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CorbieD
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Sick Macbooks - Apple MacBook Problems and Solutions
      #25136 - 09/08/06 09:05 PM

Although the MacBook is a great laptop and one of the fastest you'll ever come across, it has had its share of problems since its release in May. After having a few minor problems with mine, I thought I'd take a moment to go through some of the more common problems and let you in on a few of the solutions I've found, both on the internet and over the telephone with an Apple Technician.



The rainbow lines of doom - If you?ve fire up your MacBook only to be met with a large array of multi-colored vertical lines, you have a problem that is associated with the 10.4.7 OS X upgrade. The Apple Technician gave me two solutions that should fix the problem. The first trick is to zap your MacBook?s parameter RAM. To do this, press and hold COMMAND + OPTION + P + R keys all at the same time as you boot up your MacBook. Continue to hold the keys until you hear the MacBook chime 4 times and then release these 4 keys. Once you get the MacBook to actually boot up, go in to the SYSTEM PREFERENCES and select the DISPLAY preference. Change your MacBook display resolution to something other than what you currently have it set on and after it changes go ahead and set it back to where you had it originally, which is normally 1280 x 800. This is supposed to stop the vertical line problem at bootup.

My screen dims and tells me to hold the power button to shut down - Now this is normally associated with a kernel panic of some kind. Chances are, if you have this problem occur, you?ve just installed some new RAM and your MacBook doesn?t care for it too much. Apple computers have always been a bit finicky when it comes to third party RAM, but it seems the MacBook is even more picky than usual. The first thing you should try is to take out your new RAM chips and replace them with your stock factory RAM chips that came with your MacBook. If this remedies your problem, then you know the RAM you have isn?t going to work and you need to return it. So far, Kingston, Crucial, Edge, Viking, and Apple RAM have all been cleared as good RAM alternatives to your stock chips. I went with a very cheap RAM chip and I had this very problem rear its ugly head. I?ve since installed 2GB of Edge RAM and it?s worked like a charm since.

Some of my programs will no longer launch and my MacBook just randomly shuts down - If this is happening to you and you?ve had the above forced shutdown problem, then you likely have a hard drive problem now. By having to force shut down, you run the risk of messing up your hard drive?s Binary Tree or Disk Permissions. They have to be repaired or a complete system re-install is necessary. Go to your APPLICATIONS folder and locate the UTILITIES program near the bottom. You?ll see several options to VERIFY or REPAIR your hard drive and disk permissions. Try running the VERIFY portions first to check for errors on your hard drive and then if there are problems, run the REPAIR programs to try to fix them. You may even have to boot up from your Install Disc in order to fully repair your hard drive. This process is basically the same although you boot up your MacBook with your Install Disc 1 in the CD drive and hold down the ?C? key while booting up. If you can?t get them fixed via these methods, you?re most likely going to have to do a complete reinstall if you want to get your hard drive back on track.

I installed new RAM and now all I get it a blue screen at startup! - If you just installed new RAM and you can?t get past the blue bootup screen, you likely didn?t get the RAM chips seated properly inside your MacBook. You have to really push hard to get the RAM chips seated into the MacBook?s memory slots. A good rule of thumb is, if you don?t have some deep indentions in the tips of your fingers after you?ve inserted a RAM chip, you?re not pushing hard enough. Another thing to check for is that the silver ?L? bracket that you have to take off to reach the memory slots of the MacBook should go back on easily and flush if you have the RAM chips inserted correctly. Try pushing the RAM chips all the way in and your MacBook should boot right up.

My MacBook is getting really hot on the bottom and near the LCD. Is this safe? - Apple laptops have always ran fairly warm, and the MacBook is no exception. You need to make sure you have the newest SMC firmware update, as this has helped keep temperatures down a little by activating the internal MacBook fans more often. Go to the APPLE menu at the top left of your screen and select ABOUT THIS MAC. Click on MORE INFO and then look at the SMC VERSION which should be 1.4f10. If you don?t have this update, go back to the APPLE menu and select SOFTWARE UPDATE to get it.

