Ibook G4 worth fixing?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Eightbitgamer757, Nov 13, 2018.

  1. Eightbitgamer757 macrumors member

    Eightbitgamer757

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    #1
    I have an ibook g4 that needs a new hard drive and logic board. I was wondering if it would be worth it to fix it and use it as a daily school machine. I have a powerful pc at home and another working laptop, but i am afraid the battery life will not suffice. When it was working i was averaging 6 hours of battery life and some good performance (well for an ibook g4 anyways). I have parts to fully upgrade and use it as well.
     
  2. RhianB, Nov 13, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018

    RhianB macrumors 6502a

    RhianB

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    #2
    If you can find the parts cheaply & have the time & inclination, then why not?

    Sounds like a fun project. As far as school use, it depends on what your needs at school are & you would know that better than us. Best of luck!
     
  3. dbdjre0143 macrumors 6502

    dbdjre0143

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    #3
    The question of "worth fixing" I hear brought up from time to time, not just here, but in life as a whole. The answer for me never comes down to a pure dollar figure, but perceived value.

    Outside example:
    I'm about to start working on restoring a 1998 model car, with nearly 400k miles on it. The car was only worth $14k when it was brand new, so you can imagine the low monetary value today. From a pure dollar figure perspective, the "restored" value of that car will (likely) be significantly less than what it will cost me to restore it. So, why do I want to then? My mom taught me to drive a standard transmission in it. I spent my teenage years daydreaming about how I wanted to own and "trick it out" to my liking. As a freshman in high school, my mom drove my wife and I to our first date in that car, and we shared our first kiss that night on the way home. The car has far more value to me than the dollar figure would indicate.

    I say all that just to make the point that, to be honest, for the cost of a logic board, and hard drive (I would recommend a SSD in an IDE enclosure if you're going to the trouble of tearing it down, but that's beside the point), you could likely purchase a decent used Windows laptop that could likely perform the tasks you've mentioned "better" than this machine. That doesn't necessarily mean its the right choice.

    For me, fixing an older machine like that is about the lessons learned. Its a point of pride to fix something others would deem ready for the trash heap. Its a fun learning experience to tear any machine down and reassemble it, and the feeling when you succeed, especially for a difficult machine, is fantastic. Its a fun challenge for me to find real uses for machines that others wouldn't even consider. That's why my DD is a Powerbook G4. I have a much newer Windows laptop that I could use instead, but I choose to use the G4 because I enjoy the machine, and I enjoy keeping older tech truly useful for all my current workflows. However, I recognize that everyone doesn't enjoy those same things, and for those people, I generally say its perfectly fine to sell that machine cheaply to someone like me, and put the cash toward something a little newer for yourself.

    TL;DR: At the end of the day, only you can decide if its "worth it". If you're someone who enjoys the journey and learning experiences with tech, and the parts don't cost an arm and a leg (there's a reason my A1139 PB won't get the new logic board it needs! ;)), then go for it! If you're not going to enjoy what you're doing, then sell it for a few bucks, and invest the money you saved on parts on something else you will enjoy. :)
     
  4. Eightbitgamer757 thread starter macrumors member

    Eightbitgamer757

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    #4
    My school needs are just some simple web browsing, office suite (i like LibreOffice), and thats about it. I will probably do some emulation (this thing was GREAT for snes/nes/n64 emulation.). And I have had this computer for... for... holy crap ive had this computer for over 5 years now
     
  5. eyoungren, Nov 13, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018

    eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #5
    I had a 1980 Datsun 210 (not B210, 210) that is exactly what you describe. My mother also taught me stick on it.

    Unfortunately, we moved earlier this year and as it hasn't run in over 12 years it had to go. There was never any money to restore it unfortunately.

    I get your meaning though. It's all about whether it's worth it to you or not. The value of the item comes from your attachment to it. Sometimes money figures into that, but not a lot.

    My first A1013 (17" PowerBook G4) was that way. But at a certain point, I realized I had long ago lost what I had. When you've replaced three logicboards, swapped cases and replaced a screen it's no longer the same PowerBook you got way back when.

