Reviving a Rev.A Tangerine iBook

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Hemingray, Sep 20, 2004.

  1. Hemingray macrumors 68030

    Hemingray

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ha ha haaa!
    #1
    Well folks, my dad decided to enter the digital camera age, and so I traded my Kodak DX3500 2.1MP camera for his Rev.A tangerine iBook. Now, for the catch:

    - Some important keys don't work on the keyboard.
    - RAM is the base 32MB.
    - Hard drive has tons of bad blocks and catches often.
    - Both original and replacement batteries are completely dead.

    So, I did a little eBay diving and added 256MBs of RAM, replace the keyboard, and switch out the original 3GB hard drive for a 40GB 5400RPM.

    Now, I've replaced the RAM inside a Rev.A iMac before, and I thought /that/ was involved... no way. Has anyone seen the steps it takes to get to the original clamshell iBook's hard drive? :eek: (Link)

    Wish me luck! I'm excited to finally have an Apple laptop (albeit a fairly old-school one). I weighed the advantages of just buying a working clamshell off of eBay, but I definitely think I saved a few bucks by fixing it up myself, and the experience will be worth it too. Any other clamshellers out there who want to chime in, please do. :)

    Update: Well, as much fun as I had upgrading this iBook, I'm going to sell it now. See post below for more info.
     
  2. Hemingray thread starter macrumors 68030

    Hemingray

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ha ha haaa!
    #2
    Wow, what a popular thread this is. :p No other clamshell iBook'ers out there who've upgraded their machines, huh? Okay.

    Well, here's an update. Got my replacement keyboard yesterday, and it works beautifully! Okay, so the key highlights are graphite, not tangerine, but I saved over $100 by buying it through eBay, so pickers can't be choosers. I'm just grateful to be able to use the option and arrow keys again! :eek:

    RAM and hard drives are on their way. I'm also trying to revive my dead iBook battery(ies). There's only a few sparse web pages I found that deal with this. One hopeful report said that after resetting the PMU, booting into OF and entering "reset-nvram" and "reset-all" resurrected his dead-for-several-year clamshell iBook battery! So I tried it, we'll see if it has any effect.

    I'll keep posting as the project progresses, I'm sure all of you are on the edge of your seats. :rolleyes: ;)
     
  3. coconn06 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2003
    Location:
    King of Prussia, PA
    #3
    Is this project just for fun? Or do you planning on using the iBook as your primary machine?

    I'm asking because it will be pathetically slow. I currently use a 500 MHz iBook and, while very usable, constantly makes me want a new machine.

    If it's just a fun project, then I wish you the best of luck. Otherwise, just get a new Mac.
     
  4. jackieonasses macrumors 6502a

    jackieonasses

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Location:
    the great OKLAHOMA....
    #4
    i for one find that not true. i have both a G5 and a 450mhz cube. the cube (if you do it right) is just as fast as the g5 in like safari and mail and finder browsing. really. you will be completely thrilled with your new clamshell an i wish you the best of luck!

    p.s it is alot of fun to do that stuff isnt it?
     
  5. Hemingray thread starter macrumors 68030

    Hemingray

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ha ha haaa!
    #5
    Hey guys, thanks for your replies! :)

    No way is this gonna be my primary Mac. I know that even with the additional RAM and faster HD, MacOS X will be very slow on it at best. I've witnessed this first-hand on my mom's Rev.A iMac at home. This computer will mainly be used for occasional road trips. I have a collection that I have cataloged on my computer and this way, when I visit antique shops abroad, I have my entire collection at my fingertips. Plus, it'll be a place for me to download pictures from a digital camera. And, of course, access the internet abroad via bluetooth (with my BT dongle and Sony Ericsson T616, of course!)

    Believe me, if I had the money I would have just gotten a newer iBook and sold this sorry guy on eBay for parts. But my next major Apple purchase is going to be a PowerMac G5, so this is just a fun little project for me in the meantime (althouth I probably won't be saying "fun" when I actually get to replacing the HD...)
     
  6. coconn06 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2003
    Location:
    King of Prussia, PA
    #6
    I understand your point, but a 450MHz G4 is much faster, especially with OS X, than an old clamshell iBook. So you're comparing apples and oranges (no pun intended, though it works quite well :) ). I'm not even sure if the iBook would run OS X (though I imagine it would, because my 4 year old sage iMac does, albeit slowly).
     
