View Full Version : Older PowerBook G4 Issues - Expert Help Needed

Jan 3, 2010, 09:13 PM
I have an older Powerbook with an issue I'd like to resolve before I sell it. I'm looking for some expert advice since this seems to be a problem that even the Mac Gurus at the mac store can't help with.

The problem is with the power connector. I've replaced the ac adaptor about 5 times now. Each time I do, the new adaptor works fine for about a month, then it starts acting flakey. By flakey I mean I have to rotate the connector to find the "sweet spot" where it will glow and indicate that it's charging.

I thought the problem might be at the motherboard, but each time I take it to the Apple Store, they assure me it's the adaptor and replace it. The new adaptor always works fine for some time, then the same problem occurs.

The only other factor is that the case near the ac plug has been dented due to a prior drop, but would that defect cause these brand new ac adaptors to burn out? I don't get it.

I welcome any help from the mac community! I'm about to throw this thing out a window.

Jan 3, 2010, 09:24 PM
Hold on... Don't throw it out the window! lol

I'll be honest: I have no idea what the problem could be. I think you may be on the right path, assuming it could be the logic board.

So when you take it to the Apple store, do they recognize that this has been an incessant problem for you? What I mean is, despite all the replacements you have been through when does Apple deem it a necessary effort to look beyond the AC adapter as the source of these failures?

If I were you, I would plead with them to take it in for a closer look. Good luck on the resale man...

Jan 3, 2010, 09:52 PM
I would definitely look into the logic board being the source of the problem. The chance of getting multiple bad power adapters is pretty much nill.

Did this problem start after it got dropped? Something in the area of the power connector might have been slightly damaged, causing the power adapters to fail over time.

Good luck.

Jan 3, 2010, 10:15 PM
Sounds like you just need a new DC in board. The job isn't too terrible you do have to take the whole system apart down to removing the logic board, but it can be done and probably bring the little guy back to full operation. Hope that helps this guide will also help you if you feel as if you decide to tackle the job.

Good luck! :apple:

Jan 3, 2010, 10:17 PM

Good point. I think I should press more. Maybe now is the time to take it back to the Mac Store as it hasn't completely failed yet. They could then see how I have to find the "sweet spot" to get it to charge.


The replacement adaptors aren't bad out of the box, but they fail over time. I wonder if the dent near the connector is causing the adaptors to short out or fail for some reason. The connection is rather tight when I plug it in.

Thanks everyone for your feedback! This is a strange one!


Jan 3, 2010, 10:41 PM
Even though the connection is tight, the DC board itself can be at fault and not giving a proper signal to the logic board. Again I would advise its best to replace it or have it replaced.

Jan 3, 2010, 11:46 PM
Even though the connection is tight, the DC board itself can be at fault and not giving a proper signal to the logic board. Again I would advise its best to replace it or have it replaced.
If their was some damage to the DC board, I would imagine that it could cause problems like you're seeing with the adapters over time.

It could also be that the DC board is physically damaged (hence the rather tight insertion of the adapter) and it's causing problems with the adapters over time.

Either way, I would follow pvmacguy's advice and get a new board to replace the one in your powerbook.

Jan 4, 2010, 03:31 PM
Thanks for the feedback everyone! I knew I could count on the forum!!

I suppose changing the motherboard might not be a "do it yourself" project. If anyone knows of a good tutorial link on the subject, I'd appreciate it!

Thanks again,


Jan 4, 2010, 03:37 PM
My 15" ti G4 had similar problems. The power adapters I got from Apple both flaked out. I then bought a 3rd party power adapter, and everything was great for a while.

Not too long after that, the computer started having other strange issues. Lots of heat (it was always hot - but now the fan was struggling to keep up), weird fan issues, and finally, some screen issues.

Now - logic board is shot and I need a new computer.

(edit) I don't know if the power adapter issues were related to the logic board dying, but I thought I'd pass on my experience.

Jan 12, 2010, 10:38 AM
I took the PowerBook to the Apple store, and they said it was a damaged DC-IN board. Not a big expense in terms of parts, but it doesn't look like a job for the do-it-yourself'er.