PowerBook G4 Aluminum laptops with 12 inch displays

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Why do I get "you must shut down your computer now" mssg?

Sometimes the cursor freezes before the mssg pops up. Sometimes not. My mac neighbour says it's not my HD and he fixed a directory problem I had. He tried replacing the RAM with a 512 but the problem did not stop, so we replaced it with the original 256. I always keep it pluged in. It's 5 yrs old. Unplugged, the batt only lasts 1 hr. My neighbour says it's old for a laptop, time to replace it! But I love this little guy.

Thanks,

Wayne

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You are seeing a kernel panic.

Some are hardware, some are software related. What's the last thing you remember doing before this started happening?

Have you tried a safe boot (shift-boot)? Is the problem still present?

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Hi! How often do you get that error? Is it while doing anything in particular?

You might want to reset the PMU and PRAM. If possible, I'd wipe the hard drive and do a clean install of the OS, just to rule out software as the issue. Since that model does have some embedded RAM, you might want to remove the expansion RAM entirely in order to determine if it crashes with no expansion RAM installed.

I wouldn't generally think it's the hard drive either, but to rule it out, use target mode to boot to another machine's hard drive. If it crashes while running on another machine's drive, then you know the issue is a hardware problem with your machine, unrelated to your hard drive. If it doesn't crash while using someone else's hard drive, then you know it's either that your hard drive is bad, or that the software on your hard drive is corrupted in some way.

You can also go into the detailed "About This Computer" screen, and at the bottom of the list, you will find the error log, which will likely state clues as to the reason for the crashes.

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OK, I installed Leopard and the same problem occurs. I'm only surfing the net with 4 tabs open, occasionally a youtube flick will set it off or downloading a photo. I'm not doing anything heavy like photoshop. Maybe this is my excuse to buy an Air!

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as machead3 said, you're seeing a kernel panic

sound like they are happening randomly for you? I'm guessing then it maybe a hardware issue, perhaps bad RAM (that's just one possible cause for a kernel panic)

when debugging a pesky Mac, I sometimes use a tool called Applejack - it requires installation prior to use - and then to run it you first need to boot in single user mode (hold Cmd-S while rebooting). Applejack will perform some basic maintenance tasks like running fsck on your disk, repairing permissions, etc.

however note: there is an optional memory test that you can install when you FIRST install Applejack. It is apparently a more thorough test than Apple Hardware Test. Before installing Applejack, please read the readme file and make sure you select the option to install memtest.

also: latest version of Applejack works on Mac OS X up to Leopard, but Snow Leopard is NOT yet supported.

another separate suggestion. Next time after you have a kernel panic and restart your Mac, open Console (in Applications/Utilities) and take a look through the log files. take a look at anything particular happening around the timestamp of when your machine crashed - sometimes there may be a clue of what's going on, especially if it's a repeatable cause.

good luck.

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