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Powerbook Constantly Freezes

1955 Views 22 Replies Latest reply: May 11, 2006 9:31 PM by daniel01 RSS
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xthomasx Calculating status...
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Dec 19, 2005 5:45 AM
I just got my Powerbook about 2 months ago and I've been having tons of problems with it freezing. First, some background info... For the first week, my computer ran fine. Then, it started freezing (but not a whole lot). Then it started becoming more frequent and one day I went to restart and the computer started up in console mode (I think that's what it's called.) So then, I decided to take it to the Apple store and have them look at it. The guy told me to reinstall the OS and I did. That was about a month ago. That solved the problem of starting in console mode, but my computer still freezes. A lot. Sometimes I'll be able to use my computer for a couple of days before it freezes, other times it freezes right after I restart. A lot of the times it freezes almost every 5-10 minutes. I don't know if it's a certain program I'm running (I've noticed it has freezed when I'm using any program). But this has been happening pretty much ever since I got this thing. I am planning on taking it into the store again, but I wanted to post here first to see if I could get any help/feedback. Thanks.

Powerbook G4   Mac OS X (10.4.3)  
  • jrg_uk Level 3 Level 3 (720 points)
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    Dec 19, 2005 8:12 AM (in response to xthomasx)
    Can you expand on the nature of the freezing?

    When it happens, is the mouse pointer still moveable? Does the clock on the task bar stop updating? Does the Caps Lock key still light up if you press it? If you press the power button, does the 'do you want to shut down?' message appear on the screen? Any other observations?
    PowerBook G4/1.67GHz/DVD-DL, Mac OS X (10.4.3), MacMini/1.42GHz. Ti PowerBook G4/500MHz
  • Phil Vander Level 2 Level 2 (210 points)
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    Dec 19, 2005 8:19 AM (in response to xthomasx)
    I got the same think on my powerbook 17 1,33GHz

    The logic board was changed, and when I got it back to home, it freeze after 2 hours working. Sometimes it freeze after 2 days. And when it freeze I am not able to restart it. I need to wait the logic board become colder.

    Diagnostic logic board need to be changed again.

    When it happens, no mouse move, no CPU activity no core dump. Just the PowerPC halted
    Powerbook 17, Mac OS X (10.3.9)
  • Leigh-Ann Level 2 Level 2 (200 points)
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    Dec 19, 2005 6:43 PM (in response to xthomasx)
    just curious - but I had the same problem until I git rid of my iogear bluetooth I have no problems. Are you using any non-apple periphreals?
    PB15 1.67GHz/2GB, AEBS,4GB iPod,G-Raid 320GB (FW800)HD, Mac OS X (10.4.2)
  • Maxit Level 4 Level 4 (3,640 points)
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    Dec 19, 2005 7:12 PM (in response to xthomasx)
    You can try erasing your hard drive (after backing up your important data, of course) and then reintalling from your original discs. You could also remove any third party RAM and see if you still get freezes. Short of those things solving the problem, I would let Apple sort it out given that this is a new PB. But before you hand it over, do make sure you have backed up your important files.
    PB 1.67 mhz, 1.5 RAM, 80GB, Mac OS X (10.4.3), iBook 600mhz, 640RAM, 60GB, 10.3.9; 250GB LaCie FW
  • Phil Vander Level 2 Level 2 (210 points)
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    Dec 20, 2005 1:03 AM (in response to Phil Vander)
    I forget to says that when it happens:

    - disk has been formatted with ZEROES
    - 10.3.9 was installed from scratch
    - no device, no third party software

    A clean system !

    Suspect a defective welding on the board or a bad component which fails when heat is up

    Powerbook 17   Mac OS X (10.3.9)  
  • agalakatos Level 1 Level 1 (100 points)
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    Dec 21, 2005 3:26 PM (in response to Maxit)
    try reseting the PRAM, and type in "reset-all" in Open Firmware (hold down APPLE OPTION O AND F KEYS) and type that in when you get the prompt. If that doesn't work try reseting the PMU (look it up on apple's site) because it varries from model to model

    hope this works...keep us posted
    Powerbook 15" (High Res), Mac OS X (10.4.3), 2 GB RAM
  • duilio Calculating status...
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    Dec 24, 2005 9:36 PM (in response to Phil Vander)
    Phil, hi.

    I have found that the memory stick of 1G from Kingston is the reason why my computer is doing just the same as yours. I have formated the disk several times and I have run verifications and reparis also and nothing seems to stop the arbitrary freezing and the Kernel Panics.

    Now I'm running with the 512 Kb stick that came with the machine and so far so good. I even could watch an entire episode of the Lord of the Rings and nothing disturbed me.

