PowerBook 15"

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by VanneDC, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. VanneDC, Feb 13, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018

    VanneDC macrumors 6502a

    VanneDC

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    #1
    I've had this PowerBook G4 about 10 years.. never used it much after the initial purchase so long ago. Edit!!! Lol it's actually a 17".[​IMG]
    It's the top of the line spec and the last of its kind. But I've since lost the power brick for it and I recon the battery has gone the way of the dodo..

    I'll need to buy a new power brick. Can anyone recommend one that doesn't cost the earth?

    Cheers
     
  2. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #2
    I would check on eBay. Pretty easy to find. Make sure to get a 65W charger. Some of the cheaper ones, keep in mind the sellers often try to pass off 45W as 65W and you won't know until you put the Mac on the charger.

    I'd avoid anything costing $10 or less. Had one of those $10 one's catch fire on me once inside Starbucks.
     
  3. VanneDC, Feb 13, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018

    VanneDC thread starter macrumors 6502a

    VanneDC

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    #3
    Thanks, lol visual mistake, it's actually a 17" inch PB. Cool I'll get a 65w one. Chances of pram Batt still being good?
    --- Post Merged, Feb 13, 2018 ---
    just bought a used oem 65w one. 18 bucks inc shipping from an old granny.. lol or so it says. The 9700pro in this puppy has 128mb ram, not a huge amount, but should be sufficient for doing a few tasks. I just remember the screen being very crisp.. Lol thats probably me imagining this too..

    can't run OS9, but will run leopard, is that the go to OS for this book? if i remember right, ram is maxed out at 2gigs.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 13, 2018 ---
    Should be able to test if this puppy still works right, without the battery, should boot on the Power brick only right? I bought one of those el-cheapo power bricks a few years ago, and i remember being very frustrated as you said, when it came in, it was a 45W one, i did try to boot it with that, but all it gave was a little click inside and then nothing..

    so fingers crossed with the right power brick that this puppy comes back to life. If it does, ill chase down a new batt for it somewhere down the line.

    edit: lol now i think about it, I've probably has this more like 15 years... and only used it for 3 months before getting my Quad 2.5.
     
  4. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #4
    Cool! You should join Club 17 when you get it back running!

    I believe the PRAM battery should recharge as long as you let it sit on the power supply for a while.
    Hope it works. Note that chargers don't tend to downgrade, they usually just fail. For instance, you won't find that a malfunctioning 65W charger becomes a 45W charger. So, if what you receive IS a 45W then it was likely 45W all along.

    Yeah, the screens are cool. I love my 2003 A1013.

    Leopard is what I use, but a lot of people are partial to Tiger, which does support Classic. Technically, you should not be able to boot OS9 on it but a lot of work has been done lately to making that possible. You'd have to ask around here as OS9 is something I couldn't get rid of fast enough.
    The 17's tend to demand 65W. They can run once booted off 45W and stay static (neither charging nor discharging) but any pushing of the processor will draw more power and 45W won't be sufficient - it will draw from battery. Booting from a 45W wasn't really possible on my 17s.

    I have a 2003 17 (A1013) and I love it. I've had the last model, the DLSD but my A1013 is my favorite. It's the only 17" PB to have cache.
     
  5. Dronecatcher macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

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    #5
    My 17" DLSD runs Leopard fantasically, the 9700 GPU sings on this machine - when I got mine I was convinced it either had a Daystar CPU upgrade or an SSD in there but no, just a 7200RPM HDD which is silent.
     
  6. VanneDC, May 22, 2018
    Last edited: May 22, 2018

    VanneDC thread starter macrumors 6502a

    VanneDC

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    #6
    Well... I finally got around to having a look at this lappy, 1.5ghz. new 65w charger.

    Plugged it in, ... Nothing.. a few clicks from the DVD drive. Dammit!!

    Removed and swapped ram,... Nothing..

    Removed battery... .. nothing...

    Bloody hell .... :(

    So then I start tearing the thing open, and upon removing the top cover and then pushing the power button... Nothing..

    Ok, remove hard drive... Nothing

    Remove DVD drive... Nothing...

    Grrrr....

    Then I start thinking about just chucking the bloody thing in the bin.. hmm remove the wifi card...

    ACTION!! Apple sound, Bing's!! Sweet!! :)

    Plug the hd back in , comes up with smiley folder thing. So drive is shagged. Plug DVD drive back in, Chuck tiger DVD in and boots up to the install screen.. YAY!!

    Quick profiler, looks good, though no hd present. Utility also shows no hard drive.

    Darn, so I need a new hard drive...

    What do you guys think? Worthwhile fixing this one?

    Just put the airport extreme cars back in, no dramas, boots fine on CD..so I guess just needs a new hard drive??
     
  7. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #7
    I have to say that depends.

    Your post makes it seem like you just tore things apart, rather than carefully dissassembling it.

    The hard drive ribbon cable can go bad. I've had Macs where the connector that was attached to the logicboard came up off the board as well. At that point you're done - unless you're skilled at logicboard repair.

    I would have suggested a PMU reset as the first option. Sometimes letting the Mac charge overnight when it's been down for so long is also a solution.

    The fact that it started up when you removed the Airport card suggests the card is bad. That can also prevent boots. But we'd know more about that if a PMU reset had failed.

    If you did carefully dissassemble it then maybe trying putting the Airport card back. If it boots again then it probably just needed to sit on charge for a while. If it doesn't then you're looking at a new Airport Extreme card.

    If you get a new HD and it doesn't work and you were just pulling things then you probably damaged the HD ribbon cable.

