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Old Powerbook G4 dieing. Need to extend life

by Darayz / November 9, 2006 9:45 PM PST

I have an old Powerbook G4 laptop that is definitely showing its age. It still works, but there are two problems that I hope can be fixed before I upgrade to the new macbook pros next month

1) I can't seem to install the update to the OS (10.4.7). Whenever the automatic update notifies me of the new upgrade, it completely downloads the file and crashes during the installation cycle. I downloaded the individual upgrade from the apple site, but the installer crashes on me when I try to install manually as well.

2) The DVD combo drive fails to read any CD or DVD anymore. Is there a firmware file I can download that will fix this? The drive is a Matshita DVD-R UJ-815

I would love to fix these problems without having to drop it off at the apple store and not see it again for 2 weeks.
Thanks in advance

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Regarding the drive.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 9, 2006 9:52 PM PST

I've replaced about a dozen over the past year. Usually the owner has either tried to find a fix for months or searched for many weeks for some way to keep the failed drive. In the end I swap the drive and the problem vanishes. At least it's cheaper than a new laptop. I'm unsure where you are in the process (you may have not reached the point where you'll replace the drive.)


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Have you tried disc utilities?
by gilbertwhite1 / November 9, 2006 10:59 PM PST
In reply to: Regarding the drive.

Perhaps running utils such as permissions may clear out some of the bugs?...also when doing the updates do a few at a time and run permissions after each update session?...sounds like u will need to spend some money on it eventually. Seems it would be worth it thou?
Your G4 would certainly be a good spare unit even thou it will be replaced by newer unit.

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Just a thought.
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / November 10, 2006 2:17 AM PST

The fact that the machine crashes when you are trying to install updates may be indicative of a corrupt OS. It could also be that the corrupt OS is the reason why your otpical device will not mount any disks.
So, using your trusty OS X installation CD, try to boot the machine from the CD. Insert CD/DVD, restart and hold down the C key. If the machine reboots from the optical drive that is one less thing you have to worry about. You can now go ahead and do an Archive and Install of the OS. On completion, update the OS to the latest version.

If it did NOT boot, make sure the CD/DVD is actually bootable, give it a couple more goes, ZAP the PRAM, try again.


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Definitely going to try using OSX installation CD
by Darayz / November 10, 2006 11:43 PM PST
In reply to: Just a thought.

I'm going to try to reinstall the OS. Problem is, I can't seem to find the CD. But I'm pretty sure I know someone who still has it.

Will report back the moment I try this out.


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