PowerBook (FireWire): Late Breaking News

This article is the Late Breaking News contained in the Mac Help for the PowerBook (FireWire). Because this article is quite long, you may want to use the search feature of your Web browser to find exactly what you are looking for.
This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
About your PowerBook

This document contains important late-breaking information about your PowerBook. For additional information, see the other sections of Mac Help or check out the Apple Support Site on the Internet at http://www.apple.com/support/powerbook

Important Information About Your PowerBook

AirPort software - AirPort 1.1 contains a preview version of the new software base station feature. This feature allows an AirPort-enabled computer to function as a base station for an AirPort network. An updated version of the software base station feature will be available soon from Apple. For the latest information, go to the Apple's Support Web site at www.apple.com/support.

Note: Wireless Internet access requires an Internet service provider (fees may apply) and AirPort (or AirPort-compatible) wireless Ethernet card and base station. Some ISPs are not compatible with AirPort. For more information, see technical document 106590: "AirPort: Requirements for Wireless Internet Access"

Using your PowerBook in FireWire Target Disk Mode - When setting up for FireWire Target Disk Mode, make sure that your PowerBook is the only FireWire device connected to the other computer and that no additional FireWire devices are connected to your PowerBook. If additional FireWire devices are connected, FireWire Target Disk Mode will not work.

Using your PowerBook

Selecting a startup disk - Make sure a valid startup disk is selected in the Startup Disk control panel. If an invalid startup disk is selected (one your computer cannot start up from), your computer may take as long as two minutes to locate a valid startup disk and start up properly. A RAM disk cannot be used as a startup disk, even though its icon may appear in the Startup Disk control panel.

If you select the Network Disk icon in the Startup control panel and are not connected to a Netboot server, your PowerBook will take significantly longer to start up.

Preserving the contents of memory before putting your computer to sleep - You can save the contents of memory on the computer's hard disk before your computer goes to sleep using the Advanced settings section of the Energy Saver control panel (for more information, see Mac Help). After you close the lid to put your computer to sleep, don't move the computer for approximately 20 seconds. When the save process is complete, the sleep indicator light blinks.

IMPORTANT: You must have virtual memory turned on in the Memory control panel to use this option.

Note: For compatibility reasons, the Preserve Memory Contents on Sleep feature has been removed in Mac OS 9 versions 9.0.4 and later. You may still see the option in the Energy Saver control panel but it will be dimmed.

Trouble connecting the internal modem in V.90 mode - Your computer comes with an internal 56K modem based on the V.90 specification. If the modem won't connect at all in V.90 mode or the connection is dropped after a few minutes, the phone lines may be too noisy or there may be too much interference to sustain a connection at speeds above 33.6 kilobits per second (Kbps). Contact your ISP to ensure that it is using V.90-compliant modems or plans to use them in the future. Use the Apple Internal 56K Modem (V.34) modem script, which forces the modem to connect at 33.6 Kbps or lower speeds. This type of connection is more reliable in situations where the phone line quality is questionable.

To use the Apple Internal 56K Modem (V.34) modem script, follow these steps:


    1. Open the Modem control panel in the Apple menu.

    2. Make sure the "Connect via" pop-up menu is set to Internal Modem.

    3. Open the Modem pop-up menu and choose Apple Internal 56K Modem (V.34).

    4. If necessary, set the Sound and Dialing options.

    5. Close the control panel.

    6. Click Save.


You do not have to restart your computer.

Formatting external USB (Universal Serial Bus) hard disk drives - Many USB hard disk drives are DOS-formatted at the factory. You can use DOS-formatted USB hard disks with your computer, but you will get much better performance if the USB hard disk is formatted as Mac OS Extended or Mac OS Standard format. To reformat the hard disk to Mac OS Extended or Mac OS Standard format, use the formatting utility that came with the USB hard disk. If you do not have a formatting utility, you can change the drive to Mac OS format by following the steps below.

For instructions for reformatting your hard drive, choose Mac Help from the Help menu. Go to the section, "Erasing a disk" and follow the onscreen instructions.

Copying and pasting alert sounds - Long alert sounds require large amounts of memory. If you have difficulty copying and pasting long alert sounds into the Sound control panel, you may need to adjust memory requirements for the control panel. To do this, open the Control Panels folder within the System Folder. Select the Sound control panel. From the File menu, choose Get Info and from the pop-up menu, choose Memory. In the Memory Requirements section, increase the preferred memory size until you are able to copy and paste the alert sound. The amount of memory needed depends on the sound quality of the sound input device you are using.

