General Question

mirandapfeiffer's avatar

Is my computer slowly breaking or just needing a cleaning?

Asked by mirandapfeiffer (5points) June 25th, 2008

Ive got a 12 inch Powerbook G4 that I bought 3 years ago in August. Since Ive had it, and especially for the past year it has been very loud, and also very hot. I realize my machine is getting older, but I would like to hold off buying a new one until the new Macbooks are released. Ive heard of powerbooks behaving this way, but would taking it to the apple store, paying to get it cleaned do anything to prolong the life of it?

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7 Answers

wildflower's avatar

Nice choice of laptop!
If it’s still working alright, you’ll probably be able to use it for some time to come (my iBook Dual USB G3/500 still works like a charm, even if it’s a bit challenged capacity wise).
That kind of service might end up costing you a pretty penny, so you may be better off reading up on how to keep a clean system, avoid filling up your HD with unnecessary things, etc.
An archive and install from time to time (ensuring you back all vitals up first, of course) is a good way to keep your system from getting bogged down.
Also, depending on how much RAM you have, you may want to go easy on the OS upgrades – if you have an OS running on it that it comfortably handles, might be an idea to stick with that.

lefteh's avatar

I have the exact same computer, bought at the exact same time.
I’m having the same sort of problems, with some freezing and processor errors thrown into the mix.
I’m holding off on a new computer for a while, because Apple should be releasing a new line of MacBooks relatively soon.
That, and I can’t afford one right now.

jrpowell's avatar

How much RAM do you have? If it isn’t already maxed out I would suggest putting as much as you can into it. It is really cheap right now and will reduce the need for the hard drive to spin as much. And the hard drive spinning creates heat.

I don’t think having the inside cleaned would cost very much (maybe 40$) and it might help. Maybe some of the vents are plugged with dust bunnies.

PupnTaco's avatar

Dust can be a killer. A good cleaning and the usual maintenance procedures with Disk Utility can make a big difference.

Side note: I struggled in vain to keep my five-year-old PowerMac G5 running recently… it finally died. Needs a new logic board and I just can’t justify the expense of $2000 on a computer that old. So it sits in the garage now and I’m trying to run my business from a shrimpy little MacBook. Poo.

lefteh's avatar

I have that problem with my PowerBook. It needs a new logic board, but if I’m shelling out that kind of money, it’s for a new machine.

PupnTaco's avatar

Problem is, the Mac of my dreams is $9000! I think I can wait.

ketoneus's avatar

I just had this problem with the exact same model, just before it’s 4th birthday. The hard drive finally went out about a month ago. I ended up getting a new MacBook. However, the good folks at the Apple Store Genius Bar said that this could be easily fixed with a hard drive replacement. And get this: they actually recommended that I go to an authorized Apple repair center to have it done. I’ve called around and I’ll be able to double the hard drive space for about $250.

Get the hard drive replaced now before you lose any data.

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