G4 PowerBook Dying :'(

mmfphotodude

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Original poster
Dec 24, 2009
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Toronto
My lovely Titanium is dying. The case is cracking apart. and the FW port isnt working properly. The DVD drive has seized, the bottom casing is falling off. the battery is dead and no longer holding a charge, and also the display is fading and flickering badly.

Im saving for a new one, but any tips on how to get this one to last a little longer? I need it badly for school.

Thanks,
-MMF
 

neutrino23

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Feb 14, 2003
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SF Bay area
Sorry to hear that.

Suggestions:
Move it as little as possible. Possibly the screen problems are cable related. The more you flex the cable the sooner it will fail entirely.

Prepare an external monitor and keyboard and mouse. Using this setup you won't have to touch the computer at all. At this point the less you disturb it the better.

Good luck.
 

MacTech68

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Mar 16, 2008
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If you see a crack from the top of the headphone socket to the top case, then your left clutch (the hinge that the display moves on) is seizing up.

This particular problem was very common and Apple would often replace the entire display on a case by case basis (if you were the original owner), free of charge.

There are vendors who sell replacement clutch assemblies but because the display housing is "glued" together, it requires some force to take it apart and can result in bending the display housing parts.

I'd certainly recommend neutrino23's suggestion of using it as a static machine as much as possible.

Take great care if you need to open and close the display. A method that may work is applying a very small amount of lubricant to the left clutch. However, too much will cause the display to not stay open by itself (the primary function of the clutch is to support the weight of the display so it will stay open whilst only needing a small amount of force to move (close) it).
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trichomes
 
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mmfphotodude

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Dec 24, 2009
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Toronto
its actually not the famous hinge issue. the front near where the latch and where the latch is is cracking. the hinge is the one thing that has always been ok. amazingly.

Prepare an external monitor and keyboard and mouse. Using this setup you won't have to touch the computer at all. At this point the less you disturb it the better.
I Have a monitor hooked up to the machine when its on my desk, but the one thing i cant help is when i need to take it to school. Im hoping that i can eak it out till the summer, so i can save enough to replace the PB. But any suggestions until then are highly appreciated.

It also is having some heat issues, how would i go about replacing the thermal grease on the cpu? I am comfortable taking it apart. Or should i go about replacing the feet in some way. Would felt or a shim work if i put it on? Possibly even raise the back?

Hm...

Thanks,
Morgan

I will add some pictures if they will help later on today.
 

California

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Aug 21, 2004
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You just need a new palmrest.

It is really not that hard to take apart the Titanium Powerbooks.

You also just need a new dvd drive. Your problem, if you have the original release of the Tibook, which I think you do, is that you need a weird adapter inside the case to update your DVD drive to a modern dvdcd burner superdrive.

Find a good, non cracked palmrest on ebay and install.

Watch out for your battery going dead, though, it affects the dc in board and once those boards on the first gen Tibooks blow, you've blown your whole logic board.
 

mmfphotodude

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Dec 24, 2009
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Watch out for your battery going dead, though, it affects the dc in board and once those boards on the first gen Tibooks blow, you've blown your whole logic board.


Howso?

Hm. Any ideas where to get this adapter?. New palmrest ok, is there any differences in them throughout the tiBook series?

Morgan
 

California

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Aug 21, 2004
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I know the adapter is kind of hard to find, though by now, there HAS to be some work around. Start googling for the differences between the first gen Tibooks and later ones.

You need either a 400mhz or 500mhz "Mercury" (I THINK, look it up) revision Titanium Powerbook topcase/palmrest.

I think it was called "Mercury". Then i thnk the next revisions were called "Gigabit Ethernet" Then I think the final revisions were called "DVI"

The dc in current needs to be very stable and somehow the battery going dead affects how the dc in comes in. Happens on a lot of G4 laptops including my current ibook G4.

Google until you get your answers, but you need a pata superdrive or even a combo drive, the adapter or figure out a work around and a topcase.

The cases on the Tibooks were notorious for falling apart, so make sure you are getting a clean case.
 

mmfphotodude

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Dec 24, 2009
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So if i replace the battery and the case, i can replace the DVD drive later on. SHould i make the battery my main priority? The battery still charges but only lasts 10 mins. If that.

