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Shafted by Apple: PowerBook Defect *SCANDAL*


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Shafted by Apple: PowerBook Defect *SCANDAL*
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SonOfSylvanus
Fro Productions(tm)
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: London Town
 
2005-11-05, 19:21

PowerBook G4 15" Lower Memory Slot Failure

Without being aware of it, this is the post where I nailed the source of the problems I've been having with my PowerBook. In a nutshell, the lower RAM slot on the logic board has failed, meaning that only memory in the upper RAM slot is registered. A little cursory googling revealed that replacement logic boards (labour NOT included) were in the range of $699-$799. I couldn't find any quotes in pounds sterling. "Shit", I thought, "I don't have AppleCare. Shit. Shit. SHIT. I knew I should have got it. Damn penny-pinching mentality..." *sigh*



Diligent as ever, I widened the scope of my enquiries and via a highly convoluted process (involving a painful encounter with Google Translator - heh) I discovered that I am the victim of an official Apple Shafting™. I am now one of several sore-bottomed owners of the following error code:
Code:
post/0/2048 SODIMM0/J25LOWER
(That's "post/0/2048 SODIMM0/J25LOWER" with two m's, for any Google crawlers out there.) This identifies me as having purchased one of any model of Apple's present range, and entire back-catalogue, of aluminium-clad PowerBook G4 15" notebook computers... and having received one prone to logic board failure. Let me say that again: PowerBook G4's are prone to logic board failure. Oh, and Apple hasn't instituted an out-of-warranty repair scheme, nor even recognised the issue. Cheeky bastards.



The lower RAM slot can stop registering at any time, from weeks to years after purchase. The only true remedy is a full logic board replacement. However, since Apple has not re-engineered replacement boards, people can find that their powerbook falls prey to the same hardware failure again and again, and again. The only other option is to buy a large RAM stick and rely on the upper RAM slot only. This may be my cheapest option for the moment. (Maybe not "cheap" if 2GB sticks available? )

***

There is, of course, an accusatory website: http://lowermemoryslot.editkid.com/

a petition (with 800+ signatures): http://lowermemoryslot.editkid.com/index.php?view=yes

and a *locked* and hidden Apple Discussions thread (with 315 posts): http://216.239.39.104/translate_c?hl...lr%3D%26sa%3DN

***

I have made only two expensive Apple purchases: a PowerBook G4 15", and an ACD 20". Both had to be returned due to hardware defects (white spots, pink hue). Both now exhibit hardware defects (lower RAM slot failure, pink hue). Great.





Check your 'About This Mac' boxes my little chickedees... Have you "lost RAM"? I wouldn't be surprised if someone at AN finds that they have.

bouncy bouncy
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SonOfSylvanus
Fro Productions(tm)
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2005-11-05, 19:23

(I'm still a fanboi though )
  quote
Maciej
M AH - ch ain saw
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2005-11-05, 21:33

Buy a windows box. lol

Sounds like quite the conspiracy you've worked up there. Hell, maybe if you make a website about it you'll get your powerbook replaced and other people's too.

It seems like a pretty apple-ish thing to do, but I'm also wondering if its a lot less of a big deal as I'm looking at it.

Now I only wish I knew why my PB won't take any more ram than it's got...

User formally known as Sh0eWax
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SonOfSylvanus
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Join Date: May 2004
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2005-11-06, 04:03

Yeah, well.

I realise that when things happen to you, they seem all out of proportion. I'm of half a mind to consider it all my own bad luck—even if it is a widespread problem. My post is a little tongue-in-cheek. But then again, I'm also of half a mind to complain until I have no more air left in my lungs, because its not fair to have bought such an expensive item, and have it be prone to parts failure.

bouncy bouncy
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HezMah19
Formerly "jmahe19"
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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2005-11-06, 04:20

Man, This happened on my PB15" as well, HOWEVER the AppleCentre replaced it for me (the Logic Board, not the PB), free of charge because they had many people with the same problem, how old is the 'Book?

jm.

Last edited by HezMah19 : 2005-11-06 at 04:28.
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Luca
ಠ_ರೃ
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
 
2005-11-06, 05:00

I think it's ridiculous how much Apple has let their own quality control slide in the past couple years. There's been at least one major product defect every year - first the iBook logic boards, then the pink 23" Cinema displays, and now the lower RAM slots in the PowerBooks. They also had those PowerBook battery recalls.

Sadly, I doubt you'll find anything much better on the PC side of things without paying out the nose for something like a VoodooPC. You can obviously build your own desktop computer and ensure that all the parts you buy are top-quality, with long warranties, but you can't really make your own notebook. I think it's a damn shame that anyone should have to pay so much for a notebook just to get what has always been thought of as a basic feature - dependability.

