17in Powerbook G4 Mods and Upgrades?

Mac03ForLife

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Hello everyone!!

I just acquired a like new powerbook g4 17in through a local auction website, for only $30~

Is there anything I should be doing with it (cleaning, repaste, etc) before using it?
I do not know the specs as it has not been shipped yet, and the seller knows nothing about computers, let alone vintage macs
 
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Amethyst1

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Cleaning and reapplying thermal paste is definitely a good idea, especially if the CPU and/or GPU are running hot.

Apart from that, putting in 2 GB RAM (if necessary) and an mSATA SSD via an mSATA-to-IDE adapter are worthwhile upgrades; if you don't want to go the SSD route, I'd at least max out the RAM.
 

z970mp

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Congratulations, Mac03!

As it happens, I myself just secured a 15" DLSD for $25(!) on another local website. (Finally.) The price did not come without caveats however, and desperately needs TLC, inside and out. Here's hoping the screen works fine, as it's an untested unit.

The best I can think of is to make use of the CardBus slot built-in, maybe with some extra USB ports, or an SD card slot adapter card? Get a good battery too, and don't forget to clean the fan fins of caked dust when you're cleaning it up.
 
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Mac03ForLife

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Sounds great. I am looking to use this machine for word processing and RSL feed reading, as well as some VSCode if i can get it up and running, otherwise I'll use Eclipse Juno lmao.

Can anyone link me to the proper upgrades and such? Sorry I'm a noob with laptops
 

z970mp

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If you can, I'd wait until you know what model the unit is, so that way you won't make any mistakes when ordering parts and upgrades.

In the meantime, just clean it out and make sure it's functional. :)
 
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eyoungren

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If it's not broken - don't fix it! Just get it up and running - if it performs as you want it fine, if is doesn't then consider upgrades. Your first priority might be a battery if you want to use it on the go...but you may find the battery is ok?
I have to agree with this.

Having replaced three 17" logic boards I can testify that getting it out in order to re-paste the CPU/GPU can be a PITA.

It's worth it if you are actually replacing a logicboard or if the Mac is actually overheating to the point of thermal shutdown. But if it's working fine, I wouldn't.
[doublepost=1551998402][/doublepost]
Can anyone link me to the proper upgrades and such? Sorry I'm a noob with laptops
Other than RAM and a SATA drive, there's not really much in the way of upgrades.

If you get an A1013 (that's the 1.0Ghz model) than I'd get a PC card to have USB 2.0. Since the trackpad in the A1013 also uses the old ASB you're probably going to want to find iScroll 2 if you want trackpad gestures.

Anything newer than the A1013 will already have enhanced trackpad gestures and USB 2.0.

Lastly, all of the 17" models use Airport Extreme. So no 5GHz networks and no 802.11n. You get 802.11g max, unless you buy a USB wireless device.

PS. All 17" PowerBook G4 owners gain automatic entry to Club 17. Welcome and don't forget to post pics and specs in that thread! :D
 

z970mp

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While we're on the subject (and to keep this thread going until said machines arrive), what thermal paste does everyone use? I've got Arctic Silver 5, and it's served me pretty well throughout the years.

Also, how much paste do you all typically apply, and what materials do you prefer to use when all around cleaning and refurbishing a machine? Personally, I've found paper towels, Q-tips, and rubbing alcohol (and the occasional magic eraser) to be proven staples in my arsenal for this very purpose. Small flathead screwdrivers can also sometimes prove useful as well. :)
 
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eyoungren

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While we're on the subject (and to keep this thread going until said machines arrive), what thermal paste does everyone use? I've got Arctic Silver 5, and it's served me pretty well throughout the years.

Also, how much paste do you all typically apply, and what materials do you prefer to use when cleaning and refurbishing a machine? Personally, I've found paper towels, Q-tips, and rubbing alcohol (and the occasional magic eraser) to be proven staples in my arsenal for this very purpose. Small flathead screwdrivers can also sometimes prove useful as well. :)
AS5. If it's something I don't care about too much I'll use a generic paste though.

The instructions I read the first time I tried this were "use only enough paste in the center so that when the heat sink presses down it spreads out to evenly coat the chip but not run off the edge."

