PowerBook G4 won't power on

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by mashburn4077, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. mashburn4077 macrumors newbie


    Oct 8, 2018
    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?
  2. Project Alice macrumors 6502a

    Project Alice

    Jul 13, 2008
    Post Falls, ID

    Try resetting the PMU


    Also, I recommend getting an official apple power adapter, those things do not like 3rd party ones.
  3. AphoticD, Oct 9, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018

    AphoticD macrumors 68000


    Feb 17, 2017
    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.
  4. pl1984 macrumors 68020

    Oct 31, 2017
    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)
  5. Raging Dufus macrumors regular

    Raging Dufus

    Aug 2, 2018
    Kansas USA
    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.
  6. Traace macrumors regular


    Jul 21, 2018
    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.
  7. CooperBox macrumors 65816


    Nov 28, 2010
    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.
  8. VanneDC macrumors 6502a


    Jun 5, 2010
    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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7 October 8, 2018