A lot of people probably would be willing to spend extra for a better-built product. But a lot of people would not, and therefore companies (even Apple) must cater to the bottom line. It's too bad.

What really pisses me off (and pisses off many people) is that despite all this crap, they go on denying any problems and refuse to fix what are obvious design flaws. I could even see them doing that if they would at least fix the problem silently, but they don't even do that! It looks as though they're still churning out defective motherboards. So not only will they not acknowledge it publicly, they won't even admit it to themselves!
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ast3r3x
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2005-11-06, 06:13

Well now I'm a little paranoid because I have a 1.25GHz PBook. It has made it over two years though, so that's a plus.
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SonOfSylvanus
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Join Date: May 2004
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2005-11-06, 06:51

FYI

The most recent Apple Discussions thread can be found here: http://discussions.info.apple.com/we...3g.5@.68af093a

Sony Vaio notebooks may be exhibiting a similar prolem: http://www.petitiononline.com/sonymem1/petition.html

bouncy bouncy
  quote
awilso
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Join Date: Jun 2005
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2005-11-06, 08:04

Quote:
Originally Posted by SonOfSylvanus
PowerBook G4 15" Lower Memory Slot Failure
Thanks for this, it looks very worrying when something like this happens, my old 667 G4 keeps on going and going, but I got a 1.67 this year and I don't think I could afford for something as serious as this to happen, so I have gone and spent a freekin fortune on Applecare as a result, for peace of mind.

I have to be honest I thought I'd paid for peace of mind when I paid the Apple premium prices.

Not best pleased with Apple for sucha serious problem.

The force is strong in this one
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SonOfSylvanus
Fro Productions(tm)
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: London Town
 
2005-11-06, 08:15

Quote:
Originally Posted by awilso
I have to be honest I thought I'd paid for peace of mind when I paid the Apple premium prices.
My thoughts exactly, and an excellent way of putting it.
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Engine Joe
Going Strange...
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY
 
2005-11-06, 08:59

If that were the case, why would AppleCare even exist?
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Mugge
Thunderbolt, fuck yeah!
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Denmark
 
2005-11-06, 09:10

I really don't like to read stuff like this about Apple

This whole Apple Care thing seems wrong to me. Why should I as a customer pay for something that I'm already legally entitled to. Sure the Apple Care covers other things also, but I don't want to pay top dollar for a Mac and then have to pay even more to make sure I can get it fixed, if something was wrong with it.

Fortunately, danish purchase law provides me with all the stick I need, not to care about Apple Care But I seriously don't understand why you english/americans don't have a simmilar legal protection?

Any lawyers/law students here who can educare me on this? Please.
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Engine Joe
Going Strange...
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY
 
2005-11-06, 09:19

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mugge

This whole Apple Care thing seems wrong to me. Why should I as a customer pay for something that I'm already legally entitled to. Sure the Apple Care covers other things also, but I don't want to pay top dollar for a Mac and then have to pay even more to make sure I can get it fixed, if something was wrong with it.
You don't - as long as the hardware problem occurs in the first year. But warranties aren't perpetual.
  quote
Mugge
Thunderbolt, fuck yeah!
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Denmark
 
2005-11-06, 09:26

Ah, I see. In Denmark we have a two year minimum warranty. Thats a noticable difference, and one that makes Apple Care less attractive here.

Thanks.
  quote
Gargoyle
http://ga.rgoyle.com
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: In your dock hiding behind your finder icon!
 
2005-11-06, 10:29

Just to keep good karma - and maintain a balance. The 29th of September 2005 was my PowerBooks second birthday it's behaved near perfectly for its entire life except for the un-even screen brightness when running on the lower brightness levels.

Thanks Apple

OK, I have given up keeping this sig up to date. Lets just say I'm the guy that installs every latest version as soon as its available!
  quote
Luca
ಠ_ರೃ
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
 
2005-11-06, 10:49

But yeah, the main concept of Apple Care is to give you warranty coverage for hardware failures caused by parts wearing out from normal use. Hard drives sometimes die within a year, and sometimes they die within three years. Should it be Apple's responsibility to give you a lifetime warranty on a hard drive that they didn't manufacture? AppleCare is mostly to cover wear and tear—nothing should fail in one or even three years, even under normal use, but sometimes it does, and that's generally an indicator of hardware that may have been slightly defective from the beginning.

