Is my PowerBook saveable?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Goftrey, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. Goftrey macrumors 68000

    Goftrey

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    #1
    I think my PowerBook may have just bitten the dust.

    First off for reference - it's a top of the line 1.67GHz high-res Oct.2006 model. Notorious for the narcolepsy issue but as far as I'm aware that's it in the reliability department.

    I was surfing the web perfectly fine, just as well as it had been doing months prior to today when I first noticed (even though the power adapter was still plugged in) that the battery was no longer showing a charged or even just 'plugged-in' symbol in the menubar. Then I noticed this faint electric sounding click from the top-middle of the PowerBook (pretty much dead between the GPU & the CPU). I immediately shut the computer down, unplugged the charger & then yanked the battery out.

    I took the top case off the PowerBook & was greeted by a wonderful smell of burning electronics. Pretty unsettling. Visually the was no damage to either the logic board or the DC in board (which is where I think the problem originated).

    I put the laptop back together & then began the process of elimination. I popped the battery back in, & booted from the battery on the remaining charge it had. It booted perfectly. There was no clicking noise & the laptop behaved seemingly healthily. However, when I went to salvage some files from the hard drive to a USB stick - I found that all of my files on the drive are no longer accessible, even though they are essentially 'there' & viewable in the GUI.

    Under the assumption that the hard drive was zapped by whatever caused the problem in the first place, I shut the laptop down once more & this time took the battery out & plugged the charger in. I attempted to boot this time from an external drive. No luck. No power whatsoever & the clicking noise had returned.

    So in short - the laptop boots perfectly fine on the battery but no files are accessible. No power at all when plugged in to the power adapter.

    I'm assuming the DC in board has failed somehow which has then triggered a domino effect, taking out other peripherals i.e. the HDD, possibly by a power surge?

    Any ideas? There's no DC in boards on the interwebz for the particular model & Im worried in wasting cash on one if it ends up turning out to be a faulty logic board as well.
     
  2. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #2
    First off. Ignore the Intel troll.

    Second, start smalll. I think, yes, your DC Inverter is probably toast, but as for your HD problem it does not sound like a HD issue. I suspect your HD cable probably got singed. Take the top case off and pull out the hard drive. Take a good hard look at the HD flex cable and see if there is any visible exterior damage. If there is, fortunately a new flex cable can be had for under $25.
     
  3. Goftrey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Goftrey

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    #3
    Visually it looked absolutely fine. As I was there, I decided to swap out the existing hard drive for a little 30GB PoS I had lying around & it booted perfectly! I've since stuck the old hard drive in to an external caddy & have been able to salvage the files I needed. Weird that the cable was/is seemingly fine & works with another hard drive, but the old drive behaves extremely quirkily only when it's in the PowerBook...
     
  4. Hughmac macrumors demi-god

    Hughmac

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    Location:
    Kent, UK
    #4
    Original hard drive not getting enough power to run? Like when you plug an external into a low power port and it lights up but just clicks.

    Cheers :)

    Hugh
     
  5. Goftrey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Goftrey

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    #5
    I'm not 100% sure what you're getting at. The original hard drive mechanically is fine, as I used it via an external caddy to salvage files from to be on the safe side. And the flex cable seemingly is okay as the 30GB drive worked perfectly when booting off the battery (which is now flat).

    I'll have one last scour online tonight for any DC in boards, if I can't find one then I'll have to call it a day. I don't have the luxury of time as I need a laptop desperately on Monday. Typical these things happen when you have no money knocking around whatsoever.
     
  6. Hughmac macrumors demi-god

    Hughmac

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    Location:
    Kent, UK
    #6
    It was just a wild theory - if your original hard drive was a 5400rpm 80GB, it might require more power to run than an older 4200rpm 30GB. If the power circuit to the hard drive were damaged and gave reduced power this might explain a lot of things.
    Also you said the original hard drive works in an external enclosure - this could be because it is getting the required power to run properly.

    You could always try putting a 4200rpm drive in your PowerBook and restoring to it from the original drive. That's if you can get the battery charged somehow.

    Cheers :)

    Hugh
     
  7. Goftrey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Goftrey

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    #7
    I was packing up the PowerBook ready for eBay photos & decided to have a little look inside just one more time.

    I ripped everything out & flipped the logic board upside down (with the red power cable still connected. The underside was where that odd clicking sound was originating from). I pressed the power button with the power adapter plugged in, and there it was, the clicking sound.

    Both the noise & smoke began to come from a little chip named 'R050', next to the RAM sockets (see pictures). Every time the board clicked, a little puff of smoke would appear.

    Purely out of interest, as AFAIK this PowerBook is beyond saving without a new lobo, what is this chip for & what does it do? I find it incredibly weird that something like that is literally on fire at one point, but then is seemingly not needed when the power cable isn't plugged in? (As I stated a couple of posts back, the laptop worked fine on the battery alone).
     

    Attached Files:

  8. bmehilos, Jan 16, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014

    bmehilos macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Location:
    Illinois
    #8
    The R050 is a capacitor.

    If you're not going to try and sell this PB for anything more than parts, and you're adept with a soldering iron you could try and replace it if you can find a part, though because its a surface mount it will be very very difficult. But if you've got nothing to lose, give it a shot.

    EDIT: It is a resistor, not a capacitor. My bad!
     
  9. Andropov macrumors regular

    Andropov

    Joined:
    May 3, 2012
    Location:
    Spain
    #9
    Well, it's not all that difficult. Though it's a surface mount capacitor, it's relatively big. I'm pretty sure that if you know someone with the proper tools or if you have them yourself, the logic board is definitely salvageable.
     
  10. Goftrey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Goftrey

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    #10
    Thanks for the replies guys. This is looking a little more promising now. I'm pretty nifty with a soldering iron but have never come across one of these little guys before.

    I found this link to a resistor, not a capacitor as stated (and is the same image as the bmehilos posted; http://uk.farnell.com/susumu/prl1632-r050-f-t5/resistor-current-sense-0-05-ohm/dp/1268782

    There's no I'm paying £15 delivery on a pin sized object worth 30p. And there's currently none on eBay at the moment, but if I know that I can get it up & running then it may be worth holding on to it until one pops up.
     
  11. Andropov macrumors regular

    Andropov

    Joined:
    May 3, 2012
    Location:
    Spain
    #11
    Yes, it's a resistor indeed. Not sure about what have caused it to fail though. However, if you have a ohmmeter/multimeter, try to check its resistance, which should be 0.05 Ohms (50 mOhms) just to make sure it's broken.
     
  12. ouimetnick macrumors 68020

    ouimetnick

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Location:
    Beverly, Massachusetts
    #12
    Simply soldering a new resistor will not solve the issue. Something caused the resistor to smoke. If the underlying issue isn't fixed, a new one will also smoke.
     
  13. Andropov macrumors regular

    Andropov

    Joined:
    May 3, 2012
    Location:
    Spain
    #13
    What if it was caused by overheating or any other external issue? Then it should be fixed with a replacement.
     
  14. ouimetnick macrumors 68020

    ouimetnick

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Location:
    Beverly, Massachusetts
    #14
    True, but said problem may have damaged other components on the logic board. It isn't necessarily going to be visible.
     

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