Getting a 14" mid 2005 iBook G4!

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by RedCroissant, May 31, 2013.

  1. macrumors 68020

    RedCroissant

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    Location:
    California
    #1
    Tomorrow I should be the happy owner of a 14" iBook G4 1.42GHz 512MB RAM, and running 10.4.11 WITH original power supply(even though the battery is dead). Why am I so happy about this? Well... Craigslist in my area has had many scams of late with iBooks advertised as "white apple laptops" and being sold between $300-$400. I finally found the one I wanted going for $90 but don't have that money. I offered to trade my only 2 remaining items of value that I can actually afford to part with(Windows XP Home and WIndows Vista Ultimate). Even though the seller said "no" right away, I am glad that I at least sent the email because after a few months of no-shows and price-drops, the seller has offered to give me the iBook for FREE.

    So...I'm going to clone the HDD on my current 12" iBook then move it to the new one, max out the RAM on the new one by taking that from my current machine as well, and then have the 14" running Leopard and reinstall Tiger on the 12"(just for kicks)

    The battery is the same for both machines, right?
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    mayuka

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    #2
    The iBook 12" and 14" use different sized batteries, that also have different capacity.

    You can find cheap replacements on ebay. They last for about a year before when heavily used. The replacement batteries for the iBooks are better and more stable than the ones for the PowerBook G4's.

    Congrats to your find, though.
     
  3. macrumors 603

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #3
    Can't beat a deal like "free" with a stick. :p Loved my iBook G4 before I sold it, they're wonderful little machines.

    I always found the 14" to be a bit... odd looking, though.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors 68020

    RedCroissant

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    Location:
    California
    #4
    That's too bad but I guess I'll just have to save up for a replacement, then. Plus, once I have it all set up like my current machine, I won't care about the battery too much because the machine now is simply sitting on my desk almost permanently.

    I guess it could look a little like a stretched 12", but I am really going to enjoy the larger screen.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Location:
    Arkansas
    #5
    I had a listing on craigslist a while back and said NO TRADES and a guy said man I know you said no trades but would you take a nice 42 lcd tv it worked out perfect since I was needing a screen to make my own iMac.I have been thinking about getting another one off ebay for (parts)and fixing it.
     
  6. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    #6
    "Last for about a year"? I bought an iBook G4 with a used battery in it, and it worked great. I used it nearly every day and 18 months later, that same battery still lasts 2-3 hours for me.
     
  7. macrumors 68000

    Goftrey

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    #7
    Not every battery is made by the same bloke so you'll get varying performance/life out of each one depending on where/when you bought it.
     
  8. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2012
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #8
    I have a PB G4 battery that has 39 cycles on it and its dead as a door nail. Takes around 15-20 hours to "charge" and then its dead the moment you pull the plug.

    I have another battery (apple original) for my Macbook1,1 with 600 something cycles. Still does around an hour.

    The used battery might be an apple original or a rubbish china clone. That said, I have china batteries that have worked fine for 5+ years so I'm not going to label all of them as rubbish, just most.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    mayuka

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    #9
    That accounts for typical third-party replacement batteries, not the original ones from Apple. Had 2 cheap replacement batteries for my PowerBook 12", now the second one is practically dead. If you are lucky and find some original Apple batteries, they sell for over 100 bucks...
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Location:
    Arkansas
    #10
    The same ibook I traded for the t.v had a 2 month old battery in it that had about 30-40 cycles on it and I would be lucky to get an hour out of it,makes me realize the value in the original apple ones because I have a original powerbook battery with 200+ cycles and it will outlast the new one I had in the ibook.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 68020

    RedCroissant

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    Location:
    California
    #11
    Update**

    Well, it turns out that the previous owner was not entirely honest about the condition of the iBook, and even though it looks like it's in great condition; that's not the case.

