What to do if you have an erratic trackpad issue with one of Apple’s latest PowerBooks

The PowerBook Zone reports on a trackpad issue with Apple’s latest PowerBooks and describes the problem, “at certain points and intervals, the trackpad either becomes almost completely unresponsive, or moves so erratically, it is completely unusable. This can last for between a few seconds to even a few minutes, based on reader accounts and our own experience. Aside from all this, the trackpads found in these new models, some of the first to be designed by Apple themselves, and not by Synaptics, are often generally sluggish compared to earlier models.”

What to do if you are having problems? The PowerBook Zone explains, “In the vast majority of cases we’ve heard about, it appears that Apple is simply replacing these machines. Whether this will continue to be the case is unclear, as once Apple figures out what the problem is, it might simply be more economical to replace the offending part(s). If you are within two weeks of the purchase date, you should simply be able to return the PowerBook as DOA, and receive a new computer for no charge. If you are outside of this period, the best thing to do is simply call Apple. They’ll likely have you try and reset the power manager and PRAM, and also run the extended hardware test. You can go through these before you call Apple, if you’d like to try and save some time. If you describe the symptoms, though, you’ll likely be escalated to a second tier of support, where they’ll offer to replace or repair the machine. They will send you shipping tags for FedEx, DHL, etc., and after receiving your old PowerBook via overnight shipping, a new PowerBook will be sent to you. Keep in mind, though, that this is the situation as it stands today, Apple could very well begin to simply repair the units, in which case it could take a day or two fewer or more before you receive your PowerBook back.”

More info on possible causes and other details here.

MacFixIt also has a report here.


  1. my ibook 933mhz trackpad plays me up sometimes, clicking the mouse button stops it :S

    anyone tried that 2finger mouse driver? works a treat, wonder how’d i ever got along with out it

  2. Yeah, but this happens to much on my new PB. So far for me, the longest its lasted is about 10 seconds, and that was the first time when I kept trying to use the track pad while it didn’t respond. When it jitters, I usually just stop trying to use the track pad while this happens, wait about 5 to 10 seconds, then try to use the track pad again. After waiting, I guess the track pad resets itself some how and becomes usable agian. Its annoying, but its better than the alternatives (aka PC).

  3. My track pad on my Ti 800 has started to randomly freeze ever since 10.3.8 was installed. I’d say once to ten times a day. When it does freeze, everything is frozen, keyboard, trackpad, power button, all of it. It requires that I shut the screen to put it to sleep. When I open it, the freeze is gone. Weird.

    MDN Magic word: Research, as in Apple needs to research the problem and figure out why it is affecting more machines than just the latest powerbooks.

  4. My brother has the same problem with his 500 mnz ibook. It started around the time his warranty was over.
    Does anyone know how to fix this? or has anyone fixed this? any info would be great, thanks


    (they could be optical now though ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”tongue rolleye” style=”border:0;” /> )

    Trackpads suck.

  6. That nipple was called a Trackpoint by IBM. The first time I tried one in 1993 I thought they must have stolen the design from Apple. If you think it sucked I bet you tried it using Windows drivers. On a Thinkpad with OS/2 the Trackpoint moved the cursor with ease and control. I am much older than you whippersnappers, finding a little shake in the fingers. Both the Trackpad and the Trackball are hard to use due to cursor jitter. The Trackpoint with good drivers on the other hand is a joy and doesn’t hurt my hand. I solved the problem by using one of those little Atek mouses which works neatly on the surface of my Ti book. Don’t laugh, just hope you’ll get there. Remember the alternative to old age.

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