You also need to make sure that you?re using the MacBook on a solid flat surface, as using it on a soft or cloth surface might be blocking the ventilation holes too much. Another good solution is some of the lap desks on the market. I bought an X-Pad cooling pad and it works great for keeping the bottom of the laptop much cooler, even after really long sessions. It?s not the most comfortable thing to sit in your lap for hours at a time, but if you normally use your MacBook at a desk, it?s a great purchase for keeping the temperatures down and since it has no additional fans, it won?t disrupt your MacBooks normal internal airflow.

Should I get that Core Duo Temp program to monitor my MacBook?s internal temperature? - The MacBook doesn?t have any software that can read the temperature sensors inside the laptop so you have to use a kernel extension called ?Speed It? in order to see your internal temps. I?ve read that a lot of MacBook users have had some trouble running ?Speed It? and many have complained about it causing kernel panics on their MacBooks. My advice is, try it if you want to, but if you notice any problems with your computer acting funny or wanting to shut down, uninstall the Speed It asap. I had some trouble with it so I go rid of it. And keep in mind, every temperature program I?ve seen so far for the MacBook uses Speed It, and many will install this kernel extension without your knowing about it so use caution with these programs.

I was working and my MacBook just went off completely! - I?ve had this happen once so far and my MacBook was really hot at the time. Many times, the system just reaches an unsafe temperature and shuts itself down. I was editing some video clips at the time and I could feel the heat off of the keyboard and knew the system was beginning to get hot so I should have shut it down myself. If you?re computer starts to randomly shut itself down and it?s not because of heat issues or these shutdowns begin to happen often, you need to contact Apple as your logic board may need replacing. If you think it might be because of heat issues, try getting one of those X-Pads or operating your MacBook in a cooler area. If the shut down problem persists, you need to have your MacBook sent in for repairs.

People keep talking about what week their MacBook was built. How do I find out? - You can find out from your MacBook?s serial number. Locate the serial number either on the bottom of your MacBook or on your MacBook box. (4H629EMXX9X) The numbers after the 4H, which in this case are ?629? tell you that this MacBook was built during the 29th week of 2006. The number just after the ?H? is the year, and then the following number is the week. Most MacBooks built after week 30 have been relatively problem-free, but many built before that have had some problems at least at one time or another.

I have these shiny spots all over my palm rest and trackpad and I?ve only had my MacBook a few weeks! - If you notice the spots becoming yellow or orange and really standing out, you need to have your MacBook sent in to Apple to replace these components. Some earlier MacBooks from week 28 and earlier had this problem. If you?re just noticing the shiny spots with no discoloration, then welcome to the white MacBook. Mine already has them and I?ve only had mine about a month. You can wipe most of the oils from your hands off with a damp cloth, but it?s really just a fact of life. These plastics are still a bit porous and will sometimes catch the excess oils on your hands no matter how many times you?ve washed your hands. Avoid using any types of lotions or hand cremes when using your MacBook unless you want to make the problem even worse.

My screen flashes brightly the instance I touch the power button sometimes! - I have this happen every once in awhile, and I?ve noticed it?s generally if I shut down and then immediately try to boot up again. The Apple Technician told me on the phone that this happens sometimes when a tiny charge is built up inside the computer. He told me it was nothing to be concerned about (although he didn?t say that with a lot of conviction) so I pretty much ignore it when it does happen as it doesn?t seem to cause any problems. He advised that if i noticed it happening repeatedly to simply remove the battery and power cord and then press the power button to displace this tiny charge. It tends to stop it from happening for a long time after that so it must do something.

I can?t seem to get my Apple Remote to work with my MacBook! - Make sure you have line-of-sight as that?s the only way the Apple Remote will function. You may also need to install a new battery in the remote, as even my remote brand new out of the box was almost dead. I popped in a new CR2032 battery (which you can find at just about any store that carries batteries) and it?s worked perfectly ever since. Also keep in mind that when FrontRow has to boot up the program you want to use, such as itunes or iMovie, it takes a second or two to load them before the action you selected on the Apple Remote will occur onscreen.

Above all, if you do add a new hard drive or more RAM to your MacBook, do yourself a favor and keep your old hard drive or RAM chips that came with your MacBook around. Generally if you have to get on the phone with Apple to fix a MacBook problem, they?ll ask you to make sure that you have the factory-installed equipment in your computer for troubleshooting purposes.

If you have any other MacBook problems or questions, feel free to post them and I?ll answer them as quickly as possible.

