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Daniel, Mac Genius
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 4770
Experience:  Apple certified on desktop and portable, help desk qualified. Have owned and used Macs since 1989.
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Model Powerbooks 6,7 with Mac OS X 10.4.11 During start-up

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Model: Powerbooks 6,7 with Mac OS X 10.4.11
During start-up the message pops up to restart
computer. Sometimes computer will boot and
run perfectly for several minutes..then the same
message appears to restart computer.
The battery pac charges up just fine with four
lights. When the computer does boot and run
I can use my wireless home network just fine.
Is there a reasonably cheap fix to this problem.
Hello, my name is Dan.
I will do my best to help you, the only stupid question is the unasked one.
That is known as a kernel panic, the message can look like one of these below.

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This is usually software but can be a hardware incompatibility such as failing or failed RAM.
Sometimes some maintenance dan fix it sometimes not.
I recommend a pram reset followed by a safe boot and repairing the permissions.
Pretty much in that order, it may or may not clear the problem up.
The thing to do after that is to reset the PMU or the power management unit, and cleaning the RAM contacts with a pencil eraser.

To do a PRAM reset, you need to restart your machine and hold down these 4 keys.
‘Option’, ‘Command (Cloverleaf or Apple)’, ‘R’ and 'P'.
Keep them down until you hear 4 startup chimes.
If you have a wireless keyboard then the procedure is a little bit different.
Use the very same keys but wait until the first chime and immediately press and hold those keys. I recommend getting your fingers ready because timing is critical.
This resets all of the system buses on your computer, USB, FireWire, display, ethernet and your keyboard/mouse/trackpad.
This will correct many faults but not necessarily yours.

To do a Safe Boot, restart and before the first chime press and hold the 'Shift' key.
Wait until you see the Apple logo and the spinning gear appear, then let go.
It can take as long as 20 minutes to load, so please be patient.
When the login screen appears it will say in red on the login window 'SafeBoot'.
Now login and give it a few more minutes to finish loading.
Try doing whatever it was it was giving you the problem. If it works then probably the problem is solved, so restart normally.
If the problem persists then restart normally also, other fixes will need to be done.

This PDF explains how to repair your permissions.
If those three do not do the trick them please let me know and we will move to more invasive techniques.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I ran the PRAM procedure and the Safe Boot procedure that you suggested and that apparently fixed the start-up problem...(the third error message image on your answer reply --the error message with the black background). However, now I can't connect to my home wireless network. I have another laptop (Sony VAIO) which connects to the internet just fine....that's what I'm using to send this message. Can you tell me how to reconnect my Powerbook to my home wireless network? The System Preferences says my Airport is off and my internal modem is not set up. Does that information help?
Yes, I can in all probability. However keep in mind that your PowerBook is 5 years old and it may be the Airport card that is causing the problem. I had one do that recently, as soon as I swapped the Airport all was fine.
Is the Airport on?
If so are there networks listed?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Daniel, I think you may be right about the airport card not working properly. The error message to restart computer does not appear in the SAFE MODE. I can go to the regular mode and sometimes surf the web for 20 to 30 minutes before the error message appears. ( By the way I figured out how to turn the airport on and the computer and internet seems to work just fine until the error message appears.) Is there a website that sells a replacement airport card and is it something a novice like me can open up a laptop and replace without causing any damage? I have added memory cards to desktop computers (only PC's) without any problems but I have never opened up a powerbook before.
Yes, the airport card in that machine is fairly easy to replace.
This site has all the info on how to do it and should have the card you need.
That is the right page for the take apart and reassemble.
This will help find the correct card, they didn't vary much but it doesn't take much.
You can also use an ethernet cable and leave the airport off until you get it fixed.

Edited by Daniel on 10/5/2010 at 2:58 PM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Daniel, Thanks to the website that you sent me I have detrmined precisely which PowerBook I is an iBook G4 14" 1.42 GHz Model: A1134. The Airport card is moderately difficult to replace but I believe I can do it. The new card is about $70.00.

The fact that I can surf the web for 20-30 min just fine before the "restart error" appears doesn't mean that the Airport card is not bad and the problem is something else....... does it? You mentioned that the RAM could be the problem. The RAM is easy to replace in this device....I have 512 MB now and I could replace it with 1 GB for about $40.00. What do you think is the most likely problem the RAM or the Airport Card.

An easy test is to connect via ethernet cable and turn the Airport off. This will remove the power to the airport and you will still have internet (faster even), it does tie your machine down.
I am sure it is the Airport card, I have seen this many times and the diagnoses in your case is the card. I don't think it is RAM because with RAM it happens quicker and consistently.
Also with RAM, when it goes bad, will usually give indications when starting up such as beeps and boot failure.
I am confident it is the card.
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