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Thread: Powerbook G3 series won't turn off or start up

  1. #1
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    I am scratching my head over a perplexing problem with a friend's Powerbook G3 series 'book. Apparently the last time it worked someone (not the owner) was trying to go online, they didn't know the dial up password so they stopped and put the Mac to sleep. Problem is that it seems to never have gone completely to sleep or something. When the owner returned, the fan was running, the Mac was hot and it would not wake up or shut down. They unplugged it and let it sit. Then they plugged it back in and the fan started up immediately without touching the power button. It doesn't respond to the hardware reset key command or anything. No startup from an install disk, nothing but the whir of the fan.

    Complete failure?

    12/2 Anybody? I could use a little help if anyone has any ideas - GW

    [This message has been edited by greg_w (edited 01 December 2002).]

    [This message has been edited by greg_w (edited 02 December 2002).]

  2. #2
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    Oh, yes, this is a real sweetie of a problem!
    I have had, and solved, this problem although not caused in the same way.
    You may well have to do this several times before it works, last time I did it it toiok about ten attempts to get it working again.
    First off, there are two ways you can try to reset the power manager - with the fan whirring and without. You cannot reset the powermanager properly with power attached.
    The way to do this is to disconnect the power lead and the battery, then use shift+fn+alt+ power while they are disconnected. You should see the sleep light glow and then die.
    Plug the power lead back in, wait at least 5 secs and then try the power button - probably won't do anything first time. Try the power reset again. If it sets the fan working it won't start. Repeat the procedure until the reset just makes the sleep light glow and goes off again. When that happens wait at least 5 secs and then try the power button again, it may well boot.
    As I said earlier, I have had this several times and it varies as to how many attempts it will take to get it right again. It has been as few as four and as many as....I didn't bother to count but it was about 20 minutes worth! For some reason these PBs are cows for doing this, but perseverance is the key. Enjoy yourself, you will get there in the end.

  3. #3
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    Baggy, are you serious??
    Now wait, I don't have a sleep light on at all. All I get is the whirring fan. There is no battery and I have tried the reset key combo over a dozen times already and each time I plug it in the fan comes right on. You are saying to just keep going?

    ( I knew someone here would have had a similar experience...)

  4. #4
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    OK, I have done it over and over again with out luck, I will keep trying. But I am wondering if there is anything like a cuda switch on these things. That's what I would have tried if it was a tower, you know?

  5. #5
    tachyon Guest

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    you have a faulty Sound Card and/or PMU. Post the model/speed and I will post part numbers.

  6. #6
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    I am very serious - I spent half an hour doing this yesterday afternoon.
    This process doubles as a CUDA in powerbooks.
    If you are resetting the power manager correctly you will get just one flash of the sleep light when you let go of the button combination (shift+fn+control+power [not alt as I said earlier]).
    The sleep light only comes on when you reset the PM, not all the time.
    It is also possible that the sound card is dead, 661-2068 is the part number, PMU is 661-2031, but these are very stubborn little sods when they get into this state.
    The first time I did this I honestly thought the PB was a goner, but with little other choice I kept on with it and eventually it sorted itself out. It is important to reset the power with everything disconnected - you should get the single glow when you do it this way.
    One other thing that you can do that may help is to press Apple+alt+control+fn+shift+power - you should get a series of clicks, I'm not sure what this does but when I did this yesterday the power manager started behaving normally when I reset it. This was the first time I did this, but things were getting a touch desperate as it was refusing to respond normally.

    [This message has been edited by Baggy (edited 03 December 2002).]

  7. #7
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    If you are doing it with the power off and no battery, try it also with the power plugged in - do you get a sleep light at all when you do this? The only other thing that has occurred to me is that to do a full reset you should also disconnect the PRAM battery as well - this is what is providing the power for the sleep light to come on when you do the reset. When you reset a normal motherboard you would disconnect ALL power including removing the battery, try this also before you start hunting down parts that may or may not be defective - if you can find them.
    The dealer exchange prices from Apple are $108.57 and $98.23 for PMU and Sound card respectively - you would not want to pay what they would charge you for them!

  8. #8
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    tachyon -
    This is a Powerbook G3 Series 233 It has the 12" screen and a 2gig HD. This is not my machine so I am not sure about the speed. The friend who owns this doesn't know Mhz from a hole in the ground. Family number: M4753

    Baggy, I don't get a light anywhere no matter what. PRAM battery, now where is that little bugger?