Adjusting and testing external speakers - The Speaker Setup section of the Sound control panel allows you to adjust the speakers connected to your computer. Use the Speaker Setup panel to select which speakers you want to use and to adjust the relative volume for each speaker. For example, if you have a subwoofer connected to your computer and want to adjust the volume for the subwoofer only, use the slider underneath the subwoofer to change the volume.

You can also test the speakers connected to your computer by clicking Start Test in the Speaker Setup section.

IMPORTANT: You should reduce the overall sound volume for your computer using the Output section of the Sound control panel before testing your speakers, because the test tone can be quite loud.

The computer plays a "white noise" test tone on each speaker, allowing you to adjust the relative volume of that speaker. The "white noise" test tone contains sound for all frequencies and sounds like static.

Playing and recording from audio CDs - Audio CD playback is now done digitally for increased fidelity and use with digital audio peripheral devices. When you play audio CDs, you no longer have to select Internal CD in the Input section of the Sound control panel or the Sound section of the Control Strip. To record from an audio CD, you may need to select Internal CD in the Input section of the Sound control panel or the Sound section of the Control Strip.

Connecting to an Ethernet network - When you connect your PowerBook to an Ethernet network, the computer automatically senses whether it is connected to a 10Base-T network or to a 100Base-T network. Some ports on some network hubs/switches support both speeds. If you're using this type of hub/switch, there may be a delay in establishing a network link. The delay may last for several seconds after you start or restart the PowerBook and a message may appear saying the network is not available or that the network has only just become available. If you don't want a delay, connect your computer to an Ethernet network port that is not auto-sensing (10 or 100 megabits per second (Mbps) only). For more information, contact the manufacturer of the Ethernet hub/switch or your network administrator.

Performance problems using Ethernet - If you experience performance problems on your Ethernet network, check with your network administrator. Your computer performs best when the Ethernet port is set to auto-negotiate.

IMPORTANT: The duplex mode of an Ethernet link to a switch is not detected if the switch's port is not auto-negotiating. If the switch's port is not auto-negotiating, your computer will detect the appropriate speed but default to half-duplex. If the switch's port at the other end of the link is configured for full-duplex, a large number of late events can occur on the link. Set the switch's port to auto-negotiate where possible. If this isn't possible, then set the switch's port to half-duplex. For more information, see the documentation that came with the Ethernet hub.

Connecting your computer directly to an Ethernet switch - If you connect your PowerBook directly to an Ethernet switch, you must disable spanning tree on that port. Otherwise your computer may duplicate the AppleTalk address of another computer on the same network and both network connections may become unreliable.

Using a RAM disk - A RAM disk allows you to use part of the built-in random-access memory (RAM) in your computer as a high-speed storage disk. To set up a RAM disk, use the Memory control panel. For more information, see the topic "Improving performance of disk-intensive programs" in Mac Help.

Note: The contents of a RAM disk are saved on the startup disk when you restart your computer. After the computer restarts, the contents are restored. Large RAM disks may add additional time to shutting down and restarting the computer and may not leave enough room for you to run any applications.

WARNING: You should regularly back up the contents of your RAM disk on another disk. The contents of the RAM disk can be lost if:

  • the startup disk is read-only, such as a CD-ROM disc
  • the startup disk does not have sufficient space to store the contents of the RAM disk
  • the startup disk does not have a valid System Folder
  • the computer loses power

Note: Your computer will not save the contents of memory to the hard disk (preserve memory contents on sleep option in the Energy Saver control panel.) when the computer is in sleep if a RAM disk is used.

Using your computer with a NetBoot Server - If you want to use your PowerBook as a NetBoot client, you may need to update the system software on the NetBoot Server. Check the Mac OS X Server Web site at http://www.apple.com/macosx/server or the Apple Support Web site at http://www.apple.com/support for instructions.

Battery indicator icon - If the battery indicator icon in the menu bar has an X through it, make sure to let the internal battery charge for several minutes. If your PowerBook battery has been completely discharged, it may take several minutes of charging for the battery icon to recognize the battery.

Important information about system sleep - Certain system settings may prevent your computer from going to sleep. You may notice that the screen dims, but the sleep indicator light does not pulse. Leaving your computer in this state will cause your battery to become depleted quickly if the power adapter is not plugged in.

The Palm Desktop HotSync function may prevent your computer from going to sleep. To turn off the HotSync function, open Palm Desktop and choose Setup from the HotSync menu. Then click the Disabled button and make sure the "Enable HotSync software at system startup" checkbox is not selected. You will have to turn on HotSync when you want to synchronize with your Palm device.

