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My Powerbook won't turn on!

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by BrianVarick, Nov 9, 2006.

  1. macrumors member

    Last night it froze up, so I turned it off by holding down the power button. And now when I try to turn it on, sometimes it only get to the grey screen, sometimes it gets to the grey screen with the apple, sometimes it gets to the apple screen with a little gear turning thing. Once it showed a folder with the Mac sign, the one with the face in blue and gray. And it would switch from the face to a question mark. And last but not least, once It turned all the way on, and I opened HD, so it was actually on. It makes a clicking noise whenever it's on too.
    I really need this computer to be fixed, and I have no idea what's wrong with it. I'm hoping it's some small problem, that I can fix. Please Help Me!
  2. macrumors member

    I'm not sure if you need this info, but I have a 15' Powerbook with 1.25 ghz.
  3. macrumors 603


    With those symptoms, I'd try resetting PRAM / PMU first.

    first, try resetting the PRAM:

    While holding down "CMD-OPT-P-R", power up the machine. Keep them held down until you hear a 2nd chime.

    If that doesn't help, try resetting the power management unit (PMU):

    . 1 If the computer is on, turn it off.
    . 2 Reset the power manager by simultaneously pressing and then releasing Shift-Control-Option-Power on
    the keyboard. Do not press the fn (Function) key while using this combination of keystrokes.
    . 3 Wait 5 seconds.
    . 4 Press the Power button to restart the computer.

    If neither help, try starting up on your restore or OS-X install CD and run Disk Utility > First Aid > Verify/repair. Actually, even if the above helps, I'd boot off the CD and run First Aid anyway.

    btw: yea, the info on which particular model you have is important regarding the PMU reset procedure
  4. macrumors 68000

    He said clicking...that hard drive is dead.
  5. macrumors 603


    yea - saw that. trying to be "positive". Hard to say what was heard, tho. Could be head park..... :rolleyes:
  6. macrumors 603


    Put that machine in TDM and get your info off it beacause that HD is done ASAP.

  7. macrumors member

    What are my options if my hardrive is dead?
  8. macrumors member

    I'm sorry, but can explain this alittle more thoughly? I'm kind of an apple newb.
  9. Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member


    Good luck...first step is to preserve your data. Once you've done that, you can try a few things, but you likely will end up having to have the hard drive replaced.
  10. macrumors member

    I followed the instructions, but I can't find it on the host computer, does the host have to be an apple?
  11. macrumors 603


    Pretty much has to be a Mac. It has to recognize Mac HFS+ Extended format. I believe there are apps for PC's that will allow it to access Mac HD's, but don't know specfics.
  12. Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    I haven't done it myself with a PC, but you probably need MacDrive...they have a free 5-day trial.
  13. macrumors member

  14. Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    It should be...you can find better prices though. Have a look at OWC...great Mac vendor with good prices and great customer support. The IDE/ATA models on the left side of the page should work for your PowerBook...the Seagate and Hitachi models are the ones I would recommend. The Seagates have an industry-best 5-year warranty, but are a bit pricier. The Hitachis are also great drives and a bit cheaper.

    Swapping out the hard drive can be a bit tricky...what exact model of PowerBook do you have?

    And we're not quite at the stage where you should be picking up a new drive just yet. First we want to get your data off in case it dies entirely while you're trying to fix it. Once the data is safe, try some of gr8tfly's suggestions to see if you can resurrect the drive. If not, then it's time for a new drive.
  15. macrumors member

    Thanks for all the help guys, I really appreciate the time everyone has spent helping me.

    I tried to get some stuff off the laptop, but I guess I have to use another Mac as a host. I can do that tomorrow, so it's not biggie. My only question is, can I "infect" the host computer by puting my files on it?

    If I do buy another Hardrive, do you suggest me installing it by myself? My dad is very handy with electronics, and I'm pretty sure he could do it.
  16. macrumors regular

    Don't worry about "infections" or anything like that. This isn't a virus you have, it's just a case of hardware dying.

    You should tell us the exact model of your PowerBook so we can find out how to replace the HDD. Your dad's assistance probably wouldn't hurt, but you don't need to be an electrician to do it.
  17. Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Again, you should be able to use a PC if you install MacDrive on it...I'd give that a shot if you don't have another Mac handy.

    You almost certainly can't really "infect" the other machine. It's likely a hardware issue, and you're only going to be pulling over your data file anyway. Don't worry about it.

    As for swapping the hard drive yourself, have a look at the appropriate iFixit guide for your model of PowerBook. They have great step-by-step instructions that will give you a good idea of what you're getting into and will help you decide if it's something you want to take on.
  18. macrumors 603


    Replacing the HD in a TiBook is fairly straightforward. Only the bottom case needs to come off (after battery removed...). Check out the guides at iFixit.

    I'm assuming (from your replies) the clicking you hear is very repetitive (like once a sec.). If so, that's a bad sound (as you probably gathered by now). Hopefully, you can get what you need off of it, before it goes 100% failed.
  19. macrumors member

    How exact do I have to be? Here's what I know, and I can't check anymore.

    Powerbook G4
    512 memory

    If there's something more specific then that, I don't know if I can remember, but I'll rack my brain.
  20. Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    You have a 15", right? I'm assuming that I remember correctly that only the 15" ever used the 1.25 GHz processor.

    If that's true, then have a look at this guide to see what the repair entails.
  21. macrumors 603


    Nope, shouldn't need more. There's only one 1.25gHz 15" PB. "PowerBook G4 (15-inch FW800)"
  22. macrumors member

    Ok, I think I'm set, thanks to everyone who has helped me.
  23. macrumors regular

    did you even TRY to reset the PRAM? i had this problem and it fixed it.
  24. macrumors member

    ^I just tried that PRAM thing, and guess what! It worked! It didn't work the first time, so I didn't try it again. Thanks alot for reminding my to try it again.

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