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Snowy_River
Dec 12, 2006, 12:41 AM
Hi everyone,

Well, my wife's PB just took a little dive. Now it's not booting up. I'm a reasonably tech-enabled kind of guy, and I have a plan, but as I implemented step one in my plan, the computer did something that I've never seen before.

So, step one of my plan was to start up my PB in target disk mode to see if I could get her computer to start up with my computer's drive (thus, in theory, isolating the problem to her hard drive). Then, when I started her computer up it popped up this message:

Apple PowerBook6,1 4.5.5f4 BootROM built on 01/14/03 at 13:44:26
Copyright 1994-2003 Apple Computer, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

Welcome to Open Firmware, the system time and date is: 06:30:30 12/12/2006
The battery capacity is: 93 percent

To continue booting, type "mac-boot" and press return.
To shut down, type "shut-down" and press return.

Well, I've never seen such a message before (never having had cause to try to get into open firmware). Further, when I type "mac-boot" to continue the boot process, it just gives me the folder with the question mark, even when my PB is plugged in and in target disk mode. So, not only is it not finding its own HD, it's also not finding an external HD. I'm wondering if anyone might have an idea what's going on.

FWIW, the next step will be to pop the HD out and put it into an external enclosure to see if I can access the data. (Keeping my fingers crossed!)



Snowy_River
Dec 12, 2006, 01:46 PM
Okay, so here's an update...

Well, I found some documents online that suggested that, given the message I was getting, perhaps all that I needed to do was zap the PRAM. So, I tried that, but to no avail.

I therefore proceeded with my master plan, and pulled the HD out of my wife's computer. It's now mounted in an external enclosure and it has successfully mounted to my computer's desktop. Now, I'm backing up everything off of it (80GB HD with 12GB free... that'll be about 15 DVDs! This may take a while).

Getting a look at the inside of the case, there doesn't appear to be any real damage or loose cables. So, I'm left to wonder what the problem/damage really is. The dent in the case (where it hit the floor) is right next to the battery bay, so there wasn't anything right there to be damaged.

Befuddled, but grateful that we have these computers insured...

Lucky8
Dec 12, 2006, 02:23 PM
Sorry to hear about your loss.. do you have any pics of the damage?

CrackedButter
Dec 12, 2006, 02:35 PM
But did she hit the roof?

SuperCompu2
Dec 12, 2006, 02:47 PM
Was the PB running when it hit?

Snowy_River
Dec 12, 2006, 03:05 PM
Sorry to hear about your loss.. do you have any pics of the damage?

No. I was a bit focused on getting the HD out to retrieve the data. I had a HD crash a couple years ago, and the loss of data was devastating. I'm glad that it looks like my wife will be spared that, at least...

Was the PB running when it hit?

I believe that my wife had just closed it, so it was in the process of sleeping itself. However, I don't think it had finished the process, as the fan was running when we picked it up off the floor, and didn't stop until I did a hard shut down.

Mobility151990
Dec 12, 2006, 04:53 PM
sounds to me like a hard drive problem, id try backing up the hard drive like you are doing then wiping it and reinstalling the os and try booting off it and then pop it back in the powerbook then at least you can discount any problems with the hd

also try booting into open firmware and type

reset-nvram press enter
reset-all press enter


and it should reboot

CanadaRAM
Dec 12, 2006, 04:58 PM
Wife = Christmas = MacBook C2D.... I smell a conspiracy here...;)

Snowy_River
Dec 13, 2006, 02:29 AM
sounds to me like a hard drive problem, id try backing up the hard drive like you are doing then wiping it and reinstalling the os and try booting off it and then pop it back in the powerbook then at least you can discount any problems with the hd

also try booting into open firmware and type

reset-nvram press enter
reset-all press enter


and it should reboot

Given the failure to recognize either the internal drive or an external firewire drive, plus the fact that the drive itself mounted without problem to my PB once it was in an external case (my wife's computer wouldn't start in target disk mode), it seems pretty clear that the drive isn't the problem. And, alas, I've already tried resetting the NVRAM, to no avail.

Now I'm putting the computer back together to take it in to my local Mac Store, where they'll spend half an hour doing some diagnostics. That should give me enough information to be able to talk to the insurance claim agent when s/he calls.

Wife = Christmas = MacBook C2D.... I smell a conspiracy here...;)

Yeah, we've already talked about this. Based on going prices for the equivalent computer on eBay (and hence the likely price we'll get from the insurance company), we could get a refirb. CD MacBook for about a hundred dollars more. Then my wife would have the fastest computer in the family. I'll be somewhat jealous if it pans out that way...

(Only somewhat because I don't want a MB, but rather a MBP. I don't like the glossy screen, and I want the larger screen real estate, not to mention the better graphics card. It makes me think about how I could sell my computer on eBay for about $900-$1100, then get a new low end MBP for only another $1000... If only I had that $1000 to spend on it! :D )

Snowy_River
Dec 13, 2006, 11:45 AM
Sorry to hear about your loss.. do you have any pics of the damage?