  7. Hemingray thread starter macrumors 68030

    Hemingray

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ha ha haaa!
    #7
    It will, absolutely. It has built-in USB, and will have 128+ MBs of RAM.

    MacOS X System Requirements:
    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=106163
     
  8. 5300cs macrumors 68000

    5300cs

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    japan
    #8
    Yes, I've seen that page. I have a Rev. A blueberry iBook from which I'd like to replace the HD (noisy) but after seeing that page a few months ago, I dropped the idea.

    Good luck, and let us know how it turns out :)
     
  9. Hemingray thread starter macrumors 68030

    Hemingray

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ha ha haaa!
    #9
    Okay, got my RAM today. All the reports I read said that I would need the firmware update in order for the iBook to recognize the 256MB DIMM. And since, in the process of trying to revive the batteries, I did the Open Firmware "reset-all" and "reset-nvram" commands, I assumed that any previous firmware updates had been lost.

    So, I loaded in the 256MB chip, fired up the iBook, and lo and behold, it showed up just fine! No firmware updates, no messy problems that I had read so many reports about. I won't question it, I'll just be thankful it worked. :)

    Now, for the hard drive. It's due Monday and I've got my Torx size 8 all ready to go... bring it on! :D
     
  10. jestershinra macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2004
    #10
    Yea, I've replaced the HDD in one of those before, it's not impossible, but it's certainly no fun.

    Make sure you have some sort of recepticle to hold all the screws you'll need to remove- ideally, you want one vessel per level so they don't get confused.

    Also, one false move with a screwdriver will fry that logic board, so be very careful.
     
  11. evil_santa macrumors 6502a

    evil_santa

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #11
    Ive been running 10.3 on my 300mhz 3GB ibook, and it works just fine. The only limitation is the HD space. A full install of osx will fill the drive up. I had to remove the printer & language file to create some space for apps. Its not the fastest machine in the world but its just fine for internet & email. I would love a new ibook/powerbook but I can't justify the cost until this ibook dies or become unusable. The same with my G4 desktop.

    I recently had a problem with the keyboard, rows of keys would die, the strange thing was that it would change & lifting the keyboard out, all the keys would start working again. It turned out to be the bend in the ribbon cable, a bit of tape & changing where the cable bent fixed this!
     
  12. Hemingray thread starter macrumors 68030

    Hemingray

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ha ha haaa!
    #12
    SUCCESS!! :) My iBook now has a 40 gig 5400 RPM drive in it. It's smooth, it's silent, it's beautiful! It took me 1 hour 50 minutes. Not too shabby! The instructions were right on the ball.

    When I took out the old hard drive, it sounded like there were a few pieces loose inside! Definitely not a good sound. :eek: No wonder it wasn't working!

    A word of advice to anyone who may attempt this: keep the screws organized and labeled! This is absolutely essential to even have a prayer of getting it all back together again (see pic below and you'll see what I mean.) P.S. Thanks to jestershinra for the forewarning on this.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. rozwell macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    #13
    i installed a hard drive into a blue iBook once with no instructions. it was the biggest pain in the world, but i got it installed and i threw a stick of 512 ram in there and everything worked great. i even had 10.2 installed and it worked ok. i think it was a 366Mhz though, not the original 233Mhz? or was it 266? i dont know, which ever
     
  14. Hemingray thread starter macrumors 68030

    Hemingray

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ha ha haaa!
    #14
    Wow, how the heck did you know what order to take things out and which screws to take out when? :eek: That must have taken a lot of time!

    I thought about going with a 512 RAM upgrade, but I've read conflicting reports on whether it will register in the Rev.A iBooks. Even some 256MB chips weren't being recognized, so I was taking a chance even with that.

    Incidentally, the original is 300MHz. I've heard reports of a few people successfully overclocking to 400MHz, but I dunno if I'm ready to take that on just yet. ;)
     
  15. jackieonasses macrumors 6502a

    jackieonasses

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Location:
    the great OKLAHOMA....
    #15
    i would be very scared to see my display laying down like that!!!
     
  16. Hemingray thread starter macrumors 68030

    Hemingray

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ha ha haaa!
    #16

Share This Page