Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Use wireless networking in safe boot mode Network
My friend has a much-loved 12" PowerBook G4. Unfortunately, it has developed a VRAM error (confirmed by Apple Hardware Test) that makes it impossible to boot in "normal" mode. However, it can boot in Safe Mode, which seems to bypass the VRAM. The graphics are obviously not as good, but the computer is quite usable in Safe Mode.

My friend wants to use it as a surfing/email computer for his wife -- but doesn't want to shell out the $300+ for a new logic board installation to fix the VRAM. The only problem is that Safe Mode disables wireless networking! I searched in vain (via Google) for any tips to enable AirPort in Safe Mode. After a bit of thinking, I found a way to get wireless running in Safe Mode (on OS X 10.4, at least).

Open Terminal and enter:
$ sudo kextload /system/library/extensions/appleairport.kext
$ sudo kextload /system/library/extensions/appleairport2.kext
Then open the Network pane of System Preferences, and re-enable the "Show AirPort status on menu bar" option. This enabled us to "Turn AirPort on" -- and the PowerBook was ready to surf!
    •    
  • Currently 1.78 / 5
  You rated: 1 / 5 (9 votes cast)
 
[19,773 views]  

Use wireless networking in safe boot mode | 9 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'Use wireless networking in safe boot mode' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Use wireless networking in safe boot mode
Authored by: harleyb on Jun 30, '08 08:39:11AM

$300 for a new 12" PB logic board? More like $600 plus ~$200 labour, if you're lucky.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use wireless networking in safe boot mode
Authored by: alset on Jun 30, '08 09:16:58AM
$300 for a new 12" PB logic board? More like $600 plus ~$200 labour, if you're lucky.


Apple offers a flat rate mail-in repair service for portable computers in the US. The cost ballparks around the $300 listed by the original poster.

---
standing on the shoulders of giants

[ Reply to This | # ]

Use wireless networking in safe boot mode
Authored by: peragrin on Jun 30, '08 12:15:33PM

Last christmas my 12" g4 died of a similar problem the bill came to ~$325 to have the laptop shipped to them repaired and sent back to the apple store in which I went to see if they could fix it.

I bought a mac mini, used target disk mode to backup all my data, and told them that it was okay for a hard drive wipe.

I told them i had 10.4 installed on it that was my only big annoyance as they reinstalled 10.3 instead. It wasn't that hard to upgrade it again.

---
I thought once I was found but it was only a dream



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use wireless networking in safe boot mode
Authored by: packhater on Jun 30, '08 12:14:01PM

I used this site before for various laptop repairs.

http://www.macservice.com/powerbookg412.html

Try them out :)



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use wireless networking in safe boot mode
Authored by: johnsawyercjs on Jun 30, '08 03:21:18PM

Starting up in Safe Boot mode doesn't bypass the VRAM--the VRAM is a set of chips containing the Mac's video image, and if these chips were bypassed, you'd see nothing onscreen. Safe Boot doesn't let some extensions load, which activate specific extended functions of various chips, including some function controlled by circuitry that's damaged in your friend's Powerbook. The "troublemaking" extension may be one of the ATI extensions at System/Library/Extensions; when it loads, it encounters an unexpected hardware fault, which prevents OS X startup from proceeding. So, if you want to start up the Powerbook without turning off all the extensions that Safe Boot mode turns off, use a process of elimination to find the specific extension that's causing the trouble, and move it out of System/Library/Extensions--first drag one of them out, restart, see if the problem still exists, and if it does, restart in Safe Boot mode, drag the next ATI extension out, restart, etc. Once you've found the troublemaker, drag the other extensions you removed, back into System/Library/Extensions, then repair permissions (since moving extensions out of, then back into, this location will mess up their permissions).

When you remove some video-related extensions out of System/Library/Extensions, you may find a few video-related things don't work properly, if at all, like DVD Player--you may get an error like "A valid video device could not be found for playback. [-70017].". You can try VLC to play DVDs, but you may find most frames drop; same with Quicktime.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use wireless networking in safe boot mode
Authored by: rwikoff on Jun 30, '08 08:46:31PM

To potentially speed this process up, startup in verbose mode by holding command-v on startup (or view the system logs after a failed start). You can often figure out what driver or hardware is causing the problem by noting the last item listed before the system fails.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use wireless networking in safe boot mode
Authored by: wm on Jun 30, '08 11:29:54PM

Agreed, but note that all 12" PowerBooks had Nvidia GPUs, so you'd want to look at the GeForce and/or NVDA kexts.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use wireless networking in safe boot mode
Authored by: audiophil on Jul 02, '08 12:18:51AM

My shop would probably charge around 400$ for such a repair on average.

Althought your getting a VRAM error; the problem is most likely related to the graphics drivers in general kicking in; removing the relevant kext files will get your other system functions up and running minus graphics acceleration. . . .maybe. this is not a common usage scenario.

my recommendation? Go find a used PBG412 or ibook on ebay. or do the repair; dealing with this issue is going to be a pain in the ***.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use wireless networking in safe boot mode
Authored by: timfife on Aug 13, '09 11:32:56AM

Rodney, this is a brilliant hint, thanks! I've got the same problem with my G4 and this tip really helped. Is there any chance you or any of the other big brains out there might know how to turn on sound in safe mode?



[ Reply to This | # ]