iBook G3 Not Charging Battery

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by bunnspecial, Oct 5, 2014.

  1. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #1
    I've had a new problem come up in the last day or two with my 800mhz "snow" G3 iBook.

    As background on it, it has a factory battery(I think probably a replacement at some point as the plastic looks better than the rest of the plastic on the computer) that shows 210 cycles at this point. The computer didn't come with a charger, but I'm using the 50w Apple charger that I got with my TiBook that I think should work fine and in fact has been working fine for me.

    When I got the computer, the battery was completely dead. I charged it up, and since then it has cycled a few times and given me 2-3 hours of use-for a computer of this age, I'd consider that a healthy battery.

    As of yesterday, however, I have been unable to get the battery to charge. It reached 17%, but then simply stopped charging. With the computer turned on(OS X 10.4), the battery icon in the menu bar shows the "plug" icon(indicating that it's running off outlet power) rather than the charging "lightning bolt" with no further advance in the charge state, although the LED on the charger plug remains amber.

    I tried running the computer all the way down-to the point where it shut off-but it's still acting the same way. The menu bar shows 3% charge, but with the plug icon on the battery. Pressing the button on the bottom of the battery causes one LED to flash, but the charger LED remains amber. The computer shuts down as soon as I unplug it. I left it plugged in and shut down overnight-the charger LED is still amber, but the battery has not charged any.

    Any idea as to what might be going on?
     
  2. GraniteTheWolf macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2013
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #2
    Does it charge while the computer is off? If it does, let it charge up all the way and see if that fixes anything.

    If it has the factory battery, despite the very low cycle count, age my have killed the cells within the battery. Sadly when it comes to batteries there isn't a whole lot you can do, generally they either work- or they dont. (As far as I am aware)


    Both of my iBook clamshell G3's have aftermarket (also cheaper) replacement batteries in them. I get 5-6 hours use from both before they die. Don't be afraid to buy an aftermarket battery, makes an old laptop feel nice again when you dont have to worry about being plugged in all the time.
     
  3. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #3
    As I mentioned, I left it plugged in overnight turned off, with no change. I also booted it up and shut it down, and then tried again. It's been plugged in for the past hour, also with no change.

    The thing that has me stumped is that, as I mentioned, I got probably 3 or 4 good cycles with good battery life out of it before it started acting up.
     
  4. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #4
    Have you tried a PMU reset? To do this follow Apple's instructions below.

    Code:
    For iBook (16 VRAM) and later models of iBook, there is no physical reset button.
    
    If the computer is on, turn it off.
    Reset the power manager by simultaneously pressing and then releasing Shift-Control-Option-Power on the keyboard. Do not press the fn (Function) key while using this combination of keystrokes.
    Wait 5 seconds.
    Press the Power button to restart the iBook computer. 
     
  5. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
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    Kentucky
    #5
    A PMU reset was a good idea, but still no luck
     

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  6. GraniteTheWolf macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2013
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #6
    Ahhh.

    That reminds me. I got a original battery for my old 2005 Alienware laptop that did the same thing.
    The first time I got the battery I charged it up to 100% and it gave the laptop about 90 minutes of use (whats expected and normal for a huge gaming lapzilla) I used it until it was about to die and plugged it back in. Now no matter what I do the battery refuses to charge over 4%. My guess is just like your battery, my battery's internal cells were done for after that one use.
     
  7. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Elkton, Maryland
    #7
    I am thinking the battery just decided it was time to go to the iCloud and die.
     
  8. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #8
    I'm afraid maybe so...

    It did just occur to me that the problem started happening right about the time I cloned the drive from my iMac(I started out with only 10.4 installed, but was having trouble with OS 9, so did this as a shortcut), and I wonder if the problem is somehow related to that.

    My factory restore disks(OS X 10.2 and 9.2.2) should be here tomorrow or Tuesday, so I will do a wipe and reinstall and see if that fixes the problem. I'm not overly hopeful, and if that doesn't fix it I'll go shopping on Ebay for a replacement battery.
     
  9. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Mar 26, 2013
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    #9

    If this was a software issue then it would work when powered off.
     
  10. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
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    Kentucky
    #10
    Good point!

    A new battery is on its way...$21 with free shipping.
     
  11. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #11

    Good to hear you got a good price.
     
  12. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #12
    Unfortunately, the replacement is a no-go. It will not even turn the charger LED amber...

    I did try going through and burnishing the contacts in the battery compartment with a pencil eraser to take care of any potential dirty or corroded contacts. Still no luck.

    I'm hoping that this is just another bad battery, and not a problem with the computer.
     
  13. RedCroissant Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    #13
    I think the problem is that you're using the wrong power adapter. Yes, I know that a 5w difference between the one you have and the standard one designed for the iBook is minimal, but it might be enough to mess up the battery and why it's not working with the battery that you just got.