    Here are the issues:

    1. Bad power supply
    2. Firewire port doesn't work
    3. usb port next to the firewire port also doesn't work
    4. WiFi is not working properly
    5. trackpad is not recognized after reinstallation of OS X 10.4
    6. Software update causes the WiFi to crash and therefore prevents any update that could fix the trackpad issue
    7. I don't think the ethernet port works but I'll have to try it once I have the time to connect it directly to the router
    8. When WiFi is working, it won't connect to my network (WPA)
    9. battery is completely dead

    So right now I am trying to decide what to do with this machine and if anyone has any advice, please feel free to give it!
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #12
    Yikes. Sounds like you'd have to spend more than what it's worth to get those issues fixed. You'd need a new power supply, battery, logic board, maybe Airport card and possibly, although not likely, new trackpad. You'd be better off to sell it as a parts/repair machine and at least profit from that since it was free in the first place.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 68020

    RedCroissant

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    Location:
    California
    #13
    Amazingly enough, a few of the problems have kind of sorted themselves out. The power supply that I was given with the 14" is the 45W, so I don't think it was powerful enough for it and what caused me to think that the power supply was bad. SO I switched them since the one I was given with my 12" iBook seems to high for IT and now both are powered on and working just fine(sort of).

    I got the ethernet to work again by rebooting a few times and reconfiguring the IP settings for my network and then rebooting again until it finally recognized the ethernet internet adapter that I'm using. Then I updated the OS(took about 2 hours) and now the trackpad is working normally as well. The WiFi now connects since it now has the option for WPA2 instead of just WEP. The other USB port that was once not working now seems to be operating normally and recognizes the drive.

    So now I am left with a partially inoperable firewire port(when I connect the external HDD the light on the drive comes on but it is not recognized by the iBook and nothing is transferring). This makes me think that the previous owner damaged it in some way and does not necessarily mean that the port is fried.

    I am very surprised and cautiously optimistic about the turn of events thus far. Does anyone have any advice for troubleshooting a firewire port or have any idea if I can simply find a replacement part and re solder it myself? Thanks in advance for any help! I am trying to make this my main machine and the only thing that's preventing that is the firewire port at the moment.
     
  14. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    #14
    I guess I was lucky enough to get an iBook with an official Apple replacement battery. This reminds me of a story about a dirt cheap Chinese battery:http://micgadget.com/34258/chinese-fake-external-battery-packs-comes-with-sand-bags/
     
  15. macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #15

    Do a PRAM reset etc for the firewire port. I'd be very surprised if it was "damaged". There are some firewire chipsets that are not recognized on PPC machines, so it may be your external drive. Make sure it is set to Apple partition map.

    You might consider replacing the internal batteries inside the iBook battery. I've seen it done, though never done it myself.

    Also max out the ram.

    You may be having problems with the machine because of the dead battery. It breaks an internal circuit.
     
  16. thread starter macrumors 68020

    RedCroissant

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    Location:
    California
    #16
    I'll try the PRAM and I hope that's all it needs. I have my current 12" iBook G4 that has no problem recognizing the external, so I didn't think that it might be a chipset problem for the new machine.

    What do you mean by the "internal batteries inside the iBook battery"?

    I would like to max out the RAM but I don't have the money for more RAM so I'll be taking it from the 12" once the new machine is sorted and properly cloned.

    I had no idea that a dead battery could have that effect as well. Is there a way to bypass the circuit that recognizes the battery as dead to avoid these other complications?

    And thanks for responding!
     
  17. macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #17
    I mean quite literally taking apart your iBook battery and putting new lithium batteries in it that you get at Radio Shack or a hobby shop.

    No, a dead battery does affect things. I am not sure if it effects things as badly as it does on a Powerbook, but it is not good to have no juice at all. It is a circuit.

    Do the pram reset and google around to see if your firewire drive has any trouble being seen on Macs. Also if it is seen on your 12" iBook you may have software on that iBook that the new one does not have.

    Google around for putting new batteries into your iBook battery case. Literally the white battery casing comes off and there are about six litium batteries inside that go together.

    Oh, okay this is what i'd do.

    I'd start up your 12" ibook in Target Disc Mode and then firewire it into your 14" machine and see if its hard drive comes up on the screen. Then I'd start up from the iBook 12" hard drive.