    It just all depends on what you've done and what you're willing to do based on that if this is worth fixing or not.
     
  8. VanneDC thread starter macrumors 6502a

    VanneDC

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    #8
    When I say ripped apart, I really meant carefully.. nothing damaged, but I do think the airport card has gone, booting now with a new card, let's see if profiler pics it up...

    Edit, laptop doesn't detect the new airport card..that sucks.. I just wanna make sure that profiler would see it if it's just booting off the install cd right?
     
  9. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #9
    It's always possible that the slot has failed.

    Maybe try reseating the card. Airport Extreme right?

    And since you did this carefully, I would try a new drive ribbon cable first. One person here had issues and it was a drive cable. I've had one of them fail.

    It'll be much cheaper to replace the cable than a hard drive, because if it is the cable you are going to end up replacing it anyway.
     
  10. AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

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    #10
    I can confirm both of these issues;

    A failed AirPort Extreme Card can cause a PowerBook to fail to POST or if it does pass the POST, I’ve seen it kernel panic during startup. If there are any burnt or shorted out components on the logic board or auxiliary cards (like the APEx), the machine won’t boot.

    Likewise, I’ve had the hard drive connector flex ribbon fail on a PB 12”. Despite appearing to be in good shape, with no physical damage, it was surely the ribbon. This left me scratching my head as I couldn’t see how it could be failing, but sure enough.

    If you are finding multiple APEx cards failing, try cleaning the APEx slot with some Isopropyl Alcohol. This will aid in clearing out any corrosion / oxidized metals which might be shorting or preventing clean contact with the card’s connector.
    --- Post Merged, May 22, 2018 ---
    Yes. Please don’t trash it. Even if the AirPort Extreme slot is toast, you can always run a PBG4 with a cheap wireless PC Card (@eyoungren has contributed to many posts on the subject) as it sounds to be otherwise functional.
     
  11. VanneDC thread starter macrumors 6502a

    VanneDC

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    #11
    hmm, lol turns out it is a 15 inch matt screen version anyways. lol. :)

    whats the max ram these things take?

    currently on 1.25gb. 1 1gb and a 256meg stick
     
  12. AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

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    #12
    2GB is maximum, but 1.25GB should be plenty for most PowerPC tasks. The 15” machine is still good!
     
  13. VanneDC thread starter macrumors 6502a

    VanneDC

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    #13
    KInda don't mind that it doesn't have wifi, (yeah id say the poort has just stopped working due to some reason). not a biggie for me though as was thinking of using this as my writing machine. the keyboard is pretty nice and the screen is very nice and bright.

    ordered a new HD before you guys mentioned the flex cable... :/ can someone link me a new flex cable that would work?

    that and it needs a new batt..

    and as you guys said, plently of pcima options for wifi/usb wifi stick
     
  14. AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

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    #14
    I would try eBay, theBookyard.com or PowerBookMedic.com part number 922-5998 or 922-6685.

    It’s also worth noting that there is a flex cable for the AirPort Extreme Card slot which may have failed and could be worth buying at the same time.
     
  15. weckart macrumors 601

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    Nov 7, 2004
    #15
    Another supplier of PowerBook spare parts is PCHub.com. Stuff might be cheaper there but shipping time might be longer depending where you are from.
     
  16. VanneDC thread starter macrumors 6502a

    VanneDC

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    #16
    Okay, new Hard Drive came in before I ordered the new flexy cable.

    [​IMG]

    And it's alive, 160gb should be enough. Glad this is now working. Great little lappy for its time.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    The right hand edge is a little out of shape.. how to best whack that back into shape?
     
  17. weckart macrumors 601

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    Nov 7, 2004
    #17
    I would honestly leave it. Aluminium stretches and you may find yourself playing whack-a-mole trying to level the sides.
     
  18. AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

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    #18
    Most 2nd hand AlBooks I've purchased have had some case warping, especially in the corners like this. I tend to try just pushing things back into shape with the rubber end of a screwdriver handle and/or my thumbs. I wouldn't advise going at it with a hammer or anything likely to leave a mark.
     
  19. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #19
    My first 17" HD-DLSD was won because the owner had let it drop on it's corner (same place as your issue). Only the damage on mine was quite evident.

    I used a small hammer and a block of wood. It was never perfect but it looked far better than the way it came.

    The block of wood disperses the impact of the hammer more evenly so that you don't get hammer marks and metal that moves only in the place you hit it.
     
  20. CooperBox, Jun 4, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018

    CooperBox macrumors 65816

    CooperBox

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    #20
    I agree with eyoungren. I've had good success using a block or fairly thick strip of wood placed on the inside, and then careful light tapping from the outside using a plastic hammer. With care one can reform deformed sides back to practically 'as-new' condition. Reforming dents/ damage on the rounded corners however is far from easy, and best left for a specialist.
     
  21. B S Magnet macrumors 6502

    B S Magnet

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    #21
    I’m glad to have found this as provisional confirmation of an issue with a 15" A1138 I found recently.

    When I disconnected the Airport Extreme/BT cable, the boot-up is fine. With it attached, it hits kernel panic when checking the card (seen during verbose boot). I swapped out the card with the same card from my A1139 and found the outcome is the same. I gently cleaned the connection point on the logic board with 99% alcohol, and this made no difference.

    It’s not the original logic board, and it’s possible this replacement simply has a faulty connector for Airport Extreme/BT. I’ve ordered a cable replacement and should hopefully have a sense of what’s actually failing here: the cable or the board.

    I can post an update this later on.
     

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