    I whish you well

    PB 15 " 1,67 GHz, Mac OS X (10.4.3)
  • duilio Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Dec 24, 2005 9:41 PM (in response to xthomasx)

    Hi, as I wrote to Phil, I was experiencing the same situation and non of the technicians could do a thing for me, not even the several manouvers with first aid and formating of the hard disk. For me the problem lies in the memory stick. I don't know if this is the case but I worked for me.

    take care

    PB 15 " 1,67 GHz, Mac OS X (10.4.3)
  • Leon Smith Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
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    Feb 4, 2006 7:48 AM (in response to duilio)
    Because my PB (SuperDrive with 1.5 GB RAM) was bought from MacMall, a US catalog/internet seller, with the additional 1GB Kingston RAM (533MHZ DDR2 200-PIN SODIMM) installed for the deal (pay for installation only, rebate the $179 for the RAM), I was wondering whether your Kingston RAM was from the same or similar source (installed by the seller).

    It might be that it is not being handled or seated properly. Or it could be that it is subject to vibration from being moved in transit.

    My PB started freezing and the sound was like a broken record twice this past week. It has been in use for only a month. Nothing (trackpad, USB mouse, keyboard) worked. It had to be shut down by holding down the power button for several seconds.

    Also, does your PB stay ON overnight, or do you shut down each evening?

    iMac (flat panel,Panther), 15" Al PB G4 (hi-res,Tiger)   Mac OS X (10.3.9)   1.67GHZ Dual-layer
  • Peter C 77 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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    Feb 4, 2006 3:53 PM (in response to xthomasx)

    I have exactly the same problem.
    • RAM, Board and HD all have been replaced.
    • No peripherals except Mighty Mouse.
    • Crashes with no peripherals connected.
    • Crashes on AC or battery
    • No sus software or extensions.
    • 8 System reinstalls including clean installs, new HD erased and new clean install - still crashed within an hour of that.

    Apple refuses to offer any tech help because I took it back to the reseller for repairs.

    Reseller says it's back to square one: RAM, HD, Board, and that there's no guarentee that any or all of the new parts wont also be faulty. It's just a matter of replace, replace, replace until it stops crashing - where does it end?
    PowerBook 15", Mac OS X (10.4.4), last model before MacBook, 1.5 G RAM, 120 Mb HD
  • roger7 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Feb 5, 2006 10:56 AM (in response to xthomasx)
    sure wish i had read this before i bought a new powerbook g4. mine had the freeze problem right out of the box. new. does apple care? not. apparently they have handed off quality control to customers. hours on the phone. restarts. reboots. no reinstall because it won't read the backup discs. 5 days to get replacement discs (after an assurance of 2 days). still won't read. okay, they'll send a box so i can return it. should arrive tomorrow. well, technically, "tomorrow" means 5 days from now, as i find out in subsequent calls to apple. has anyone gotten apple to actually replace a lemon?
    powerbook, Mac OS X (10.4.4)
  • Peter C 77 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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    Feb 7, 2006 8:51 AM (in response to roger7)

    did you have any 3rd party RAM installed on your PBook - or more than one module?

    As per my last note I'm now testing RAM and with only one module in the bottom slot my machine seems to be working OK. Still need to run it for a few more days to be completely sure.

    The 3rd party 512 module works OK in the bottom slot by itself and I'm now doing the same with the 3rd party 1 Gig. So far so good by themselves, but feeze city when both are together.

    It's looking like it could be chip incompatibility or a faulty upper slot. Will test both slots with two identical 1 Gig modules together. Since both of my motherboards had exactly the same symptoms, if the problem then returns it'll be a faulty upper slot and since we all have the same problem - it could be a recall issue.

    I hope it's just the RAM, but the fact that we all have the same symptoms leads me to suspect the socket.

    Will keep you posted.


    Peter C
    PowerBook 15", Mac OS X (10.4.4), last model before MacBook, 1.5 G RAM, 120 Mb HD
  • Alek Trueblood Calculating status...
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    Feb 9, 2006 1:47 PM (in response to xthomasx)
    I am also having the same problems. I have a 15" 1.67 Ghz G4 Powerbook, and it randomly chooses to come to a screaching halt every now and then. I have noticed that it started doing this when I installed some third party RAM from Crucial. I'm going to try running it without the RAM for a few days and see what happens.
    15" Powerbook 1.67 Ghz, Mac OS X (10.4.4)
  • Peter C 77 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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    Feb 9, 2006 7:17 PM (in response to Alek Trueblood)
    Update on RAM testing

    Hi again,

    Neither the 1 Gig nor the 512 module crashed the machine in the lower slot when by itself. Together it was splatsville. Both are the same brand of 3rd party RAM - but the chips on the 1 Gig were Samsung and on the other ??? Therein may lie the incompatibility problem.

    I've been running on two IDENTICAL 1 Gig 3rd party RAM modules for two days without a hitch. Admittedly not as heavy usage as normal, but still things feel stable.

    An Apple term perhaps but the machine seems happier if you get my drift. It may be subjective but things seem to move along a bit more nicely with the extra RAM space. My workflow tends to hum now - like I said, if you get my drift.

    Hopefully this problem is just RAM chip incompatibility - even from the same RAM company the chip manufacturers for two modules can be different.

    See if eliminating this helps any of you other folks and post the result.

    Will keep you posted on how I go.


    Peter C
    PowerBook 15", Mac OS X (10.4.4), last model before MacBook, 1.5 G RAM, 120 Mb HD
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