    IS that what you were trying to do originally or were you working from an external firewire drive? I didn't catch that part.
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

    mayuka

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    #18
    Try to remove it entirely. Then start the computer normally.

    Btw: Have you tried Apple Hardware Test (AHT)? It's the first thing I'd test...
     
  19. thread starter macrumors 68020

    RedCroissant

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    Location:
    California
    #19
    I honestly had no idea that doing anything with the battery like that was possible. Is that cheaper then than buying a replacement one?

    I tried starting both iBooks in TDM, but neither of them are recognized. I know for a fact the the FW port on my 12" works because I use it constantly for my external HDD with ym media on it and for fixing and using TDM on my iMac G5.

    What I am trying to do is startup the 14" in TDM so that I can clone the HDD on my 12" and then make the 14" my main machine since it is mroe powerful, has a superdrive, larger screen..etc. But if the FW port is broken/faulty, then I won't be able to do that and will end up selling the machine as is.
     
  20. macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #20
    the only time I have ever heard of a firewire port dying is when someone jammed the plug in there the wrong way.

    Outside of that or some other physical damage, I've really never heard of a firewire port dying, especially on 2005-on macs.

    When you have the external plugged into the 14", does it show up in the firewire section under "about this mac" profiles? What shows up there under Firewire?

    When I have a chipset problem, all I see is "unknown device"

    Thsi is why I told you to start up the 12" ibook in TDM and then plug it into the 14". Not the other way around.
     
  21. thread starter macrumors 68020

    RedCroissant

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    Location:
    California
    #21
    If you've never heard of a firewire port dying then it must have been damaged to the point where it is no longer capable of full operation. The drive lights up when I plug it into the FW port, but it does not show up in the finder, disk utility or the system profiler. Even when it's plugged in, the FW section of SP only says:

    "FireWire Bus:

    Maximum Speed; Up to 400 Mb/sec"

    I did start up the 12" in TDM but it is also not recognized in SP.

    My plans were to bring all the necessary hardware to the 14" and then set up the 12" as a 10.4.11 machine only with minimum RAM. Now, I'm considering removing the superdrive from the 14" and moving it over along with the airport extreme card that works much better than the one in the 12".

    I don't have the Apple Hardware Test CD and can't seem to find it either.

    And the usb port next to the FW onyl works intermittently now. I download the firmware update for the WD drive and checked the specs for it, but all things show that not only is the MyBook Studio compatible, 10.4 and 10.5 were the original compatible OSes.
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    mayuka

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    #22
    That sounds to me as some messed up settings. The external drive gets power, that's for sure. If anything is physically damaged, it could only the other pins. Try to clean the Firewire port with Isopropanol (Isopropylalkohol) using a q-tip. (You can get both in every drugstore.)

    However, I rather think it's a software problem. You can try to reset the port via some commands in Open Firmware. This is documented somewhere. A first start could be: http://mac.linux.be/content/guide-open-firmware-apple-bios-0 The Firewire port and/or devices connected should appear if you use the probe and ls command.
     
  23. macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #23
    Sounds right. I think I sold my last original Tiger OEM discs for the last revision iBooks. Probably what he needs to get this going again. My fave iBooks. I particularly liked the 14" 1.42, VERY fast when maxed.
     
  24. thread starter macrumors 68020

    RedCroissant

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    Location:
    California
    #24
    I purchased the retail Tiger disk and installed all OS updates as well. I'm going to try the open firmware method as soon as my kids settle down for their nap, and then I will update further.

    And I am also hoping for the same feeling from the 1.42 that you just stated, but I am starting to be a little more pessimistic about it.
     
  25. macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #25
    I was referring to the OEM discs that are configured for your machine exactly. I think I might have the iBook applications disc for your machine. (iLife 'O5 and other stuff)

    Keep it plugged in, in between these sessions. And clean out the port as the previous poster said. If the machine doesn't work, you got it for free, right? So it's all good.

    Keep in mind that the oem hard drives on these machines are absolutely ancient, unless you have upgraded them. EIGHT years old and counting. Yikes.
     

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