iBook slowly dying??

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by UKMacBod, Feb 27, 2004.

  1. UKMacBod macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    #1
    Hi,

    I have a Dual USB 500MHz iBook. I've noticed that over the last 6 months or so the battery time has been slowly draining away. Yesterday, even when my iBook was plugged-in, it was acting as thought it was just running on battery power.

    Today, it is in sleep mode, when I try to wake it up it does so, but then the battery icon shows my iBook's battery as being almost empty - so it goes back into sleep mode!

    It's been 'charging' for hours but I STILL cannot use my iBook at all. The bit on the end of the power cord is 'orange' - so that seems OK.

    Could the battery be dead? Or could it be the iBook itself?

    Thanks,



    UKMacBod x
     
  2. fonch macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    #2
    ibook g3 500mhz battery

    I have the same computer, and my battery is toast. I was using it without the power cord a couple days ago. The icon on the menu bar said I had an hour left at full charge, but the computer went to sleep after less than 5 minutes.
    My question to you is this: what are your setting under energy management in system preferences? If they are set to automatic, the computer should switch between battery and power cord automatically. Otherwise your computer might think it's always on battery power.
     
  3. UKMacBod thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    #3
    Re: ibook g3 500mhz battery


    I can't quite remember what setting the power was on, so I zapped the PRAM to manually reset it, but it still doesn't appear to be charging - still no joy...
     
  4. fonch macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    #4
    So your computer isn't even recognizing that it's plugged in? You can confirm this by checking the box under the Energy Saver panel in System preferences. If the computer's plugged in, it shows a battery with a plug. If not, just a battery.
    If you know this already, and your computer isn't recognizing the power cord, then the problem is bigger. Otherwise, it's a dead battery.
    One more thing: have you checked whether or not your computer is eligible for the logic board replacement from Apple?
     
  5. MacRAND macrumors 6502a

    MacRAND

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ USA
    #5
    iBook BATTERY slowly dying?? "No, dead!"

    iBook battery? YES
    iBook itself? NO, not likely.
    When my 700 started acting up, I took it to Apple authorized dealer, purchased new battery, popped it in, problem solved... well, almost.

    A few days later, I couldn't start my iBook with the new battery! No matter what I did, it seemed DEAD!!! Not even with the charger plugged in. D E A D ! I feared it was the iBook.
    • Took new battery OUT, put it back IN - still did not work
    • Put OLD battery IN - worked fine. :confused: Restart with OLD battery, still OK.
    • Replaced OLD battery with NEW battery - everything has worked great, which has continued for last half year, quirk has never repeated itself. Go figure?

    CAVEAT: Moral of story, do NOT throw the old battery out right away; you may need it. Luckily, I had saved it for a "backup" battery.
    Mark on it with a marker - date you replaced it, and status "Bad" or "dead" so you or someone else does not mistaken it for an extra good battery, then put "old" battery in the box the new one came in, place it on a shelf somewhere and keep it for about a year as a BACKUP battery, then toss it out (recycle?).

    If you are wishing the old battery in your iBook would suddenly stop acting "old", and regenerate itself becoming "new" again, let's be real and get a life! A battery is non-organic, dude.
    Stop kidding yourself about the need to spend $129 USD for a replacement, and move on with your life and that of your iBook.
    (How do I know about this "battery denial" problem? Because, like a dummy, that's what I did to myself for about a week; I couldn't accept that my poor iBook's battery was dying! Yes, I was suffering from "battery death denial", but was this over feelings of attachment to an old battery? No, reluctance to fork over the cost of a new one! Fear of paying.)
    Replace its battery and get on with your life, and the iBook's rejuvinated life.
    If not, you will not only end up with a very dead iBook, buy you could develop what is known as PTSD-OBD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - Over Battery Death. This emotional condition though psychologically painful is rarely fatal for you, only the battery. ;)

    AFTER THOUGHT: Because of what you describe, and what I experienced while trying to use the charger to operate the iBook, but with a dead or dying battery we were hampered or prevented from doing so, I wonder if the battery module has a control "chip" or something in it which "thinks", or if the iBook's own battery control was just acting sympathetically to the battery's death. Ah, what geeks do ponder.
     
