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  1. #1
    The Notebook "Instant Fixes" Thread
    Aptmunich's Avatar
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    Lightbulb The Notebook "Instant Fixes" Thread
    This thread is intended as a ready-reference for useful shortcuts and quick troubleshooting hints that might or might not help solve your iBook problems.
    (Some of these tips also apply to Powerbook's and Macbook's)

    If anyone would like to add any tips, hints or corrections, please do so.


    Emergency! My iBook won't turn on! (and other power issues...)
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If you are experiencing trouble with power issues, such as:
    - Battery charging problems
    - Sudden loss of power whilst running off battery
    - iBook refuses to switch on
    then you might need to reset the PRAM (Parameter RAM) or the PMU (Power Management Unit).

    To reset the PRAM, hold Apple-Option-P-R simultaneously at the Apple logo.
    To reset the PMU, hold down “Shift-Control-Option-Power “.

    (Neither of these should delete any data - some settings might be lost though)


    My iBook turns on, but won't boot?
    ------------------------------------------------------
    If you get the ? icon at startup, your startup disk might be broken.
    You can boot off the included system discs by holding down "c" at the apple logo. Then select 'tools' from the menu bar during installation process and select 'Disk Utility'. Try repairing the disk from there.

    Alternatively:
    Try booting in single user mode and perform a disk scan:
    On any Mac OS X box, you can enter “single-user mode” by holding down command-S at startup. This gives you a root prompt and a read-only hard drive, from which you can commence your life of quiet desperation, er, troubleshooting.
    Normally, you would do this to repair the drive

    :# fsck -y

    This is exactly equivalent to booting off the install CD and repairing your disk using Disk Utility. In Mac OS X, Disk Utility is a graphical frontend on top of fsck. It works just as well in single-user mode because the drive is mounted read-only, so there’s no chance of files being modified while the repair is running.
    If fsck tells you that the file system was modified, reboot immediately

    :# reboot

    Repeat until fsck reports no errors. It is now safe to exit single-user mode and continue booting normally

    :# exit


    Pianodavid has another potential booting issue, and a fix!
    A small bump to a notebook (mine is a 12"G4) can cause the airport express card to come loose.

    the computer ONLY boots into open firmware (won't boot from osx dvd) and says "mem-alloc too big!" which, well, i put my gig stick in about a year ago--why is it yelling at me now?
    the command hd-dir (or something close to it) is also unsuccessful making many think all is lost.

    i don't know if this is well documented but a simple removal/reinstallation of the card fixes the boot problem instantly. - i read about someone else's experience on another website (the name evades me) and the apple genuis' were familiar with the problem.

    these computers that came with their cards had a little plastic block glued infront of the card - that needs to be replaced either by the same piece or something else to hold the card FIRMLY in place (i used a small dot of 'mighty putty').

    iBook hardware maintanence & Cleaning
    -------------------------

    There's not really much you need to do to keep your iBook's hardware in shape...

    If you want to upgrade or replace a user-installable part (airport extreme card, RAM, keyboard) check Apple's instructions on how-to go about that here: Apple instructions

    For advanced upgrades, customisations or replacement, here's a handy guide for taking apart your iBook and digging around inside:http://www.pbfixit.com/Guide/83.0.0.html

    If your iBook gets dirty, try Mr Clean's Magic Eraser to restore the white finish.

    To remove any scratches, check out the various products for cleaning an iPod's white glossy surface. (iCleaner, Icecleaner etc.) iLounge.com has reviews on these and generally they can be used on your iBook as well.

    General OS X tips:
    ----------------------

    Some of you might already be familiar with these tips, but I mention them anyway, as often these 3 things can solve glitches in Applications or OS X…

    1. Repair disk permissions: Go to ‘Applications -> Utilites -> Disk Utility’ and select your Startup disk from the column on the left. The hit the ‘Repair Disk Permissions’ button.

    2. Run crons (regular system maintenance): Download a utility such as
    ‘Cocktail' (shareware): http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/18282 or
    ‘OnyX’(free): http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/20070 from Versiontracker and run the maintenance scripts.

    3. Reboot OS X. Sounds simple, but can work wonders…


    Useful Startup Shortcuts:
    --------------------------------
    There are various startup options available by pressing certain shortcut keys at the Apple startup logo.

    To boot from a CD / DVD: “ C ”;
    To eject removable discs: Hold down the mouse button during startup;
    To select a different startup disk (such as an external drive): “Option” key;
    To startup in single user mode: “Apple + S”


    Fixing Apps:
    ----------------------------
    Occasionally an app just won't start, without any real reason. A tip that has helped me out once or twice might come in handy for you:

    Do a search for 'appname plist' (for 'appname' insert the name of the app you're having issues with i.e. iChat, iMovie).
    Move any plist files you find that are associated with that app to the desktop and restart the application.
    The app will make new plist files automatically and will hopefully start normally.

    Example:
    If your help viewer doesn't display any content when you select 'Help' from an application or the finder, you need to delete these preference files:

    -com.apple.help.plist
    -com.apple.helpui.plist
    -com.apple.helpviewer.plist

    They're in Home-> Library -> Preferences, but it's easier to find them using the search built-in to Finder or Spotlight.


    If you have any other questions, just ask them in the appropriate forum! But remember to search beforehand to see if it hasn't been answered in another post!


    Hope you find this useful, post below for additional help!

