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View Full Version : Serious problem, Help or advice needed.


stevegong
2004-07-21, 10:23
I have an iBook G4 which I bought in October and I have serious unfixable problems with it.

1. The track pad works about 70& of the time, but not very well. It is most definitely broken and a hardware problem. I have tried everything to fix it to no avail.

2. My hard disk doesn't spin down when I have spin down hard disk when not in usage. It is most definitely a hardware problem because I have tried everything to test this too.

So take it to the Apple store, no problem you say?

I have some concerns:

a. The trackpad might actually decide to work when they test it, and thus they will tell me there is no problem and give it back.

b. The spin down hard disk seems like such a small thing that they might not even consider it a problem and just turn me away.


Another thing is that I go to school far from a closest applestore and will be in the DC area for a week in August, but is a week enough for them to repair and give it back to me?

So what do you think I should do guys?

Thanks in advance and thanks to anyone who posts.

Brad
2004-07-21, 10:38
Re question 2: are you *absolutely* sure there is nothing running when you've tested this? What exactly have you tried?

The best way to test that would be to log out and let the computer sit at the login screen for a while. That's the only way to be sure there aren't errant processes in the background touching the disk. Even then, though, background startup processes like Apache may touch the disk if you have the web server turned on. And there's virtual memory that may be paging to disk. There are lots of possibilities. Are you sure you've eliminated all of them?

ast3r3x
2004-07-21, 10:39
They will at least look at your trackpad...replace if you can hope, even if they don't find anything wrong...as long as you explained it works 70% of the time.

HD spin down...I'd imagine you have a program calling it which is why it doesn't spin down.

As for how long it will take. I just arranged to have mine fixed, and they said 7-10 days from when they get it. They will try to do what they can at the store. Else they will just send it in the same as you would from your house.


NOTE** I used to have that same problem...seems to have gone away now for 96% of teh time...5% of the time it will be just super-sensative. But it used to put the mouse in the corner, and no amount of moving it out of it would work...mostly I think Direct Connect caused it to be weird somehow if I recall. Resetting PRAM used to help a little, I never sent it in because of this, as I spilled OJ on it when I first got it :lol:

FFL
2004-07-21, 10:40
Does the trackpad problem happen when you boot off the Installer CD?
What about creating a new user?
Have you tried the Apple Hardware Test CD?

stevegong
2004-07-21, 12:14
Thank you all very much...

Well, I am 90% sure the hard disk spindown is hardware related. Else I don't know what else I could possibly do to fix it:
http://forums.applenova.com/showthread.php?t=335&highlight=accessing+hard+disk

The problem drove me crazy, and I actually did a fresh install of panther with nothing on it, and it still wouldn't correctly spin down. I tried to log out, and it wouldn't keep itself in spun down mode either. i don't think there is anything I can possibly do to solve the hard disk problem....I'm at my wits end.



As I've said, it works about 70% of the time, so I can't really boot it off the installer and hope the problemm will come on. The trackpad is really annoying especially when I'm on the go and can't bring a mouse with me.

I've tested with Apple Hardware Test CD but it reported no problems. I don't think it's a full and comprehensive test though.



I'm thinking my problem might be related to the powermanager somehow, just a feeling... Since resetting the power manager sometimes temporarily fixes the trackpad deal, and it sounds logical that the hard disk spin is related to power management. Is the power manager actually a physical part of the logic board?


Thanks to all.

stevegong
2004-07-21, 13:21
Moderator, can you please move this thread back into Apple Products?

This is not a thread seeking technical help, but rather one about Apple Products.

Genius bar gets almost no views and I really need the help. I'm pretty desperate about my problem.

Please.

Brad
2004-07-21, 15:32
Would you rather it be in the Speculation or AppleOutsider forum, then? They get even more traffic! :)

We have this structure for a reason. The more technically-minded folks will frequent this forum even if the overall traffic is lower. Putting, for example, a poll about Snapz Pro vs. SnapNDrag in the Speculation and Rumors forum isn't going to get it any more votes just because it's a higher-trafficked forum.

Your thread is seeking technical help and advice. You have two problems: 1. the trackpad is on the fritz and 2. you have something that's constantly accessing your hard drive. Consequently, you want advice about repairing your computer. How is that not Genius Bar material? Or did I miss something?

If you are concerns about your computer are so urgent, you wouldn't be waiting for responses here anyway. You should be taking it to a certified Apple repair center or an Apple Store ASAP. If they give you the run-around, find someone else to take it to or come back another time.

rick1138
2004-07-21, 18:09
The trackpad problem could be caused by the way the connecting ribbon sits in its seat - it may just be a little loose. If it's under warranty send it to Apple. I once had to send something back. They sent a special shipping box to my house, which was picked up the next day. I sent it from Delaware to Texas on a Tuesday afternoon and got it back, repaired, on Thursday morning.

stevegong
2004-07-21, 22:40
The trackpad problem could be caused by the way the connecting ribbon sits in its seat - it may just be a little loose. If it's under warranty send it to Apple. I once had to send something back. They sent a special shipping box to my house, which was picked up the next day. I sent it from Delaware to Texas on a Tuesday afternoon and got it back, repaired, on Thursday morning.


