PowerBook Pismo Power/USB Flash Issues

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by india349, Jan 25, 2009.

  1. india349 macrumors member

    india349

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA
    #1
    Hello everyone,

    I just bought a used PowerBook G3 Pismo on eBay. Well, it finally arrived yesterday and appears to be in good working order but there are a few issues and I'm not sure how to track down the source:

    1) The battery does not charge. No big deal, as I'm not planning to use this on the go or anything like that, plus the battery is 8 years old. I can always buy a new one if really needed. Still, I'm not sure if this problem is battery related or power card related. The adapter works fine as when I plug it in, it boots, but the minute I unplug it, instant shut down.

    2) The clock does not hold time if the adapter is unplugged. Again, not a super huge issue, but it's annoying when Mac OS keeps informing me that my clock is set to a date before 1970...this could be the PRAM battery, power card, or regular battery, correct? If I keep the adapter plugged in, the time stays even between shut downs.

    3) Mac OS 9 won't accept USB flash drives. Plugging them in once booted freezes the computer. Plugging them in and then booting freezes the startup process. This problem could probably be solved with a clean OS 9.2.1 install, but I don't have the disk with which to do that yet. They work fine in Tiger.

    So my question is: in regards to the power issue, what needs to be replaced, the main battery, the PRAM battery, the power card....or all three? I ran the Apple Hardware Test and everything passed, not sure if that helps. I'm really hesitant to replace the power card as I'm afraid to take my machine apart that much. Anyone have thoughts?

    I greatly appreciate your help,

    india349
     
  2. applefan1997 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    Location:
    Koreatown, Los Angeles, California
    #2
    Most likely it is the battery. Does it ever light when you press the button? First try a reset:
    Restart the laptop.
    Press  + option + O + F when you hear the chime.
    When the screen comes on, type reset-nvram.
    Then type reset-all.
    That'll reset the system. When it starts again, also press  + option + P + R. It resets the PRAM, though the previous might do it as well. It'll restart.
    If it doesn't help the battery, it's most likely old. The PRAM battery should be replaced to keep time when it's not powered. Also, leaving it off for a long time with a dead PRAm battery might make the computer not able to start, when this happens, unplug the battery, and it should come back.
     
  3. india349 thread starter macrumors member

    india349

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA
    #3
    The first light on the battery flashes when I push the button. I know it's an old one. When I take it out, it looks like it's the original Apple battery.

    I performed the steps you suggested and there was no change (aside from the clock resetting and the system default-booting into Tiger, obviously). Should I invest in a new battery, PRAM battery, or both? Is there any chance something is wrong with the power card?

    Thanks,
    india349
     
  4. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #4
    Sounds like you need a new PRAM battery. Whether the computer's clock keeps running has nothing to do with the laptop battery. Your laptop battery is also dead, but that shouldn't affect anything if you're just going to leave it plugged in. There is nothing wrong with your power adapter.

    I don't know what the deal is with your flash drive, though.
     
  5. india349 thread starter macrumors member

    india349

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA
    #5
    So I should buy a new PRAM battery, and possibly a new main battery? Where's the best place (online) to get a good deal on something like that? It also seems surprising that the computer isn't even trying to charge the main battery (No lightning bolts appear on the battery logo and under Tiger, it shows the plug icon and "0%")...

    I really think the OS 9 installation I got with it is botched. I used that same flash drive on a iMac G3 with 32 MB of RAM, so I know it works with the Mass Storage extension. I think once I get my OS 9 CD, I'll reformat and see if that changes things.

    india349
     
  6. india349 thread starter macrumors member

    india349

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA
    #6
    Well, I bought a high-capacity Pismo main battery and a new PRAM battery online today. Hopefully that should solve my problems. If the battery doesn't charge, I'll take the plunge, take apart my computer, and buy a new power card.

    Thanks for the help!

    india349 :)
     
  7. Fishtalk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #7
    Once you've changed the main battery + the PRAM battery you shouldn't have any more power problems... But WHY keep OS9. Install Tiger or at least Panther + Classic
    Hardly anything works any more with OS9

    I have a Pismo Running Panther+ classic and a lot of App.s I try to download are no no's Tiger seems to be the bottom line.
    PS My main battery has been "Dead" for over year now. If I try to boot without the mains adaptor it last for about 2 minutes before closing down.
    BUT apart from that its a pretty good machine ( for its age)
     
  8. india349 thread starter macrumors member

    india349

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA
    #8
    Fishtalk, I'm using OS 9 because that's the reason I bought my Pismo. I already own a MacBook with Leopard which is my primary work computer, but I bought the Pismo to run all of the old OS 9 software I have laying around that I can't run on the modern hardware.

    The new battery and PRAM battery should be here in a few days, I hope it works....

    india349
     
  9. india349 thread starter macrumors member

    india349

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA
    #9
    Oh, I'm so frustrated!

    I got my new PRAM battery and main battery for my Pismo today...installed both into the machine, and here's what happened:

    The clock STILL doesn't keep the time if I remove the power adapter.

    The main battery doesn't seem to want to charge, although every couple minutes, the lighting bolt on screen appears for about a minute and then disappears. It never did this with the old battery.

    I fear it's a power card issue; is that the chip that the PRAM battery plugs into?

    Anyone have any ideas?

    Thanks,
    india349
     

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