12" PowerBook G4 1.5GHz, won't run unless plugged in with new battery + other probs

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by silenceforus, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. silenceforus macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2009
    So my neighbor gave me this powerbook. Its a 12", aluminum G4, 1.5GHz, 1.25GB of RAM, and the stock 80GB HDD. I took it without question, free apple, whos gonna complain?

    I checked the battery button, three lights. Tried to power it up and nothing. Not even a whir of a fan. So I plug it in, the light goes green on the charger port, and I power it up. boots up, and tells me the time is set before 2001.

    Problem A: PowerBook is not getting power from the battery

    I check that the book is charging, and sure enough, it was at like 36% and charging. Went all the way up to like 80 before

    Problem B: Hard Drive not functioning properly

    The thing shut off without warning. I immediately power it back up, just to get the grey screen and no apple symbol. Sat there for a solid 10 minutes before I shut it back down. Tried booting it into single user mode, everything. Then I booted up the OSX disc that she gave me, and it booted into the disc!

    I tried repairing the drive, no dice. It doesnt show up in the devices! Not even a bit, only the CD drive showed up.

    So I turn it off and give up after a while. Power it back on later and it starts loading OSX! So I shut it off quickly, power it up and boot into the CD, and load the disk utility. It shows the drive! So I try repairing, and it starts and stops after a little bit saying cannot unmount the drive. Tried verifying it, and nothing. Reboot it, and it wont load OSX. Grey screen again

    So I figure it like this. the HDD is toast after the years of use, and so is the battery.

    I've got a 320GB HDD on its way. I ordered a battery as well.

    However I hear from my neighbor that the battery was replaced like 2 weeks ago. Apparently she sent it in for a replacement since it used to have one of the recall batteries in it! So this battery is supposedly new from Apple themselves.

    So do I have an issue of the motherboard not receiving the battery power? Is it still likely the battery is just crap and apple sent a bad battery?

    Or is it something on the mainboard?

    Any advice or input is helpful. I've tried resetting the PRAM with no help, it doesn't do anything.
  2. silenceforus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2009
    Just a bump for the morning crowd. I'm really hoping on such an active forum ill get some answer!
  3. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
  4. Hrududu macrumors 68020


    Jul 25, 2008
    Central US
    Resetting the PRAM isn't going to do anything for a power issue. What you should try is resetting the PMU. Turn the Powerbook off and 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. Wait 5 seconds. Press the Power button to restart the computer.
  5. silenceforus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2009
    I did this as well. Saw it on the apple site, didn't work! ifixit.com suggested the battery. so well see about that.

    So am i o the right track with this HDD and battery thing?
  6. firewater macrumors regular

    May 22, 2009
    San Francisco, CA
    Apple has a flat rate fee for older Macs that are within 5 years old. They will fix everything wrong with your mac for around $300 plus tax.

    My bother in- law just had his powerbookG4 brought back to life after they replace the logic board, the clip that closes the the laptop and also replace bottom case and somehow got a new battery.:)

    So just ask your local Apple Mac Genius, Good Luck because thats really is a sweet deal and I would take it away in heart beat. If you wanna sell it let me know:)
  7. DavidG328 macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2009
    Portland, OR
    For the battery issue, mine did the exact same thing, it was a crap battery. If she really did replace it 2 weeks ago, see if she can take it back, or if you can.
  8. silenceforus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2009
    Well, the battery has already been ordered so we'll see when it gets here, hopefully tuesday or weds.

    I thought about the apple flat rate fee, but at that point I might have just bought a PB from ebay or something. I don't much believe in paying someone to do work I can do myself, I've only got 130 into the battery and 320GB HDD soo if this doesnt work and its the logic board, I'll resell the battery and HDD and send it into the applecare or something

    I wonder how much I could get for it once its fixed, if it does turn out to be the battery and HDD and I've got the 320 gig in there with tiger or leopard and the 1.25 gigs of ram... Hmmmmm might be worth it to resell and invest a bit more for a new mac.
  9. firewater macrumors regular

    May 22, 2009
    San Francisco, CA

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