PowerBook G4 won't power on

mashburn4077

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 8, 2018
1
1
I bought a 12" PB G4 (model A1010, 1.33 GHz) from eBay, and I'm having trouble getting it to boot.

I bought a 3rd-party 65W adapter, which appears to charge the battery just fine - the indicators on the battery blink in sequence as the battery charges. However, nothing happens when I press the power button. Sometimes when I press the power button, the screen backlight comes on, and the Caps Lock key lights up as I toggle it, but nothing else happens. No spinning drive, no chime, nothing. I've tried with and without the battery. I have tried allowing it to charge overnight. Nothing seems to help here. Any ideas? Or did I just buy a paperweight?
 
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Project Alice

macrumors 65816
Jul 13, 2008
1,055
717
Post Falls, ID
I bought a 12" PB G4 (model A1010, 1.33 GHz) from eBay, and I'm having trouble getting it to boot.

I bought a 3rd-party 65W adapter, which appears to charge the battery just fine - the indicators on the battery blink in sequence as the battery charges. However, nothing happens when I press the power button. Sometimes when I press the power button, the screen backlight comes on, and the Caps Lock key lights up as I toggle it, but nothing else happens. No spinning drive, no chime, nothing. I've tried with and without the battery. I have tried allowing it to charge overnight. Nothing seems to help here. Any ideas? Or did I just buy a paperweight?

Try resetting the PMU

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT1431

Also, I recommend getting an official apple power adapter, those things do not like 3rd party ones.
 
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AphoticD

macrumors 68000
Feb 17, 2017
1,959
2,579
Australia
I would try removing the RAM from the memory bay. If that doesn’t help, it’s likely a faulty logic board.

These little books are mostly solid and rarely have PMU issues (compared to iBooks). In the case of non-booting I have encountered faulty DC to DC boards, however given that it charges and responds to the pressing of the power button, it’s more likely the main board.

It is also possible for a seized hard drive to prevent booting, but you should at least see the flashing system folder icon.
 
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Raging Dufus

macrumors 6502
Aug 2, 2018
403
637
Kansas USA
it’s more likely the main board.
I agree. I've run into the exact same problems as OP, and the only remedy I found was a logic board swap.

OP, if you can't return the PowerBook, or decide not to, iFixit has excellent repair guides that will walk you through a logic board replacement. If you decide to go that route, there's plenty of advice available here in this forum with a quick search. Please don't relegate your PowerBook to doorstop duty.
 
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Traace

macrumors regular
Jul 21, 2018
139
124
Germany
If, after attempting the suggestions here, it still fails to work I would contact the seller to see what they're willing to do about the situation (assuming it wasn't sold as is)
Always be careful, I would't tell them about the adapter :) Some seller might argue that it was working fine before but its broke now due to 3rd party.
 

CooperBox

macrumors 65816
Nov 28, 2010
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France - between Ricard & Absinthe
Some good advise here. If you can't return the PowerBook or decide not to, indeed there is iFixit complete instructions online, plus an excellently detailed post HERE by AphoticD.
BUT have you ever disassembled/rebuilt a Powerbook before, or any laptop? If the answer is no, I strongly advise you not to start on a 12" G4 Powerbook. They are complicated little devils.
Having refurbished several MacBooks, and 15" & 17" Powerbooks, I then did my first 12", and on completion told myself it would be the last. Then some time later found myself reluctantly with a 2nd and then a third. After completing that 3rd I became pretty confident and no longer fear them. Your experience may be different, but forewarned is forearmed. ;)
Please let us know how things turn out.
 

VanneDC

macrumors 6502a
Jun 5, 2010
854
85
Dubai, UAE
mine had the same symptoms, turns out after I pulled the dead as a doornail hard drive, the thing booted fine. (just needed to source a new HD)
 
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