  2. #2
    amyrinth
    Guest
    As being new to my iBook G4, a small peice of advice that I would give to people it to actually read the help and not get frustrated by what they don't know.

  3. #3
    The Notebook "Instant Fixes" Thread

    Member Since
    Jun 15, 2005
    Location
    Sheffield, UK
    Posts
    86
    Specs:
    MacBook Black Core2Duo 2.0ghz, 1gb RAM, 120gb HDD, Tiger
    Thanks for that Aptmunich, that will really come in useful!

  4. #4
    PhotoTechie
    Guest
    Awesome information to us "Newbies", thank you very much.

  5. #5
    DigitalN.
    Guest
    Oh my god, THANK YOU! I was just about to throw my iBook around when I found out this thread on how to start the battery charging again! you guys rule!

  6. #6
    The Notebook "Instant Fixes" Thread
    Aptmunich's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 09, 2004
    Location
    Munich
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    Specs:
    Aluminium Macbook 2.4 Ghz 4GB RAM, SSD 24" Samsung Display, iPhone 4, iPad 2
    Hehe no problem... just make sure to pass anything helpful you learn to others...

  7. #7
    webby
    Guest
    Hi there,
    last night I was working with my ibook G4 and everything was fine. Today, I wanted to open it and no reaction... The battery is low - blinking green on one LED, but the charger does not change to orange.

    I have tried pressing suggested keys (command/apple/power), but the screen goes from white-red-green-blue-grey to black and nothing happens.

    What could be wrong with it?

    The other option mentioned above - "To reset the PRAM, hold Apple-Option-P-R "... will that still keep my data (sorry to be ingnorant...)

    Also, where is the reset button on the ibook G4? What does it look like? There is a small hole on the right of the screen and there is an oval shaped whole on the left of the laptop with a padlock sign beside it.

    Any help appreciated...

  8. #8
    The Notebook "Instant Fixes" Thread
    macAttack's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 23, 2005
    Location
    Cape Cod, MA
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    1,509
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    iBook
    the hole on the screen is the microphone, and the whole with the little lock is the place where you put a laptop lock in it. You will not lose your data by resetting the pram, try it

  9. #9
    webby
    Guest
    so does the ibook have a reset button?

  10. #10
    The Notebook "Instant Fixes" Thread
    Aptmunich's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 09, 2004
    Location
    Munich
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    Specs:
    Aluminium Macbook 2.4 Ghz 4GB RAM, SSD 24" Samsung Display, iPhone 4, iPad 2
    No it does not.
    The only 'reset' you can perform are the two I mentioned above:

    To reset the PRAM, hold Apple-Option-P-R simultaneously at the Apple logo.

    To reset the PMU, hold down “Shift-Control-Option-Power “.
    Are you sure the PMU was reset correctly? Try resetting the PRAM and then the PMU again, because to me it sure sounds like a PMU issue.
    No data will be lost.

  11. #11
    The Notebook "Instant Fixes" Thread

    Member Since
    Feb 07, 2006
    Posts
    2
    Flashing apple icon and ?
    I turned on my sons I book G4 the other day and just get a flashing icon and ?. I tried to reinstall the software, and tried to go to repair on the disk Utility, but it won't let me. Any ideas?

  12. #12
    The Notebook "Instant Fixes" Thread
    Aptmunich's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 09, 2004
    Location
    Munich
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    Specs:
    Aluminium Macbook 2.4 Ghz 4GB RAM, SSD 24" Samsung Display, iPhone 4, iPad 2
    It sounds like the main harddrive is going/gone.

    Try this:

    On any Mac OS X box, you can enter “single-user mode” by holding down command-S at startup. This gives you a root prompt and a read-only hard drive, from which you can commence your life of quiet desperation, er, troubleshooting.
    Normally, you would do this to repair the drive

    :# fsck -y

    This is exactly equivalent to booting off the install CD and repairing your disk using Disk Utility. In Mac OS X, Disk Utility is a graphical frontend on top of fsck. It works just as well in single-user mode because the drive is mounted read-only, so there’s no chance of files being modified while the repair is running.
    If fsck tells you that the file system was modified, reboot immediately

    :# reboot

    Repeat until fsck reports no errors. It is now safe to exit single-user mode and continue booting normally

    :# exit

  13. #13
    The Notebook "Instant Fixes" Thread

    Member Since
    Feb 07, 2006
    Posts
    2
    Thanks anyway
    Quote Originally Posted by Aptmunich
    It sounds like the main harddrive is going/gone.

    Try this:
    I tried pressing the s key while starting, but still the flashing ?, and then the flashing apple icon inside a small folder in the middle of the screen, I guess the hard drive is shot. My son downloaded so much music, there also is'nt a bit of memory left. When I start with the restore disk, and go to restore I can see at the botttom of the screen, no memory.
    Thanks anyway

  14. #14
    The Notebook "Instant Fixes" Thread
    Aptmunich's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 09, 2004
    Location
    Munich
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    Specs:
    Aluminium Macbook 2.4 Ghz 4GB RAM, SSD 24" Samsung Display, iPhone 4, iPad 2
    Are you holding down the 'command' (apple) key as well as the 's' key?

  15. #15
    n3t0x
    Guest
    I need to know how to clean the lens on my Ibook Superdrive... on the imac i use the Maxel thunderon DVD lens cleaner... but it mentions that it should not be used on laptop computers.... so.. how do i clean my superdrive???

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