If the Configure pop-up menu in the TCP/IP control panel is set to Using DHCP Server, your computer may not sleep when your Web browser or e-mail application is open or a file server is mounted on your desktop. Quit these applications and dismount file servers when they are not being used.

To allow your computer to sleep, you must disable FAXstf auto-answering. To do this, open FaxBrowser and choose Settings from the Edit menu. Then choose the FaxModem icon and select Never from the Answer On pop-up menu

When the IrDA method of infrared (IR) communication is selected in the AppleTalk control panel and AppleTalk is on, the computer will not go to sleep automatically.

Many communications programs, such as PPP, Apple Remote Access, and other dial-up programs, monitor the computer's modem port to check for incoming transmissions. This may mean that the computer will not go to sleep automatically (after the interval set in the Energy Saver control panel). Forcing the computer to sleep may result in a lost connection or crash. When your computer is using the battery, you may want to quit a communications program whenever you are not using it to conserve the battery's charge. (See the manual that came with your communications program for more information.)

When using fax software your computer will not completely sleep and the screen will only dim (instead of turn off) when fax software is set to auto answer. To avoid draining your computer battery, plug in the power adapter when waiting to receive a fax.

When the computer is waking from sleep,do not press the DVD-ROM drive button. This will cause unexpected behavior. If this happens close the DVD drive tray.

Using older printers - Printer driver software for some older printers is located in a folder called Additional Printer Drivers, within the CD Extras folder on your software install CD. These extensions are Color SW 1500 (for the Color StyleWriter 1500), Color SW 2500 (for the Color StyleWriter 2500), Color SW Pro (for the Color StyleWriter Pro), CSW 6000 Series (for the Color StyleWriter 6000 series), and ImageWriter.

Starting up from expansion bay devices - If you need to start up from an expansion bay module, insert the module before you start up.

Ejecting a PC Card - To eject a PC Card, drag the card's icon to the Trash and then use the PC Card eject button to eject the card.

Starting up from an external FireWire or USB device - If you start up from an external FireWire or USB hard disk, the disk must be connected and turned on before you turn on the computer.

Inserting an AirPort Card - The Apple AirPort Card is designed to fit only in the internal AirPort Card slot. Do not insert an AirPort Card in your computer's PC Card slot. To use the PC Card slot for AirPort, insert a compatible third-party wireless card.

About Apple DVD Player software - Your computer includes Apple DVD Player software as part of Mac OS 9.0. This version Apple DVD Player is not compatible with the DVD hardware in the Power Macintosh G3, older versions of the PowerBook G3 Series, and Power Mac G4 (PCI graphics) series computers. For the latest information about Apple DVD Player and answers to support questions, go to Apple's Support Web site at http://www.apple.com/support.

Third-party software issues

Graphics problems with games - Some games may exhibit drawing problems because not enough memory is available to load all of the required system components. Use the memory control panel to increase the amount of virtual memory so these components can load. If your virtual memory size is set to the default, increase the size by half the amount of physical memory you have installed. For example, if you have a 64MB system, set the virtual memory size to 96MB.

Using hard disk utilities and disk-locking programs - Some disk utility and disk-locking programs are incompatible with Mac OS Extended format. Before you use a disk utility or disk-locking program, make sure the version you have is compatible with Mac OS Extended format. Check the documentation that came with the program or contact the program's manufacturer.

Using fax software - To allow your computer to sleep, you must disable FAXstf auto-answering. To do this, open FaxBrowser and choose Settings from the Edit menu. Then choose the FaxModem icon and choose Never from the Answer On pop-up menu.

Note: To avoid draining your computer battery, plug in the power adapter when waiting to receive a fax.

Using the internal modem with third-party software - Some third-party software, such as FAXSTF or Total Access, has different modem selections from the ones in the Modem control panel. Using these selections can slow down your connection speed. To use these programs with your computer's internal modem at its highest speed, make sure you select Apple Internal 56K Modem (V.90) in the Modem control panel.

Using Palm Desktop Software 2.5 - If you make a connection and a sync fails or doesn't complete, set the connection speed to a lower setting. To do this, open HotSync Manager (click the icon next to the Application menu, choose HotSync, and in the pop-up menu, choose Setup). Click the Serial Port Settings tab. In the Local Setup section, select 19200 as the speed.

FWB Hard Disk Toolkit 3.0.2 - FWB Hard Disk Toolkit 3.0.2 is not compatible with this computer. For more information, contact the software publisher.

