Resolved PowerBook runs off adapter. 0% Charge?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by eyoungren, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. eyoungren, Nov 8, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2011

    eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #1
    My turn to ask questions…

    17" PowerBook 1.67Ghz. Was working fine yesterday, now it's only running off the adapter.

    Bit of background. Recently bought a power adapter, 65W. It broke, so I replaced it under warranty. The new one was charging my Macs, but it was not until last night when I started having this issue that I noticed it was only generating 45W (although the replacement is the same, should be 65W).

    I had let the battery run down on this Mac a bit so when I plugged it into the charger yesterday it took a moment to come up (which has happend in the past). But then it started charging so I didn't think anything of it. Put it away when I went home last night and found it had hibernated when I got it home. I was only able to revive it when I plugged in my remaining 65W charger. I thought this was odd because it had been "charging" all day (on the bad charger).

    So at home, once I revive the Mac it says 0% Battery Not Charging and then tells me the the Power Source is the adapter.

    I've tried Disk Utility and DiskWarrior and nothing has changed. I did have an update waiting to run once I rebooted (if that makes any difference), but I never got around to rebooting. Once I pull the adapter out the Mac hibernates. I can make it come back from deep sleep if I do this while the Mac is on.

    From what I researched, this indicates a bad battery. But this battery is the newest of the three I have between two PowerBooks. It can't be my 65W adapter because that's working when I share it between both PBs. The two other batteries I have when placed in this Mac don't change anything. The battery I have in it now when placed in my 1Ghz battery shows full charge.

    I suspect the battery is still being charged because it does not seem to be drawing down, but there is no indicator of that in the menubar.

    The other two batteries I have start blinking their lights when I insert them in this Mac.

    I have had a little difficulty with the connection in that past, but not enough to warrant replacement of the DC Inverter board just yet I think.

    I have reset PMU, PRAM and OpenFirmware. The Mac's clock is showing correctly so it can't be the PRAM battery, can it?

    I suspect the DC Inverter board, but the last time I had one go on me I had the opposite condition. It would not run on the adapter, only the battery. Before I plunk down $50 for nothing I'd like to be sure. Could it be the battery connector?

    I haven't run AHT yet, but it passes the diagnostics in System Profiler. Both RAM slots read the correct memory chips. I've also thought of reinstalling the OS, but again I want to be sure of this. Don't want to go through all that and find out I still have the same issue.

    I know it could be the logic board, but I'm really hoping someone has another thought on this.

    Thanks for any ideas/suggestions.

    Oh yeah, this is the System Profiler Info. It's the same no matter which battery I put in the Mac (the Mac still recognizes a battery has been put in or taken out).

    Battery Information:

    Charge Information:
    Charge remaining (mAh): 0
    Charging: No
    Full charge capacity (mAh): 10000
    Health Information:
    Cycle count: 0
    Condition: Good
    Battery Installed: Yes
    Amperage (mA): 0
    Voltage (mV): 0

    System Power Settings:

    AC Power:
    System Sleep Timer (Minutes): 10
    Disk Sleep Timer (Minutes): 10
    Display Sleep Timer (Minutes): 10
    Automatic Restart On Power Loss: No
    Wake On AC Change: No
    Wake On Clamshell Open: Yes
    Wake On LAN: Yes
    Wake On Modem Ring: Yes
    Display Sleep Uses Dim: Yes
    Battery Power:
    System Sleep Timer (Minutes): 10
    Disk Sleep Timer (Minutes): 10
    Display Sleep Timer (Minutes): 2
    Automatic Restart On Power Loss: No
    Wake On AC Change: No
    Wake On Clamshell Open: Yes
    Wake On Modem Ring: No
    Display Sleep Uses Dim: Yes
    Reduce Brightness: Yes

    Hardware Configuration:

    Clamshell Closed: No
    UPS Installed: No

    AC Charger Information:

    AC Charger (Watts): 65
    Connected: Yes
    Charging: No
     
  2. eyoungren thread starter macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #2
    Problem solved. The culprit was indeed the DC Inverter board. Bought a new one off eBay for $50 and replaced it this morning. Had to reset the PMU before the Mac recognized the battery though. But all is good now.

    Wierd though. I've not had a board fail in this way before.
     
  3. athens macrumors member

    athens

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #3
    Could you explain in more detail about this DC Inverter board.

    My 2008 Macbook pro went through its first battery in a year, and I assumed it was a defective battery. The replacement battery with in 4 months was totally dead would not even show up in the system. Its been sitting for 8 months with no charge so im assuming the battery is not dead for good but I have been hesitant on buying another one. I am wondering if what you are describing relates to my problems with Batteries.
     
  4. eyoungren thread starter macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #4
    Sure. Although I have to say I spoke too soon. It was working off battery, then I plugged the power cord in (after I posted this) and it was not charging. Reset PMU again and now my problem is back. Now, however, when I pull the battery and then put it back in I very briefly get a charge icon before things go back to zero. Going to take it in to the Apple store Saturday and see what they say.

    To your question: The connector where you plug in your power adapter is connected internally to a small board. This board controls the drawing of power from your adapter to the logic board and to the battery for charging. Typically if the DC In board is bad you can still run your Mac off battery power but the computer will not charge nor will it recognize that you have the adapter plugged in.

    In my case it's the opposite. The Mac see's power but is not charging (or at least indicates that it's not). At least I can eliminate this part from my explanation to the Apple genius people.
     
  5. athens macrumors member

    athens

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    Apr 1, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #5
    This very well could explain the battery problem's I have suffered with my Macbook Pro from day one. Thank you, very helpful in sending me into a direction of explanation. Its now used as a desktop so I am not going to worry about it any more. My case seems to be similar to yours the computer sees the power but would not charge correctly or at all. I suspect a faulty board could result in damage to a battery too?
     
