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Ask Max: Malfunctioning OS9 iBook

Asked on 09/16/2008:

I recently bought an iBook G4 from the web. I needed a computer that works in Classic 9, that runs software and hardware used in a middle school classroom. It worked for about an hour (long enough for me to do a migration from one computer to another). Since that time, however, it stalls and the message you need to restart your computer keeps appearing. I've been told that the logic board is shot. Unfortunately, I missed the 30-day return period. Is this something that can be fixed without spending an arm and a leg? Is there something I can do to get the machine up and running?


Unfortunately, if the diagnosis is correct and your logic-board is no longer working correctly, then it is an extremely expensive repair.

Sometimes even faulty equipment can still work under light loads. I have my father's old iMac on life support just for his writing and emailing. He uses his much newer MacBook for all his big projects.

It may be a good idea to get your iBook reinstalled from the factory-restore DVDs. Then use the iBook for only classroom work. If you do not migrate data, it may continue to work. You may also want to get a second opinion about the logic board. Just like with medicine, fails-positives happen.

And, um, next time... buy a used Mac from PowerMax... we provide a 90-day warranty and more (including answers to questions). But I'm guessing you've kinda figured that out by now.

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