Now, what you should not have to do is buy Apple Care just so you don't have to pay for Apple to fix their own design flaws. The lower RAM slot issue is a design flaw and by all rights, Apple should acknowledge the problem and give free motherboard replacements to people who have that issue. Based on Apple's response to previous problems like this one, I'm guessing they're considering their options at the moment. They're not going to admit to the problem immediately—they will probably think about it for a while, try to come up with a fix, and maybe then they'll announce a recall. But they're not going to come out and say "Hey, we're making defective PowerBooks! Just sit tight while we figure out how the hell to fix them!" Sales would plummet. They'd have to announce that they had already fixed the problem before they can admit to it, I think.
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SonOfSylvanus
Fro Productions(tm)
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: London Town
 
2005-11-06, 10:50

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gargoyle
... it's behaved near perfectly for its entire life except for the un-even screen brightness when running on the lower brightness levels...
Heh heh.

Anyway, I don't expect a complex electronics product such as a PowerBook to be perfect or given technical support for ever. I do expect, though, that any widespread manufacturing defect that it carries should be acknowledged and the possibilities for out-of-warranty repairs looked upon sympathetically.

Plus, I'd just like to remind everyone:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Me
The lower RAM slot can stop registering at any time, from weeks to years after purchase.
This affects all PowerBook G4 15 inchers. Don't think that these are the grumbling discontents of owners of ageing hardware.

bouncy bouncy
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atomicbartbeans
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Join Date: Jan 2005
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2005-11-06, 10:56

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luca
I think it's ridiculous how much Apple has let their own quality control slide in the past couple years.
The root of all these problems isn't Apple, but ASUSTeK, the company that builds Apple notebooks (yeah I know, weird... Apple just designs them). They've been suffering from piss-poor quality in recent years.

Thankfully, Apple is also planning to get their notebooks built elsewhere pending the Intel switch.

You ask me for a hamburger.
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autodata
hustlin
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2005-11-06, 10:58

I had the joy of calling apple care yesterday for two screwed up machines. One was a logic board failure in a g3 ibook and the second was an ongoing problem with my powerbook's fan, something I've mentioned here before.

The [sarcastic]great[/sarcastic] thing about having applecare is that I get to have apple tell me that the fan issue is probably normal and then have them threaten me with a $100 diagnostic fee if I send it in again and they decide it's operating properly. This is with a computer so loud I can barely work on it for extended periods and that is so loud when it's just sitting idle that it's obnoxiously distracting even two rooms away.

I mean, I've like apple in the past, but I really don't have time for all of this, particularly the whole diagnostic fee threat.

Oh, and you wouldn't believe how many power cords I've gone through on apple laptops. I had a number with bricks that failed and now I've had two where the bare wire has become exposed right where it joins the plug for the computer. I've never had problems with the cords on any of my other cords for all of the many electronic devices.
  quote
Batman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Iowa
 
2005-11-06, 11:00

Quote:
Originally Posted by atomicbartbeans
The root of all these problems isn't Apple, but ASUSTeK, the company that builds Apple notebooks (yeah I know, weird... Apple just designs them). They've been suffering from piss-poor quality in recent years.

Thankfully, Apple is also planning to get their notebooks built elsewhere pending the Intel switch.
And thats what happens when you outsource your product manufacturing.
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ast3r3x
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2005-11-06, 11:33

Quote:
Originally Posted by autodata
I've never had problems with the cords on any of my other cords for all of the many electronic devices.
I'm not sticking up for Apple I'm just wondering, what other cords are you plugging in and out as often? -or- What other devices do you have connected while moving around so often?

I'm just asking because I know I personally have it connected any time I'm within cord stretching distance. Also I will no have problem plugging it in and out 5 times in a day easy. I don't know any other device that I do that with except maybe my headphones/in-ears which often will do that. My E5's cord is a little thicker at the expense of not being as flexible, and my Sony headphones just have a thick ass cable.
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L'Angelo Misterioso
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
 
2005-11-06, 12:28

Quote:
Originally Posted by ast3r3x
I'm not sticking up for Apple I'm just wondering, what other cords are you plugging in and out as often? -or- What other devices do you have connected while moving around so often?

