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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Nov 17, 2010
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    PowerBook G4 Aluminum Sleep problems:
    I was extremely surprised when I joined this site to find that there was absolutely no information whatsoever on the old narcoleptic problems of the PowerBook G4s. Granted this product is rather outdated, thus any topics surrounding could easily be archived, but I performed the due diligence using the search function so I'm hoping there'll be some sort of help here.

    I'm trying to find some avenues I can take to eliminate some of the problems, as I've heard it can be a few different things:

    I've already replaced the power converter/inverter. Immediately upon installation the screen flickered before it came up, just like it did when the old one went out, but then it worked flawlessly for about two weeks. Enter elimination 1. I've spoken to numerous Mac repair shops, all of which say that it's either that piece or the logic board, however everything I've read online says that's what they say in order to do it and charge you a buttload. The real problem, if power converter doesn't work, is that one of three sensors has gone out. The most likely culprit being the right side light sensor, just above the speaker, which tells the screen to sleep, has malfunctioned. The other two are, of course, the left side light sensor, or the trackpad heat sensor.

    My understanding is that if it's either light sensor it can simply be bypassed by clipping the wires to them or replacing. If it's the trackpad heat sensor causing the screen to permanently sleep, it creates a log that tells the display it needs to sleep and to test the case you can simply create a new user account on the computer, which would create a whole new set of logs, and under this user the problem shouldn't exist.

    What I want to know is, can anyone confirm my thoughts here, or do you have something useful you can add or subtract from the equation. I think the first thing I'll do is try a new user account, though it's hard to do on a sleeping screen. Next I'll try cutting out the right side light sensor. If all else fails I'll feel like a real buffoon because I'll just wind up taking it right back to one of the shops that told me the logic board needed replacing.

    Thanks in advance to anybody who took the time to read and be of any help here, I know I can be quite long winded, but I like to be detailed and thorough.

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
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    Note: Edited your title. Narcolepsy is something that folks may not understand. Also suggest for future posting, using short paragraphs instead of one long continuous string of words. Makes it easier to read.

    Hopefully one of our Powerbook G4 experts that post here will be able to give you some advice on what to do. I'm not sure I'm following your logic regarding the light sensors and the heat sensor on the trackpad, but I know little about the PB. I'll leave that for someone else to sort out.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Nov 17, 2010
    Posts
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    Note: Edited your title. Narcolepsy is something that folks may not understand. Also suggest for future posting, using short paragraphs instead of one long continuous string of words. Makes it easier to read.

    Hopefully one of our Powerbook G4 experts that post here will be able to give you some advice on what to do. I'm not sure I'm following your logic regarding the light sensors and the heat sensor on the trackpad, but I know little about the PB. I'll leave that for someone else to sort out.
    made some paragraph changes, should be easier to follow now.

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Nov 17, 2010
    Posts
    4
    It could also be that the inverter I installed was a refurb, as I did find it for a lot cheaper than I thought I should, $40. I've also read that a reload of the OS would help, at least temporarily, because it obviously resets any logs created as well as the hardware such as the sensors. Hmm... conundrum for sure. Still looking for some help.

    I did some more reading online, specifically on Apple's support site and the first cases of this were mostly due to a faulty trackpad heat sensor. It's located right where your hands rest while using the trackpad and prolonged use could easily cause it. My computer did experience times of extreme heat, I couldn't even have it on my lap without a throw pillow to buffer it. I'm just at a loss right now.

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Nov 17, 2010
    Posts
    4
    Well, I'm pretty much just talkin' to m'self here, but sometimes that's enough to help the logical and technical of mind solve their problems. I'm going to see if I can get one of the local shops to actually sit down and talk it through with me after a $25 analysis and if nothing definitive at that point I'll start with a software reload. Seems rational to think that if it's some sort of log that's been created in the system which requires the screen to shut down, then a software wipe and load should solve it, at least temporarily, helping me to whittle the possible causes. I think at that point I'd have to have the trackpad heat sensor either replaced or removed. If the problem persists even after the reload it's got to be that I received a bum inverter and need to replace it again. Perhaps I'll pay to have it done properly this time. LOL!

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