-- Corbie Dillard


To read our in-depth review of the MacBook please visit:
http://www.mobiletechreview.com/notebooks/MacBook.htm

Edited by Tong Zhang (09/11/06 08:50 PM)


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blackie
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Reged: 09/14/06
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Re: Sick Macbooks - Apple MacBook Problems and Solutions [Re: CorbieD]
      #25192 - 09/14/06 10:54 PM

my macbook keeps going into sleep mode. any help apprished

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CorbieD
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Re: Sick Macbooks - Apple MacBook Problems and Solutions [Re: CorbieD]
      #25194 - 09/15/06 12:14 AM

Go into ENERGY SAVER in the SYSTEM PREFERENCES and see what your settings are. You may have it set to go to sleep too quickly. You can adjust the time delay and even disable screen dimming and sleeping altogether if you want. Try that and if it continues, you may need to send it in to Apple.

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ender
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Re: Sick Macbooks - Apple MacBook Problems and Solutions [Re: CorbieD]
      #26500 - 01/14/07 05:18 PM

Sometimes my MacBook screen flashes (looks like it's freaking out from dim and light, back and forth) - when it happens my computer is not plugged in (running on battery) - what's up?

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Re: Sick Macbooks - Apple MacBook Problems and Solutions [Re: ender]
      #26510 - 01/15/07 07:51 AM

You can also get your serial number by going to the Apple menu, choosing About This Mac, and clicking a couple of times where it says "Version 10.4.8" (or whatever version you have).

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CorbieD
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Re: Sick Macbooks - Apple MacBook Problems and Solutions [Re: ender]
      #26511 - 01/15/07 08:18 AM

Try going into the the SYSTEM PREFERENCES and into the "Energy Saver" options and try de-selecting the "Automatically dim display before sleep" option...if that doesn't work you may need to call Apple. Does it happen when the battery is at full charge or nearing depletion.

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Dominicandandy
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Re: Sick Macbooks - Apple MacBook Problems and Solutions [Re: CorbieD]
      #26693 - 02/02/07 06:29 AM

Hi...This is my first post as a new Macbook owner; actually I am new to Mac altogether and so am very early on in the learning curve. I bought my Macbook 13.3 on Amazon about a month ago; got one of the older ones and found that the 60gb HD was filling up quickly so I purchased a used (not abused) 120gb Seagate that I installed myself. I thought I could easily retrieve my Office 2004 for Mac from the 60gb by using SuperDuper to copy everything to an iPod Video, then copy it back over to the new 120gb HD. I am not very good with these things, at least not yet, and so rather than risk really screwing something up I took it to the local Apple Store. They merged the two drives just fine, but when I got it home I noticed that iLife is completely missing. No iPhoto, no garage band, etc. I am not certain that Apple Store messed it up, as I probably did that myself. I would like to just re-install the iLife myself, but am not sure how to go about it. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
Rich


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CorbieD
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Re: Sick Macbooks - Apple MacBook Problems and Solutions [Re: CorbieD]
      #26694 - 02/02/07 07:15 AM

Pop in the INSTALL disc and double-click the "Install Bundled Software Only" icon. That should restore the factory installed applications.

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mircobeaker
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Reged: 04/22/07
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Re: Sick Macbooks - Apple MacBook Problems and Solutions [Re: blackie]
      #27424 - 04/22/07 11:05 AM

Hello everybody.
Have been travelling lately and had my macbook under aitport x-rays several times and once I got back home unfortunately my internal microphone would not work anymore. i tried testing the hardware for failures but all seems to be working ok. I carried out maintenance via Onyx application, but nothing worked. I reset the vram, removed the battery and followed all th epossible tip sgiven on the apple site but to no avail.
I then decided to re-install the operating system and that didn't help either. I then decided to have a look inside to check if I could see anything wrong with it but couldn't, didn't want to force a screw so closed it all up again and restarted it and funny enough the microphone was working again but unfortunately not for long. I switched the macbook off went to work and when I got I tried to record something on garageband and found the microphone not working again.
Is it time to call Apple technical support or is there something I can do to get in back into action?

Thanks a lot in advance.

Mirco


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LisaGModerator
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Re: Sick Macbooks - Apple MacBook Problems and Solutions [Re: mircobeaker]
      #27431 - 04/23/07 05:54 PM

Sounds like a loose connector or a bad solder. I'd call Apple.


