More PowerBook problems


I bought my PowerBook back at the end of November last year. Functionally, I couldn’t be happier with it. That said, I’m more than a little irritated at the hardware issues I’m having…

The local Apple Repair Centre replaced the motherboard (they call it a logic board) about eight weeks ago, after it had a failure of one of the RAM slots. It behaved itself for a couple of weeks, but has recently begun crashing with increasing frequency; as many as 10 times in a day. Each crash manifests itself one of three ways:

  • a “grey screen of death” where OS X produces an overlay telling me I need to reboot
  • a total kernel FUBAR (technical term…) where OS X dies massively and I start seeing Unix-like kernel messages on screen (ugly), or
  • the thing just freezes

Obviously, none of these make me happy.

Yesterday, I had three crashes in a row between 9:00AM and 10:00AM. Fed up, I ran an Apple Hardware Test off the OS X install DVD. Now, I don’t know whether you’ve ever run one of these, but the “Extensive” mode runs a full system diagnostic on your machine, reporting back any problems. However, there’s a “feature” of the test which bugs me a little; the first problem it finds, it bails, and refuses to test any further.
Now, it did find an issue with the left rear exhaust on the PowerBook, but my guess is that this is simply symptomatic of a bigger issue. I would have like to have been able to get more information.

So now, I’m without my PowerBook for another few days as Mac1 does another repair job on my PowerBook. In all likelihood, they’ll replace the motherboard again. With any luck, this will be the last time – I’ve only got four months’ warranty left.

Thankyou for your patience during my rant. We now return to our regularly scheduled broadcast.

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