    Fortunately cars are less of an issue that way. Hope you get yours the way you picture it!
     
  6. dbdjre0143, Nov 13, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018

    dbdjre0143 macrumors 6502

    dbdjre0143

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    #6
    Not only that, but the value is also affected by whether you value the journey/learning process of the repair. Doesn't sound like OP probably has sentimental attachment to the machine. (EDIT: Looks like I may have been wrong based on your second post I missed! Sorry @Eightbitgamer757! Even more value based on that. :p) I don't really have any sentimental attachment to my current A1138. But I value the learning experiences of using the machine and the fact that I can use a laptop from 2005 with a largely-defunct CPU architecture for almost every thing I use a personal device to do. (The one major exception to that being editing HD video. Its nice to have a dedicated need for my desktop other than gaming anyway. ;))

    I guess the overarching point I'm trying to make is that value comes from many places, and dollars is the least important in my opinion.

    Also, sorry to hear you had to let the Datsun go! My wife lobbied hard for me to let the Neon R/T go as well, but we ended up reaching a compromise where my grandmother would let me park it and work on it in the conveniently car-sized overhang off her garage. So I'm happy to soon be starting the project, and my wife is happy that we won't have a half town-apart car in our yard. :D
     
  7. Eightbitgamer757 thread starter macrumors member

    Eightbitgamer757

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    #7
    I have had this for more than 5 years and ive had alot of journeys with it. I want to have more journeys with it until it will no longer function at all for a useable machine. I just need a way to get some money...
     
  8. dbdjre0143 macrumors 6502

    dbdjre0143

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    #8
    If you have a desire to fix it, you'll find the way. When I was hunting my SSD for my G4, I set myself some low budgetary limits, knowing I didn't really need the machine. Then, I just kept watching eBay until the right deal came up. With some patience, you can nearly always find what you need at the right price.
    That's not always the case of course. I still have a torn down A1139 that will almost certainly never get a new logic board because I've never found one for less than $300, and I'm not willing to pay that. I'd love to get rid of the machine but just haven't found anyone who wants the whole thing for parts (free for shipping if anyone's interested! :p), and have been too lazy to do the work of trying to part out individual pieces on eBay. I hate to just ditch an apparently hard to find machine with so many good pieces, but if it isn't gone by spring, I'll probably end up taking it to the annual county cleanup where they accept electronics for recycling.
     
  9. XaPHER macrumors regular

    XaPHER

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    #9
    What do you use for N64 emulation? I don't know of any on the mac that's very compatible, so if it works well on an iBook I'm kinda interested to know. Not long ago I've managed to get a gba emulator that works on 10.5 that's fast and possibly more compatible than visualboyadvance for games (vba mac port is slooow).

    If your iBook is 1.33ghz or faster, It's probably okay for school. Google docs is slow, but usable. I generally use tenfourfox, but sometimes leopard-webkit just handles sites better. What stops the iBook from being useful is usually the need to run specific software that just won't on powerpc.
     
  10. zappaesque macrumors member

    zappaesque

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    #10
    I snagged an actual N64 due to the emulation of the console being incomplete and very buggy. Even the newest emulators have problems with most games. This is just my own experience.
     
  11. Eightbitgamer757 thread starter macrumors member

    Eightbitgamer757

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    #11
    I used Mupen64Plus. It has an annoying popup about buying it but no features are lost without buying it. If you want a link let me know and ill PM you
     
  12. AL1630 macrumors 6502

    AL1630

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    #12
    I used to have 2 TiBooks, a 1GHz and an 867MHz. The logic board on the 867 went out, and after a long time searching, I decided I didn't want to spend the amount of money most eBay sellers were asking for a new board. After getting an AlBook, I had to let it go to get some more space. Crazy how much the prices on parts have gone up.

    I occasionally bring my iBook to school, and TFF handles most sites pretty well, although a little more slowly on sites like docs. If all you need is a browsing and office, it'll work fine for school.
     