Morgan

PS: @Calif How do you have 5gB OF RAM?
 

MacHamster68

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Sep 17, 2009
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i think a new dvd drive will cost you more then the whole thing is worth in that condition , so best look ebay if you can find a similar tibook which is also broken but where the parts you need are still functional , then make out of two broken ones one good one ,
otherwise get some ducktape to hold it together
 

mmfphotodude

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Dec 24, 2009
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sounds like an idea. now the firewire port isnt working. i think its not atleast. My EXTERNAL wont connect, but its cable is known flaky, and my iPod will only take power through it, but its cable is frayed. have to wait till the end of the week to figure it out for sure. D;

Morgan

Downloading ASD for it. going to run it and see what the results are. I may just leave it without a DVD drive, and replace the battery. And eak it out till the summer. topcasing possibly too. but if Firewire is indeed gone, its pretty much useless to me.

Morgan
 

MacTech68

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Mar 16, 2008
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If the display is already flickering, taking it apart to replace the top-case may render the display un-usable.

The early DVD drives were pretty bad after a few years use, I hardly ever saw one that was working.

You might want to try a PMU & NVRAM reset to see if that gets the FireWire port going again, AFTER leaving the machine to cool for a few hours. There's a self resetting fuse that needs to cool to reset, IIRC. Also, if the Firewire port and cable connectors are dirty/dusty that can sometimes prevent the drive from mounting. Try a 1" paint brush or similar to clean them out.

IIRC the later Ti PBs had a batch of logic boards without static discharge on the Firewire port that caused many a failed Firewire port, but yours may just be bad luck.

Considering the cost of a late model iBook G4, I'd try to spend as little as possible on this beast. Too many issues to mention.

Good luck!

EDIT: if you can get the bottom case off (fairly easy), check that the display cable (LVDS) is plugged in fully. There should also be some orange tape under the cable were it meets the connector to prevent the metal housing of the plug from shorting the logic board.

Google

pbg4ti.pdf

for some help.
________
Ford Popular
 
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mmfphotodude

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Original poster
Dec 24, 2009
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Toronto
If the display is already flickering, taking it apart to replace the top-case may render the display un-usable.

The early DVD drives were pretty bad after a few years use, I hardly ever saw one that was working.
Mine worked until recently

You might want to try a PMU & NVRAM reset to see if that gets the FireWire port going again, AFTER leaving the machine to cool for a few hours. There's a self resetting fuse that needs to cool to reset, IIRC. Also, if the Firewire port and cable connectors are dirty/dusty that can sometimes prevent the drive from mounting. Try a 1" paint brush or similar to clean them out.
DIdnt work, i think i have bad cables. as they wont connect to my PC now either.

IIRC the later Ti PBs had a batch of logic boards without static discharge on the Firewire port that caused many a failed Firewire port, but yours may just be bad luck.

Considering the cost of a late model iBook G4, I'd try to spend as little as possible on this beast. Too many issues to mention.
I Have a friend willing to sell me a 1.42ghz 12 inch 80gb hdd 768mb ram for 200 bucks, is that good?

Good luck!
THANKS!
EDIT: if you can get the bottom case off (fairly easy), check that the display cable (LVDS) is plugged in fully. There should also be some orange tape under the cable were it meets the connector to prevent the metal housing of the plug from shorting the logic board.

Google

pbg4ti.pdf

for some help.
The tape was missing... THE DISPLAY IS FINE AGAIN! I put a piece of paper under it and wrapped it around. MANY MANY THANKS!


Maybe i can get this to keep going for a little longer, until i buy that iBook. He is gonna hold onto it for me atleast until september.

Morgan
 

MacTech68

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Mar 16, 2008
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I Have a friend willing to sell me a 1.42ghz 12 inch 80gb hdd 768mb ram for 200 bucks, is that good?

The tape was missing... THE DISPLAY IS FINE AGAIN! I put a piece of paper under it and wrapped it around. MANY MANY THANKS!

Maybe i can get this to keep going for a little longer, until i buy that iBook. He is gonna hold onto it for me atleast until september.

