11 year-old powerbook

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by muteinvert, Jan 5, 2004.

  1. muteinvert macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    #1
    i bought this old 145b powerbook for really cheap, but all it does is start up and show the cursor. and that's everything in it that works. i have no knowledge of macs, so i don't know how to install any programs, since it doesn't react to disks. and i'm using windows, which complicates things.
    so, can anyone help me?
     
  2. awulf macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Location:
    South Australia
    #2
    So, when you turn it on all you see is the cursor? Do you see a floppy disk icon with a question mark? Do you see nothing but a cursor on a grey screen? Do you see a menu bar?

    If you see the floppy disk icon with a ? then your computer doesn't have any system software installed onto it. You will either need to download the Disk images from Apples web site (requires a mac to create them, so not an option for you) or you have to find someone who owns a mac/mac software to lend you the Mac OS.

    If you ONLY see the cursor then your PB isn't even trying to start up, there is something either physically wrong with it, the PRAM has corrupted or it may be a flat system/clock battery (Flat system batteries (not the big battery in the PB) can sometimes cause odd behaviour).
    First try to reset the PRAM by holding down the Command(Apple)-Option-P-R as soon as you turn it on, then hold for it to chime for about 3 times.

    If the computer did boot into the Mac OS, you see the menu bar then if it doesn't recognise any floppy disks either the floppy drive is broken if nothing happens when you stick in the disk. If it says the disk is not formatted that means it doesn't have the control panel 'PC Exchange' installed.
     
  3. muteinvert thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 5, 2004
    #3
    i reset the pram as you said, but it didn't do anything. another thing i found, if i pressed ctrl opt p r(instead of cmd), it made this music thing. i think it went something like too-tee-too-tum, tee-tum-too-tee or something. does that mean anything?

    anyways, ive managed to boot it off a disk. i checked the "about this macintosh" and it says it has 8192k of space, and 1232 kb is used by "System Software". so why isn't it starting?

    anyways, what does the system battery look like?
     
  4. awulf macrumors 6502

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    Mar 1, 2002
    Location:
    South Australia
    #4
    Well you can boot of a boot disk, but not of the hard disk meaning there is no system software installed or it is corrupt.

    Boot up on that disk again and see if you see the hard disk on the desktop, also look around inside the Hard Disk, if on the desktop.
     
  5. muteinvert thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 5, 2004
    #5
    nope, theres no hard disk on the desktop. if it's corrupt, are there any programs to fix it?
     
  6. awulf macrumors 6502

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    Mar 1, 2002
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    South Australia
    #6
    When you turn the PowerBook on is it in complete silence or do you hear a fan like noise (it would be the spinning of the Hard Disk since there are no fans in your PB). If there is no sound then the hard disk is not there or not functioning.

    The best thing to do is open 'Drive Setup' or any other SCSI drive utility if you have one and to see if it lists the Hard Disk, then you can format it and install System Software on to it (Need disks).
     
  7. muteinvert thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 5, 2004
    #7
    yeah, there is a sound like a fan, but after a while, about 10 minutes, it stops. i've tried using the "Disk Tools" to check the drive for errors, but the only drive it lists is the diskette.
     
  8. muteinvert thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 5, 2004
    #8
    theres another thing, i got "Disk Tools", but when i run the Apple HD SC Setup, it gives me an error type 15.
     
  9. awulf macrumors 6502

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    Mar 1, 2002
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    South Australia
    #9
    You will either need to get 'Drive Setup' or 'Apple HD SC Setup' to format the Hard Disk
     
  10. muteinvert thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 5, 2004
    #10
    god dammit.

    when i run Apple HD SC Setup, i get an error type 15. when i run the Drive Setup (1.5) i get an error type -39. im really starting to hate this piece of crap.
     
  11. seamuskrat macrumors 6502a

    seamuskrat

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    New Jersey USA
    #11
    Is the harddrive installed?

    First off, since you CAN boot via f loppy, you KNOW your laptop works.
    Since you DO NOT see a harddrive on the desktop when booting with a floppy and the disk tools give you an error. One of 3 things must be happening.
    1. NO HARDDRIVE is installed
    2. Hard drive is corrupted and needs to be repaired.
    3. Hard drive has failed and is useless.
    Before you voice frustration about this Mac, keep in mind, two things. Its 11 years old. As you said, it was cheap. 11 in computer years is ancient. Think about it, even a car that is 11 is considered old. That said, you can get this to work.
    Verify you have a harddrive inside. Its possible the previous owner removed it. If you have one, then you need to get the model and make and then determine if your boot floppy is the proper (meaning best for this task) version to handle this model and make of Mac. Since its so old, the biggest problem will be finding this older software.
    Early macs were plagued by random errors from bad ram,. disk errors, etc. Your mac is old. Random crashes with a floppy based start up WILL happen. The drive itself could use cleaning, etc.
    I suggest you verify the drive, and work from that point.
     
  12. muteinvert thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 5, 2004
    #12
    one of the problems is that all the screws are stripped :) i would have taken it apart long ago if it wasnt for those
     
  13. seamuskrat macrumors 6502a

    seamuskrat

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    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    New Jersey USA
    #13
    Perhaps send it in to a powerbook repair facilty and see whta they can do.
    I suspect the drive is missing.
     
