Almost got my free Powerbook running...just one more thing.

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Shademaster, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. Shademaster macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2009
    Coolest thing ever happened last week. A mate of mine dropped his old Powerbook G4 1.6ghz hires wih 2gb ram from the stairs and thought he completely broke it. Since he deemed it too old and broken for his coolness he decided to give it to me :D .

    The frame has only some slight visible damage and there is a slight twist in the body. The screen has about 5 vertical colored lines that are not annoying fortunately. The HD also broke.

    So I decided to fix this thing myself since it would get me an awesome machine for office/entertainment uses. I ordered a fresh IDE HD, put it in and right of the bat a lot of things didn't function:

    -The Keyboard backlight
    -The Keyboard
    -The Trackpad
    -Weird stability issues, after 5 minutes or sometimes immediately at boot the HD would 'fail' or disconnect.

    So I fixed the keyboard and trackpad issues by reinserting all the small connectors that somehow got unhinged in the Crash.

    My only problem now is that if I want to put the machine back together a lot of weird issues arise. The computer will start to infinite beachball after 5 minutes or so and it will not boot at all if you restart it.

    Only thing that works is leaving the entire keyboard unscrewed to the body and leaving it slightly loose. This means it got some room underneath the keyboard and this seems to solve all the weird problems.

    So now I got a very zippy, hardly damaged at all, excellently working Powerbook G4 that want's to keep the keyboard off lol!

    Does anyone know what this might be? I tried pressing it into the body very gently, as soon as I reach the slot drive/HD region OSX starts beachballing.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. OzyOly macrumors 6502a

    Jun 3, 2009
    Melbourne, AU
    Make sure the IDE controller isn't lose/shorting. It sounds like an I/O error.

    Edit - and kudos for not giving up on it. :)
  3. Shademaster thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2009
    Thanks! I disconnected the IDE controller multiple times because I thought that too. Will have to check the cable for breaks or something.

    I hate giving up on otherwise perfectly functional stuff :) . It is quite unbelievable, this thing is from like 2001/2002? And it is still working like a charm! :eek:
  4. segers909 macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2009
    You can plug in a USB drive / external hard drive and install OS X on it. Then see if it gives you the same problem :)

    EDIT: Sorry, i forgot macs before intel switch can't boot from usb. You can try this tough: boot powerpc macs from usb

    EDIT 2: Or you can boot from a FireWire drive if you've got that :)
  5. Shademaster thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2009
    Thanks for pointing that out! Will have to try that on monday at the office. I have some firewire drives up there.

    I think I am going to peek under the logic board to see if there is any bodypart sticking up too much or something.

    I am sooo close!
  6. GeekOFComedy macrumors 6502a

    Sep 29, 2008
    It really sounds like a connector issue. Do as suggested boot from firewire drive. Sounds awesome a free computer from only 2005-2006
  7. Shademaster thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2009
    Yea my thoughts exactly! I'll try and see what I can do with the connector issue. It has been running very stable for 2 days now.
  8. matthemercyless macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2006
    Hull, UK
    Check the SMART status of the HDD too. I had a similar problem with an old PowerBook that would hang after a few minutes of use. The HDD died a few days later. RIP baby.
  9. Shademaster thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2009
    Yeessss! It's fully operational and closed right now.

    I found out the frame was slightly twisted and when the keyboard is pressed into the body it makes contact with some parts of the logic board. I isolated the keyboard with some standard tape and now the problem is gone :) .

    It is running very stable and I am very happy with it!

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