Morgan
Glad to see the display is working (for now). Be real careful with that LVDS cable. The wires are single strand (on early revisions) and don't stand up to much angled movement.

The iBook sounds odd. The fastest 12" Apple made was a 1.33Ghz and 1.42Ghz in 14" (the machine I use). The logic board was a re-design without the large AirPort Extreme card under the keyboard, a scrolling trackpad, sudden motion sensor and bluetooth.

Here in AU, they (iBook) go for around AUD$400+ so that's about CD$373. Sounds good for CD$200, just make sure you know what DOESN'T work on it before you buy.

If you can get the serial number of it, plug it into here to find out which series it really is.

Flash video is still a pain with a 1.42Ghz G4, but you'll get USB 2.0, Airport and Bluetooth as a bonus over what you have now, plus the speed of course.
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BMW M12 specifications
 
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mmfphotodude

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Dec 24, 2009
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Toronto
its a 1.33 i just checked it. Im at his house for the march break. Brilliant condition. Works great. Yeah teh tibook is ok atm. Im posting this from the iBook, ive used it many times before, its 100% Perfect.

-Morgan

Flash a pain? Most Flash things work fine on the tiBook under 10.4.11 with Opera 10

-MMF
 

California

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Aug 21, 2004
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OP:

If you can jerryrig a solution to the dvd player, like I said google around, you can have my very good condition combo drive (cdrw/dvd player) for 12 bucks.

You need to make sure you have feet on the tibook.

Apple explained to me the day after I bought my first one a 400mhz Tibook like yours, that it is designed to have airflow under the bottom case.

Elevate it with any kind of bumpers or anything, just don't let it sit directly on the table, it will not dissapate heat.

After you baby it along, grab your friends ibook. I'm running the same one now. Best iBook made, but you will suffer some screen size loss.
 

MacTech68

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Mar 16, 2008
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I get by with SD, although i can play 720P Xvids. Just have to streamline your system a bit.
Yes, here too with DivX. But Flash video on Youtube is jerky occassionally. I wish Adobe would pull their finger out. Flash video performance even upsets those with Intel CPUs running MacOS.

EDIT: back on topic, I agree with California's advice. Stick some rubber bumbers under the Powerbook in the corners to get good air-flow under the machine.

Also, looking at the pics, if you can push that topcase back to flatten it, then the display should latch. The latch itself is attracted by a magnet in the top case and should flip out when about to close. If the cracked part won't stay together, you MIGHT be able to (space permitting) glue a flat piece of plastic on the UNDERSIDE, like a bandage across the crack. ALWAYS use minimal glue. Don't squeeze out a whole tube of super-glue!!!! :eek:

Oh, and take the bottom case off, and with a small amount of super-glue, glue the plastic on the bottom case part around the edges back down (you may need to rig some weight on the plastic to hold it against the metal) and allow a few hours to cure before putting the bottom case back on. Remember to position the bottom case back a few millimeters and slide forward and down to latch into position.

Sheesh... memories of rebuilding Ti PBs come flooding back. *Shudder*
________
genetically modified food
 
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mmfphotodude

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Original poster
Dec 24, 2009
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Toronto
I dont use VLC i use Quicktime. I may look into fixing the DVD drive, i happen to have a slotloading Superdrive. hmm that has me thinking... im probably going to duct tape the cracked piece back together.

Morgan
 

steve2112

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Feb 20, 2009
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East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
Sadly, my trusty 17" Powerbook 1.67 may be dying. The hard drive is grinding a bit, and I keep getting the "Updating boot caches" message every time I shutdown. I also seem to be trying to kill it. I had it sitting on the coffee table the other day with the screen up. As I was standing up from the couch, my TV remote went sailing out of my hand and flew right into the screen. I now have have a gash about 1/2" in the upper left hand part of my display. My beautiful display, damaged! NOOOOOOO!
 

California

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Aug 21, 2004
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Just carefully snap the casing back together, and then glue it. Back in the day, some company actually made a product called TiPaint to fix up the sides of cracking Tibooks. If you can find that paint, good luck.

