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A fix for G4 iBook kernel panics caused by AirPort cards Laptop Macs
Many iBook G4 laptops (and possibly other models) have a problem with the inbuilt AirPort card failing, and then causing regular kernel panics. This can be avoided in Leopard, and possibly Tiger, by replacing the kexts responsible for the AirPort with dud files like so:
  1. Quickly turn off AirPort in the menu bar after turning on the laptop.
  2. Open TextEdit and save two blank files to the desktop. The first is called IO80211Family.kext.rtf and the second is AppleAirPort.kext.rtf. Then go to the Desktop and remove the ".rtf" extension, and approve the change to a kext extension.
  3. In Finder, go to System » Library » Extensions, delete the files AppleAirPort.kext and IO80211Family.kext and authorize the action. Then drag the two 'dud' kext files from the Desktop into the Extensions folder, and again authorize the action.
  4. Restart the laptop.
You should see that kernel panics just aren't happening -- the Airport card won't be recognised in System Profiler, and the laptop can be used as normal with the aid of a USB wireless adapter. This blog post explains the process in more detail.
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A fix for G4 iBook kernel panics caused by AirPort cards | 5 comments | Create New Account
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A fix for G4 iBook kernel panics caused by AirPort cards
Authored by: SuperCrisp on Oct 08, '09 08:30:23AM

I've never had this issue, and I'm not sure if it would work to simply remove the airport card, but I do want to note that it's dead easy to do so. It's under the keyboard, and what you need to do is obvious.



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A fix for G4 iBook kernel panics caused by AirPort cards
Authored by: tetsuotheironman on Oct 08, '09 08:37:16AM

Yeah this is a terrible fix probably causing problems with other system updates. I've fixed laptops for years and 9/10 kernel panics are caused by the card just not being seated correctly... just remove and reseat the card. If the card has genuinely failed then remove it, don't remove useful kernel extensions (would you leave failng RAM/ HD running?)



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Never once...
Authored by: ChaChi on Oct 08, '09 09:17:51AM

I've never once had this problem. I recently, within the last month, upgraded to a new iMac, but I never had one single panic on my old iBook G4 that was caused by the Airport card.

Just adding my "luck" into the mix?



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A fix for G4 iBook kernel panics caused by AirPort cards
Authored by: hmmm_greenie on Oct 08, '09 09:39:02AM

This tip is for the last models of the iBook G4's where the airport card was not just under the keyboard. The socket on the logic board would break as it was somewhat fragile and cause the machine to panic. If you know what you're doing removing the card isn't that big a deal but this is easier for people who don't want to take their machine apart.



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A fix for G4 iBook kernel panics caused by AirPort cards
Authored by: flammable on Oct 08, '09 12:56:59PM

Yeah, I see this a lot with iBook G4 (Mid 2005) machines. If you check the panic.log, you'll see it specifically call out the kernel extension for the Airport card.

Thanks for the tip, I'll pass it on to people! Better than not having a functional machine, that's for sure.



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