Powerbook G4 12", still have any life in it?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by JPIndustrie, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. JPIndustrie macrumors 6502a


    Mar 12, 2008
    Queens, NY

    I have a little dilemma here.

    I have a Powerbook G4 12" that I bought in 2004. I LOVED this thing. This computer was the reason why I believe in the 'Apple' way of things, and want to continue using it.

    The thing is, it's seen better days. Way better days. This was my main computer during my college years and it's seen me through everything. I'll admit I'm pretty rough, and this thing took it all like a champ. The case is bent at a few places, with dimples and dents all around - and what made me move on was one day it seemed to loose all I/O function. So I kinda just put it away and got a desktop.

    Now I miss Mac OS X, and I'd like to just reformat it, get a copy of Mac OS X Leopard and use it as my main computer. Here's the thing, I know it needs some reconditioning, but what?

    The thing is, it boots. It takes way longer than it normally did to boot (the HDD is making a clicking noise, no matter 'cuz I'd like to upgrade the 60 GB HDD to a higher capacity anyway), but now my airport wireless card doesn't work, says "No airport hardware installed"

    The DVD drive doesn't read discs anymore. It takes in a CD, reads it, spins, then spits it out.

    I don't think the USB ports are working either, i've plugged in my ipod, and nothing happens. But I think the network/ethernet port is working as I was able to plug it in and connect it to the internet.

    Now my questions, are (1) what do you guys think is wrong with it? (3) what should I replace first to bring it back to speed? (2) I'd like to upgrade it (I'll start with a new HDD, but what else - more memory - it has 512 MB, superdrive perhaps, is the processor upgradable?) or (3) is this thing even worth upgrading, or should I just cut my losses and move on?

    I really don't care about the cosmetic issues, I think it shows character, and the fact that the thing still boots to the dock and the display is still as bright as ever shows it may have some life - just need some direction on what to start with it first?

  2. tMac85 macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2007
    in a great place

    personally, in the price its gonna cost you to get it back to what it used to be. I would take $400- $500 bucks and get a used one in great condition. It will look better run better and last you way longer. ...also a macbook would be a nice alternative. I just feel that with everything you listed as wrong with it, you are better off letting it go.

    just my 2 cents. and im sure you have thought of this option before.
  3. JPIndustrie thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 12, 2008
    Queens, NY
    Thanks for the reply!

    You see thing is, if I HAVE to get a new computer, I don't really need one. So I can't justify purchasing another computer.
  4. The Flashing Fi macrumors 6502a

    Sep 23, 2007
    Well, the clicking of the HDD is not good, but you plan on replacing it anyway.

    There isn't anything you can do about the USB ports, except replace the logicboard (the USB ports are probably integrated into the logicboard). If the airport card is also integrated into the logicboard, then that would also get replaced. If it's a seperate card, you could try opening it and re-inserting it (it could have gotten jolted loose). If it won't work, then add that to the list of what needs to be replaced.
  5. monkey86 macrumors 6502


    Aug 5, 2008
    try a usb mouse - the usb ports in a powerbook 12" on battery wont even support a nano without the power cable plugged in.

    250 Gb WD Scorpio on ebay = £40/$85 ive just got one.

    super/combo drive £30/$65

    bottom case £40/$55

    top case £20/$45

    caddy to turn the old hdd into an external £15/$35

    airport card is accessible from the battery compartment £40/$90

    ifixit.com for how to change stuff

    if you go for the HDD and cd maybe £100 but probs cheaper

    and its a peice of piss to change one over with the ifixit guide :)

    i say get it up again - im just about to change the HDD and bottom case (bt bent etc)

    and then install leopard!
  6. lscangus macrumors 6502

    Jul 29, 2003
    Newcastle, UK
    please PM me where to get the cases for this price


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