Clamshell iBook is dead, no power, nothing...HELP!!!

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Chesterton, Jan 19, 2004.

  1. Chesterton macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2004
    I recently forked out $500 for a 366 Indigo Clamshell iBook (revision C model). It has a 20 gig hard drive and 320 ram. The person I bought it from was the original owner and had no problems with the iBook. It took 6.5 days to arrive in the mail. During that time it was obviously unplugged and the battery probably ran out of juice. When I opened the box (it came with all original packaging), pulled out the shiny blue and white iBook, flipped open the lid, plugged it in, pushed the power button in, and discovered the horror as absolutely nothing happened!
    I have had it for a couple of days and I can say that I am baffled. I have a few theories though as why this is. What I'm looking for is some help from someone that may know more about these computers than I.
    I have read from "Accelerate Your Mac" (a website) that all iBooks have NO external battery. So my question was, "what is an external battery mean?" I concluded that it means that there isn't a battery like found in Powerbooks (as a Wallstreet or Pismo) that can slide in and out with ease for portable use. To say it has no external battery means that the battery it does have in not external, right? The Clamshell has a battery, that I know, but it must me an internal battery. Certainly, the battery is not exactly made to be slid in and out as in the PowerBook. I mean you have to unscrew a panel then pull out this mamouth sized battery from its snug little home. So the battery then must be external, ok. Now, if it is external, and it is completely dead, then the machine will never boot up, right? For example, if I were to take out the battery of say my iMac G3, it would never boot up (I know because I had a power failure with an iMac and a bad battery can be the reason for it).
    Let me give some info that the previous owner gave me about the battery. He said that the battery was only holding a charge for an hour at best. Of course, this is when the system was running. Originally, the iBook Clamshell battery would hold a 6hr charge, far from the mere 1- hour charge.
    I have read about the battery in Clamshells (particularily my Firewire iBook model). It seems that these batteries have a micro-chip that regulates the battery and allows it to interface with the computer and adaptor. If the battery reaches very low levels of holding charges, this chip can render the battery useless (so I have read). Also, allowing the battery to fully discharge can greatly harm the batteries life (not so in the 1998 edition Clamshell, it had its own battery problems). Even new batteries can be no good if left inactive for 9-months. However, my battery is about 3.5 years old now and it is not surprising that it has reached the end of its life. The battery holds 500 cycles, which is about the duration of time my iBook has been functioning with the battery.
    All of the jargon depends on the fact that the Clamshell must have a fully working battery (capable of holding charges and such) to power up. I have seen one owner of a Clamshell say that you cannot turn the computer on without a battery inside. I hope this is true. It seems though it would (as I illustrated earlier by using my iMac as an example) be true. However, I would like some confirmation before I fork over some $100 for a new battery. Has anyone had experience with this?
    Finally, I read that PRAM memory (that which regulates the date and time in the computer) can greatly affect the performance of a Clamshell. The earlier editions of the Clamshell iBook (the Tangerine, Blueberry etc) had a Nic battery and the PRAM screwed the whole machine up. This is because there isn't another battery that functions as the PRAM. The battery inside, the only battery inside, functions as the PRAM. I read that if you exchange the battery with another one that the date and time will be saved by a small chip inside the computer for only 20 seconds. This just confirms for me that the Clamshell has only one battery, and internal battery, that does quite a bit to get the iBook running.
    Currently, I'm working hard to find an answer for this computer's slumber (as I like to call it). If it has run, as the owner has confirmed, without malfunction or anything out of the norm, then it must be what occurred during shipping (i.e. the battery discharging). The owner had it powered up 15 minutes before he packaged it up without problem.
    He did recently inform me that he did take out the Airport card inside before shipping, but that the computer worked fine after that.
    Any help is greatly apppreciated! I am working on this iBook for a friend who needs it for school. I want to get a new battery, but I'm not 100% sure that it is the cure. Gather together my Mac comrades and help me revive this beautiful Indigo iBook!
  2. Spock macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2002
    The iBook will run just fine with the internal battery removed. I need some detail on what You have tryed to do to Your iBook. First, have You tried pressing the hard resset on the front of the Keyboard? Is their anything in th power plug that would couse the power plug to make a bad connection? How well do You know the person that sold You the iBook? Is the power cord good have You tried running without the battery? is the power light amber or green or nothing? I need more tech info
  3. Chesterton thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2004

    To answer your questions: (1) I tried pressing the hard reset button on the front of the keyboard. (2) I checked the adaptor and outlets. I have used four adaptors on the iBook (three were 45W Apple Yo-Yo Adaptors--one came from a TiBook G4 and the other from the Clamshell itself and the other from Apple as a replacement for a recalled Powerbook adaptor--and one was a Wallstreet G3 Adaptor). (3) I bought this computer off of eBay from a member with a 100% feedback rating. He has communicated with me very frequently about the computer. (4) I have tried powering-up without the battery, but no luck there (5)There is no light, whether amber, green or anything--and no chimes that indicate start up.

    The previous owner informed me that he pulled his Airport card right before shipment. He seemed to think that doing this could have created the conditions for the shutdown. I checked the Airport slot, and even installed by own, but still no power.

    I would like to test a full-charged battery out on the Clamshell to see if it affects it in any way. If it still did not start at least I would know that some other reason exists for the slumbering iBook (which you may call dead).

    I have put my ear up to the 3 adaptors while they were plugged in the iBook only to hear a faint clicking sound, but I have been told that it is nothing to be worried about. My Wallstreet used one of the Yo-Yo Adaptors before a friend of mine broke a solder joint on the AC input.

    Has this been helpful? Is there any more information you need? Thanks for your questions. I really need this computer up and running. Thanks again.
  4. tubhost macrumors newbie

    Aug 30, 2004
    San Francisco
    same trouble...

    I'm having the same trouble with a Pismo PowerBook G3 right now. Did you ever resolve the issue?

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