I'm just asking because I know I personally have it connected any time I'm within cord stretching distance. Also I will no have problem plugging it in and out 5 times in a day easy. I don't know any other device that I do that with except maybe my headphones/in-ears which often will do that. My E5's cord is a little thicker at the expense of not being as flexible, and my Sony headphones just have a thick ass cable.
I've gone through 3 power cords myself
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ast3r3x
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2005-11-06, 12:36

I've gone through two. Well actually the male end got bent and wouldn't stay in my computer well enough so I bought another one, but the actual brick was broken, so I spliced the good end of the broken brick onto the broken end of the good brick. All has worked out fine
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autodata
hustlin
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2005-11-06, 12:43

Quote:
Originally Posted by ast3r3x
I'm not sticking up for Apple I'm just wondering, what other cords are you plugging in and out as often?
Over the years? Lots. Power cords for other laptops, audio cables big and small, game controllers, cell phones, etc, etc, etc.
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ast3r3x
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2005-11-06, 12:53

Quote:
Originally Posted by autodata
Over the years? Lots. Power cords for other laptops, audio cables big and small, game controllers, cell phones, etc, etc, etc.
But do they get the same use is my question. They might that is what I am curious about. Like I said, audio cables big & small I can't imagine would, game controllers and cell phones wouldn't as much.

Power cords for other laptops I can understand.
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Maciej
M AH - ch ain saw
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2005-11-06, 13:14

I feel that it's not the power cord thats the problem on mine, simply the whole it plugs into. I feel like it's loosened up after these 2 years of existence, and now its getting to be quite fidgety with how it the plug has to sit in it. Not very handy for a handy laptop.

Also I'm just waiting for something to break on this out of warranty so I can get a new PB.

Apple care is a pain in the ass too, I've had to send my laptop in 3 times to finally get my creaky lid issue resolved, and once more to have them fix things that got broken during their repair - aka latch, and case wasn't sealed fully. On top of all this, it came back with a screw loose, they had jammed the laptop shut with this screw loose (one at the base of your LCD on the right) and it scratched the shit out of the little plastic rim on top right. Apple care has screwed me more than helped me it feels like. Except with iPods, they just replaced those whenever my HD dies...

User formally known as Sh0eWax
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autodata
hustlin
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2005-11-06, 14:24

Quote:
Originally Posted by ast3r3x
But do they get the same use is my question.
I thought my answer was clear: yes.
Quote:
I can't imagine would
But they do. For instance, I have an 1/8" to rca that easily sees 2-3x the usage.
Quote:
cell phones wouldn't as much.
? The cell phones in my house get plugged in once a day, the same usage as each apple power cord I use.

The point where the cord goes into the plug for the computer is weak and they seem to break after about two years of use. And that still doesn't explain the 3 or 4 failed bricks since they moved to the white power adapters or how the plastic cover on the firewire plug came detached on the cable for one of my ipods within a month or two of purchase.

I have a number of computers and a lot of electronics in the house (two living rooms, tons of audio gear, two projectors, etc), and somehow my apple gear has given me the most trouble over the past five or so years. Some might say it's bad luck, but somehow the biggest problems are things that a quick internet search or trip to the apple forums reveals are relatively widespread, like the loud fans in the ghz titanium or the vertical banding from the bad display connector on the 500 mhz titanium.

However, the number of optical and hard drive failures I've had to deal with on the dells at work are another thing altogether.
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SonOfSylvanus
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Join Date: May 2004
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2005-11-06, 15:01

Quote:
Originally Posted by autodata
Some might say it's bad luck, but somehow the biggest problems are things that a quick internet search or trip to the apple forums reveals are relatively widespread, like the loud fans in the ghz titanium or the vertical banding from the bad display connector on the 500 mhz titanium.
... or the lower RAM slot failure on the PowerBook G4s, the topic of this thread...

  quote
apples
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
 
2005-11-06, 23:12

I was ahving doubts about getting a new PB, because the iBook that my little bro got had problems with the keyboard. When he checked the ones at CompUSA had the same problems, while the PBs did not. That made me first distrust Apple after having heard so much good from them. They finally gave him a full refund, because it was unusable for typing. Then when my PB shipped last weekend, they sent me a bad battery that would not hold a charge. I must say, though, Aplle sent a replacement battery very quickly... Still wondering about the quality though...
  quote
euain
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: UK
 
2005-11-07, 09:21

My PB too..

PB15", 1.67Ghz, SD - the model released on 31 Jan 2005.

Last week, I opened the PB and was a bit puzzled that it didn't wake - and the sleeping light was off. It eventually rebooted after I pressed the power button a few times.

I thought it was a bit slow and sure enough memory is 512MB (down from 1GB). System profiler showed lower slot empty. At this point, I rebooted and the memory seemed to come back again..

An hour later, the PB crashed again and (on reboot) the memory was gone again. Hardware test gives the POST message mentioned above.

Anyway - AppleCare are sending out a box for me to send it back for repair. Suddenly, I am kind of glad that the memory was Apple-fitted when the machine was built - no arguments about duff memory etc.

Still love the PB - but I'm pretty peeved that it's succumbed to what seems to be a pretty common issue. Hopefully, Apple won't hold onto it for too long!

Euain
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