i need some help from someone who knows there powerbook g4

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by helios16v, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. helios16v macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2008
    i have an aluminum powerbook g4 DL-HR

    1.67ghz cpu, 1.5gb of ram, 128mb video ram, 80gb hard drive, with the 15" high resolution screen.

    paid $700 for it WITH shipping of of ebay and iv found a few things i dont like and i just wanted to know a few things about it.

    i use this laptop as both a home computer and on the go so when im at home i have it mirrored on my 24" lcd, keyboard and mouse, speakers all that crap.

    only problem is that i need to leave the screen open or it goes into standby mode, is there anyway at all i can make it so it stays on when i close the screen?

    second thing i find wrong with it would be leaving it on over night it heats up so hot it burns my hand when i touch it in the morning so i need to turn it off until its cool enough to put on my lap.

    3rd and final thing wrong with it is after its been on for too long and has gotten that hot when i do try to use it the internet(wifi) goes as slow or even slower the dial up and i have cable, also the keyboard light and sound stops working too.

    once its cooled down tho it works perfect.

    so to fix these problems i was brain storming and came up with few results that may work.

    for the screen i was thinking of taking it apart and removing whatever switch it is that tells it to go into standby so then it always thinks the screen is open.

    for the heat i could also put in new cpu paste because im sure its never been changed in the laptops life.

    and again for the heat if its possible maybe buying some better faster fans.

    i just want to know these things if they would help before i upgrade the ram and hard drive so i was thinking i could fix these problems im having with it while its open so i only need to take it apart once.

    thanks to everyone that helps:D
  2. dubhe macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2007
    Norwich, UK
    with a usb mouse + keyboard and screen attached your computer should sleep when closed, but then wake with a click of the mouse or keyboard like a desktop computer.

    If this doesn't work check your settings in System Prefs.

    Check macupgrades.co.uk for useful pictures of upgrading HDDs, I used it for my PB12.
  3. helios16v thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2008
    ok thanks, il try that, ran into another problem tho, my powerbook no longer boots off of the battery, its stuck on 58% battery life and it says NOT charging from battery so i checked the apple site and reset the pmu and that didnt work either so im stuck using it as a home computer now.

    it boots and works fine now with the ac adapter plugged in but when i unplug it it crashes and wont start on just the battery alone so i dont know what to do here.

    i searched and came up with this thread of someone with the exact same problem but still no answer.
    from what i got from it resetting the pmu wont do anything, and since then which i havent noticed till now but my powerbook stopped over heating?

    so im thinking it had something to do with the plug in part attached to the laptop might be blown or broken or something.

    because the hottest place it would get would be the top left corner right above the keyboard and now its almost as cold as the back of the screen and its been on all day, usally by now i cant even have it on my lap its so hot.

    any other suggestions on how to fix this?
    iv only had this thing for about a week and i already cant bring it out of the house because it wont stay on with the battery.

    also my battery ISNT charging, the other threads iv seen all said the battery does charge but wont stay powered from it.
    this battery isnt charging at all so im really thinking its the power adapter inside the laptop.

    know of any places online that sell that part new?
    id rather buy a new one then one off of ebay

    thanks again to all who help:)
  4. Ti_Poussin macrumors regular


    May 6, 2005
    Sound like a dead battery to me, you can find cheap replacement for them that will last longer then battery sold by Apple.

    As for the closing powerbook, I wouldn't do it, you cut a way for the powerbook to evacuate heat, just close the brightness or use SleepDisplay.

    Before buying better fan, you may want to open it and clean the inner part, may help with heat and noise.

    For the internet stuff, I'm really surprise by this behavior, but if you are running Azureus for torrent all over night as I suspect it's the case, you want to move to btpd with btpb-front that will reduce greatly the amount of CPU and memory usage.

    You may also put it in reduce performance for over night task.
  5. helios16v thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2008
    ok well even more problems are coming up now.

    my keyboard some how stopped working?
    i was on ebay and typing in numbers for a new hard drive for this thing for a 250gb and the numbers would work so i started pressing all teh buttons and soem how i ended up being 1, o was 2, p was 3 and so on so some how my entire keyboard moved over to the wrong buttons so i thought it may have been a glitch with firefox so i closed it completely and restarted it and that didnt work so i restarted and its working again but i did give it time to cool back down before turning it back on.

    and some how my battery went from 58% to 59% now right after that happened so i think i got 1% charge back in my battery then my keyboard ate ****, the powerbook still wont run off of just the battery.

    and what did you mean by the battery is dead?
    because i still get between 3 and 4 hours of use out of this battery when it was working and it does charge all the way to 100%

    this is pretty ****** tho, got it off ebay and it worked for about a week then in the past 3 days it started screwing up on everything.

