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M$ has a built in app that supposedly detects and repairs issues. Sometimes it catches something good but most the times gets in the way. The reason I referred to it is because it can catch major issues (at least has for me)
personally I don't think thats the problem, but you never know, its free to do though.
you can also check your RAM with the FREE utility: MEMTEST:
This works great.
as for a "dr.watson" app, you have DISK UTILITY installed already
look in your UTILITY directory.
Open it and select the drive, then select "REPAIR PERMISSIONS"
see what happens.
after that you have to boot from the Install Disk and then choose Disk Utility from the FILE menu (don't install anything....), when you boot from the Install Disk, you can use Disk Utility to "REPAIR DISK".
If that doesn't work, then you should obtain DiskWarrior (not free) and run it. I consider DiskWarrior an essential app. It has saved me a few times in the past.
LOL. Sorry...I was just making a quick suggestion before I went to sleep...here are the details: Like microcars said, it is removing and reinstalling the RAM. You can look it up in the manual, or you can go to the Apple page for details (under the memory section):
You can also run Disk Utility like microcars said. I would buy DiskWarrior and run it only if Disk Utility came back with a cannot repair response. But, OTOH, it is the best disk repair utility out there, so it is worth the price, and worth having around. (There may also be a diagnostics disc that you could run to test the hardware.)
And, since no one else has said it, and it is the panacea that works only sometime: zap the PRAM (hey, someone had to recommend it) by holding down the Apple(Command)+Option+P+R keys, at the same time, when you first hear the startup sound. It will sound again after a few seconds of holding them down. Then, let it sound again. Then, let it start up normally. You will have to reset some stuff like time and mouse speed.
Further questions: When you say "freeze," do any other apps quit unexpectedly? Or is it that you are just going along, doing stuff, and then you cannot move the pointer, cannot type anything, can't force quit or anything? Is anything else plugged into it? (Thanks for the Dr. Watson info...I never use Windows.)
It will work fine, and then stop for no apparent reason. Someone mentioned it may be a hardware issue, to make note when I move, if the computer freezes. Could that be the cause?
HD problems are rare on OS X, as it does a check at startup and would alert you to problems if it found any. Additionally, the SMART technology built into most drives would produce an error message if it were having problems. And, if you have run Disk Utility and it came back with no errors, it is mostly likely fine. Of course, if the drive connection was loose and starting and stopping intermittently (that was a hard one to diagnose), it would not come up with an error message and would be a problem with the disk.
If the RAM were bad, or something else were bad, it would be hard to diagnose. The problem with RAM checkers is that it cannot remove everything from RAM and check that space that is occupied by the OS or the RAM checker app itself. It is easier and quicker to just remove any additional RAM and see if the problem goes away. Usually, you will also get RAM hungry apps like Photoshop unexpectedly quitting if it were RAM. [Did you buy additional RAM for it, or is it all stock? And, by "stock" I mean direct from Apple RAM, not stuff installed by the reseller.]
Or, it could be something related to the graphics system, or some other hardware....it's really hard to know without me hearing it and seeing it.
Does it do the freeze thing even when powered by the power adapter?
If you have checked/done all of the suggestions above, I would try a PMU reset just because it is cheap enough to do, even if it is not a recommended solution to your type of problem...but I have had some old PowerBooks come to life after doing this:
Also, do an "Archive and Install" of the OS before you give up completely. Because the machine is out of warranty (it is, right?), you could take it to someone who operates on them. But, if you give it to Apple, they will have to ship it back to their repair center and you are out an iBook for a while....