8 Replies Latest reply: Nov 3, 2013 10:05 AM by K Shaffer
britny Level 1 (125 points)

got an ibook g4 a few days ago. today i reinstalled the os. os 10.4. did an erase and install trom a retail disc. now my trackpad is non responsive. also the trackpad menu doesn't show up in system preferences. anyone have any idea what is going on? in my system profiler the trackpad does show up however.

  • bund Level 3 (780 points)
  • britny Level 1 (125 points)

    thanks bund but that didn't work. did have to reset my time however.

  • britny Level 1 (125 points)

    a little more info. when i put the dvd in i used the trackpad to double click on the dvd. it prompted me to restart which i also did wkth the trackpad. after the machine restarted a picture popped up prompting me to plug in a mouse. i did thinking that i could not update using the trackpad. it wasn't until after the installation was finished that i realized that i could no longer use the trackpad.

  • britny Level 1 (125 points)

    trackpad appears to be plugged into the logic board. was actually hoping that it had come slightly loose during shipping. just by removing keyboard i was able to get a flat screwdriver over the plug and push downwards but nothing happened. didn't have enough room to pull out the plug and reinsert it.

  • K Shaffer Level 6 (11,890 points)

    You would have to identify the build model and year of the iBook in question, to more correctly find what OS X version it would have shipped with, and other specifications; this is critical to the use of these machines.


    If your iBook G4 was of the vintage which shipped with an OS X prior to Tiger 10.4.x  (example, Panther 10.3.x) then it would be possible to use a retail 10.4 install DVD that is not hardware specific to re-install or upgrade the computer. To not have use of the correct Tiger 10.4.x that accompanied the iBook computer, if that was its base level when new, would be problematic at best...


    Was the computer bought from an authorized reseller or reputible repair facility? They may be able to get you a backup boot/installer of the appropriate Tiger version that machine would require; or a later Leopard 10.5 retail disc should be suitable. The requirements of each build series varied over time, so the correct installer version would be necessary in order to have the appropriate software for the hardware build.


    I have an iBook 12" mid-2005 that shipped with Tiger 10.4.x iBook installer set, and it would require that specific version, or a newer full retail (supported version) OSX if the original installer set is unavailable. Sets from later computers won't work either. Hardware-specific software is normally installed by the correct disc.


    If you can get a later OS X 10.5.x retail installer, and see about installing a working OS from there, on a wiped hard disk drive, that may be a way to troubleshoot the hardware in the iBook. Outside of that, you would likely need the original OS X install disc set to test the hardware in the computer to see if the Trackpad is dead. Or a qualified specialist, or Genius at an Apple Store, could maybe attempt to troubleshoot the matter...


    The Touchpad likely is integral to the top deck, so if you needed to replace this hardware item, it may be you'd need to get that together with the replacement case section that surrounds the keyboard, too. Some models were built that way... the Trackpad would show in the System Profiler as a USB component.


    Hopefully this helps somewhat without too many words; but there are critical elements involved in troubleshooting the apparent issues and they may be resolved by software unless there is component failure.


    Good luck & happy computing!

  • britny Level 1 (125 points)

    you know k, what you're saying makes sense. i may have used the wrong disc. it was 10.4.0.  just for the heck of it today i'll run all of my updates, add the applications i want to use and see what all else doesn't work. maybe then i'll have a better idea of how i wish to tackle this.  10.5? i would hate to install that just to find out i had a hardware problem. and besides there are some copies of leopard out there that cost more than what i paid for the entire computer. or what it would cost to replace it. my ibook was the only 12" model that used two finger scrolling so i guess it makes sense that that would break.

  • britny Level 1 (125 points)

    who would've thunk it? i updated from 10.4 to 10.4.11 and the trackpad is working again. i have a feeling i got lucky on that one.

  • K Shaffer Level 6 (11,890 points)

    Good to hear it was that easy compared to going without a trackpad or searching for another more recent system install disc set. You could probably check Apple Support (by phone,  or maybe online) to see about product availability and what the Leopard 10.5 installer disc would cost.


    Contact Apple Support:




    I've seen where others who needed the last upgrade OS X version were able to get a copy direct from Apple for about $20. so perhaps if you were inclined to do that for your iBook G4.


    And maybe add whatever RAM upgrade it could take (maybe a total of 1.2GB to 1.5GB depending on build) would also make it work better. The RAM upgrade instructions used to be in the Support site, and there are a few variants on the location per vintage. I ordered mine from an internet company who has a real store, too. An older iBook G4 could use either a PC2100 chip or a PC2700 chip, in SO-DIMM or special design. One of the places I look for some information only (though it appears they sell stuff, I've not bought anything) is http://www.ifixit.com/Device/iBook_G4 on a page like this.


    My iBook G4 did a little better with a 1024MB or 1GB chip, as it had 512MB on the board and an empty upgrade slot. The mid-2005 model and others have a slot under the keyboard, so to carefully and correctly remove the keyboard and a cover from over the RAM location would be required. And then the proper type and shape of chip would be another part to acquire. The costs have come down some from when I bought mine a samsung OEM quality upgrade memory chip; a SO-DIMM PC2700, but proceed with caution...


    To be sure of the model series build and year your computer is, you may be able to find a web site where you could enter the serial number of the computer and the site would show the data from that build; or you may go online and download a vintage software for offline use called Mactracker; for Macs running the older OS X versions, see their archive here: http://mactracker.ca/archive.html -- this provide you with more information.


    Hopefully this helps somewhat.

    Good luck & happy computing!