Powerbook G4 not charging

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by nishishei, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. nishishei macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2005
    My Powerbook G4 is not charging and I'm pretty sure it's not the battery (since I tried another battery and same thing). The ring light is not on either (neither orange nor green). And it's not the power adapter (my first suspicion) since I got a new one and it still doesn't work.

    When I take the battery out, and have the machine plugged in, it doesn't turn on either.

    This has happened once before, it stared charging again about 12 hours later.

    Is there something wrong with the DC-in board or the logic board? Anyone else have this problem?
  2. SwiftLives macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2001
    Charleston, SC
    Same thing happened to my Powerbook G4. Basically the leads on the logic board from the plug eventually come loose, and it's no longer able to charge.

    The solution is to either periodically open up your laptop and readjust the leads, get the logic board replaced, or just bite the bullet and get a new MacBook.

    Yeah. It kind of sucks.

    I suppose one workaround would be to purchase an additional battery and a separate charger. But I don't even know if they make separate chargers for Powerbooks.

    Good luck.
  3. powerdave macrumors regular

    Apr 24, 2004
    Edit: Doh! if you got a new adaptor and you still have this problem, then maybe the fault is on the motherboard after all. :(

    I had a similar problem with my Powerbook G4 but the problem didn't lie with the motherboard.

    Initially I had to twist and fiddle with the power connector so that the pin would make better contact with the socket in the laptop and then it would light up green / orange. Over time it got worse and no amount of messing with the thing would work.

    Then I found that buildup of some compound on the pin of the connector itself was insulating the pin, and I unplugged the power supply and scraped away this stuff with a narrow pliers... and it worked perfectly again. It always did it over time though, I needed to 'clean' it a few times over a few months.

    Anyway, take a look at the pin of the connector and see if you see any dark buildup down around the 2nd white band on the pin.. if there is, then removing the buildup might restore proper electrical contact.

    Obviously.. take care when messing around with these electrical things.
  4. LazarusAfoot macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2004
    NOT logic board!

    You have probably fixed this issue, but for the benefit of the other folks reading this, there's no good reason to "replace the motherboard." Apple has been putting the power/DC-in circuits on separate, less-expensive boards since the Powerbook G3 in 1998 (or earlier). It costs about $89 to $99 to replace the board and it is a fairly easy job for a tech. It should cost between $225 and $250 at the MOST, including parts, have this repair done, which is a heck of a lot less money than a new MacBook or a replacement logic board!
    Good luck, all and keep those PBs running as long as they do the job for you. Don't fall into the "Gotta get a new Mac" trap until you honestly need one. Then, go with the Refurbished ones in the "Special Deals" section of the Apple.com store site (on the left hand side of the site, most of the way down). Refurbed models, unlike other company's refurbs, are NOT used. They are overstocks, returns, etc. and are tested more than new ones. They also come with a brand new one-year warranty from Apple and are eligible for AppleCare within the first year of ownership. Also, the models are in the refurb section about SIX WEEKS from the time they are introduced as NEW, even though the folks at the Apple Store locations say 6 months (because they don't sell them and want you to buy a new one there!). All of my 8 Macs over the years have been refurbs and they arrived looking indistinguishable from brand new.
    Good Luck, Folks. Come see my website at https://www.LazCom.com or my photography site that is http://www.jeffwrobel.com
    Take care and good luck!
  5. madog macrumors 65816


    Nov 25, 2004
    Korova Milkbar
    The DC IN board can be as cheap as $20 (depending on the model, some had combo sound/dc in) and isn't an easy repair, but then again isn't all too difficult (depending on how you go about it).

    There ARE time where it can be the logic board, however, the only way to confirm that is to replace the DC IN and see if it fixes the problem or not. With the older computers it can be the lb or both, but typically is just the DC IN board.

    Check out welovemacs.com amongst the other Mac laptop repair sites out there I can't remember.

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