Well, calling Apple to have them send a box over costs $50 doesn't it when you're out of the 90 day free call service time?

Another problem I have is that some keys on my keyboard have flaked off. Now, this is the second keyboard that Apple has sent me...

I'd like to know if coming in with multiple problems, will Apple just say I damaged my computer by myself or something?



Brad, excuse me then, I just felt pretty helpless about my problem, since I have a gut feeling Apple will just turn me away and say it's not a problem.

Luca
2004-07-21, 22:57
No, it's free to get a shipping box. It costs $50 to get tech support for software issues. For example, "I'm having a hard time installing OS X, could you help me?" is a $50 phone call. "My computer is broken, send me a shipping box" is a free call. They will probably first run you through a few things to make sure it's actually a problem, but I think if you really insist (maybe exaggerate the problem a bit... nothing too off-the-wall, but make it sound serious), they'll probably send you one.

I asked for one once, and got it the very next day. You just peel off the top shipping label to reveal the return label, and send it back via Airborne Express.

FFL
2004-07-21, 23:02
Well, calling Apple to have them send a box over costs $50 doesn't it when you're out of the 90 day free call service time? Not if you have a definite hardware defect that gets repaired under a 1 year warranty. With a problem like yours, that's hard to observe, it might apply....

Another problem I have is that some keys on my keyboard have flaked off. Now, this is the second keyboard that Apple has sent me...I'd like to know if coming in with multiple problems, will Apple just say I damaged my computer by myself or something?

Probably not. The only time an Apple employee will deny warranty coverage due to you damaging your computer, is if it shows somewhat obvious signs of being dropped, having grape juice spilled on the keyboard, etc.

Brad, excuse me then, I just felt pretty helpless about my problem, since I have a gut feeling Apple will just turn me away and say it's not a problem.Well, they probably will do just that, if they can't reproduce your problem. An Apple Store, with the opportunity to actually work with the tech in person, is probably your best bet.

FFL
2004-07-21, 23:05
No, it's free to get a shipping box. It costs $50 to get tech support for software issues. For example, "I'm having a hard time installing OS X, could you help me?" is a $50 phone call. "My computer is broken, send me a shipping box" is a free call. They will probably first run you through a few things to make sure it's actually a problem, but I think if you really insist (maybe exaggerate the problem a bit... nothing too off-the-wall, but make it sound serious), they'll probably send you one.
True.

You might change the "it works 70% of the time" to make it a bit worse than it is. You might also mention other power mgr. type problems, such as going to sleep and not waking up.

It's going to be a gamble, no matter what route you take. Good luck!

alcimedes
2004-07-21, 23:06
so i guess my question is why haven't you contacted Apple yet?

stevegong
2004-07-21, 23:31
so i guess my question is why haven't you contacted Apple yet?

Well, since school ended in May, I've been out of the country. In Rome and Beijing. The problem came up in late May. Actually the trackpad started acting up in January but only in the last 2 months has it become a real hassle (before it worked most of the time).

stevegong
2004-07-21, 23:33
True.

You might change the "it works 70% of the time" to make it a bit worse than it is. You might also mention other power mgr. type problems, such as going to sleep and not waking up.

It's going to be a gamble, no matter what route you take. Good luck!


Well, adding in problems... isn't that lying? And when they get my machine they can check if all I said was true...

Also, better to take it to apple store or call?

MacUsers
2004-07-21, 23:34
shake it a few times... bam the trackpad a little.. it'll be fine ;)

DMBand0026
2004-07-22, 02:06
shake it a few times... bam the trackpad a little.. it'll be fine ;)

:lol:

I actually laughed at that before I cringed. :lol:


Yeah Steve. Take it into an Apple Store. Can't hurt to try.

Don't add to the problems by making some up. But say that the trackpad "almost never" works, none of this 70% crap. Tell them the HD won't spin down even after a clean install of Panther. That'll be a red flag to them because anyone who is smart enough to know how to do an effective clean install to troubleshoot their own problem is really at the end of his rope. They'll give you more credit after that. So just go into a store when you have the chance and have them take a look at it. It's under warranty (right?) so it can't hurt.

stevegong
2004-07-22, 02:59
Alright, that's what I'll do..

Thanks to everyone very much. I really appreciate your help. It makes me feel much more comfortable with the problem.

Steve.

PXLpainter
2004-07-27, 03:36
shake it a few times... bam the trackpad a little.. it'll be fine ;)My dad used to refer to this technique as "Percussive Maintenance" :D

Well, it worked on the old B&W Philco TV set... for awhile... :|

FFL
2004-07-27, 04:15
My dad used to refer to this technique as "Percussive Maintenance" :D |
It's been around for a while, a pretty well known industry term
http://www.google.com/search?q=Percussive+Maintenance&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

PXLpainter
2004-07-27, 22:04
It's been around for a while, a pretty well known industry term
http://www.google.com/search?q=Percussive+Maintenance&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8Well, so has my dad! ;)