Model A1139 / 1680x1050 screen resolution

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PowerBook G4 17" freezes appearing to over heat

Hello. I have a PowerBook G4 Aluminum 17"model A1139 that started freezing days after a HD replacement. The system was restored from a Time Machine backup of the previous HD. It was fine for a few days at first but after when I was playing a music file in Safari it suddenly stuttered then stopped dead. The machine had totally froze and required the power button to be held down to shut it off.

I went through the motions, read up on resetting PMU and PRAM and all that. The machine has a 65W adaptor. It also has a replacement battery a friend got off eBay so I also wonder if that can cause it. It currently has 1GB of RAM.

I've done a bit of experimenting so far but am frustrated that I still don't know what the problem is. This is a shame as the machine is in VGC, suitable as a portable workhorse, with the biggest laptop screen I've ever seen!

When I replaced the HD I had trouble with the keyboard flat ribbon and thought I may have damaged it. So I tested it with the ribbon removed. Still froze.

I booted the OSX install CD to test the drive. Disk Utility reported no problems on the drive. I ran all the repair options just in case.

I thought the HD may be drawing too much power. So I tested without the HD. I booted an Ubuntu 10 DVDRW. It ran fine for an hour and then froze.

I suspect it is overheating because I can feel the bottom get hot and I cannot hear any fans/motors apart from HD. On top of that it needs to "cool down" after a freeze and won't start up (chime and all) after a few minutes. And then the lesser cooling off period I give it the more quicly it locks up again.

I located and ran an Apple Hardware Test from CD. I ran the extensive test. Twice on two occasions. I could hear it turn the fans on. And in the end it reported no problem. Great, I'm still clueless!

Back in OSX I found a program to show temperature and fan speed. It shows two CPU bottoms, one 45C, the other as 60C. Power supply 54C. Track pad 34C. HD is 34C. It showed a rear fan at 2300 RPM and a rear exhaust as 0 RPM. I had been running it off the battery for almost half an hour and it managed not to freeze during that time. Then it went to sleep. I plugged power in and woke it up. The CPU reading dropped before picking up again. But then it reported both fans as 0 RPM! :-o

Okay, so with all of the above, does anything stand out? Can you see any reason the machine would freeze? What experiment should I try next. :-)

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Thanks for your reply. I didn't realise it would be shutting down given it totally locks up. Well given there is no ASOD (Apple Screen Of Death) I suppose that the CPU locked up.

I've currently got it unscrewed to the point of what is needed to replace HD. Since I unscrewed it again after the freezing. I thought I may have also brushed against some cables relating to fan. But I dread taking more screws out. :-o

I also wonder if there is a way to start up without the laptop keyboard? I have an Apple M2452 Keyboard that I plugged in order to start it with the on button but I cannot get it to work. This is strange as I'm certain I used it to do so when I pulled the internal one out and the on switch with it. I also have an M7803 Apple Pro Keyboard.

Anyway, the last three figures are SX0.


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1 Answer

Chosen Solution

Sounds like it overheating and the self protect is shutting it down. I'd take the bottom off and observe the fans. You may need to clean them or replace. This machine could probably also use a thermal paste replacement do to its age. Please give us the last three figures of your serial number so we can identify it and get you to the correct guides. A infrared heat sensor gun is useful on problems like this and they are cheap now.

UPDATE 8/3/15

First let's address the overheating problem. Use canned air and blow it out. Remove the fans and clean the vents. Replace the thermal paste. Here's the guide: PowerBook G4 Aluminum 17" 1.67 GHz (High-Res) Heat Sink & Fan Assembly Replacement

I've changed your icon to the correct set of guides for your machine.

Apple PowerBook G4 1.67 17" (DLSD/HR - Al) Specs

Identifiers: 17-Inch DL SD - M9970LL/A - PowerBook5,9 - A1139 - N/A

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Thanks very much mayer. I'll get the work underway and report back. :-)

I also responed in the wrong section before.


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