12 Replies Latest reply: May 22, 2006 2:26 PM by Isaac Cady
Isaac Cady Level 1 (45 points)
Today, when I left school, I just closed my computer. I had FCP running and a couple of other apps. I carried my laptop around in a bag and didn't turn it on until 10:12 EST so it has been in the bag from about 1:00 to 10:15. I have not moved it around much and when I have I have been very careful.

When I oppened the PowerBook It didn't wake up, but the sleep light turned off. Nothing came up on the screen and I moved the mouse pressed the spacebar and nothing seemed to work. Then I pressed the power button, that didn't work. So I held down the power button and heard the HDD turn off. I pressed the power button again to boot it up and I heard three beeps, about 1 sec each, and the sleep light blinked about 5 times then stayed solid for about 10 sex and repeated the blinking and solid states.

It's obvious that this is supposed to happen when sometihng goes wrong, but I would like to know what's wrong, because I really need the files on this computer.

And I had planned to back it up next weekend. I think I may be switching back to PC, mac has given me way more hardware problems than a PC (one NOT running Win ME) has ever given me.

I know a PC has the software problems, but they don't break and delete all your info. Just the other day I used a move command (mv) in Terminal to copy files from an external HDD and I ran out of space, so Unix decided to start deleting system files... It deleted a file that is used to display text in many parts of the GUI. Now I can hardly understand what I am doing... Well I can't do anything at all right now.

I'm on my trusty PC right now, that I built myself so I can find out what is wrong with my Mac, which, according to Apple's new adds is supposed to be less reliable.

You wanna know something funny. I was watching the adds on my PB twhen they first came out, and during the one about PCs having to restart, my Mac locked up and I had to restart it... how ironic...

Any way, I digress... Please help me figure out what is going on...

15" PowerBook G4, Mac OS X (10.4.6), 1.5GHz, 512MB RAM, 64MB Video
  • Isaac Cady Level 1 (45 points)
    ok, it started up after the 6th try... But I still want to know why it happened.
  • Natalie Klein Level 1 (115 points)
    That's exactly what happened to me a few months ago. Turned out to be a logic board issue. Three beeps indicated RAM problem. Since your PB did boot up on your 6th try, maybe the RAM was just loose?
  • Yang Level 6 (9,125 points)
    As Natalie suggested, your PowerBook failed its power-on self test. More specifically, 3 beeps correspond to no good RAM banks, which might be indicative of a more severe underlying problem with your logic board. Or simply that your module came loose and will need reseating.

    KB: Power On Self-Test Beep Definition - Part 2

  • Jamie Kelly Level 3 (975 points)
    Isaac, how old is your PowerBook?
  • Isaac Cady Level 1 (45 points)
    I bought my PowerBook back in November, so not too long ago. I had intended on adding more ram, bit the screws were too tight and I couldn't get the plate off, so I haven't touched the ram. I hope nothing's wrong and that maybe it was just a glitch or something...

    Maybe if they discontinue the PB before my year of warranty runs up, I'll get a free Mac Book Pro! Probably not...
  • Isaac Cady Level 1 (45 points)
    oh, and as I mentioned, I can't get the RAM bay open... and I don't want to take it into Apple, but I may not need an appointment if it's just to open the RAM bay. I dunno... I also have a nother problem that needs looking at, I'll start a new thread for that.
  • Jim Ireland Level 2 (150 points)
    1. Always turn your laptop OFF before transporting it (aside from taking it from one room to another). SOOOO many things can go dreadfully wrong if you don't. Applies to Mac or PC. I had a minor traffic accident while my PB was in it's Targus case. It went FLYING off the seat and down into the footwell... HARD. If it had been on (even in closed sleep mode) I would have had massive problems.

    2. Placing the PB in your bag while still on, you probably managed to block the cooling vents. Even in sleep mode, it uses energy, and needs the vents unblocked. See above.

    3. 3 Beeps equal RAM problems. See above.

    Everything you're describing as a problem, can be directly traced back to the way you're treating your PB. If all you've ever used is a desktop unit, then you need to learn how to properly treat a laptop.
  • Isaac Cady Level 1 (45 points)
    well thanks for the minor badgering. I've never once heard a fan spin whilst the computer was asleep, not has it ever felt hot. It's always ice-cold, asleep or off, when I remove it from the bag. My iBook never game me these problems and I treated it the same way. Never had these problems with my HP Pavilion notebook, treated it the same way, although the PC did hibernate, not sleep.

    With my iBook, the HDD crashed twice and the screen crashed twice. A stick of Apple's RAM burnt up within two weeks of owning the thing, put a new stick of Corsair in and it lasted 10x as long. My PC's have never once given me a hardware problem -- desktop or laptop -- only OS problems, and I have owned 4 PCs. Between my two Macs, I have had 10+ Hardware problems, and countless software problems.

    Right now, my PB says I only have 256MB RAM, none of the font's in the GUI work (see here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kfmush/146907557/), the CD drive rejects any blank CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, or DVD-RW, it has deleted critical system files without my help, the trackpad glitches, there's a beeping noise when I use the trackpad or type which is very noticeable when all else is quiet, the casing gets to be so hot that I can sometimes barely touch it, Safari crashes constantly, the computer locks up about once a week to once every two weeks. Add this to the plethora of problems my iBook gave me before it died, and you get a "Good job Apple! You're really embarrassing yourself in front of my friends who all use PC and constantly flame the computer." Not to mention that I payed $1.6K for this thing and could have gotten a PC laptop nearly twice as fast for the same price AND Apple upgraded their PowerBooks two months later.

    I've fallen in love with the cool hardware features and the sleek and sexy design of both the OS and the Hardware, but if it wasn't for FCP, I would ditch Apple right now.

    The only problems I've ever had with Windows or PC hardware was with ME, other than that it's just that Windows can be pretty confusing and a resource hog.

    So, besides all this. The only thing to note on this particular topic is that it now thinks I have 256MB RAM when I have a 512 stick installed (not two 256 sticks).

    And *** is up with Apple trying to sell 512 sticks of ram for $100? You can a gig of high performance Corsair laptop ram with a cas 2 latency (not 4 like Apple's RAM) for under $100?
  • Isaac Cady Level 1 (45 points)
    not to mention I had to replace the PB twice within a month of first purchasing it. Luckily I didn't have to pay any kind of fee.
  • Isaac Cady Level 1 (45 points)
    The problem had "fixed" itself, and I believed it to be gone. But it has recently reaccurred
  • climber Level 2 (355 points)
    did you ever get the RAM reseated?

    the intermittent nature, the changes in how much ram the PB thinks it has all smell like RAM seating issues.
  • Isaac Cady Level 1 (45 points)
    Yeah, when I got my second broken PowerBook it actually burnt me. and Would lock up about every 15 min. I posted on the forum for Apple and TechGuy and people were like "Get more RAM!", but it was getting way to hot for the RAM to just be the problem. My computer's a lot hotter now than when I first bought it in November.

    I'm gonna back up all my files and delete any Applications that Apple may question the legal status about and take the computer in tomorrow or Wednesday and let them run a diagnostic, because one of my Tiger install CDs is scratched up and I can't find the other one.

    It's hard to back up my files though, when my computer spits out blank DVDs and CDs and makes an awful whirring noise before hand and I don't have an external HDD besides my full 20gig iPod. I'll cope for now...

    Maybe it's a sign for me to purchase a MBP, but that's a lot of money...