How to get iBook G4 to stop freezing up.
September 23, 2007 10:39 AM   Subscribe

[iBook G4 filter]: My Mac keeps freezing and responds to nothing but a hard restart.

About two and a half weeks ago, my iBook started freezing randomly. The keyboard stops working totally and the only thing I can do is move the mouse pointer with the trackpad (can't highlight anything, can't get hidden dock to show). Sometimes I get a spinning beachball for a second but usually it just shows an arrow cursor. The only way I've been able to get it to work again is with a hard restart (pressing the power button).

Lately I've noticed the I can count on it freezing up when I unplug the power cord, plug in the power cord, or unplug the speakers. It still freezes at other times, but this is a guaranteed way to make it happen.

I've done extensive Googling on OS X boards to try and find help.
I have run: Disk Utility to repair permissions; started in single user mode and gotten a clean bill of health from Disk Utility, installed and run Cocktail (which seems to just clean caches), installed and run Applejack AUTO. All give me a "nothing's wrong" report at the end.

I do NOT have my Tiger disk (Grrr, misplaced) so I'm trying to avoid the "nuke and pave" option if I can attribute the freezing to a software issue/repair the hardware myself.

Vital stats: iBook G4, purchased 1/2004, running OS 10.4.10, 1GHz PowerPC, 640MB DDR SDRAM. Approximately 12 GB free on 60GB hard drive. Applecare expired. Running Tiger for a year with no problems. Most memory-intensive programs used regularly: Quicksilver, Firefox. My battery is not eligible for the replacement program.

Please help! Happy to answer any further questions if needed.
posted by annabellee to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This is exactly the problem I've been having with my iBook G4 as well (though I've got slightly less space free on my hard drive). Two friends who know Macs backwards and forwards both swear that everything will be fine once I finally get an external hard drive to put all my music and photos on. Could you be in a similar boat?
posted by scody at 11:39 AM on September 23, 2007

Hmmm... The bit with the power cord / speakers indicates a voltage problem. I would replace the battery and possibly the power brick/cord. If that doesn't work then I'm guessing the motherboard has died (perhaps cooked off by faulty power).
posted by TeatimeGrommit at 12:19 PM on September 23, 2007

When you run Applications/Utilities/, do you get any clues to the times around the errors from system.log, console.log, or crash.log?
posted by ikkyu2 at 1:00 PM on September 23, 2007

Try turning off the "Allow Bluetooth to wake this computer" option in the Bluetooth System Preferences. This solved a very similar problem on my MacBook Pro. It seems random and counter-intuitive, but it might work for you.
posted by L'homme armé at 1:37 PM on September 23, 2007

Try creating a new user; then login to this user. If this problem is user specific, and this cures it, it's something to do with your user.

Beg a friend for a Tiger Install disk (or buy from apple a set of recovery disks for your ibook.) An Archive & Reinstall might be a good idea too.
posted by filmgeek at 4:25 PM on September 23, 2007

"iBook G4, purchased 1/2004" = there were problems with many of those.

But it might be too late, and you might be out of luck.

I strongly suggest the "nuke & pave" option. It's really not too hard to find Tiger/10.4 media these days. See if you can find a local Mac Users Group. Some of those folks can be very helpful, and finding someone to help you do a backup/reformat/reinstall/restore data might not be too bad.

If you're in the SF Bay Area, hell, I can do it.
The power connector is attached to the logic board. So, yes, the logic board could be failing.
posted by drstein at 5:15 PM on September 23, 2007

2nd-ing the idea of checking your Console logs. Note the time your next crash occurs, look for entries in console.log and system.log around this same time, then copy & paste any such error message into google.
posted by lorenzism at 7:10 PM on September 23, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for these ideas.

[L'homme arme] I don't have Bluetooth capability on my iBook.

[ikkyu2 et. al.]: My console log looks like garbeldy-gook to me; I'm not sure what I should be looking for.

[drstein] I'm not in SF, unfortunately, or I'd take you up on the kind offer.

I'll try the new user option, and I'll get my hands on a Tiger DVD.
posted by annabellee at 4:41 PM on September 24, 2007

« Older are all men looking for damsels in distress?   |   Help me set up a home media center! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.