    and as for torrents i use transmission not Azureus(vuze)
    i was getting between 0.2kbps and 1kbps all day today and i left my powerbook off for a few hours tonight, turned it back on and started up transmission and im getting 129kbps which isnt bad but its way better then it was when it was on all night.

    so when the powerbook is cold it runs really good.

    and for example of how my internet goes slow now im getting 0.6kbps downloading now because of this short use. turned it on, signed in, left this message, and now its over heating to much and my volume isnt working and the internet slowed right down
  6. helios16v thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2008
    ok this computer is possessed..seriously i dont get it.

    everything i just said is now not doing that anymore but its doing other things now, creeping me out lol

    for instance i took the battery out since it wasnt charging anyways and it was probably just damaging the battery, so then i was packing it all up today and the battery was in my laptop bag where the laptop goes so i obviously had to take it out to put the laptop in there so i got to work 3 hours ago, and started it all up not even realizing that i didnt plug it in yet and BAM ****ing thing works, so i pluged it in and it started charging to 60% and said 2 hours and 37 minutes till charged, and its still at 60% and now says battery is not charging.

    so wtf? can anyone explain that to me?
    leave the battery out for a day, works for a few minutes and now its back to normal.

    also my internet problem stopped, kinda, its now un predictable, its been jumping around between 126bps and 0.1kbps

    so i think its just my internet at home is effed up.
    at work its dsl and im getting a steady 45kbps to 50kbps so i think my home internets is just screwed up.
  7. brent0saurus macrumors regular


    Feb 16, 2006
    Okay i have some solutions...
    1. Insomniax will let you close your mac and keep it awake. it's really not such a great idea, though. as some other users have stated, it prevents some ventilation, and your computer is getting ridiculously hot as it is but you can try it. here is the link.

    2. The heat issue is kinda scary. are you leaving it on a desk, or is it on your bed or a blanket or something. you should never ever leave your mac on anything soft that it can sink into and close some of the vents. ESPECIALLY a powerbook g4. they can get very, very hot.
    With that said, if your mac is getting so hot that it malfunctions and you're keeping it on a desk, that's really bad. i would get the istat nano widget and check your fan speeds. maybe they're not turning on. or maybe it's just dirty in your computer? like maybe the previous owner was a smoker? I really don't know, but def check your fan speeds. just google istat nano widget and i'm sure you'll find it.

    3. As for that crazy heat issue and the mac slowing down... they might be getting so hot that the mac underlcocks (?) itself so it doesn't work so hard.

    4. www.macsales.com has every part you'd ever want to replace on your mac for a good price.

    hope this helped
  8. FinalCutJay macrumors member

    Nov 4, 2008
    just wipe and reinstall the OS, especially if you bought it from ebay, which by the way i think you paid way too much money for.

    2 years ago for $700 i bought an G4 iBook 1.2GHz 1.25 GB Ram 80GB hd @7200.

    go to system prefs make sure you go through the performance settings for power adapter and battery. you may need to check put hard disks to sleep whenever possible. for the past 2 years i've turned off my ibook a totally of probably 10 times. when i'm not using it i shut the lid and let it go to sleep. i generally leave it plugged in but there are times i've left it for a week sleeping unplugged and still had juice to run it.

    your pb should not be so hot if its been in sleep mode
  9. kennyli macrumors regular

    Sep 16, 2008
    Hong Kong
    1) For the heat problem, open the back housing and you will see 2 ventilation fans. Make sure they are running when you are turning it on. Seach for the opening instruction from website like www.ifixit.com. It is an easy job.

    2) Also, Mac Notebook uses the keyboard for sucking air to cool the body. Make sure you are not using some plastic keyboard protector.

    2) $700 is far too expensive for a G4. I just got a Titanium G4, 800Mhz, 640MB ram, 120GB HD, for $250 only :)
  10. broncopde macrumors 6502

    May 12, 2007
    Conway, AR
    Definitely do this; especially with the strangeness and unpredictability of your problems, this can do nothing but help.
  11. thehumble1 macrumors member


    Apr 9, 2008
    West Philly
    heat + strange battery = danger danger

    I too use Insomniax to keep my macs from going to sleep with the lid closed, but that seems to be besides the point.

    Here are a few things to try:

    1) Run the computer without the battery for a few hours to see if the heat problem is as bad. The overheating is probably your first issue to correct because that can really mess up other things (like a battery). My guess is that the heat is causing the other various problems for known or unknown reasons.

    2) If you are feeling sinister, go ahead and open her up to see if the heat sink is correctly fitted against the CPU and, like everyone else said, the fans are moving properly and free of dust/debris. The way I check fans is to lick my lips and hold the exhaust vent close enough so I can feel the air coming out. I've found that sometimes fans are on, but not going fast enough to hear or feel with my hand.

