Woah! I just found my 12" Powerbook after 4 years!

Discussion in 'Apple Collectors' started by eVolcre, Aug 20, 2009.

  1. eVolcre macrumors 65816

    eVolcre

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    #1
    OMG, talk about a surprise.

    A little back story is needed here. I bought my first MAC back in 2003. If I remember right, that's when the 1st 12" Powerbook G4 was released. Does Jan '03 sound right?

    Anyway, the thing performed like a champ and I LOVED it. Used it all the way to 2004 when I went back for my MBA and it was the perfect size to take to school.

    Sometime in 2005 (if my memory serves me right it was October) it abruptly stopped working. I was going through an emotional crisis and the details are hazy but I may have dropped beer on it one night.

    I never did get it fixed. As I said, there was something going on in my life and I forgot about my machine and used the computer lab for the rest of the year.

    I received my job offer in February of 2006, waited for the new MacBook Pro's to be released and bought a 1st Gen 17" MBP in May. I also left the country in May to work overseas and until 10 minutes ago I didn't remember what exactly I had done with the 12".

    Over the last 3 years I realized that my 12" G4 had somewhat of a cult following in terms of size and capability and had fond memories of my old machine. When I returned to the States a couple of months ago I had a feeling the old machine may be in my storage locker where my furniture was stashed.

    Fast forward to last night. I flew in to Chicago and am staying with my old college roommate. About 10 minutes ago I looked around the guest bedroom and saw something small and silvery piled up with his junky old computer. Wandered over wondering what it was and lo and behold ... IT'S MY 12" POWERBOOK!!!!!

    I still don't remember when I gave it to him, why I gave it to him and what he did with it. All I know is that I'm taking it back! :) :)

    Here's where you all come in. What's my next step? It still isn't working. The symptoms are the same as 4 years ago, it doesn't boot up. I've got the power cord plugged in, the battery light is glowing orange but that's it. Any hints or tips on what I need to do to get this lil guy working again?

    On a philosophical note, I never did understand the fuss behind this machine. People on the board talk about it like it's the Holy Grail. Tell you what, when I held it ... it just feels right. It seems smaller and more portable than the 13" UMBPs. I'm a writer and IF *fingers crossed* I can get this thing working again it's the perfect 'netbook' to take on the road for simple web browsing, iTunes and writing/editing.

    I've attached a few pictures of it next to my July '09 17" MBP ....

    eV
     
  2. eVolcre thread starter macrumors 65816

    eVolcre

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    #2
    Rotated the pics
     

    Attached Files:

  3. macJC50640 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    #3
    NICE! I love the 12 inch PowerBook! I have a 12 inch iBook G3 though, the white kind.
     
  4. eVolcre thread starter macrumors 65816

    eVolcre

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    #4

    I wish I was smarter back then and fixed it. I got a sign on bonus and started splurging on new computers etc.

    Found this post of mine from April 2006. Sounds like the 12" was working all the way to Jan '06. There's a description of the problem in my post. Any ideas?

     
  5. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #5
    The prodigal son returns!

    I sold my 12" PowerBook a few years ago, after I replaced it with a 20" iMac and a 15" MacBook Pro (sold the iMac too, now I just have the MBP). I gave a friend of mine a good deal, and he ended up giving it to his girlfriend. They're married now. :)

    There are still days I wish I had the 12" PB back. If only Apple were to produce a Core 2 Duo version, I'd be all over it.
     
  6. eVolcre thread starter macrumors 65816

    eVolcre

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    #6
    If I can get it working again, I actually see myself using it a lot. Keep my 17" as the desktop replacement and while the old machine might be *slow*, I'm sure it'll be fast enough for Word Processing and iTunes when I'm on the road.

    Can I take it into an Apple Store for an estimate? That way I can at least find out what's wrong with it.

    eV
     
  7. dmmcintyre3 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    #7
    They should help you with it. If it was not "User Damage" they will not charge much. (It's around $310 no matter what for my 15 inch)
     
  8. Winstonp macrumors 6502a

    Winstonp

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Location:
    Boston
    #8
    Sounds like your beer shorted your logic board. You can get replacements on eBay, but the installation is complicated. You need to remove basically every screw and every cable and the put it all back together in the proper sequence. If you enjoy a challenge, I say go for it. Otherwise, maybe pay someone to fix it for you (likely expensive)?
     