  6. eyoungren thread starter macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #6
    I'm not too sure about damaging the battery. Not drawing any power to charge the battery would just simply leave you with a slowly draining battery over time. But it's suggested not to always leave your Mac on AC power all the time as having the battery in and the Mac plugged in weakens the battery. My problem was the opposite. I kept leaving the Mac sleeping on a low charge. I then bought a 45W adapter which was advertised as 65W and stupidly did not check the voltage when I received it. So that compounded the low battery charge problem.

    Been doing some testing and now it seems that if I sleep the Mac I can pull it off mains and it stays sleeping. Wake it up then and it sees the battery. Plug in the mains and it charges. I'm hoping that I've seen the last of this, but I don't know. It's slighly irksome in that it seems to indicate (now) that my previous DC In board was still good. Don't like thinking I dropped $52 to replace a good part. On the other hand the plug is way tighter then the old one and I knew I'd eventually have to replace the old one anyway.
     
  7. reddrag0n macrumors 6502

    reddrag0n

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #7
    Mine is the same way, but i don't know if it's the DC board, or if it's the battery.
    The light on the plug is orange and the battery icon in the menubar says 0% and "Battery is not charging". Other times i just get an X and "Battery not present" and a green light on the power plug.

    From what system profile says, this is my battery condition...

    Battery Information:

    Charge Information:
    Charge remaining (mAh): 0
    Charging: No
    Full charge capacity (mAh): 1865
    Health Information:
    Cycle count: 398
    Condition: Good
    Battery Installed: Yes
    Amperage (mA): 0
    Voltage (mV): 3848

    System Power Settings:

    AC Power:
    System Sleep Timer (Minutes): 0
    Disk Sleep Timer (Minutes): 10
    Display Sleep Timer (Minutes): 20
    Dynamic Power Step: No
    Reduce Processor Speed: No
    Automatic Restart On Power Loss: No
    Wake On AC Change: No
    Wake On Clamshell Open: Yes
    Wake On LAN: Yes
    Wake On Modem Ring: Yes
    Display Sleep Uses Dim: Yes
    Battery Power:
    System Sleep Timer (Minutes): 10
    Disk Sleep Timer (Minutes): 10
    Display Sleep Timer (Minutes): 2
    Dynamic Power Step: Yes
    Reduce Processor Speed: No
    Automatic Restart On Power Loss: No
    Wake On AC Change: No
    Wake On Clamshell Open: Yes
    Wake On Modem Ring: No
    Display Sleep Uses Dim: Yes
    Reduce Brightness: Yes

    Hardware Configuration:

    Clamshell Closed: No
    UPS Installed: No

    AC Charger Information:

    AC Charger (Watts): 65
    Connected: Yes
    Charging: No
     
  8. eyoungren thread starter macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #8
    I have an appointment at 3:30 today at my local Apple store. Hopefully they will be able to tell me something.

    I am periodically getting a brief flash of the charging icon every once in a while and I can now shut the lid and pull the power cable. It "sleeps" on what seems to be the power from the PRAM battery, but I'm no expert. To me, it's now one of two things. Either the logic board or an OS issue. If the Apple genius people can confirm on or the other I can take it from there. I suppose it could be the battery connector though. We'll see I guess. I don't have any AHT disks to check the logic board as I bought this Mac used, but I'm not sure it would report bad if I did have them. Oh well, let's see what Apple has to say.
     
  9. eyoungren thread starter macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #9
    Well…the Apple genius said the next order of business would be replacing the battery connector. That jives with what I was going to do next. I just wanted to see if they could point to something specific so I would not have to tear the Mac apart again.

    Unfortunately they couldn't without doing the same thing I'm doing and they of course would not do that free of charge if my Mac was within the 5 year period of support…which it isn't anymore. So, up to me.

    Of course, because I made the appointment the Mac decided to behave and so far since last night it's been working like normal. I'll wait for a while to see how long that lasts before I proceed with the next step. If I do try replacing the connector and that does not work it then points to the logic board. I asked about the PRAM/USB board but the Apple genius does not think that's part of it.
     
  10. eyoungren thread starter macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #10
    Solved a separate but also irritating issue. The Mac, when I put it to sleep, would flash the screen once per second. Finally tracked it down in a 2005 post on the Apple forums. The issue with this is Bluetooth. It was on and it was set to wake for access. Turning off wake for access and turning BT off stopped the flashing.

    So far the Mac seems to be functioning. I've manage to reboot and it came right back up on battery AFTER I swapped batteries. So. IDK! Just hope it's fixed itself!
     
  11. reddrag0n macrumors 6502

    reddrag0n

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #11
    Well, this is what my battery info is saying, and the orange ring on the power plug turned green. So i don't know if it's the DC board, or what. Hopefully it's a new battery that i need.

    Even installed the PB 15" battery firmware from apple.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. eyoungren thread starter macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #12
    Yeah, that's the exact problem I had. At this point I have no idea what's going on, but it's working so far - now.

    I don't know if it was replacing the DC In board or if it was a combination of playing around with things, but it's working.
     
  13. reddrag0n macrumors 6502

    reddrag0n

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    Canada
    #13
    Well, i went out to the store and came back, turned off the PB, moved it to a different room and turned it back on. Didn't press the battery indicator, didn't remove it and now this is what it is saying...

    [​IMG]
     
  14. eyoungren thread starter macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #14
    Yeah, I got that a few times too. You might try replacing the DC In Board anyway. At the very least you can rule that out as an issue.
     

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