The PowerBook Project: upgrades

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by J.Appleseed, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. J.Appleseed macrumors 6502

    J.Appleseed

    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #1
    I'm terribly sorry as this is the third topic about questions regarding the revival of my newly aqcuired 15" PowerBook, but I realised I better made a more general topic about it to gather all the questions I have.

    So I've got this 15" PowerBook (1.33 GHz, 768MB RAM, 40GB HDD) of which I recently swapped the logic board since the original one had a faulty graphics chip.
    Now, the laptop still has some of its original issues so I am wondering what the cause for those might be

    Issue #1
    Whenever the PowerBook goes to sleep, be it via closing the lid or because of the power management settings, it won't wake up. The sleeping light will be blinking but I have to unplug the charger* and boot it back up; just pressing the power button (or any key at all) does not have any effect.
    My thoughts
    I've heard that a dead PRAM battery might cause troubles with power management, and since this PowerBook does not have a PRAM battery at all I think this might be the cause of this issue. I'm not sure about this, though.

    Issue #2
    The PowerBook does have an AirPort Extreme card installed, but since my network is secured with WPA2 it won't connect with it. I do have a USB dongle which I currently use, but perhaps there would be a third-party wireless card to not lose a USB port?

    Issue #3
    I have installed Leopard on the PowerBook. I did so because I think Tiger is too outdated and it has an odd workflow since I'm used to working with Leopard/Snow Leopard/Lion/Mountain Lion.
    However, the Mac is quite slow.
    My thoughts
    I was planning on upgrading the RAM to 2GB since I know that extra RAM will speed a Mac up, although I was wondering whether upgrading the HDD to a 80GB ATA/IDE drive @ 5400 RPM (currently there's the original 40GB ATA/IDE drive @ 4200 RPM) would be effective as well.

    If there are any other problems I might encounter with this PowerBook, I will post them in this thread to avoid polluting the PowerPC forum with my 'questions'.

    *the original battery is dead, so it will only run with the power adapter connected.
     
  2. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #2
    For #1 you might try getting a copy of DiskWarrior and repairing your drive. Someone else may know more, but that sounds like a system issue.

    #2. Try using TKIP instead of AES. I can get WPA2 at home but it knocks my son's Mac off the network. WPA with AES does the same, so I have to use WPA with TKIP.

    #3. More ram. Leopard only really does ok with a minimum of 1GB of ram. Max it to 2GB and shut off the eye candy and you'll be surprised at how much faster it goes.

    By eye candy, I mean, coverflow, file previews, animations, etc.
     
  3. J.Appleseed thread starter macrumors 6502

    J.Appleseed

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    #3
    #1: I'm currently trying to repair disk permissions via Disk Utility, but I seriously doubt it's a system issue since the problem continues even after a clean install from Leopard (it acted the same way on Tiger). I might try the software, though.

    #2: I've read that TKIP isn't allowed as a 802.11-standard since it's not safe enough, so I'm a bit hesitant about that. Also, since we have an 802.11n (300N) router it doesn't support TKIP, only WEP and WPA (I'm Dutch, for that matter, perhaps the standard isn't really implemented here?).

    #3: Alright, I'll order some more RAM then! :D
     
  4. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #4
    Well, what I meant was that there may be something corrupt in the system files. Disk Utility is ok, but it won't fix serious issues. Stuff like invalid B-Trees and such. DiskWarrior can do that.

    Of course, there may not be something wrong there at all, but this is simply where I would start.

    I had a TiBook (it's in pieces now) that because of a flaky logicboard would immediately lock up when you shut the lid and would not boot unless in safe mode. Turned out it was video drivers. Removing the drivers while in safe mode allowed it to boot and sleep normally. By this time though it was pretty messed up and I was not using it as my primary Mac so it took a while to find the cause.

    #2. You know the kind of securiity you need best. I'd love to have WPA2 because both my wife's Mac and mine can support it. But that prevents my son from getting on the network. We live in a semi-quiet residential neighborhood where there's at least ten or so different WiFi networks because of my neighbors. So, ultimately I don't NEED WPA2 and that is the reason we stepped down so my son could stay on the network.

    I don't understand where your 15" PowerBook would not be able to use WPA2 when my 17", 2003 PowerBook can, but maybe someone knows more.