  13. Knix6593 macrumors newbie

    Knix6593

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    #13
    I also have an iBook G4 in need of fixing, also a dead hard drive(but otherwise still boots to single user mode and powers on fine).

    For your case though, unless you found a parted out unit for cheap, buying parts thats more expensive than the actual value of the machine is not worth imo. But the decision is up to you on how much you value your iBook and all
     
  14. RhianB macrumors 6502a

    RhianB

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    #14
    Yeah, at a point the more we put into these old boxes, ultimately we get upside down on their value. I’ve certainly got a couple around here (who are my fav boxes) that I’ve put more time & money into than I would ever get out of them on fleabay, CL, letgo etc.

    Of course much of this is peripheral upgrades ie: pci/e/x cards that I could remove before selling but that practice while quite pragmatic has never sat very well with me personally.

    Anyhoo, yeah if you can score some cheap bits, a repair would be a fun project imo & something you could use & get benefit from after the fact.

    Best of luck to you.
     
  15. Eightbitgamer757 thread starter macrumors member

    Eightbitgamer757

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  16. timidpimpin macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Unless you get the parts cheap and fix it yourself... it would likely be cheaper to buy another one.
     
  17. pl1984 Suspended

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    Oct 31, 2017
    #17
    I assume you're interested in it for parts? Can't really comment about whether it's worth it or not as the seller hasn't posted anything to let us know specifically what it is you'd be buying. It may or not be worth it depending on if the parts will fit your current system and if the parts themselves work.
     
  18. dbdjre0143 macrumors 6502

    dbdjre0143

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    #18
    Exactly. @Eightbitgamer757, if you can provide details on what model you currently have, I bet someone could help you in tracking down the parts you need. :)
     
  19. Eightbitgamer757 thread starter macrumors member

    Eightbitgamer757

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  20. AL1630 macrumors 6502

    AL1630

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    #20
    Finding an HDD shouldn't be too hard, as far as I know it's just a standard laptop IDE drive. It might be worth it to go with an SSD if you're replacing it anyway.
     
  21. Eightbitgamer757 thread starter macrumors member

    Eightbitgamer757

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    #21
    I want an hdd for the cheaper $/Gb, and they are everywhere
     
  22. sparty411 macrumors regular

    sparty411

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    #22
    I would sell you a fully functional 12" iBook G4 for $30 + shipping. PM me if you're interested :)
     
  23. Eightbitgamer757 thread starter macrumors member

    Eightbitgamer757

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    #23
    So, last night i spent an hour and a half trying to get my iBook to boot, even show an apple logo, but nothing. I know it is getting power because the battery charges and caps lock and numlock turn on(weirdly i have to press F5 and not F6 which is labeled NUMLOCK), and nothing. i kept it connected to an external display and tore it down all the way to find any problems, and put it all the way back together. I think i have a gpu issue because i feel heat from the cpu on the bottom of the case when i attempt to boot it. No HDD or CDROM activity which means im guessing the board isnt POSTing. Before this iBook died the backlight had stopped working, but the screen worked just fine, i just needed to shine light thru the apple logo. Any suggestions before i make any moves towards buying parts?
     
  24. Eightbitgamer757 thread starter macrumors member

    Eightbitgamer757

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  25. AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

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    #25
    First up - Does it POST/chime if you disconnect the new hard drive and/or the ODD?

    If yes, look at replacing the IDE/ATA connector cables/ribbons/components and try again. Also ensure your replacement hard drive is set to Master or Cable Select and not Slave (check the jumper settings).

    If the hard drive is not preventing the POST, try removing components like RAM and Airport.

    If you still can't get it to POST, you have logic board failure plus possible backlight or inverter failure.

    In my experience it is more common for the inverter to fail than the CCFL backlight tube. It may also be the case that the logic board failure is causing the backlight/inverter issue and the inverter may not be faulty at all.

    If you can find an affordable source (like powerbookmedic) for the replacement logic board and parts try that, otherwise try buying a model of the same series for cheap and mash parts together to make a working machine.
     

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