Setting up your Internet account when the Palm Desktop Software 2.5 is installed - If you installed the Palm Desktop Software 2.5 on your computer and you attempt to set up AOL, there is a conflict and a message may appear saying you have a "port in use" error. You need to disable HotSync to set up your Internet account. To do this, open HotSync Manager (click the icon next to the Application menu, choose HotSync, and in the pop-up menu, choose Setup). If necessary, click the HotSync Controls tab. In the HotSync section, click the Disabled button.

Virtual PC - To run Virtual PC, your computer needs to have more than 64 MB of RAM installed.

Moving Bookmarks and Favorites files before reinstalling Internet Explorer and Netscape Communicator - If you inadvertently delete the Internet Explorer or Netscape Communicator applications, you can reinstall the applications using the software install CD that came with your computer. Before you reinstall Internet Explorer or Netscape Communicator, you must move the file that contains your Internet sites list to a different location, such as the desktop. In Internet Explorer, this file is Favorites.html; in Netscape Communicator, the file is Bookmarks.html. When you reinstall Internet Explorer or Netscape Communicator, the program overwrites these files and any locations or bookmarks that you added or that were preinstalled will be lost.

Hardware compatibility issues

Connecting USB devices while the computer is asleep - If you connect or disconnect a USB device while your computer is in sleep, your computer automatically wakes.

Mounting and disconnecting USB storage devices - To mount or remount a USB storage volume on the desktop, disconnect and then reconnect the device that contains the volume to a USB port on the computer, or to a USB hub attached to your computer. The volume should appear on the desktop in a few seconds. If the device uses removable media, the volume will not appear until the removable media is reinserted into the USB storage device.

Before you disconnect a USB storage device from your computer, close all open windows and quit all open applications that are stored on the USB storage device. If the device has a manual eject drive (you eject the removable media from the device yourself), make sure you eject the removable media first. Drag the device's icon to the Trash, then disconnect the device from your computer.

Using USB devices with software applications - Some applications don't recognize a USB device if the device is plugged in while the application is already open. To use the USB device with that application, quit the application, make sure the device is properly plugged in, then open the application again.

Using ADB dongles - Some applications require an ADB (Apple Desktop Bus) dongle to prevent software piracy. Your computer uses Universal Serial Bus (USB) technology. You may be able to use a USB dongle with these applications. For more information, contact the application's manufacturer.

Using USB-to-serial converters - Some serial devices such as modems, printers, and digital cameras may be used with your PowerBook using a third party USB-to-serial converter adapter. However, not all serial devices may be compatible with an adapter. For more information, contact the adapter manufacturer.

Starting up from a USB hard disk - Your computer may not start up correctly from a USB hard disk if the hard disk drivers are outdated. You may be able to remove the hard disk driver extension from the Extensions folder in the System folder and then start up from the USB disk. Check with the USB hard disk drive manufacturer for updated driver software.

Important information about external monitors - When connecting an Apple Studio Display monitor with a USB cable to your computer, make sure you connect the monitor's USB cable to a USB port on the back of the computer. The AppleVision software requires this connection.

If you have an older AppleVision or Apple Studio Display monitor that has an ADB cable in addition to the monitor cable, you can't attach the ADB cable to your computer. With older computers, the ADB cable allows you to make automatic software adjustments to the screen image. To make screen adjustments without the ADB cable attached, use the external controls on the monitor. For more information, see the documentation that came with the monitor.

Connecting a monitor that uses a DB-15 connector - To connect an older monitor that has a two-row DB-15 connector, use a Mac-to-VGA adapter to connect the monitor to the three-row VGA monitor port on the computer. For more information, see the documentation that came with your computer.

Some Mac-to-VGA adapters don't let the monitor identify correctly itself to the computer. Incorrect screen resolutions and timings may appear as recommended settings in the Monitors control panel and the Monitor Resolution settings in the Control Strip.

To view all the screen resolutions and timings available: 1 Open the Apple menu, choose Control Panels, and choose Monitors. 2 In the Resolution section, choose All from the Show popup menu.

Using a digital video (DV) camcorder - Some DV camcorders may not be recognized immediately when you connect them to one of your computer's FireWire ports. If your computer does not recognize the DV camcorder, try turning the camcorder off and then on again to establish a connection. If you continue to have problems, contact the manufacturer of the DV camcorder.

Documentation changes

Password Security control panel - The Password Security control panel mentioned in Mac Help was designed to work with older PowerBook computers and is not installed on your PowerBook.

Apple Video Player references in Mac Help - The Apple Video Player application mentioned in Mac Help is used with older Macintosh computers that have video input capabilities. It is not installed on your PowerBook.

Published Date: Feb 20, 2012