Don't glue the bottom case to the topcase. You will never get it apart again. If it is not closed down properly, it is because there are some tabs inside that aren't aligning.

You may go nuts as I did trying to figure out the superdrive fix on those, it comes down to a yellow connector. I think, but I am not sure, a DVI tibook connector might work but I have no idea anymore. Call Gary at Daystar if you are really confused. If you still want to keep the tibook, you should also upgrade the hard drive. even if you get a new computer down the line, you can always swap back your old drive.

oops I see you did upgrade the hard drive. Good for you. Just back it up. You should also bump it up to 1 gig. I would sell you my 512mb chip but it is in a Pismo PB G3, needed.

Also, disable Dashboard for cpu power if you are running Tiger.
 

MacTech68

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Mar 16, 2008
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Don't glue the bottom case to the topcase. You will never get it apart again. If it is not closed down properly, it is because there are some tabs inside that aren't aligning.
To be clear, I wasn't suggesting gluing the top case to the bottom case. Around the edge of the metal bottom case, is a plastic frame that comes away from the metal. This is what I was suggesting be glued back together. When these two pieces come apart, the plastic latches onto the top case per design, but the metal partially hangs down, exposing the plastic frame giving the appearance that it's not properly latched together.
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Ford Motor Company of Canada picture
 
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California

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Aug 21, 2004
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To be clear, I wasn't suggesting gluing the top case to the bottom case. Around the edge of the metal bottom case, is a plastic frame that comes away from the metal. This is what I was suggesting be glued back together. When these two pieces come apart, the plastic latches onto the top case per design, but the metal partially hangs down, exposing the plastic frame giving the appearance that it's not properly latched together.
Yes, I see what you were saying. Vague recollection of that plastic frame thing. Sounds good.
 

MacTech68

macrumors 68020
Mar 16, 2008
2,185
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Australia, Perth
Sadly, my trusty 17" Powerbook 1.67 may be dying. The hard drive is grinding a bit, and I keep getting the "Updating boot caches" message every time I shutdown. I also seem to be trying to kill it. I had it sitting on the coffee table the other day with the screen up. As I was standing up from the couch, my TV remote went sailing out of my hand and flew right into the screen. I now have have a gash about 1/2" in the upper left hand part of my display. My beautiful display, damaged! NOOOOOOO!
This "Updating Boot Cache" is cropping up a lot with Leopard and Snow Leopard.

It seems that this is Apple's way of telling users that the Kernel Extension Cache is being updated instead of the previous "long wait" with a spinning chevron at startup. It now does this on shutdown so that the next startup is speedier.

All I can suggest (since I haven't seen a definitive fix yet) is to delete the kernel extensions caches (previously called Extensions.kextcache and Extensions.mkext in /System/Library/) though I suspect this may have changed with 10.5 and later.

You might also want to ensure you have a current backup, and if your HD is fairly full, clear some space and also check for third party extensions that may not yet be Leopard/Snow Leopard compatible.

If you dismiss the dialog, you must then allow it to continue the update until it shuts down by itself.
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FT500
 
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steve2112

macrumors 68040
Feb 20, 2009
3,023
6
East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
This "Updating Boot Cache" is cropping up a lot with Leopard and Snow Leopard.

It seems that this is Apple's way of telling users that the Kernel Extension Cache is being updated instead of the previous "long wait" with a spinning chevron at startup. It now does this on shutdown so that the next startup is speedier.

All I can suggest (since I haven't seen a definitive fix yet) is to delete the kernel extensions caches (previously called Extensions.kextcache and Extensions.mkext in /System/Library/) though I suspect this may have changed with 10.5 and later.

You might also want to ensure you have a current backup, and if your HD is fairly full, clear some space and also check for third party extensions that may not yet be Leopard/Snow Leopard compatible.

If you dismiss the dialog, you must then allow it to continue the update until it shuts down by itself.
Yeah, I have seen all kinds of stuff mentioned in various searches, but I haven't found a true fix. I did do an archive and install when I upgraded, so there may be some remnants from Tiger hanging around. I'm tempted to just wipe it completely and start over. It's basically become a giant netbook, since all I ever use it for is surfing in the living room.