17" G4 (1 Ghz) Aluminum Saga

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DoctorClu's picture
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My G4 17" Powerbook with system 10.4.11 and 10.5 has been locking up a lot lately.

Any idea what could be causing this, or better, what the solution is?

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DoctorClu's picture
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Adding a bit to that, I have

Adding a bit to that, I have looked online where people have complained about the OS X Macs, both PowerPC and Intel locking up. As of 2008 Apple seemed unaware of the lock ups, and had no patch for it.

Some said that when they installed 10.5.1 the lock ups stopped, when they installed 10.5.2 it started back up again.

Like me they had tried resetting the PRam, reinstalling the OS,etc, with no result.

One person believed it was a lack of thermal grease on the motherboard, and was looking to try to apply more thermal grease.

Another said that "mcfancontrol_2_2_2" and setting at 50c was something that worked. This is not an option for the PowerPC Macs sadly.

But yeh the Mac locks up hard without warning, and the only option is a complete reset.

So any ideas or developments on this since 2008?

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If it's a problem that's been

If it's a problem that's been getting worse as time goes on, that means it's either a hardware problem (something's failing), or an application/part of the OS that's getting unstable. If it was a bug in OS X itself, the machine would lock up with the same frequency from day 1, not get worse with time. You didn't mention how old your OS installation is, but as a first step, wiping your hard drive and reinstalling from scratch would determine if it's a software problem. If the instability continues, the first piece of hardware I'd suspect would be the RAM.

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DoctorClu's picture
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OS had been reinstalled so I'

OS had been reinstalled so I'm trying to swap out the ram. So far good results.

Shame there isn't a program to find and test the ram, and once that is identified, route the memory process around the bad ram.

DoctorClu's picture
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Possibly the end?

Well two months ago the computer would go into a sleep cycle. Though the 17" G4 Macs are bad about going into false sleep, it actually turned out in this case to be the fan, which was making a loud noise when it spun up, and later would not spin at all, which caused the 17" to get hot.

Then about two weeks ago the computer got where if you tapped on the lower right hand of the laptop next to the track pad, the computer would freeze and ask for a reset. After resetting the laptop would not come back up with video.

As time has passed, it has gotten more and more difficult to either keep the laptop running, or even use the reset-nvram trick to bring video back.

The laptop has become so problematic I am not sure the computer is really worth messing with anymore.

If this problem sounds familiar to anyone, I would love to hear it. If it is a confirmed laptop death, well, I am basically agreeing at this point.

lefevere's picture
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Re: 17" G4 (1 Ghz) Aluminum Saga

Quote:

Shame there isn't a program to find and test the ram

hardware test (including ram) on the system install dvd

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Eudimorphodon's picture
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Re: Possibly the end?

DoctorClu wrote:

Then about two weeks ago the computer got where if you tapped on the lower right hand of the laptop next to the track pad, the computer would freeze and ask for a reset. After resetting the laptop would not come back up with video.

If you had a 15" Powerbook I'd suspect it could be the infamous "bad RAM slot problem", but from what I can tell that the 17" models don't have that issue. How many SO-DIMMs do you have in it, and have you tried pulling out half the RAM and seeing if it still crashes with one slot empty? (Try both.) As suggested, if you have the original CDs that came with it one of them should have a hardware test. If you have it I'd recommend running it continuously with different RAM configurations, and also while handling the laptop.

(As to other suggestions, I did once have to get a 15" G4 repaired under Applecare because of a wiring harness problem which would power off the machine if it were tilted the "wrong" way or gently pressed near the battery compartment. Interestingly enough those sudden power-offs often corrupted the PMU so it would need a reset. It *could* conceivably be a loose connection. I'm not familiar with the 17" model at all, but is the place you're tapping near the battery connections?)

I suppose it would be a little uncouth to ask if you might possibly be interested in parting out the carcass cheaply or engineering a trade of some sort. Some time ago I "rescued" a 17" Athlon laptop from a junk heap that has a damaged screen, and according to the hits I found searching the panel it *supposedly* uses the same panel as the 1440x900 17" G4s.

(The sad thing is that $150 for a replacement panel seems pretty silly when you can get whole 17" dual-core laptops in the low $400 ballpark if you wait for a sale. The one I rescued is missing its battery and hard disk so clearly I wouldn't want to spend much to revive it.)