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mircobeaker
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Re: Sick Macbooks - Apple MacBook Problems and Solutions [Re: LisaG]
      #27456 - 04/27/07 09:25 AM

Thanks for the advice. My macbook is getting fixed as we speak by appple engineer for the second time.

Thanks for reply.


Mirco


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monopaul
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Re: Sick Macbooks - Apple MacBook Problems and Solutions [Re: mircobeaker]
      #27682 - 05/26/07 01:46 PM

My girl friend got a macbook a couple of months ago. Yesterday, she wanted to mount a Cd, but the System hung up. So she turned the computer off. But now, she can no longer start the computer again. When she pushes the power button, her macbook comes as far as the grey screen, but the apple doesn't appear. That's all what happens. It looks a little bit like this., except that she doesn't get those weird coloured lines.

Did anyone have this problem? She's coming over to London this week-end, so I could get it to an Apple store. Still I wanted to know if there is a know solution to this problem. I read somewhere that pushing apple key + option + r + p might be a solution, other threads suggest that it's likely to be a board problem.

Thanks


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LisaGModerator
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Re: Sick Macbooks - Apple MacBook Problems and Solutions [Re: monopaul]
      #27683 - 05/26/07 03:28 PM

I'd try booting off the system DVD that shipped with the notebook. Open the drive door, put the DVD in and boot up the machine holding the option key until it shows you icons for each boot drive (System software disc and internal hard drive). Boot from the System DVD and run Disk Utility to repair any errors on the drive.

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Carolynn
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Re: Sick Macbooks - Apple MacBook Problems and Solutions [Re: CorbieD]
      #27803 - 06/11/07 09:50 AM

well, here's the thing. I havent installed any new RAMs or whatever and the Macbook seems to load really slowly and can only go up to before the password entering page. after that it turns blue. I'm just fourteen, and I have entirely NO idea what to do.

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LisaGModerator
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Re: Sick Macbooks - Apple MacBook Problems and Solutions [Re: Carolynn]
      #27806 - 06/11/07 03:10 PM

Try booting from the system CD or DVD that came with the Mac and run Disk Utility from the CD/DVD drive to repair permissions and the disk itself.


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CorbieD
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Re: Sick Macbooks - Apple MacBook Problems and Solutions [Re: LisaG]
      #27831 - 06/14/07 06:59 AM

Try what Lisa said, and you might have to do the Repair Permissions more than once to get it to boot from the hard drive. These Macbook are about as finicky as any computer I've ever owned. It's seriously causing me doubts in buying a new one next month. And anything that features a kernel extension, which you usually won't know about when you install a new program, can and usually will cause a kernel panic and random shutdown followed by a restart. I have a video editing program that I use to snap Sega Saturn video and I save every minute or so because at any second, down it goes. If that doesn't fix you up, post back here and I'll see what else I can think of. I've honestly had so many problems with this Macbook that I could almost write a book. : )




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Compuser
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Re: Sick Macbooks - Apple MacBook Problems and Solutions [Re: CorbieD]
      #27940 - 06/27/07 03:30 PM

Hi all
I am looking through the internet sites trying to find out about macbooks and came across your forum. I have a macbook purchased in September received in Oct. A few months after purchase the LCD inverter and panel shorted out. The local certified Apple technician called the 2nd day to inform me that parts were ordered and it would be a few days. The next day he called to inform me that the hard drive "burned" up. I asked if the parts were in yet and he replied, "no." Unfortunately the HDD was upgraded by me, a Seagate momentus 5yr warranty drive, so it was not covered under Apple (3rd party clause) but I had to go to Seagate for that issue. When I contacted Seagate they interviewed me thoroughly and I was routed to a technician who requested that I get the drive in my possession and call back. After doing so I contacted Seagate and the technician asked me about a "burned smell" that was described by the Apple technician and myself. He informed me that the "charred" smell" indicated one thing - an over voltage situation and not a seizure which, he described would be near impossible in the momentus line and would not cause the smell or the black on the outer case. They replaced my drive BUT he also cautioned me that I should be concerned for the rest of my computer in a high voltage situation.
I got the computer back about a week later working. Right away I noticed that the bluetooth wireless was going in and out via the display on the top right. At first I thought it was the router then checked another wireless machine and became concerned. It somehow corrected itself though and the problem disappeared; HOWEVER, the situation seems to continue. Last week I used the computer at night until the battery message came on requesting a charge. I plugged the power adapter in and the yellow cord light came on. The next morning the light was green. I tried to boot the machine and NOTHING HAPPENED. No power, no sound-nothing. I took it in to our new Apple store and they replaced the logic board and messaged me that it was ready. The next day I went to the store who informed me that the machine was sent off, that it had failed even when the top (keyboard/pad) and logic board were replaced in-store and the problem was unresolved. The next day I checked with AppleCare and there was a message on the status that the repair was on hold "need information." I called and was told that at first they were unable to duplicate the problem then later they WERE able to duplicate it; HOWEVER, the notes said that they had rebooted over 30 times with only a few successful tries.