  14. muteinvert thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 5, 2004
    #14
    heh. it would be cheaper to buy a new one. ill just melt the plastic. somehow...
     
  15. awulf macrumors 6502

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    Mar 1, 2002
    Location:
    South Australia
    #15
    I may be wrong but I don't think that the PowerBook 145B has a fan, yet a fan like noise is reported at the start, which could be the hard disk spinning up but later spinning down because it isn't being used to save power.

    I would recommend finding someone who has more suitable boot disks or an external Hard Disk with the SCSI adaptor for PowerBooks.

    Also boot up on your floppy disk again, then go to the Apple Menu (top left corner on the screen) then go to 'About this Macintosh ...' and tell us what version the System software is at.
     
  16. muteinvert thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 5, 2004
    #16
    it's System 7.1. should i get a newer version?
     
  17. BaDBoY macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #17
    wow

    actually thats one hella old system software. believing that you want to install a newer system software, for something that old i believe you can only run up to 7.5.5. Or 7.6.1? either one of those. i used to have a performa 635 CD... yes those really really old ones that were about 33 mhz.... funny it was a bit faster than my friends pentium I 133 mhz computer. anyway, i doubt that you can install anything higher than a 7.6.1 because that computer is too slow. if im right, that computer uses a 68040 k processor built by motorola, and doesnt even have a FPU. On other words, its not even a PowerPC. if you get those errors with trying to initialize the drive, are you even able to see a drive on the menu in the first place? if not, that means there not even a hard drive in the laptop. if you are able to select a hard drive to initialize but theres an error, that definately means the hard drive is... well.. shiet. like someone said, you should take it to the repair or call apple about it, if you REALLY want to use that computer.

    But i just recommend you just store it away... maybe it will be amazing how you still have one of the oldest mac laptops around....... ^_^

    ..... Then just go buy yourself a iBook G4 or Powerbook.
     
  18. awulf macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Location:
    South Australia
    #18
    The PowerBook 145B has a 25MHz 68030 CPU (FPU's for these machines come on a separate chip). A 68040 comes with a FPU a 68LC040 doesn't.

    7.1 is an OK Version for this Machine, but I would recommend System 7.5.3 or System 7.5.5. System 7.6.* will run on your laptop if you have 8MB of RAM (Also stated under 'About this Macintosh...")

    My Macintosh IIsi runs ok under System 7.6, which also has a 68030 CPU.

    For more info on your laptop:
    http://www.pacmeb.com/database/computers/powerbook/006.html

    When you launch the Hard disk utility does the error occur once open or while opening?
     
  19. big macrumors 65816

    big

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2002
    #19
    I HAD AN OLD IIVX THAT does the same thing... It has been retired, and I believe it to just be dead....

    I think its more of a HD issue, I replaced the one in my old Mac, and nothing, again with the same sound, I think it has to do with the logic board or some issue there of.

    hope you didn't pay to much for it.
     
  20. muteinvert thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 5, 2004
    #20
    i finally managed to take it apart. turns out the screws werent stripped, just hexagonal. and then, i unplugged the hd, plugged it back in, and did the same with the disk drive. now when i start it up it displays a floppy with a ?, even though when i put in the install disk for some system(7.5.3 i think), it doesn't have "swicth disk", only "eject disk", meaning theres nothing else other than a floppy. anyways, when i looked inside i also saw what appeared to be the positive end of a AA 1.5 volt battery, and i think its probably dead, but i'm yet to take it out since it has a metal covering over it, and that's bound by a few screws i can't take out. any chance at all replacing the battery would solve my problem?
     
  21. awulf macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Location:
    South Australia
    #21
    The Hard disk is clearly not formatted if not damaged.

    you need to format it using a Hard drive utility (like you attempted before) then it will appear under the install.

    The ? a the start is normal like I explained earlier on.
     
  22. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #22
    i agree that those are possibilities

    in an age where people discard machines after two or three years...and some gamers keep machine for even a shorter length of time...i hope you didn't pay much for it like big said

    i am a techie with the belief that after four years, you are either way behind the times or like vintage computing just for kicks...my pc laptop (presario 1272) and rev a ibook are both just over four years old and pretty much just used for word processing and surfing...for any real up to date stuff, we use the dual G4

    but since i do like all things techie, if i could get a machine going that is so ancient, it's kind of a rush and not really good for anything outside of a personal satisfaction that i am tinkering with something and reviving one of the last remaining machines of its generation

    i admit that i have a similarily old performa from the early 90s sitting in my garage that i know works but i just gave away the monitor to someone who needed to use it for their old but still working machine that they use...i also have an eight year old pentium 1/32 ram/750 hd PC tower with nt server w/service pack 1 installed on it but again with no monitor since i donated that one to a useful cause
     
  23. California macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #23
    got my PB 145B working

    Just was surfing this old thread and remembered my old friend the 1994 Powerbook 145B. Thought she had died a long time back due to bad memory but -- she started right up! Macs rule. My only question is how come I can't read ancient Word 5.0 documents on Panther/newer Word through my external floppy disc on the Tibook 400mhz? I still have a library of things from the 90's on floppy.
     

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