Troubleshooting (pulled) Mac OS X 10.2.8: Lombard RAM problems; Actual decrease in PowerBook battery capacity

Troubleshooting (pulled) Mac OS X 10.2.8: Lombard RAM problems; Actual decrease in PowerBook battery capacity

Lomboard RAM problems In our continuing investigation of Jamie Dresser of Other World Computing reports that the company installed 512 MB of RAM in a Lombard with no problems:

"After reading the reader report yesterday, Tom Lundvall from our tech department installed 512MB in our 400MHz Lombard test system. He ran the memory usage up to 380MB (verified with top) and there were zero problems encountered.

"This was using two of our OWC100SO256168L memory chips. This testing was performed on a clean install of Mac OS X 10.2.3 followed by the 10.2.8 combo updater."

Though Other World tested the machine with 512 MB of RAM, the company's testing may not have invoked the heavy duty tasks that seem to be bringing 10.2.8-upgraded Lombards to their knees. MacFixIt reader Rick Moen reports several scenarios, including a routine file transfer, where the problem has occurred:

"My Lombard (400MHz) has 512 MB of RAM (256 and 256) and is running 10.2.8. After the update, the display would bonkers. I booted from the Jaguar CD to repair the hard drive and repair permissions. The Lombard seemed to run just fine. My new Al PowerBook just arrived so I was transferring files from the Lombard to the new PowerBook, using a crossover cable and ethernet (file sharing was on for the Lombard). While doing this, the display on the Lombard would go nuts, forcing a reboot of the Lombard. It would work fine for a while, then the display would become unusable, reboot, work a while, act up, reboot, etc. Very frustrating. Under 'normal use' however, the Lombard has been working fine "

Another MacFixIt reader, who wishes to remain anonymous, reports that this problem cropped up before Mac OS X 10.2.8, and was attributed to a bad processor:

"This bug drove me crazy for about 6 months by causing endless crashing before somebody pointed out a MacFixIt thread. As soon as I referenced the thread when talking to Apple, they immediately stopped blaming everything else and arranged a processor swap with no further ado (the change was amazing!). And, indeed, as soon as the processor was swapped, the problem disappeared and never returned.

"Again this sounds suspiciously similar ? the problem may well be related with 10.2.8 pushing a bit past the point of no return on processor cards that were 'good enough' up to now. My starting point would therefore be to contact Apple immediately to try a swap or test with a card known to be good."

Still another reader attributes the bug to a problem in ATI's driver software, and suggests issuing the following commands via the Terminal in order to solve the problem:

  • sudo rm -rf /System/Library/Extensions/AppleNDRV/ATIDriver.bundle
  • sudo touch /System/Library/Extensions

Then restart via the Finder

Actual decrease in PowerBook battery capacity While most readers have reported that Mac OS X 10.2.8 merely indicates battery time is shorter than it actually is, Charles Boley and a few other readers have reported that the update genuinely decreased battery capacity, even after reverting to Mac OS X 10.2.6:

"My iBook battery was affected by the 10.2.8 upgrade. (It's a Dual USB 600 MHZ.) Before updating, my actual battery life was around 2 hours and 20 minutes with max CPU and screen brightness. The battery indicator usually showed 2:20 - 2:40 minutes when the battery was fully charged. After the update, the indicator had dropped to 1 hour 16 minutes when the battery was fully charged.

"I assumed the problem was with the battery indicator rather than with the actual battery life. Unfortunately, testing with X-Charge confirmed the shortened life and a new problem. After upgrading, when the battery dropped to 16% of charge, my iBook loses all power.

"So, I decided to try reinstalling 10.2 and upgrading back to 10.2.6 to see if that would help. I did an 'archive and install' and ran the combo 10.2.6 updater. This also made no difference to the actual battery life. It appears now to be locked into just over one hour of life."

We have run into this behavior before. Mac OS X 10.2.4 permanently reduced the battery life on some PowerBook models, necessitating replacement.

Resources
  • OWC100SO256168L
  • permanently reduced
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