Since doing an “unclean” install of Tiger back in April, I’ve noticed that I have intermittent troubles with my PowerBook coming out of sleep. Often times, my machine just appears completely unresponsive, gives me a solemn black screen, and I have to hold down the power button to force a shut down, and then boot back up — not fun.
A colleague’s solution to the problem was to do a clean install, and come to think of it, I’ve received that same advice from a lot of folks involving a variety of problems. It appears that a clean install is standard practice for many folks in the Mac community — but not me. Although it may be pragmatic and I should probably just go with it, I just can’t; it seems so inadequate to me. I don’t want to back all of my stuff up, I don’t want to degunk my Mac by zapping everything and starting all over, and I don’t want to think that the health of my machine depends upon doing one of the things that I disliked so much about Windows. Call me stubborn (or stupid), but my plan is to do complete backups regularly to my external drive, and not ever do a clean install unless absolutely forced into it by some sort of unresolvable failure.
But getting back to the magic key combination — it turns out that my power problems have resolved now that I reset my PowerBook G4’s Power Management Unit (PMU). I just followed these instructions, which directed me to hold down shift-ctrl-option-power for 5 seconds while my machine was off, wait five seconds, and then do a normal start up. After some extensive testing, I have concluded that my power problems have indeed been vanquished, and I now have one less reason to do a clean install! (And since we’re at it, I also resolved a weird issue with XCode last night that was threatening me into making a clean image or a clean install. As indicated in the comments, the fix was to switch to the Universal SDK instead of the default setting even though my intention was not to build a universal binary. I still don’t understand it, but it works. Hooray!)
For your edification, the following links may be of use to you if you’re interested in escaping a clean install or want to demystify some of the “magic” that happens when you call Apple Care:
- Magical Macintosh Key Sequences
- Resetting PowerBook and iBook Power Management Unit (PMU)
- Startup Key Combinations for Intel-based Macs
Am I the only one who refuses to do a clean install?