  6. RBMaraman macrumors 65816

    RBMaraman

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2002
    Location:
    Prospect, KY
    #6
    It's NOT the battery...

    I don't think the problem is with your battery. I think your power supply has gone bad.

    My friend has been through about 6 power supplies in the past 6 months with his 12" PB, and prior to that, he went through 6 power supplies with his 600mhz iBook. He thought it was the battery at first, but then he realized that the power supply wasn't allowing the machine to charge. When he brought his iBook over to my house, the battery charged just fine using my power adaptor.

    I'd say your problem is the power adaptor.
     
  7. MacRAND macrumors 6502a

    MacRAND

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ USA
    #7
    Re: It's NOT the battery... But, then it could be!

    Excellent point. I agree. Although the age of the battery would indicate that it probably is dying and needs to be replaced, you would be wise to bring your power supply with you when you have your local Apple Dealer check out your iBook and old battery.
    Just assuming it is one or the other would be foolhardy.

    Batteries are always strange beasts. I took my phone cluster-battery into Radio Shack to be checked before replacement, and the tech showed me that her testing equipment clearly indicated it was "Good". Knowing that my Phone did not "feel" GOOD about the old battery-cluster, I opted to buy a new one.

    Once home, I put the old "Good" battery in to see if it would now work. No - dead as a door nail!
    Upon installing the NEW battery, the phone suddenly sprang to life, all excited to serve me and with new vigor. (I love my toys).

    MORAL: even if a battery checks out "Good", your equipment may NOT feel "good" about the old battery, and may "want" a new one. How is this possible?
    Well, aside from the fact that scientists are just beginning to figure out that Tesla was really right about a lot of his theories concerning electricity over 50 years ago, and that we really still don't understand "electricity" (though we think we know a lot about it) let me explain it in the following way.

    This dilemma is kind of like dealing with my wife when she says she "wants" a new kitchen appliance. It's not that the old one doesn't work, she just "feels like a new one" is what she wants. So, guys, what do we do? Yep, we get the new one - and then the wife "works" much better. And, that makes us happy! Right? ;)
    So when your appliance says "she" doesn't "like" the old battery, no matter how "good" it tests out to be, get "her" a new battery and make "her" happy. As a result, your life will undoubtedly be far less miserable.:cool:
     

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  8. mklos macrumors 68000

    mklos

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Location:
    My house!
    #8
    Did you install the Mac OS X.3 Battery Management update? Apple released this last month as is an update for most new(er) laptops including the one you have.

    I have the same iBook and I don't have any problems, but I do know others who did have trouble with the battery which Apple replaced for free.

    Here is a link to the battery update:

    http://www.apple.com/support/downloads/batteryupdate.html
     
  9. UKMacBod thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    #9
    First of all I'd like to thank everyone for their help so far. Here's the update:


    This morning I took the iBook to an Apple Authorised Service centre near where I live. They swapped over the battery and left it charging for half an hour. At the end of the half hour only one of the lights lit up on the bottom of the battery itself, and it was flashing, not stable. The iBook booted up OK (as it has been doing) and then after a few minutes went back into sleep mode. FYI the settings for power are set to automatic, and I have previously installed the iBook battery update - when it first came out I think.

    The guy at the Centre suggested that it could be a logic board problem, and said it might need replacing.

    FYI my iBook is not one of the ones covered by the repair / exchange program that Apple have setup.

    I'm really at a loss now - it would cost me an awful lot of money to have the logic board replaced, and I really can't think of anything else I could try?

    Someone suggested that I should try changing the power supply itself to see if that makes any difference, but it's stable orange, so that would suggest it's OK?

