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View Full Version : iBook G4 won't charge




AllanRawr
May 22, 2013, 03:35 PM
Hello, I'm new to these forums, and new to Macs in general (no hate, was just brought up on Windows). I received my sister's iBook G4 12-inch from around 2005 I believe. She doesn't really know much about computers, so decided to hand it to me as I've been building and repairing my own for a while now.

In my head I have a general idea of how to go about the problem, but I'm toying with myself as to what is most likely. The computer simply won't boot, no response whatsoever. Almost as if the battery was out of power. While pressing the button on the battery itself, nothing shows either, so figured there must be a problem with either the power getting to the battery, or the battery itself. When I plug it into the wall, a green LED shows around the end. So by this I would assume the battery, or DC-input. HOWEVER, the AC adapter itself doesn't look to be in the best condition, as within the small hole in the centre of the connector itself, there is a bendable piece of plastic that can be bent so is sticking out of the plug, or is covering the hole altogether. Which in turn can make it hard to connect it to the computer at times, anyway.

So I'm confused, as (correct me if I'm wrong) the green LED is showing, so I assume it's still outputting the power. So I was wondering if anyone here would have any more knowledge as to if the problem is the connector itself, or the battery or something entirely different. NOTE: I have tried resetting the PMU, to no avail. Any help is appreciated, cheers.



skateny
May 22, 2013, 05:00 PM
I'm not certain, but it seems that you're saying that the iBook works when using the AC adapter? If so, are there times when it won't work with the AC adapter?

AllanRawr
May 22, 2013, 05:15 PM
It no longer works even when correctly plugged in, which is why she gave up on it, really. But I figured it'd be best to fix the problem of it fitting before hand.

Since posting, a couple of developments have occurred. The connector is now refusing to fit at all, only makes it around halfway and simply won't budge, even if spun around a bit. Also, I have no experience with Macs so don't know if this is an issue or not, but the charger's connector only has two circular holes, one smaller one inside the bigger one. Online I have noticed pictures seem to have the smaller one connected to a piece that extends out, longer than the larger hole. Could this have perhaps have broken off, causing that plastic to be exposed? Wouldn't be a bother replacing the charger, but going to be a bit of a pain if the head's still in there, somewhere.

skateny
May 22, 2013, 05:24 PM
It no longer works even when correctly plugged in, which is why she gave up on it, really. But I figured it'd be best to fix the problem of it fitting before hand.

Since posting, a couple of developments have occurred. The connector is now refusing to fit at all, only makes it around halfway and simply won't budge, even if spun around a bit. Also, I have no experience with Macs so don't know if this is an issue or not, but the charger's connector only has two circular holes, one smaller one inside the bigger one. Online I have noticed pictures seem to have the smaller one connected to a piece that extends out, longer than the larger hole. Could this have perhaps have broken off, causing that plastic to be exposed? Wouldn't be a bother replacing the charger, but going to be a bit of a pain if the head's still in there, somewhere.

Yes, as you describe, there is "a piece that extends out, longer than the larger hole." But if it won't start with a battery that appears to be charged (as per your OP), then something else is going on.

Are you able to test the AC adapter on another laptop?

eyoungren
May 22, 2013, 07:59 PM
With the iBooks/PowerBooks charging comes down to three or four components. First is the power adapter. I would suggest replacing this. You mentioned that it glows green. That indicates an original Apple charger. I would replace it with a good third party adapter. newegg.com has some good ones and so does mac-pro.com. I usually buy mine at the latter website. Bit more expensive, but they last a long time.

If it won't charge with a new adapter and spring to life then second would be the battery. Again, a good third party replacement battery would be good, but it's not strictly necessary. Try booting with the Mac plugged in, but the battery removed. If the Mac starts then it's probably the battery.

Third is the DC-In board. Depending on model these can be easy/moderately difficult to replace. eBay is a good source for these. Note that this is one of the components that fails quickly. Mac users have a bad habit of tripping on the power cord which results in jerking on the connector. Worse case scenario that can send a laptop flying. Usually though it's a bent adapter cable and stress on the soldered connections on the DC-In board. If you can connect a good power adapter and be able to wiggle it around while connected a fair amount that it's a good assumption that the DC-In board has been damaged. This is the biggest reason Apple came out with MagSafe with the MacBooks, Airs and MacBook Pros.

Lastly, if still nothing, the fault is probably with the logicboard or the logicboard connector (on some models). I've never had to replace the connector. Generally, if you've ruled out everything else then it may be time to move on. You can replace the logicboard if you want, but you have to really love the Mac.

Also, the pram battery could be dead. If the iBook has set for a long time without being used you may need to let it sit for 24 hours or so on a known good charger to let the pram battery recharge.

All of this assumes that you believe the logicboard is good. It may very well be bad and troubleshooting the power system would be a waste of time.

SkippyThorson
May 29, 2013, 10:47 AM
Also, the pram battery could be dead. If the iBook has set for a long time without being used you may need to let it sit for 24 hours or so on a known good charger to let the pram battery recharge.

I had learned a while ago that the iBook G4 does not have a PRAM battery. (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=998766)

There is a small capacitor that holds a charge even after the laptop's battery has gone dead. If that little capacitor has lost all charge, the symptoms the OP mentions may apply. In addition, things like the system clock / calendar would be reset upon the next boot.

Otherwise, that was an excellent write-up, which gives me a few things to think about - namely, leaving it on for a good amount of time to let that capacitor recharge. Mine keeps losing the time.