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Please help me with my powerbook keyboard conundrum. Are you geniuser?
October 8, 2008 4:44 AM   Subscribe

Please help me with my powerbook keyboard conundrum. Are you geniuser?

Since March my powerbook g4 keyboard has been acting wonky.
In march some of the keys on the right end of the keyboard would'nt work.
The p, return, 0, \, and couple other over there as well. I had it replaced under applecare in late March. Come September the same issue is happening again so I had it replaced. My applecare has expired so I needed to pay out of pocket. The day I picked it up the same thing is happening. According to the genius the problem was the keyboard. I don't think so anymore.
It seems to work occasionally. eare are a few things I must do to get it to work properly.
I must zap the pram once. After that the keyboard works fine until the computer goes to sleep. After that the problem reappears so I must zap again.
I tried a simple restart three times but that did not solve the issue,I need to zap the pram.
Just a note here, in March, when the problem began, there were a couple more keys that did not work. Those keys were also on the same side of the keyboard.
Also my lower ram slot is not working.
I await your brains
posted by citybuddha to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
 
I doubt I can be much help, but I would ask: do these problems persist using an external keyboard?
posted by mandal at 4:50 AM on October 8, 2008


I can tell you from long experience that your keyboard behavior is common after a liquid spill. I've seen it a few times. If a person is lucky, just the keyboard needs replacement, but I've have one or two times when it also requires the logic board to be replaced (expensive). I'm suspecting that this is the case.

The lower RAM slot is a well-known and partially-acknowledged-by-Apple problem. I've literally seen dozens of PowerBook G4's (most often, 15" Aluminum 1.5 or 1.67GHz models) with this symptom. There's clearly an manufacturing defect that causes the lower RAM slot to become unusable. The repair extension program put in place for this issue (if you're lucky enough to be covered) has recently ended.

At this point, I'd suggest you start looking to buy a new computer. If you simply can't afford a new one, you might be lucky enough to find an unaffected logic board on the gray market and do the repair yourself, or find someone willing to swap the logic board for you. If you're in the NYC area, I have a few recommendations I can give you. I know people in other parts of the country also, if you want to contact me offline.
posted by mrbarrett.com at 4:57 AM on October 8, 2008


An external keyboard works fine.
posted by citybuddha at 5:17 AM on October 8, 2008


FYI, a logic board for your PowerBook, if bought via an Apple Authorized Service Provider is $500-$600. You might be able to find a must less expensive one from a gray market retailer (eBay, independent shop), but there's no guarantee that the board you guy won't have the same RAM slot problem.
posted by mrbarrett.com at 5:47 AM on October 8, 2008


And if you have the problem documented with Apple several times, you may be able to make a play that it really wasn't fix the first time. They have been known to stretch things for me in the past.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:15 AM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Seconding cjorgensen. The logic board should have been replaced the first time, as the problem never really went away. They have a log of those interactions, including your subsequent replacement out of pocket.

You can likely argue a free replacement here if you are polite, clear, consistent and persistent about that point: Apple replaced the keyboard twice, when that clearly (now) wasn't really the problem.
posted by rokusan at 8:50 AM on October 8, 2008


It helps if you get the manager on duty, and not just the bar drone. This said, it really is hit and miss on some of this stuff. depends on how nice you are (or not) and how cool the manager wants to make Apple seem.

Post back if they take care of it.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:19 PM on October 8, 2008


Thank you.
Apple did replace the logic board in reponse to this argument. They did so as if it was a warranty issue. They also replaced a few other parts of the casing.
If that was not all, last week my optical drive died. I realy don't know why, but the genius at the retail location I took it to for diagnosis replaced that without charge. Above and beyond if you ask me
posted by citybuddha at 1:30 AM on November 8, 2008


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