    Thanks in anticipation :confused:
     
  10. UKMacBod thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    #10
    Two further questions:

    1) Should I (normally) be able to boot-up the iBook with the battery being in - e.g. with just the power cable plugged in?

    2) I've read similar issues on these forums where the internal power board (or something similar) failed? Has anyone any experience in this area? Can I simply reseat / replace an internal component?


    Thank you so much.
     
  11. MacRAND macrumors 6502a

    MacRAND

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ USA
    #11
    iBook battery problems...getting old sucks...power.

    You should be able to plug the power supply in, remove the battery, and then STARTUP. (if you remove the battery before plugging into the wall, your Time/Date memory can die).
    If you can do that, but you cannot STARTUP with the battery in, then you know something is wrong with the battery since it appears to interfere with STARTUP.
    APPLE can, you should not. Replace battery, ok; but not much more than that. Are you still under warranty? If so, get moving.
    If not, oops! :eek:
    To fail to purchase AppleCare within the 1st year is foolish, I know - I learned the hard way. Don't be like me, get covered for those extra 2 years.
     

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  12. MacRAND macrumors 6502a

    MacRAND

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ USA
    #12
    iBook needs hardware check.

    My last post sounded like "preaching", I'm sorry, UKMacBod.

    You and I are in the same boat iBook and warranty wise.
    If you've tried the things that have already been suggested, isn't it time to take the iBook into see your local Apple Authorized Dealer & Repair shop for a thorough hardware analysis? Why fret over what may only be a Battery change?
    MacRAND
     
  13. dukemeiser macrumors 6502a

    dukemeiser

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    Location:
    Iowa
    #13
    I've toasted the logic board on my iBook before, I'm on my 4th one. And that is NOT what is wrong with yours. If it were the logic board you would see graphical "noise" and lines on the screen. You might also get a black screen when starting up.
    So I'd say it was your battery. I had the same problem with mine, and it was still under the 1-year warrantee, so they replaced my battery for free and it has worked just fine ever since.
     
  14. UKMacBod thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    #14

    As I said, I've already tried swapping over the battery, but it still acts the same. So that would suggest that it's not the battery, no?

    Can someone also please tell me if I should be able to boot my iBook without the battery - just plugged in?

    Many thanks
     
  15. MacRAND macrumors 6502a

    MacRAND

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ USA
    #15
    Dead Battery?

    Have you read Post #11?
    Have you taken your iBook into an Apple Authorized Dealer?
     
  16. UKMacBod thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    #16
    Sorry, missed that!!



    Have you read post #8? I took my iBook into an Apple Authorised Dealer and he swapped the battery over, but no joy...

    :(
     
  17. MacRAND macrumors 6502a

    MacRAND

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ USA
    #17
    Dead Battery? or dead iBook?

    I think you meant Post #9, these new # take getting used.
    So the dealer took out your battery and set it up to charge outside your iBook, then
    put a good, charged iBook battery (he got from either another iBook, off the shelf, or somewhere) into your iBook, then did a
    Startup of your iBook - but it wouldn't?
    Even when it was plugged into the wall power supply with the new battery locked in?
    Did you have him do a thorough Hardware Test and Analysis on the Repair Bench? If so, what...?
     
  18. UKMacBod thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    #18
    He put a good, charged battery into my iBook, yes. Then it still didn't boot...

    He didn't do any other hardware testing... just said that it was 'most likely the logic board' and quoted me a lot to have it repaired...!!!
     
  19. MacRAND macrumors 6502a

    MacRAND

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ USA
    #19
    Logic board fried?

    How difficult is it for you to get a 2nd opinion,I'd really like to have some Apple Authorized repair place run a thorough diagnostics on it before quoting some price on unknown repairs. It may not be recharging the battery, which may still be good. Who knows? The ultimate choice would be to find out how much it would cost to ship it off to Apple in Europe to have their staff check it out and tell you what's wrong.
    If I'm sick at heart talking about your book, I can imagine how you must feel.
     

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