5 Replies Latest reply: Jan 13, 2014 11:57 PM by K Shaffer
NotNewton Level 1 (0 points)

Please help with connecting my housemate's iBook G4 to our home's wireless network, which is a Verizon FIOS, using WEP.


Initially the wrong password was entered (at the G4) for the home's network.  I entered the correct password; the system displayed a scrolling message stating something about pppoe, and then a (non-scrolling) message appeared, that it couldn't find a PPPoE Server.  On the basis of that Safari reports being unable to connect, it appears that there's not a successful connection.


The G4 never has connected to the home's wireless, but has connected, my housemate reports, at other places, all of which haven't requested a password.  My phone does connect to the home's wireless network.


Sorry for not listing the operating system; I've googled unsuccessfully as to how to determine which one is installed on a G4 iBook.


I'm not strong at networking, and have almost zero experience with Macs/iBooks/Apple.  Thanks!

  • K Shaffer Level 6 (12,582 points)

    The PPPoE is 'point-to-point-protocol-over-Ethernet' if I remember correctly, and as such it may not have much to do with the setup of the local network to the level you otherwise describe in your post. It is not used for wireless or a regular setup to use a base station in a home, usually.


    If you have access to the computer, it can tell you about the system, the hardware and additional software installed, via the main Finder menu bar where the Apple appears in the far left side...


    Click on the Apple icon to open the first column of items in the drop-down menu, see 'About this Mac' click it. See the window, click on information under OS X. Several items should appear, including Serial Number of the iBook. Save this for later.


    Then click 'More info' which will launch System Profiler. Note several categories in this which do include the system and hardware configuration of the combined software and hardware. Even the status of the Battery and charging cycles, etc  are in there.


    The iBook G4 usually uses a WPA or WPA2 and not the older WEP which is considered less secure. IF for some reason those settings in the Network Preferences don't help or fail to work, initially try to set it up without the security settings, to troubleshoot the issue.


    The last OS X version and system the iBook G4 could use, would likely be Leopard 10.5.8, and that's if the portable powerPC computer has a processor faster than 800MHz speed. The last iBook G4s, depending on screen size other specs varied, the 12" had a 1.33GHz cpu, the 14" had a 1.42GHz cpu, so these shipped with Tiger 10.4 in mid-2005 and could be upgraded in RAM to about 1.5GHz via one chip in a slot under the keyboard, and can run Leopard 10.5.8 if a retail DVD install disc were acquired. Tiger is the last system version that can use older OS 9 applications in Classic; for that reason, some people kept a Mac at Tiger 10.4.


    Not sure if what I've mentioned helps.

    For more information include specs.


    Good luck & happy computing!

  • NotNewton Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the reply!


    The Verizon FIOS box ("router"?), which is the connection to Verizon and houses the antennae and is the wireless connection, is an Actiontec MI424-WR Rev. F.  It has:

    an ESSID

    WEP Key

    WPS Pin

    WAN Mac


    Each of the latter 3 is unique, so it occurs to me that though my phone connected after I entered (only) the WEP key, perhaps the G4 needs / would connect if the WPS Pin or the WAN Mac were to be entered, instead of the WEP key.


    My housemate's away; when both of us are home, I using your reply's info will seek the OS.  By "for more information include specs," I'm unsure what other specs you advise me to find and post.


    At present my housemate is connecting via ethernet.  I found a post that describes how to get a Powerbook G4 to stop looking for a PPPoE server; do you advise that I have the G4 stop looking for a PPPoE server?  (Will doing so put at risk his connecting via ethernet?)


    Thanks again!

  • K Shaffer Level 6 (12,582 points)

    The settings in the Network Preferences panel, in the System Preference selection area, can be changed and changed back, some are saved in the system and you can switch back and forth. WEP is a weak 'wireless equivalent' security protocol so it seems odd that it'd be in use nowadays by anyone, but it still is, by some.


    There is a way to change or save new Locations in the Network Preferences, and likely if the computer has been used via IEEE ethernet (cable or wifi) the owner may have used the 'MAC address' or machine ID,  in conjunction with those settings to make a new secure Location for use at home, otherwise he'd have to do a bunch of stuff over and over again. Senseless, it remembers them under different Location names. So when he travels with the computer, a different set of Location is chosen in that Network panel. And if you approach a library network with a passord protection, they can tell you the PW and it can be entered into a Public location. Some do not require one. So they are less secure because they can be open to people nearby using their computers to look for unsecured visitor devices. And each location may invite use of a password, even if the hardware is sitting right in front of you, but set up by someone else, to insure their secure motives.


    The direct by wire without a MAC address should be a matter of settings in the Network Preferences, such as TCP/IP and so on, look around but don't change anything. Sometimes the alternate settings are already there, but not chosen after traveling with a portable.


    I've thought of several answers, researched a few others, and decided to not go further with this. After all, the classic 'Forbidden Planet' is on TCM again, and it is rather distracting, yet more honest than talk radio.


    Hopefully someone will point out all the shortcuts a frequent user of the Network Prefs & setup of MAC address connections. When you used the WEP, you used a password to access the local wireless, so if you make and save a new Location in the G4 and point to the router, set on Automatic, it should just work. And that may stop it from looking for the Ethernet. {But any breach of security in his computer would be on you.} See the Airport icon in the main menu bar and click on that, to see about 'join another network' if you have a password for WEP, if you can find the correct one by name, or make new one in Network Prefs.


    PS: find the computer build information and original OS X

    by use of an 'identify by serial number' site such as this:



    Good luck & happy computing!

  • NotNewton Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you for the replies.  I unfortunately have not been able to apply any of the advice:  My housemate's G4 doesn't power on.  He plans to get yet another computer, to replace it.

  • K Shaffer Level 6 (12,582 points)

    The computer does nothing? Still it may not be dead.

    In a coma, maybe. Or dreaming, of being a new MB/Air?


    There are Support articles that may help:


    •Troubleshooting: My computer won't turn on:



    •Troubleshooting (older) portables that won't turn on or start:



    •Resetting PowerBook & iBook Power Management Unit (PMU)



    •About NVRAM and PRAM:



    •Apple - Support - iBook (G4) + PowerBookG4




    or it may need a trip to a pet computer hospital

    for older portable macs example wegenermedia.com


    Good luck & happy computing!