Powerbook won't charge or see it's plugged in

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by livingfortoday, Aug 7, 2006.

  1. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

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    #1
    So, I'm getting a 1.25Ghz 15" Al Powerbook assuming I can fix it. It's got one major problem - it won't charge the battery, or see that it's plugged in. This problem just happened suddenly, it wasn't a gradual thing at all, and there was no physical damage that caused it. The Powerbook still booted and worked fine off of a freshly charged battery, but the computer won't charge that battery anymore.

    I think it's a broken DC-in board that needs to be replaced, but before I dump $50 - $75 on a new one, can anyone tell me if it might be something else, maybe something I could check for free?

    Thanks!
     
  2. livingfortoday thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #2
    Bump for latecomers that may have ideas. I'm buying this part this coming weekend if no one knows of any other possible solutions!
     
  3. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #3
    So are you saying it worked normally with a different battery? :)
     
  4. livingfortoday thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #4
    No, I mean, when I put in a battery that had been fully charged on a different Powerbook, I could boot up the computer, but that it wouldn't charge that battery or any other one even when the computer was plugged in. So, it'll run off of batteries, it just won't run off of a powercord or charge the battery. I've tried two different (working) power cords, as well.
     
  5. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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  6. livingfortoday thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #6
    I'll give that a shot, hopefully it's something that simple. It says to do it when the computer is off, do you think it matters if it's got a battery in or not? My battery is completely drained right now, so... I guess I could plug it in, do a PMU reset, and see if it boots after that?
     
  7. iHotu macrumors regular

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    #7
    Confirm that your power adapter is good. Mine just stopped working after 4+ years.
     
  8. ebmx66 macrumors newbie

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    #8
    my powerbook wouldn't charge when i first got it and then i used the battery updater and it fixed that problem
     
  9. livingfortoday thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #9
    I have two power adapters I'm using, both of which I've tested in other machines and they both work. Also, I could see this as being a battery issue if either of the batteries were brand new, but they've both been used (though they hold a charge). Also, since the computer won't even work when just plugged in, I think it may go beyond that.

    Thanks for the suggestions, though.
     
  10. livingfortoday thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #10
    Okay, an update! I did the PMU reset, and now it kind of starts up. Kind of. When I hit the power button with the computer plugged in, it sounds like it's waking up, the hard drive spins up, and then after a few seconds it all turns off again. The screen stays black the whole time. I'm going to leave it plugged in for a while and see if I can charge the battery at all, and I'll update after an hour of trying that, or so. As of now, it seems it still won't charge the battery, though.
     
  11. livingfortoday thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #11
    One final update! It started charging for about two minutes, and then it stopped. I was able to get it to boot up, though it still couldn't see the power adapter, and within 30 seconds the computer froze up and the screen gave me a bunch of gibberish and fractured colors. I force shut it down, and then it wouldn't boot up.

    It still won't charge anymore, and it seems to have been a lucky coincidence.
     
  12. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #12
    The gibberish and fractured colours isn't a good sign. I hope you don't have a failing logic board. I personally wouldn't spend any money on this thing 'til you find out for sure what's dead. Could you take it to a technician maybe? :(
     
  13. livingfortoday thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #13
    Well, I'm going to try and see if I can find someone to charge a battery for me, so I can boot it up and play around and see if it's all ok. I'll run the hardware test and whatnot. If it starts acting strangely during that, I will take it in somewhere to get looked at, though because I'll be traveling a bunch and moving soon, that won't be for at least a month that I'll be able to do that.

    I figured the gibberish and whatnot was because it wasn't getting any power - the battery said it was at 0%, and the power cord never seems to give it power other than that one instance. I don't know though. I will definitely make sure it's not the logic board before I spend the time and money to replace the DC-in board.
     
  14. Tommy Wasabi macrumors member

    Tommy Wasabi

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    #14
    This happened to me too...

    I did all the things that you did. Nothing worked. Called apple, they tried a few things (that I already tried - damn I'm not a noob), eventually, they said take it to an apple store. Got there, they did everything I did but one.

    this is what fixed it.

    They replaced the battery. Works everytime.

    Tommy.
     
  15. livingfortoday thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #15
    The battery, eh? Well, wouldn't the Powerbook work when it was plugged in even if the battery was the cause? I know my old Ti would run without a battery in it, I'm assuming the Aluminum Powerbook will as well.

    Also, I've tried it with two different batteries, both of which are in fairly good shape, so I doubt it's just that.

    Thanks for the info, though.
     
  16. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #16

    Hopefully you're right. I just thought I'd mention it because it sucks when you buy one new component only to run into the next set of problems and have to buy another new component.
     
  17. livingfortoday thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #17
    Alrighty, it's time to revive this thread! Unfortunately!

    I went ahead and bought the new DC-in board from ifixit.com, and installed it today. Everything went in without a hitch. Unfortunately, the laptop shows the exact same symptoms as before. Battery still won't charge, the power adapter light turns green from orange when I hit the power button, and the hard drive makes some noise and it sounds like it's booting up, and then it stalls. No chime, no picture on the screen, nothing. I have to unplug it or hold down the power button to get it to power down again.

    So. It's most likely not the DC-in board. My second guess would be logic board failure? I can't afford to replace that, so... any ideas of simple things I can test before I take out the new DC-in board?

    Thanks!
     
  18. Megananoo macrumors newbie

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    Apr 5, 2008
    #18
    Same problem here...

    I'm having the same problem and searching for a solution. I'm curious if anyone has found one yet.

    We have a PowerbookG4 15-inch that has what sounds like the same problem as Livingfortoday.

    The battery (we have two) recharges in another laptop of the same size, and the battery actually works fine, but the ac adapter won't charge the battery or run the computer. We've verified that it's the correct adapter for the computer and that it works (it powers another computer just fine).

    So... we thought we were down to the DC board. Opend up the computer and replaced it with the DC board from the computer that we were using to charge our batteries. STILL, the laptop won't run with the power adapter. The battery monitor in the toobar says that the power adapter isn't charging the battery and the battery just continues to run down to zero.

    Interestingly, the light on the AC plug is green when we plug it in and the screen brightens when it's plugged in, but the battery still runs down even though the AC is plugged in.

    We've done all the software things, like a hard-reset and resetting the PMU, to no avail.

    Has ANYONE found a solution to this problem?

    Thanks.
     
  19. livingfortoday thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #19
    Hey, mine ended up being a logic board failure, just so you know. Apple ended up replacing it - after a bunch of shenanigans (they replaced the DC-in board too, to no avail). Just thought I'd let you know.
     

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