12" Powerbook G4 seems to reset itself

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Juggler9000, May 4, 2008.

  1. Juggler9000 macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2007
    I've got a 12" PB G4 1.5 with Leopard installed on it. I've almost never actually shut the computer down. I just close the lid and let it go to sleep. A few times recently, when I go to use it a couple days later, the battery is completely dead, as if it has stayed on the whole time. The time is reset to 1970, all passwords are forgotten, and it needs to reindex Spotlight.

    After I let it charge for a few minutes, I restart it and it seems to be back to normal, except for the reindexing needs to continue. I let it do this, then read up on some tips, and found the PMU reset.

    After resetting the PMU, it turned on exactly as it does when it has the problem: no passwords, wrong time, reindexes Spotlight.

    Any thoughts or advice? This only happens about once a week or so. The rest of the time, the computer runs great. It holds a charge and works as it always has. I'm not sure what to do at this point. Thanks.
  2. zen macrumors 68000


    Jun 26, 2003
    I have the same problem with my PowerBook G4 - as I understand it, it may mean that the internal battery has had it, or that the external battery has worn out.

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but the external battery keeps the internal one charged. The internal one powers something that stores stuff like the time and date while the computer is off or asleep.

    So if the internal battery is dead, you'll get this reset. If the external battery is dying, it won't keep the internal battery charged, so it will run down and you'll get the same problem.

    I think, anyway, I'm not an expert but I believe that is how it works and why you (and I) might be getting this time reset.

    The internal battery is obviously not user accessible, so it'll require a trip to Apple to replace.
  3. jocool5 macrumors member


    Dec 12, 2005

    I am under the same impression as you. I looked up the motherboard replacement on ifixit.com to see if it was a detachable component. I did not see it listed but in this picture http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/63/images_large/103.jpg I believe that the battery is mounted on the board. Near the on board ram (middle 4 chips yet another assumption).

    I would say this is a little tough but not imposable.

    Another form indicates that a new battery is the solution for the time and date issue, read on
  4. zen macrumors 68000


    Jun 26, 2003
    Actually yes, a new main battery IS the answer - turns out the 12" PowerBook doesn't have an internal battery, it has a capacitor which is charged by the main battery. The capacitor is enough to allow swapping of the battery, but if the main battery is dead or dying, the capacitor will discharge and the computer will reset all the time.

    So, a new battery it is!

    Thing is, my PowerBook had an official Apple replacement battery only 18 months ago, and it looks like it is dead already after only normal usage. I had heard that Apple batteries were lame, but that's pretty poor.

    Are third party batteries for the 12" PowerBook any better though?
  5. gikku macrumors regular


    Dec 29, 2006
    same, same, here. thanks for the info.

    PowerBook G4 12" battery replacement 18months ago.
    battery now struggles to survive 40mins and rather than sleeping or warning on low battery it just crashes and looses network and email passwords, date & time, etc.

    Been looking for info on the internal battery before replacing the main battery so news that a new main battery may fix is welcome. cheers :cool:

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