Okay, so now that my wife's PB is back together, I've taken some pics:

mr_matalino
Dec 13, 2006, 12:18 PM
Okay, so now that my wife's PB is back together, I've taken some pics:


Painful to look at...wish the best for you!

Snowy_River
Dec 13, 2006, 05:31 PM
IT LIVES!!!!

It took a bit of figuring, but it turns out that the problem was that the Airport card had been knocked loose! As soon as it was properly seated, the computer started right up. No more panic on boot!

My wife is quite happy, even if the idea of having a shiny new MacBook was attractive to her... ;)

lamina
Dec 13, 2006, 09:29 PM
Shows to go ya how tough those PowerBooks are.

Check this out (http://powerbooksurvivesthreestorydropsortof.blogspot.com/)

Hockeypuck
Dec 13, 2006, 10:14 PM
IT LIVES!!!!

It took a bit of figuring, but it turns out that the problem was that the Airport card had been knocked loose! As soon as it was properly seated, the computer started right up. No more panic on boot!

My wife is quite happy, even if the idea of having a shiny new MacBook was attractive to her... ;)

The Art and Architecture school at my University has been reformatting drives like crazy because people close the lid, then drop them into their backpacks right away. The sudden motion sensor stops the hard drive dead, screwing up the writing memory to disk procedure your computer does when it goes to sleep. Reading that I was wondering if that was what had happened.


And that one about dropping it off a building... *cries*

California
Dec 13, 2006, 11:54 PM
Get your wife a new PB bottom case for Xmas!

Snowy_River
Dec 14, 2006, 12:01 AM
Get your wife a new PB bottom case for Xmas!

Any suggestion where I could get one?

chadgroove
Dec 14, 2006, 12:16 AM
They're pretty expensive.. at east they were. I once dropped my first PowerBook and had similar damage. I looked into new bottom casings and it was in the $300 range for the part, more if you want it "installed", just incase you're worried you won't be able to take apart everything and put it back together nice and aligned.. Apple quotes $600 to put a new one on for you I think. There are some third parties that will do it as well.

Aesthetics aside, my PB was fine! I actually opened it up and used a ball-peen (sp?) hammer and a few different improvised padded tools for knocking the corner dent back out. It made it look alot better but I don't know if I'd reccomend it... I don't think I was thinking rationally at the time.. but I was able to make it look pretty good in the end.

deadpixels
Dec 14, 2006, 12:22 AM
Any suggestion where I could get one?
ifixit (http://www.ifixit.com/cart/catalog/)

Snowy_River
Dec 14, 2006, 12:43 AM
Here, no sooner than I post the question then do I have the thought "I've seen broken, dead PowerBooks on eBay that go for a song!" So, I head over to eBay and do a search. What do I find? A bottom case for a 867 MHz 12" PowerBook, ending in 20 minutes. I bid. I win. I pay only $46!

iFixit has them for $149. Another site I found has them for $99. In any event, I'm sitting pretty, and my wife will get a new bottom case for Christmas. (She was talking about putting duct tape over the hole. :eek: I cringed at the idea of duct tape on the nice pretty surface of the PowerBook!)

This has made me think that I should keep an eye out for a new bottom case for my 15", as it has a not insignificant dent (which I honestly have no idea how it got there :confused: ), and I wouldn't mind having that gone. But, the cheapest bottom case I've found for my PB is $125, and I didn't find any on eBay. So, for the moment, that seems too steep. The dent has been there for almost a year and has never had any effect on the computer. So, until and unless I find a cheaper bottom case option, I'll live with it.

California
Dec 23, 2006, 04:10 AM
Here, no sooner than I post the question then do I have the thought "I've seen broken, dead PowerBooks on eBay that go for a song!" So, I head over to eBay and do a search. What do I find? A bottom case for a 867 MHz 12" PowerBook, ending in 20 minutes. I bid. I win. I pay only $46!

iFixit has them for $149. Another site I found has them for $99. In any event, I'm sitting pretty, and my wife will get a new bottom case for Christmas. (She was talking about putting duct tape over the hole. :eek: I cringed at the idea of duct tape on the nice pretty surface of the PowerBook!)

This has made me think that I should keep an eye out for a new bottom case for my 15", as it has a not insignificant dent (which I honestly have no idea how it got there :confused: ), and I wouldn't mind having that gone. But, the cheapest bottom case I've found for my PB is $125, and I didn't find any on eBay. So, for the moment, that seems too steep. The dent has been there for almost a year and has never had any effect on the computer. So, until and unless I find a cheaper bottom case option, I'll live with it.

If I'd been online, ebay was my next suggestion. Good for you -- but beware, I'm not sure the 867 fits later 12" PBs because it was VGA not DVI and the plugs are different. I saw some for later pbs for like 35 new on eBay