At this point I am not sure what a solution is other than to give me another laptop but that has not been an option given to me at this point. I need the computer to do my work but am stuck in limbo. I am going to ask, if the option for new comes to me, to pay the difference and get a pro 15." Perhaps it is a better unit. Also, I bought AppleCare 4 days ago for the macbook. I would want that transferred to the new one and move on with life. I hope that is the solution but who knows?


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descentgr
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Re: Sick Macbooks - Apple MacBook Problems and Solutions [Re: Compuser]
      #28174 - 07/31/07 10:45 PM

Hello. I have a couple different problems.
First off, my macbook won't read any discs. If I put a disc in nothing happens, no noise, no spinning, and I have to use a guitar pick or something thin to poke at the slot and make it pop back out. Second, my garageband program won't open, most likely because I probably deleted important files by accident while I went on a cleaning spree. I can't reinstall it of course, since I can't run the installation disc. I'm guessing I need to take it to get repaired at this point since nothing I've tried is working. Is there any way I can reinstall garageband in the meantime? Like if I could maybe run the install disc on my pc and get the files through the network somehow.


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tantan123
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Re: Sick Macbooks - Apple MacBook Problems and Solutions [Re: CorbieD]
      #28215 - 08/08/07 05:20 PM

Well, My new Macbook just purchase early this year had just come back from the factory for gradient colored screen on the LCD.

I wasn't too please at the repair as the gradient is still there , the only different, an additional "rainbow lines of doom."

I was wondering if anyone notice the screen color problem. I mean, i put a pure blue for the screen wallpaper. It turns out gradient looking by fading the blue at the bottom to light blue.

I buy mac for the correct color display and this isn't working at all.

Please help!!



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shrubbysteve
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Reged: 09/07/07
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Re: Sick Macbooks - Apple MacBook Problems and Solutions [Re: CorbieD]
      #28485 - 09/07/07 11:37 PM

recently i've noticed the my macbook's temp and fan are progressively getting hotter/faster. i've never had a problem with my macbook's temp and fan before. no programs are even running, only finder and dashboard which have never made it run so hard. i've deleted unused widgets and downloaded an updater to make sure none of them are making the computer run so hot/fast. the weird thing is whenever i'm in safe boot, it's totally fine and normal. the temp is around 110-120 degrees F and the fan speed is around 3500rpm. also i noticed that in the activity monitor, the system memory and cpu usage is normal and not freaking out. also when i unplug the ac-power plug, the battery lasts about 3 hours, which was the same as it was in normal mode.

but it's only now when i restart in normal mode that right after a few minutes of start up and not opening anything, the temp goes up to 160 or higher and the fan goes as high as 6000rpm. what's going on?! i thought it was all the hp printer stuff, but i got rid of all that and still the same issues. on the activity monitor the only thing running that's different from safe boot is mbimport. also it is not connected to the internet neither by ethernet cable nor wirelessly, 'cause i thought that might've been an issue, but it's not. also whenever i unplug the ac power plug, the battery only has like 50 minutes of life left. i've also noticed the monitor lightly flickering in normal mode. please please please help!

my macbook info:
processor name: intel core duo
processor: 1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo
number of processors: 1
total number of cores: 2
L2 Cache (per processor): 2MB
Memory: 512 MB
Bus speed: 667 MHz
boot rom version: MB11.0061.B03
SMC Version: 1.4f12
startup disk/boot volume: tiger HD
system version: mac os x 10.4.10 (8R2232)
kernel version: darwin 8.10.1

thanks...


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