resurrecting a PowerBook G4 17"

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Cave Johnson, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    #1
    Hi all,

    Last week I bought the last made Powerbook, a 17" 1.67ghz HiRes (1680x1050), ATI 9700 graphic card and 1gb DDR2 of RAM.
    Well I got it for 60€, which is about 77/78$. The powerbook was sold as broken and unable to power on.
    Well I manage to start this thing up ... wow, what a wonderful screen! :)

    But now come problems:
    1) Keyboard and Trackpad aren't working (but the backlight is)
    2) SuperDrive start&spin and is able to eject unreadable disc BUT the powerbook doesn't recognized it.
    3) Apple airport isn't working ... well bluetooth is OK but wifi connection not (it says "Apple Airport not found".

    I double checked all the ribbon cables (harddisk and optical drive are from an older version of 17" powerbook. I also zapped PRAM,NVRAM,PMU and so on. Ambient sensor is working correctly.

    I haven't done a fresh install so far because of the optical drive not working. My SO is Leopard 10.5.8 with all system updates.

    What can I do?
    Thanks so much & have a nice day!
     
  2. macrumors G3

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ USA
    #2
    Hmmm…you said you checked all the cables? Does that include the ribbon cable for the trackpad/keyboard?

    It's a thin cable on this model and you have to make sure it's securely inserted. Sometimes, it helps to pull it out, wipe it off with a rag (a clean rag) and then slip it back in.

    As to the superdrive. You've tried more than one disk? You state that the hard disk and optical ribbons are from a different model. In the case of the optical drive this may be a problem. The last models are DLSDs (Dual Layer Super Drive). They are the only 17" models that have Dual Layer DVD drives so an older cable may be incompatible. I'd try to find one on eBay or somewhere for that model. The hard disk cable should not matter so much.

    As to the airport card, it could be that you either do not have one or that it's not seated. You'd have to open it up to find out. Make sure it's seated correctly and if it still doesn't work the airport card is probably bad.

    Good price on the PowerBook. I paid $252 for mine, but that was way back in 2010. I have both the first model (17" 1Ghz, which I am typing this on) and the last model (which you have). I always wanted the 17" model when it came out and I'm so lucky I ended up with two of them!
     
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    #3
    Thanks for the reply!
    Well yes, I've checked all the cable. The strangest thing that make me thinking is that the keyboard's backlight is working properly!
    If the keyboard/trackpad will work I will also buy a new cable for the SuperDrive!
    I haven't got the audio cable that connect the sound card to the logic board. Does this affect the whole logic board?
    Are there any magic tricks to get it working?

    Thanks
    And sorry for my English, hope you'll understand! :)
     
  4. macrumors G3

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ USA
    #4
    Missing the sound cable would not affect anything other than sound. You should still be able to get sound by plugging headphones or external speakers. The cable (at least for my 17" 1Ghz Mac) goes for about $20.

    The trackpad/keyboard cable may be bad, which would mean replacing the top deck. Or you could try replacing just the keyboard and trackpad. If you can, I'd try getting the OS reinstalled first before you think about that. I had some issues initially with the keyboard/trackpad on my 1Ghz Mac that were solved by a reinstall of Leopard at a certain point. My main problem when I got that Mac was that I transferred the system from an older Mac to this one and thus all the pieces weren't there. Upgrading to Leopard installed the missing pieces.

    I suppose it might also be possible that the optical drive cable could be affecting things since its the wrong cable. No idea about that, but I've seen wierder things. Get the new optical drive cable (the correct one) and see what happens.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    #5
    Since the keyboard share the same cable with the trackpad, can I plug in only the keyboard?maybe a bad trackpad is affecting a good keyboard?
     
  6. macrumors G3

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ USA
    #6
    No idea. You'd have to disassemble the top case for that though. Might as well replace either the top case or the keyboard/trackpad if you ware going to do that.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    #7
    Oh no ...
    Found a black area where the top case seat (on the logic board). Two fuses are completely melted.
    Ok, time to sell this PB for parts! Thanks anyway for the help!

    Have a nice day!
     
  8. macrumors 65816

    Lil Chillbil

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #8
    Wait, Post pictures of the melted fuses with todays date written on a piece of paper in the Photo :cool:
     
  9. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    #9
    Sorry, I don't understand. Why? :)
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    Lil Chillbil

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #10
    Its just a macrumors tradtion called "pics or it didn't happen" started by Zen.State in early 2012
     
  11. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2012
    #11
    Sounds like a logic board failure.....
     
  12. macrumors 68000

    MisterKeeks

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2012
    #12
    Did you even read the rest of the thread? The issue has been identified.
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    rjcalifornia

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    Location:
    El Salvador
    #13
    Also a meme from a very bad site...
     
  14. macrumors 65816

    Lil Chillbil

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #14
    So obiously it didn't happen is my conclusion, haters start your hating in 3, 2 ,1 :rolleyes:
     

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