Too much and you can have the same effect as not enough.

I use the cleaning kit that Arctic Silver has. There's a chemical to clean and a second one to shine it up.

Also, those same instructions I found, said to use a lint-free cloth to clean the chip. But also, if you didn't have one you could use coffee filters. Apparently those are lint free. I have plenty of those so that's what I use. They work pretty good.
 
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Mac03ForLife

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Aite so I got a bit more info from the seller
It is a 17in Powerbook G4 (duh), and it apparently boots up normally but has some lines on the screen (no biggie, I've dealt with this before on my 15in 2008 MBP), and is missing the HDD (again, no issues, as I have tons of spares).

The seller used to be a huge mac geek back in the early 2000s and later 1980s-90s. He also has iMac G3 (the OG), and lots more vintage mac gear, including an almost brand new SE. (I might buy that one too!).

@eyoungren what would you recommend the best course of action would be to deal with the lines on the screen?
 

z970mp

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Uness you are very, very good with a soldering iron.
I envy people with skills such as those.

You could give the iBook G4's 512mb of soldered RAM to a PowerBook G4 12". You could swap soldered graphics chips between machines.

You could open yet another iPhone repair shop and launch a franchise among the hundreds of preexisting ones, and probably turn out a respectable profit too. ;)
 
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z970mp

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My machine came in yesterday. I cleaned up its housing and internals, replaced the feet, fixed the latch (the whole assembly was pushed very far inside), and upgraded everything (2GB RAM, 64GB SSD).

Of course, I forgot to buy a 65w adapter to turn the damn thing on. ...It came without a battery.

[doublepost=1552588626][/doublepost]So I had to order a 65w adapter, which was thankfully shipping from a very close location, so it should be here by Saturday.

All aboard the Klutztown express...
 
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z970mp

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Mine is a sitting duck. That adapter I ordered 2 days ago is still yet to arrive at any shipping facility, and only ever got as far as providing a tracking number. As for the battery, that's still set to arrive well within next week.

If yours comes with a battery, you'll at least be able to turn it on with either adapter, 45w or 65w.

So, I get to stare at a new DLSD until the stuff comes in, after the weekend, during the work week, which means any progress I'm looking at will be over a week away.

 
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Mac03ForLife

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awwww. that really sucks
Mine comes with a battery, charger, but no HDD
all for $30 too

The seller used to be some kind of technician so he said that there are some upgrades packed in specially for me as well. Im pretty hyped to see what he's hidden under the hood
 
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Mac03ForLife

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Update: arrived
Looks pretty good, missing all the screws though. I bought the wrong HDD for it unfortunately. Need to buy a SATA to IDE cable and all that
 

z970mp

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Update: arrived
Looks pretty good, missing all the screws though. I bought the wrong HDD for it unfortunately. Need to buy a SATA to IDE cable and all that
I need to buy a new IO board, keyboard/trackpad assembly, and optical drive.

Eventually, the display assembly needs to be replaced, as does the bottom shell and RAM.

You're not the only one heading to Repairtown. ;)
 

B S Magnet

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Okay, its picture time.View attachment 828210 View attachment 828211 View attachment 828212 View attachment 828213 View attachment 828214 View attachment 828215 View attachment 828217 View attachment 828218 View attachment 828219
[doublepost=1553527340][/doublepost]My buddy and I are tearing it down to clean it up and such. Here are the pics from that
Whew!

I've not yet summoned the courage to take apart this model. While I'm at home with the dismantling and rebuilding of the clamshell, or even the unibody MBP, I had a close look at the iFixit steps for taking apart the display assembly on the A1139 and I made a gentle whimper.
 

z970mp

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Okay, its picture time.View attachment 828210 View attachment 828211 View attachment 828212 View attachment 828213 View attachment 828214 View attachment 828215 View attachment 828217 View attachment 828218 View attachment 828219
[doublepost=1553527340][/doublepost]My buddy and I are tearing it down to clean it up and such. Here are the pics from that
Ho-lee crap. You really had that thing apart.

I just finished repasting mine, and slotting the logic board into and out of the DVI slot was impossible. I'm not even done, as it still needs a new IO board.

In any case, good job.