    12) Run it in a tub of mineral oil. Hey liquid cooled is the way to go

    &) Check your CPU load too. Especially with the Powerbook, it's important to give your computer a rest from time to time so it can cool down. If you are running multiple programs (especially transmission) that are constantly performing operations, you are going to have some heat problems. At first I was thinking that reinstalling the OS would not be one of my first 10 things to do, but it may help eliminate any programs that are running in the background but using CPU cycles. You can check in your Activity Monitor to see if the CPU has a lot of activity.

    5) Depending on how long you've had it. Contact Paypal and save the eBay listing page so you have some evidence that it was listed as fully functional and in good condition. There is a small chance that the dude who sold it to you didn't know about the heat problem beforehand. Maybe push for a partial refund.

    J) The sleep function is performed by a magnetic switch, not a manual switch, so to disable it, pop off the back of the screen case and locate a small magnet next to the video cable attachment on the LCD. Remove the tape and magnet. I think this is a horrible idea, but I'm not going to keep knowledge from being your barrier to doing it.

    Kevin) Again, check for system activity. Widgets, antivirus programs, and other "helpful" applications are very problematic when it comes to being miserly with CPU cycles so make sure you don't have any additional programs installed or running. I'm guessing that it's either a physical problem with a bad connection to a heat sink or bad fan or it's a problem with an application burning up system resources.

    $700 is a fair price for his system, especially with the hi-res screen which still sells for about $300 by itself. Comparing it to an iBook or a Ti is kinda silly. Two years ago I bought a 1.33 iBook with 1GB ram and 60GB drive for $400 and this year I picked up a Ti book for $120, but that doesn't make the $700 bad. I'm still getting $650+ for the powerbooks I flip. They are better than macbooks, run for years, and have huge resale value when you go to sell it. He has the best powerbook ever built (as far as specs go). Sure I wouldn't spend that money, but I don't need to have a computer that comes in one piece and works when it arrives.

    good luck
  12. helios16v thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2008
    ok wow all of that helped alot, thanks very much

    the heat problem stopped now, got me a ghetto fix but im still going to try what you all said about cleaning the fans and reinstalling osx etc.

    its around 0 degrees Celsius each day now so i just keep the laptop close to my window with it cracked open a bit and it keeps the powerbook nice and cold, i however am freezing lol

    main thing im working on right now tho is the battery not working so im going to try buying a new power cable and battery so if those dont happen to work what else can i try to get it working?

    and thanks again for all the links
  13. deadpixels macrumors 6502a

    Oct 30, 2006
    you don't need to buy a new power adapter unless you know for sure it is not working. can't you just use a voltmeter et test if it's ok? you also could try to put your battery in a friends laptop ( if you have someone with the same one) and see if it charges or not. if both are good then your problem might be the DC board, looks like that. good luck.
  14. thehumble1 macrumors member


    Apr 9, 2008
    West Philly
    the light bulb burned out so I'm changing the switch

    I don't think evidence has led to the adapter conclusion. frankly I have no idea how or when you got the idea that the adapter was at fault.

    there is a very small chance that it's the DC board in the laptop because the charging board for the battery is completely separate from the DC board and your computer gets the correct voltage from the adapter (you know this because the computer turns on; it wouldn't turn on if the voltage was off or the amperage was too low).

    why not change the battery or remove it all together to check things out and then replace it if signs point to it being the problem. It's like $45-50 for a new one on eBay.
  15. helios16v thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2008
    the DC board is what i ment when i said power adapter, my bad:p

    but then randomly the other day it started working again for about 5 minutes then it stopped so i dont know, id rather buy a new dc board then a battery because this one still had a full 100% charge and lasted as long as it said it did new so this thing was barely used.

    also i do not know anyone else with any apple laptops, the only other person i know with a mac is my dads friend who makes billboards with it on photoshop, he owns a local sign shop but hes using a powermac g5 so thats no help.

    so now iv come down to a new dc board, the board that charges the battery and a new battery so ill try the thing that charges the battery first and see how that goes and if all goes well then i guess thats good, next up would be the dc board, and if not what would be the best battery i should be looking into getting?

    because if i do have to replace it i would rather upgrade to one with longer life then buy the same one i have now.

    thanks again, im learning lots.

    also whats the name of the board that charges the battery so i can google it and find a place that sells it
  16. helios16v thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2008
    oh and i just installing iStat Nano and these are the specs i have.

