Battery Won't Charge

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by gabriel_uk, Aug 10, 2005.

  1. gabriel_uk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    England
    #1
    I have a 3-yr-old G4 PowerBook, now with 1 GB of RAM. Recently, the battery stopped charging, so it can only be used when plugged-in. I just replaced the 65W Power Adapter with a new one because the small plug of the old one was cracked, and I thought this could be the problem. But the new Power Adapter makes no difference, and the green light doesn't come on either. I have tried resetting the Power Management Unit, but that makes no difference.

    I'm assuming that the internal power supply is 'blown' - but is it possible to replace it yourself? I can't find this mentioned anywhere on Apple Support.

    Any help would be really appreciated!
     
  2. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #2
    You cannot change the power supply yourself. And I don't believe it's cost effective to have it done at an Apple Service/Tech Centre, either, unless the PowerBook holds great emotional value... ;)

    Are you sure it's not just the Battery that's gone? 3 years sound about right when it comes to the life expectancy of a PowerBook's battery. That should be much cheaper to replace too. can you borrow a newer battery somewhere to test? If not, go to an Apple Service Center and ask if they can have a quick look...
     
  3. gabriel_uk thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Thanks Mitthrawnuruodo - I should have added that I have no less than 3 batteries, all working fine until the PB stopped charging them. Two of them are only a couple of years old and have only been used occasionally.

    I suspected that you can't change the power supply yourself - and that it wouldn't be cost effective.

    Oh dear, I just spent 280 pounds replacing the PB's broken HD and upgrading its RAM - plus I bought Tiger. But I didn't really want to buy a new PB until they've got Intel inside... :cool:
     
  4. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    #4
    I'm sorry to hear that.

    Well, the HD you at least can recycle and put in an enclosure when you got a new PowerBook. The RAM and all those batteries should also fetch nice prices if sold. If there's also an AirPort card in the PowerBook, that too would be possible to sell at a good price. Think slaughter... :)

    If you really need a portable with a working battery the next 6-9 months, I would look for a cheap, used iBook to last me until the Mactel laptops are out (and have proved to be without any major issues).

    If you don't need battery life for anything, just use the PowerBook as a mobile Desktop. My girlfriend uses my old Pismo as her main computer, taking it to and from work every day. The battery and/or charger on that stopped working over 2 years ago (when the Pismo was ~3 years old ;)) and when I "upgraded" to an iBook, she got my Pismo, with a RAM upgrade from her, since that had a faulty screen. She has to keep it plugged in at all times, but it's still going strong and she still takes it everywhere... ;)
     
  5. gabriel_uk thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    Thanks again Mitthrawnuruodo. That's what I'll do - just use it as a mobile Desktop. As long as the power supply unit doesn't deteriorate any further. But judging from how your old Pismo is still working, maybe this isn't that likely...

    Cheerz :)
     
  6. rjphoto macrumors 6502a

    rjphoto

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2005
    #6
    when did this problem begin

    Did you start having problems after the HD & RAM Upgrade?

    Maybe something was bumped loose inside.

    I didn't know there was a power supply inside. I thought the power supply was the little Yo-Yo on the floor...
     
  7. gabriel_uk thread starter macrumors regular

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    England
    #7
    Yes, I did start having problems after the upgrades so maybe I did mess something up! :(

    I was pretty careful and didn't knock anything loose but I wouldn't discount having done some kind of damage! :confused:

    I'm tempted to open it up again and take a look, but I'd feel like a butcher attempting surgery! :eek: :p

    By 'power supply' we mean the unit/card that controls the power inside the computer. I believe it is located right where the AC input 'port' is positioned.

    Apple Support give instructions on changing the internal power supply for desktop machines but not for laptops. I guess that's significant. :cool:
     
  8. rjphoto macrumors 6502a

    rjphoto

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2005
    #8
    Worth a look

    IF you are comfortable enough to replace the hard drive then give it a look. Take it slow and easy and follow the wires from the power unit to the battery compartment.
     
  9. gabriel_uk thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    Will take a look - thanks! :)
     
  10. gabriel_uk thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    Problem fixed itself!

    Okay, I followed the advice of rjphoto and opened up the back of the PB to take a look at the wiring to the battery. To be honest, I couldn't actually see any relevant wires... I guess should have looked under the keyboard(?)

    Anyway, I did find a loose rubber support nut for the hard drive floating around, and re-attached that. The weird thing is that when I put it all back together, lo and behold - the battery was getting charged again! I don't know what I did, but whatever it was - it worked! :eek: :)
     
  11. Over Achiever macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

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    Location:
    Toledo, OH, formerly Twin Cities, MN
    #11
    Nice! My laptop won't charge my battery ... the Geniuses at the Apple store located the problem two places ...

    My battery was so old it's dead so I'll need it replaced.
    The DC-in board was loose from all the plugging and unplugging, and needed to be replaced.

    I replaced the hard drive on my own using this site www.pbfixit.com and on that site they also sell replacement DC-in boards for $70, replaceable with some "elbow grease" and an anti-static wristband ^^

    But I'm glad to see you got it working by just replacing a rubber support nut ... interesting.
     
  12. gabriel_uk thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    Yea, that pbfixit site is fantastic - I used it too for replacing my PB's HD.

    I imagine replacing the DC-in board is quite tricky, and I guess you haven't yet tried?
     
  13. rjphoto macrumors 6502a

    rjphoto

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2005
    #13
    That's great to hear

    Fantastic.

    Like the Doctors I work with tell me all the time, "You never know until you get in there and poke around."

    WOW, I think that's the first time something I suggested really helped somebody. Not that it was anything specific I said.


    Good luck.
     
  14. Over Achiever macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

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    Location:
    Toledo, OH, formerly Twin Cities, MN
    #14
    Sorry for the late reply, haven't been able to use my computer much recently.

    From the looks of it, it's the same process as replacing the HD, but instead of poking around the HD, unplug the DC board from the main board, and removing two screws, doesn't look that much worse at all.

    However, it's $80 like I said before, so you'd have to balance that between doing it yourself and getting a refurbished/recovered part, or having Apple do it. Personally I'd do it myself, but I haven't done it yet as it still works for me (flaky at times).

    ---

    "Like the Doctors I work with tell me all the time, "You never know until you get in there and poke around." Not very comforting from a patient's viewpoint, but as a future doctor, I can admit it's very true.
     
  15. njmac macrumors 68000

    njmac

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #15
    I had the same problem, but was covered by apple care. They replaced the DC board and the cost was about $300. i didn't have to pay though, b/c applecare!
     
  16. Over Achiever macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

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    Location:
    Toledo, OH, formerly Twin Cities, MN
    #16
    When I went to the Apple Store they quoted me ~$300 as well ... and that included both the DC board and a new HD ... is the ~$300 a flat fee then?
     

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