iBook G4 not booting, battery?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by BrettApple, Nov 7, 2014.

  1. BrettApple macrumors 65816

    BrettApple

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Heart of the midwest
    #1
    So I just received an iBook G4 I purchased on eBay for a decent price with unknown specs. Ends up it's a 2005 12" 1GB/80GB/Combo/BT/AP model (on the sticker anyway) so that is a nice bonus. On the listing it shows it booted up and on the Tiger login screen:

    [​IMG]

    But I haven't had any luck getting it to do squat. It didn't come with a charger, but I've got one from another iBook G4 a family member had that has since been sold for parts. And it seems to be working.

    The battery doesn't light up at all when you check the charge, and even after being plugged in all day it is still completely dead. So this makes me wonder how it was booted up in the first place. My guess here is that the battery is 100% dead and is not going to charge back up. And apparently unlike a MacBook these iBooks have a capacitor instead of a PRAM battery, so when the main battery is dead, even when plugged in, it won't boot up.

    If this is correct it looks like I need a new battery and then it *should* boot assuming all else is functioning. Just wanting someone with experience on this model to confirm.

    I will be contacting the seller and seeing what they did to get it to boot, or if they used another battery by chance. It looked like the seller had a lot of them.

    Thanks for the info all!
     
  2. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #2

    Try starting it off the AC adapter without the battery installed. If it doesn't start right away, remove both the battery and adapter and hold the power button for 15 seconds and then 5 seconds. This will discharge the capacitor.
     
  3. poiihy macrumors 68020

    poiihy

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    #3
    The iBook in the image is probably not the same iBook.
     
  4. BrettApple thread starter macrumors 65816

    BrettApple

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Heart of the midwest
    #4
    Thanks Altemose. I've drained the capacitor and tried to boot off the AC adapter to no avail. I had previously tried to reset the PMU and PRAM but that wasn't doing much either. I'll check with the seller and see what they've got for me.

    I did confirm it's the same computer. It looks like these were used in a school or something because they each have a unique number engraved on the back and written under the battery, and the numbers match. Also it has some characteristic scratches that are in the same spot, and missing the same rubber feet on one side and the top of the screen bezel. So it looks like it was this machine. The battery doesn't have any markings though, so it could be a different one.

    Just to confirm though, on a normally functioning iBook G4, you CAN boot up without the battery? I've seen reports going both ways.
     
  5. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    Inside
  6. BrettApple thread starter macrumors 65816

    BrettApple

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Heart of the midwest
    #6
    Awesome, thanks Intell!

    Looks like I'll be returning it then. Shame, as it was one of the nicer models.
    Thanks for the help all!
     
  7. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #7


    Did you verify that the AC adapter you are using is putting out full power? If you do not have a battery, the adapter must put out a full 45 watts of power.
     
  8. BrettApple thread starter macrumors 65816

    BrettApple

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Heart of the midwest
    #8
    I haven't, but I don't really have a way of checking that. I was looking at different meters to check it with, but there aren't any locally that I can find (Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, Sears, etc.). For the cost though, a new third party AC adapter is much less. Like $10 on Amazon.

    I can decide if it would be worth the try before I send it back or to just be done with it. Though I can always return it back to Amazon if it doesn't work.

    The one I have is an official Apple one, it lights up and all, but that's as far as I can check. Its a 65 watt adapter. I think it came from a PowerBook G4 since my uncle had both an iBook and PowerBook.

    As far as I know, last time their iBook was working it ran it just fine, then I believe their DC-in board went bad because it had to be positioned just right and the slightest movement killed it. But it stays lit at every position on this one. Doesn't mean it's working of course.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #9
    I would start with the iBook seller to see if they would replace the unit free of charge.
     
  10. BrettApple thread starter macrumors 65816

    BrettApple

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Heart of the midwest
    #10
    Bingo we have a winner! Got the new PA in yesterday, works great for $10!

    First I booted into single user mode so I could reset the password and find accounts.

    [​IMG]

    Once I was in I started checking the specs:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Looks like the original battery, original HDD, and a reinstall of OS X was done in 2011. Came from a school. Had student accounts and smartboard software on it.

    Battery still holds a decent charge, no bad sectors and low hours on the HDD, looks to be in order. WiFi and BT working fine. Don't think the combo drive is working however. Need to find a way to reinstall OS X clean for my use.
     
  11. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #11
    So it was a bum power adapter causing the issue? You can reload OS X via Target Disk Mode.
     
  12. headsh0t95 macrumors regular

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    Dec 21, 2013
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #12
    What software did you use to check the hard drive?
     
  13. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #13
    I am curious as well about the hard drive software. I know Intell has posted a command line solution, but if there is a GUI application I can put on a USB drive for working on machines that would be great!
     
  14. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #14
    Just make your own GUI wrapper with a quick AppleScript.
     
  15. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
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    #15
    Is there a way you could give some pointers on this? I understand that OP is using SMART Utility on his iBook.
     
  16. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #16
    Make an AppleScript bundle that references its bundle contents to get the path of its internal universal smartctl binary to run the return information command on the selected drive.
     
  17. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #17
    Makes sense. I will look into it.
     
  18. Nameci macrumors 68000

    Nameci

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Location:
    The Philippines...
    #18
    OP, I am sorry to hijack your thread, but I have the same issue. My iBook just suddenly turned off and now it will not boot. The battery has a charge and is charging. I have replaced the original charger with a charger from a known good working charger from the Powerbook.

    I have already reset the PMU and tried to boot the iBook plugged in to the charger without the battery but it is not turning on.

    Is my dc-in board gone kaput? If it failed then why is it still able to charge the battery? Is it a logic board issue?

    Need your opinion guys.
     
  19. BrettApple thread starter macrumors 65816

    BrettApple

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Heart of the midwest
    #19
    Indeed it was! I finally found a FW400 cable plugged into a PC of all things to use for TDM. Got it on my '09 MacBook and put the DVD in. Running a fresh copy of Tiger on it now :) Ends up, it only has a CD-RW drive in it, thus why it wasn't reading my Tiger DVD, but CD's were fine when I popped one into iTunes. The serial number and sticker show it had a combo drive but apparently it was changed out at some point.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It is indeed SMART Utility as mentioned above. It's a quick click it and forget it piece of software that I use on most Macs for a quick check without running a scan to get a general idea. I was hoping they had a PPC version and they did, so I just went ahead and used it. There are many other ways to check it, this was just the least amount of work. :cool:

    My reason for buying this iBook was A. to have a more capable PPC Mac (I have a PowerMac 7600 sitting on a shelf), and B. to use as a photo frame when I'm in my room, as a screensaver. Looks kind of cool and cost less than an actual photo frame. Though I won't be surprised if it doesn't last very long, seeing as it is almost a decade old. Just a fun toy. Got my rMBP for my heavy work and storage, and my WhiteBook for general use and a backup machine.
     

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