    - wired: 174mb
    - active: 265mb
    - inactive: 13mb
    - used: 442mb
    - free: 1.04mb
    - swap: 64mb

    - in: 4kbps
    - out: 3kbps

    - 15m

    - cycles: 107
    - health: 94% (4149mAh)
    - power source: AC Adapter
    - charge: 60%

    - rear exhaust: 0rpm
    - rear right exhaust: 0rpm

    - hd: 33 degrees
    - cpu bottom: 42 degrees
    - cpu top: 45 degrees
    - track pad: 34 degrees
    - power supply: 47 degrees

    so both of the fans arnt working, how do i fix that?, new fans or new fuse somewhere?

    i should also add that im very good with soldering small electronics so if someone knew the blown fuse or something in there i could just replace it to save some coin:p
  17. deadpixels macrumors 6502a

    Oct 30, 2006
    DC board is linked in my previous answer but its here too ----> link

    Battery here for example ----> link

    The fans in alubooks don't work the same way. in MBPro's they run at least at 2000rpm all the time but in previous laptops they don't run if not needed so the fans might be good. one way too check would be to run the hardware test ----> link
  18. D.M.S macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2008
    I think you bought a lemon.
    I had all the same symptoms with my Powerbook (same model hi res too) in the end i sold it for parts and got a rev A Macbook Pro.

    If it's not too late file one of those not as described things with ebay?
  19. helios16v thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2008
    yeah im looking into the new macbook or macbook pro with the bi color case
    its going to take some time saving up for that thing.

    matches the 2g iphone nicely too so thats a plus for me

    anyways iv learned to deal with the over heating problem so my laptop life will be resumed with a new macbook or macbook pro since id rather save up for a new one then fork out the cash to fix this one, also i had it completely over heating till it was burning my legs and i checked the fan speed via istat nano and it said one fan was running at 1380rpm and it dropped below 1250 and back up to 1380 but no higher then 1380rpm an the temp for the cpu was almost at 65 degrees celsius.

    average temp for me is between 45 and 50 for the cpu and this was over 60 and only one fan started running so what could that be?

    im thinking of opening it up, taking every single part out, raping everything with a can of air, and then putting it all back together.

    so thats my plan for this weekend coming up and after that ill let you know how it goes, possibly some pics if theres anything interesting i find in there, like some rolled up money from the mafia, or.. secret fbi footage of ufo's lol

    anyways thanks again for all the help, its helped ALOT in this powerbook adventure.
  20. thehumble1 macrumors member


    Apr 9, 2008
    West Philly
    does this really pass without question?

    I'll assume you are just young and nerdish or young and fratish or in some other way unaware of your own naivete and insensitivity. It makes me sorry to have helped you. Maybe take a minute and figure out why that was an embarrassing use of a powerful word. I'm done with you.
  21. Compile 'em all macrumors 601

    Compile 'em all

    Apr 6, 2005
  22. helios16v thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2008
    lol seriously?
    this is one messed up forum then, thats the casual lingo where i live and a frat i am not
    young and nerdish i am
    and i mean it in a sense of violently spraying every possible part of the laptop:p

    you gotta take it easy buddy, besides its not like you can rape a laptop..or..can you?!!
  23. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Well that just means you turned on numlock. If you look at the keyboard, I think F6 says numlock on it. Just press Fn+F6, to revert it back to normal.

    iStat doesn't always report the right fan speed on PPCs. I've had the fan spin at max RPM and iStat still saying the fans are off.

    Also those temps look normal.
  24. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    I still think that the OP should wipe the drive clean and start fresh since it was bought off Ebay rather than trying all these work-arounds and fixes. The battery indicator acting wonkey should be a red flag that the OS may have corrupt files which is typical since it was bought from a previous owner and you have no idea what he/she did with it.

    Also, I agree with a previous poster, you sorta got gypped. You paid way too much money for a PowerBook G4.
  25. helios16v thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2008
    i dont know personally i think i got a pretty good deal sicne this site

    says the retail cost of the laptop was $1900 USD and the resale cost of it is between $950 and $1200 US for that model.

    plus i have 1gb added ram, vyper case, the dvi to vga adapter, svideo to rca adapter, and power extension cable all for $699 US with shipping, i think i got a pretty good deal.

    either way im happy with the laptop aside from the battery not working now.

    im thinking of bringing it into a shop to find out whats wrong with it exactly and then ill buy the parts and fix it myself from there.

    i made the claim on paypal to the ebay seller i got it off of for 350 CAD for replacement parts and labor for a store to fix it for me OR if the seller wants to buy a new power board, battery, and fans and ship them to me and ill install them myself if they can find new parts for cheaper

    so i the claim goes through or if the seller sends me the parts then ill buy the hard drive and the other stick of ram and get it all done at once so it doesnt need to be opened again.

    im also looking for a cheap bottom half of the case as mine has a dent and 2 bulges coming out over top of the modem plug beside the power and right above the open button for the lid

    then it shall be all nice and new:)
    well as new as it gets plus with the max of everything it can have as well.

    and im locating a used copy of osx 10.5 right now to install to see if that fixes anything when i can find one

    are there serial number for osx 10 or could i just download a copy and use the serial thats in this one?

    and if i can how do i find the serial number used for this copy thats already installed?

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