    The reason that I think this is because I was given an iBook and I was given an Apple power adapter (but the wrong wattage) and it killed the battery (or made it appear as though it had). I found the proper watt power adapter in my pile of PPC stuff and the battery worked normally again while using that. So if you have a 45w adapter somewhere, try that and see if it makes a difference. It could also be that the battery is fine but the DC inboard needs to be replaced.
     
  14. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #14
    Thanks for your post.

    I haven't had my coffee yet this morning :) and have been trying to wade through chargers on Ebay, as well as what information I can find on Google.

    I'm finding iBook chargers in two wattages-45watts and 65 watts. Most of the 65 watt chargers reference the iBook G4, but I'm wondering if-in fact-a 65 watt charger is what I should be using for the 14" G3 also. I just realized I hadn't explicitly mentioned it, but mine is in fact a 14".

    If I should be using a 65 watt charger, that would probably explain my charging problems.

    Can someone here who has a 14" G3 tell me the part number of the original Apple shipping charger?
     
  15. RedCroissant, Oct 10, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2014

    RedCroissant Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    #15
    You're right I think. Since it is a 14" you would need the higher wattage adapter. I was using a 65 watt adapter with my iBook G4 14" as well. Even though Everymac.com shows a 45watt power adapter, I think it is in fact the 65-watt and then you should have 2 working batteries.

    I am however using a 45 watt replacement adapter for my 12" iBook G3.
     
  16. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #16
    Thanks for the response.

    On your suggestion, I just bought this

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/181506824547?_trksid=p2059210.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT

    I also just wrapped a deal on a 15" DLSD Powerbook, so hopefully between the charger with that and the one I just bought, I'll be able to come up with something to charge my iBook also :)
     
  17. RedCroissant Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    #17
    Well I think you made a good choice. I don't think you're going to have problem with it now.
     
  18. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #18
    I just took a good look at the charger I've been using and it's actually marked(plain as day) 45 watts and with the part number A1036. A little bit of googling indicates that this is in fact the correct spec charger for the TiBook, which probably explains why I've had no issues with it. As I mentioned, this was the charger that came with my TiBook.

    On the surface, the TiBook would seem to in every way be the more power hungry computer with its faster processor and more power hungry processor(867mhz G4 vs 800mhz G3) and larger screen...

    In any case, hopefully the correct charger will fix everything. If not, I'll at least have a nice Apple charger to use with my DLSD G4 that's on the way(it's coming with an aftermarket charger) and I can start exploring other problems with the G3.
     
  19. RedCroissant Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    #19
    I would say that even though the clock speed is higher on the G4, the more stable processor would make the G3 the more power hungry. This would be especially so if you're trying to run it like a G4. I know that's what I do and I have to convince myself to stop it. I even installed iWork '09 on my iBook G3 and it was not happy at all. I don't recommend it.

    I have plenty of experience now with G3 and G4 iBooks, so let me know if you need any help bc I have most likely been through something like it. As an example, if the iBook starts up sometimes, but then sometimes does not and there is no evidence of a failing HDD or failing RAM, check the HDD ribbon cable connection to the logic board bc it's probably loose. Something that simple can drive someone crazy.
     
  20. coppyhop macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2014
    #20
    My powerbook G4 battery stopped charging one day, and only fixed it recently, turns out the battery was not in the slot properly because the plastic warped, but it's now fixed and didn't cost me anything! Just check that out, that might be the problem.
     
  21. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #21
    Just thought I'd give an update to this...

    I managed to find one of the aftermarket 65w chargers kicking around at school and was able to borrow it for an evening to check it with my computers. This charger also charged my TiBook fine, but gave the same symptoms I'm describing with the iBook.

    I emailed the company that I bought the battery from, and they sent me a second battery out immediately. The second battery worked fine with both generic charger, and with my 45 watt TiBook charger.

    I now have the proper 65 watt Apple-branded charger in hand, and am getting the same results-it will not charge the OEM battery or the first replacement, but will charge the second just fine.

    So, I think that my issue was likely a combination of a now-dead OEM battery, along with a bad aftermarket battery.

    With the good aftermarket battery, the battery life is surprisingly long. I've been getting in the range of 3-4 hours, depending on just how heavily I'm using it and whether I'm running under OS X or OS 9(the battery seems to last longer under OS 9).
     
  22. weckart macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #22
    I had a similar issue with my Clamshell battery, which charged right up and then one day just refused to work with no warning. Looking online, I found an article, which suggested that the battery may not have expired but was just somehow depleted and locked itself in its depleted state.

    It gave instructions how to 'kickstart' the battery - one way was to crack the battery open and manually start the charge with a PP3 battery for a few seconds, reclose the battery and let the notebook carry on. A no-go with later iBook batteries, imho. The second was to seal the battery in a vacuum bag and freeze it for two days. Thaw for at least six hours before trying again. I gave the second method a go but it didn't work for me.
     
  23. RedCroissant Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    #23
    Well it's good to know that you got it working! That's awesome. I'm also glad that you got to try out the 65w hypothesis before actually going with that advice.
     

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