    #3. Good idea. ;)
     
  5. J.Appleseed thread starter macrumors 6502

    J.Appleseed

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    #5
    #1: Yeah, Disk Utility didn't really do anything I guess. Also, the thing is that it would do this even with the previous logic board, although the only difference is that with the new one the sleep light will light up. I'll look into Disk Warrior tomorrow.

    #2: You're right. AirPort Extreme should support WPA2 and it does see (and connect to) the hotspot of my mobile phone (WPA2 PSK). The card normally doesn't see any networks at all, by the way - could it be that its range is limited? My MacBook Pro gets 3 out of 4 bars from the same location...
     
  6. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #6
    I don't know. Could be the antenna, maybe your WiFi channel.

    The Airport antenna in the PowerBooks is routed around the bezel of the LCD. The cable goes through the hinge, just like the LVDS cable so it may be worn.

    The reception in the early TiBooks is notorious for being poor, but you have an AlBook. What happens if you move the Mac close to your router?

    Note. I think we may actually be on WPA2 at home using TKIP. I was just now looking through some of my system info and it mentioned that. I'll have to check when I get home. But if that's the case it would be exceeding strange that my son's 1GHZ TiBook could get WPA2 but not your AlBook.

    So, as you mentioned that it does not normally see ANY network then reception is more likely to be the issue. You should be able to SEE a network, even if you don't have the correct encryption to use it. Unless of course the network is being broadcast on a different standard.

    For instance, at home my router is capable of of 801.11a, b and g. My Powerbook and my wife's Powerbook both have Airport Extreme (g), but I broadcast in mixed mode (a,b and g) and not g only because my son's Powerbook has the older Airport card (a and b) and would never detect the network if I did that.

    Maybe your router is running in 'n' mode only? Assuming you have 801.11n.
     
  7. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    #7
    For the sleep problem.
    I have that too. Some pointed me at the PRAM thing, too, but if I recall right member Intell said, that PowerBooks/ibooks G4 never had a PRAM battery. I have read of some users that had the problem first after they had upgraded the HDD. Which I did, too, but I also didn't check the logicboard, which I replaced, if it wasn't defective in this respect from the beginning.

    In my case the light did only blink for a millisecond and than the Book was like dead. Had to unplug it and put the battery out.

    I talked to person repairing mainly Apple Books (all varieties) and he suggested three steps:

    1. check, if the battery (the rechargable onee, not the little resistor that saves the time+date information like a PRAM battery does) is too old.

    2. corrupt file system (like allready suggested).
    -> I would say, if you can install the OS from DVD, completely new and there is still the problem, the DVD, must have a problem, already. Don't know, if that makes sense.
    But you can start in SINGLE USER MODE. This is repairing the file system without a DVD.
    Start the Mac and hold down command (apple key) + s. Wait till all the text has appeared! Type "/sbin/fsck -yf" (without " ") and press return.
    Wait till it says "The filesystem has been modified". Do it a second time, till it says "The filesystem seems to be OK".

    3. the HDD draws too much power.
    -> which I checked with my WD3200BEVE, it has the same or lower power requirements than the stock Toshiba drive had.

    So, all that did not apply and I still do not have a cure, but maybe you will be able to use the 2. thing. Sorry, not being of more help.
     
  8. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #8
    PowerPC era Airport Extremes can connect to AES encrypted WPA2 networks as long as they are running 10.3.9 or later.
     
  9. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #9
    Right! But I have to use TKIP so my son, who does not have an Airport Extreme card, can connect.

    If I use AES my wife and I can still connect, but my son cannot, even though he can see the network.
     
  10. J.Appleseed, Sep 12, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013

    J.Appleseed thread starter macrumors 6502

    J.Appleseed

    Joined:
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    #10
    First off: I wrote this on my phone so i'm terribly sorry if the formatting is off on desktops.

    That seems somewhat unlikely to me since I can perfectly see and use my phone's hotspot. My bedroom is on the second floor whereas the router/modem are situated on the ground floor, so the reception thing might be true. I'll see if I can get any reception in the living room.

    I do know that we have a Sitecom 300N router, but I'm not sure if it runs in n-mode only. I do know that my 2005 iMac G5 (iSight) was perfectly capable of connecting to the network whereas my 2001 iBook G3 was not. I'll look into this as soon as I get home.

