or iMacs.

There has to be a logical explanation, otherwise the only answer is: you are in the Twilight Zone! ;)

DIXIE
:D :D
 

spencecb

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 20, 2003
960
17
DIXIE said:
________________________________________________________________


spencecb,

This is what I cautioned you to check; this could account for the non-recog by the AirPort Assistant and System Preferences. Don't be so quick to wave the white flag!:eek:

If the AirPort card was not working or recognized at home, how do you explain that there isn't any problem, when you are in range of the wireless network in school? :confused:

Are you forgetting about some operative detail that would account for such an anomaly? Is this a repetitive sequence of events or a one-timer sudden onset? Remember, Aluminum PBs do not pick-up a modest output signal (at home) as well as iBooks or iMacs.

There has to be a logical explanation, otherwise the only answer is: you are in the Twilight Zone! ;)

DIXIE
:D :D
Maybe my earlier post was a little confusing. I am not trying to gain access to the wireless network on campus from my house. We have out own wireless router set up here at home, and it is just the across the hall and I get a full signal strength anywhere in the house.

I just don't know what else to do about this situation. I find it very unlikely that the card is not seated correctly, because first of all, when I brought the PowerBook back from campus (when it was working properly) it was tranported in my TUMI bag, which has a dedicated padded holder for PowerBooks, and then immediately took it out and sat it on my desk next to my iMac only to find the PowerBook no longer seeing the wireless signal.

ANd at this point, I could still turn Airport on and off, and I restarted the computer a couple of times to see if it would pick up the signal, all the while Airport was still recognized by the system. It didn't become unrecognized until I performed the Repair Disk function when booting from the OS X DVD.
 

DIXIE

macrumors member
One tough nut!

"....... immediately took it out and sat it on my desk next to my iMac only to find the PowerBook no longer seeing the wireless signal.

And at this point, I could still turn Airport on and off, and I restarted the computer a couple of times to see if it would pick up the signal, all the while Airport was still recognized by the system.It didn't become unrecognized until I performed the Repair Disk function when booting from the OS X DVD."

spencecb;

You don't give up details easily ... I'm going to recommend you for "black ops"!:rolleyes:

As previously asked by me and others: have you updated AirPort Express FIRMWARE to v6.3?

When you say: "I performed the Repair Disk function when booting from the OS X DVD" ... be explicit, do you mean Repair Disk PERMISSIONS or Repair DISK?

If you repaired PERMISSIONS from the DVD instead of (/App/Utilities/Disk Utility/Repair Disk Permissions), that could sometimes cause a problem.

Try this: remove the troublemaker AE card and replace it with the "hangin' around card". Reboot from the install DVD into Disk Utility and REPAIR DISK, not permissions. When REPAIR DISK indicates Disk is OK (usually in green text) close and eject DVD. If you see any kind of "error" message, rerun REPAIR DISK until it disappears, PLUS one more time, then eject DVD.

Restart the PB, Repair Disk Permissions from the /App/Utilities/DU, then check those Network settings in System Preferences (see my prior thesis).:cool:

Regardless of what happens, you are still "spy" material!;)

DIXIE
:D :D
 

spencecb

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 20, 2003
960
17
DIXIE said:
"....... immediately took it out and sat it on my desk next to my iMac only to find the PowerBook no longer seeing the wireless signal.

And at this point, I could still turn Airport on and off, and I restarted the computer a couple of times to see if it would pick up the signal, all the while Airport was still recognized by the system.It didn't become unrecognized until I performed the Repair Disk function when booting from the OS X DVD."

spencecb;

You don't give up details easily ... I'm going to recommend you for "black ops"!:rolleyes:

As previously asked by me and others: have you updated AirPort Express FIRMWARE to v6.3?

When you say: "I performed the Repair Disk function when booting from the OS X DVD" ... be explicit, do you mean Repair Disk PERMISSIONS or Repair DISK?

If you repaired PERMISSIONS from the DVD instead of (/App/Utilities/Disk Utility/Repair Disk Permissions), that could sometimes cause a problem.

Try this: remove the troublemaker AE card and replace it with the "hangin' around card". Reboot from the install DVD into Disk Utility and REPAIR DISK, not permissions. When REPAIR DISK indicates Disk is OK (usually in green text) close and eject DVD. If you see any kind of "error" message, rerun REPAIR DISK until it disappears, PLUS one more time, then eject DVD.

Restart the PB, Repair Disk Permissions from the /App/Utilities/DU, then check those Network settings in System Preferences (see my prior thesis).:cool:

Regardless of what happens, you are still "spy" material!;)

DIXIE
:D :D
Lol, I don't know why my posts aren't clear...I did say I repaired the disk using the DVD, which would mean the disk, not permissions. Both AE cards are not working, which I have also stated, and I have tried repairing the disk (not permissions) from the DVD several times. Since this, I have also tried erasing the disk again, installing OSX from a fresh start, I even zeroed the HDD and then installed again. Nothing works.
 

DIXIE

macrumors member
Third time the charm?

Ok, I'll give you partial credit.;)

You are using a linskys router, so the Firmware update is a non-starter ....hm..m.m, have you run the Hardware Tester?

At this point, all this trial & error stuff is going nowhere. If there is an Apple Store or Apple Certified Repair nearby, let one of the techs give it a shot; you might find one of those "geniuses", who can really help.

Let us know what happens ..... we have earned it!:cool:

Don't Give Up the Ship!:)

DIXIE
:D :D
 

Mlobo01

macrumors 6502
Jan 23, 2003
318
0
Weehawken New Jersey
try this...

One thing that you may tru thats not as system-changing is going into system prefs>network and erase "locations" start with new accounts or do one for each location such as:"home" and then "school". this has worked for me before. another item is logging in as superuser or sys administrator. but try what I recommended and see.