  9. eVolcre thread starter macrumors 65816

    eVolcre

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    #9

    I'll do a combination of both. No need to tell them it was user damage for now but at least I can find out what's wrong with it. If it is indeed the logic board I'll take it on as a side hobby. More fun than a jigsaw puzzle and if I screw it up ... big deal ... it's not working anyway. Might be fun to try ...

    eV
     
  10. toolbox macrumors 68020

    toolbox

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Location:
    Australia (WA)
    #10
    I still have my G4 12inch!, You get any display on the screen?
     
  11. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #11
    OMG nice find!!!!!!!! i ALWAYS wanted one of them puppies.
     
  12. eVolcre thread starter macrumors 65816

    eVolcre

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    #12
    Nope. No display at all. Absolutely nothing happens when I hit the power button. I've had the power cord in for a day now and it's still glowing orange, never turned green.

    Any ideas?

    eV
     
  13. Archon Gold macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2009
    Location:
    Canada, Ontario
    #13
    What is the speed of the computer? (i know where to get logic boards, i just need to look for the matching one online)

    Also dont keep your battery plugged in all the time or else you may lose life on the battery.
     
  14. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #14
    After 4 years i dont think it really matters :rolleyes:
     
  15. eVolcre thread starter macrumors 65816

    eVolcre

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    #15
    After 4 years of being completely unplugged I think losing life on the battery is the least of my concerns :) :)

    It's the 867 mhz model. I'm OK with shelling out the cash for a logic board if I know that's the problem. It'll be a fun project
     
  16. Archon Gold macrumors 6502

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    Canada, Ontario
    #16
  17. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Location:
    The good side of the grass.
    #17
    I have one if you really want it.

    Honestly, even though it has sentimental value the 867 was a dog. I have a couple of 1.5's that are worth keeping but when the 867 started giving me problems, the amount of time fixing it vs. useful operation didn't square.

    A logic board replacement in that bad boy is not for the faint of heart.

    This past Thursday I added a 250GB HDD to my MINT 1.5GHz, 1.25GB RAM, 12" PowerBook G4. I love that thing. Did make the mistake of loading Leopard. Then farting around for a day trying to make things work the way they did w. Tiger. Spent last night going back to Tiger.:(
     
  18. toolbox macrumors 68020

    toolbox

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Location:
    Australia (WA)
    #18
    Is it beeping? Because i remember that this particular model has the memory built onto the motherboard so if that fails the motherboard will need replacement!! it only has one slot to install extra memory. You could try and put something in there and see if it first up.
     
  19. eVolcre thread starter macrumors 65816

    eVolcre

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    #19
    Thanks for doing the research Archon

    Well, sentimental value aside, I could probably get some use out of it. Keep my main machine for research and when I need to write take the little one out with me. The fact that it's a dog is probably *better*. No temptation to screw around on the internet. It should be able to run iTunes and Pages fine

    Nope. No beep. Nothing. I just tried it again and it is completely dead! No noise, beep, attempts at startup - it's showing no signs of life.

    The process does look like a lot of work but the instructions are very clear (thanks again for the link) and I'm pretty sure I could do it. I just don't want to go through the trouble of doing all the work and then still have a dead machine.

    I might take it into the Apple store and see if I can get a diagnostic or estimate. That way I can be sure

    eV
     
  20. Archon Gold macrumors 6502

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    Jun 7, 2009
    Location:
    Canada, Ontario
    #20
    Just wanted to say this before you try going on and dishing out $400 on this.

    Have you tried reseating the RAM?
     
  21. eVolcre thread starter macrumors 65816

    eVolcre

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    #21
    a) I have no idea what that means :confused: and b) I don't know how to do it. :)

    Post some directions and I'll give it a try

    Thanks - eV
     
  22. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #22
    Just remove, and then re-insert the RAM.
     
  23. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Location:
    The good side of the grass.
    #23
    You don't know how to reset your RAM and you are going to tackle a PB 12" - one of the notoriously most difficult machines to repair Apple ever built? Logic board replacement no less.... Ok. Good luck with that.;)

    Take a couple dozen screws out to see the logic board. If you get the board out without breaking the Airport antennas or DC in board or Bluetooth board or bendy things on heat sink to fan and still want one, mine worked perfectly fine and is already out. It's yours for the shipping.
     

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  24. eVolcre thread starter macrumors 65816

    eVolcre

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    #24
    Hey! Thanks for the offer! You're a stand up guy. I'll pass on the good deed down the road. I'll start the project tomorrow and tell you how it goes.


    With detailed instructions, I could build you a fighter jet. LOL. And the instructions on iFixit were very very good. Google is my friend .. :)

    eV
     
  25. Hrududu macrumors 68020

    Hrududu

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Location:
    Central US
    #25
    Here are some pretty good step by step videos about how to open up and get to parts in a 12" Powerbook.
     

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