    Oh, PowerBooks do have a PRAM battery according to the iFixit tutorial. The dedicated connector on my logic board was empty so I assumed it must've been removed. I believe that's also the reason why I couldn't flash the PRAM.

    Also, my PowerBook still has the original harddrive with the Apple logo on it. I really suspect the PRAM battery of being the cause of this issue. I might order a new one someday, though, and if I do you'll be the first to know it :)

    As for step 1, the original rechargeable battery is completely dead. It holds no charge at all, so I'd say it definitly is too old. Therefore, though, it's always connected to the power adapter and so it should be able to wake up just fine, right? I'm no expert (I hope that's clear by now) but it seems quite logical - to me, anyways.

    Step 2, the corrupt filesystem, I doubt as well since it behaved like this since I got it (Tiger). After a reinstall of Tiger from my own original Tiger-DVD it still behaved the same, and it continued doing so after a clean install of Leopard (from a disk image I burned on a dual-layer DVD). It could be possible though; I'll look into that software program today.

    Step 3 does seem like a logical explanation to me, but wouldn't it refuse to boot as well if the harddrive would draw too much power? Also, the harddrive is still the original one...
    Another one of my 'logical' theories, but as I said, I could be wrong.

    To be honest, I'm not convinced that it could be anything other than the PRAM battery. I'll try and see if I can find one fairly cheap locally, or I'll have to order one from the States.

    There's absolutely no need to be sorry. In fact, every single one of these responses is helping me a lot to determine what's the issue here. And even if you wouldn't be able to help me, someone else might find this very useful in the future.
    So thank you very much for posting! :)
     
  11. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #11
    iBooks and only the 12" PowerBook G4 don't have a PRAM battery. The 15" and 17" do.
     
  12. DaKKs macrumors 6502

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    Stockholm, Sweden
    #12
    Also, if the main battery is buggered, the PRAM battery has a tendency to discharge, which gives all kinds of issues. Remove the main battery and charge the powerbook for 48 hours. That should recharge the PRAM battery.

    If that doesn't work, replace the PRAM battery.

    However it will most likely work. My Powerbook hadn't been powered on for two years when i bought it. Main battery was shot to hell and i had all kinds of bugs. Once the PRAM battery was recharged, the issues disappeared. Except for the failed keyboard backlight. Still working on that one.
     
  13. rabidz7 macrumors 65816

    rabidz7

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Ohio
    #13
    #1
    Try disabling safe sleep.

    #2 I recommend to tape a USB hub to the PB, I know many people with MBAs that use that technique, I run an unsecured network, but I've connected my PBG4 12" to many WPA2 networks, so the internal card really should work.

    Defiantly max the RAM.

    #3
    I'd also get an optibay and install dual 120GB IDE HDDs.
    If I were you, I'd install Debian in raid 0 on both HDDs, but if you need OS X, then you could put OS X on one, and Debian on the other, or if you really, really NEED OS X, put both drives into raid 0 and put OS X on the array.

    And why not get a knock off battery for 20$, on old PBs the battery is your PRAM battery?
     
  14. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #14
    Safe sleep is not an option on that model PowerBook. Using a USB hub for that is pointless for the OP when his Airport Extreme card is able to work. Stop with the Linux stuff. It won't help the OP and it just spams the forum. On all 15" and 17" PowerBooks, the main battery is not the PRAM battery. Only the iBook and 12" Powerbook use the main batter as the PRAM battery. Even PowerBooks from the Powerbook 100 to the 1.67 G4 have a PRAM battery, with the exemption of those I mentioned above. Please stop spouting incorrect information without checking your facts.
     
  15. J.Appleseed thread starter macrumors 6502

    J.Appleseed

    Joined:
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    #15
    I'd rather keep using the Combo drive and since this computer will not serve as my primary one, I don't want to spend extra money on a different harddrive if this won't have any effect regarding performance :)

    Also, I don't really buy a Mac to run Linux on it - if I wanted to do so, a Pentium laptop would've sufficed :eek:

    Lastly, even though I must compliment you on your willingness to help others, your last advice to me hasn't been quite helpful either so I, as well, suggest you do a bit more research before answering certain questions. No offense ;)

    ----------

    Oddly, the PRAM battery is gone altogether so I definitely need to buy a new one. Thanks for the advice, though, haha :D
     
  16. DaKKs macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Haha, yeah. In that case, charging it might prove to be an issue. :D
     

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