  9. #9
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    There is only one part number for the G3 series for each of the PMU and sound cards, see my post below. There are no variations in this range which includes the Wallstreet. If you look at the family numbers of all of them they are all 4753.
    The Lombard is different.
    The PRAM battery is located, somewhat inconveniently, to the right of the trackpad - not the easiest of bits to get to - you've got about a dozen screws to remove to get to it!
    Just one silly thought, have you tried replacing both the battery and the power adaptor?
    Failing that, it could be:
    Sound card
    Processor card
    Power supply card
    PMU card or,
    Logic board

    The PRAM battery, which doesn't perform exactly the same function in a PB as a desktop, is unlikely to be the cause of non-boot because the main battery performs that duty. The backup battery (proper name) just stores clock and prefs, nothing much else.

    Unless you can get hold of another matching powerbook, that someone will allow you to rip apart - this could be very difficult or expensive to resolve.
    I wish you luck, you might need it.

    [This message has been edited by Baggy (edited 03 December 2002).]

  10. #10
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    Baggy,

    Yeah, it is not looking good for this old 'book. The silver lining here is that the owner was planning to pass it along to her daughter at college. She just replaced this 'book with the new 14" iBook 800/30gig/Combo Drive/512 ram for $1650. She was hoping to save her daughter money by giving her this book (she has saved enough but there are plenty of other college expenses...) This failure actually happened the very afternoon she was at the Apple Store picking up the iBook, how do you like that?

  11. #11
    tachyon Guest

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    Good thread! Baggy, you know your stuff.
    Sorry I forgot to post: I did have one that ended up being a faulty keyboard... they're a bit tricky to remove/replug but it could be that: due to faultiness, the three keys are not sending signal to the PB, therefore you think you are resetting it but it's never getting done.

    So the reason the light never flashes is because nothing is being reset. Good one Apple, for requiring 2 modules to be working for a reset! That's why they returned to the real button rather than the fancy keyboard combination.

    Let me warn you that when I had this happen to me I had to REPLACE the keyboard, the machine still would not start up until the new one was fitted and the PMU was reset.
    Also faulty RAM could be the cause. Did anyone try taking the RAM out?

    [This message has been edited by tachyon (edited 03 December 2002).]

  12. #12
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    I had removed and replugged the Ram and the HD and the KB, but no change. A little tough to get a hold of a KB to try out whether or not it is at fault. But that doesn't really explain the sudden failure or the initial symptoms. I am feeling pretty certain that it is toast and not worth the money to fix. Not when one could get more computer for about a grand with the iBooks. Althought the sweet looks of these old 'books is desirable for sure.

    Now I am wondering what the market would be for the pieces: Floppy and CD modules, Battery, Power Adapter and the book itself.

    Another practical concern is the data on the HD. It would be great to get it. I don't know anyone else with a p'book G3 series. I was hoping that I could hook it up in my G4 and copy the data but the connection is so different. Is there an adapter for those connections allowing it to be hooked up in a tower?

  13. #13
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    Nice one on the keyboard - I should have remembered that cos someone once suggested it to me when my ROM got toasted in one of my Pismos! Wasn't the keyboard anyway so at least I didn't waste $150 on a new one.
    Only one real way to solve this with so many possibilities and that is to rob a working one.
    As for the drive you should be able to pick up a convertor, I've got one, for 2.5" to 3.5" ATA drives, cost about $10. You should be able to get one from any reasonable PC store - doubtful any mac stores will have them, but if they did they would probably want $30 for it anyway!

    Not a bad deal getting a 14" iBook instead - you sure she didn't pour coffee into the G3?

    [This message has been edited by Baggy (edited 04 December 2002).]

  14. #14
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    Just a quick thought - you say that you unplugged/plugged the keyboard, but if that is the problem you didn't do anything but put it back in again.
    Easy way to test if the keyboard is the cause, just disconnect it and reboot. You don't have to have the keyboard in to start up and if it is at fault then the worst you are going to do is pull the plug/battery to shut down.

  15. #15
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    Baggy,
    That doesn't work either. I guess the thing is hosed.
    Now that converter, what am I asking for? Simply a 2.5 to 3.5 ATA convertor? I should at least get the data off the drive for my friend. (They had no backup of any kind!)

  16. #16
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    Well to end the story, I bought the adapter and managed to retrieve all the data. I suggested to them that they split the book up and sell it for parts: 128 meg ram chip, CD module, Floppy module, Battery, AC adapter, Keyboard, Hard Drive. But they didn't feel like doing that.

    Thanks for the help - Greg Wostrel

  17. #17
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    Hello Greg,

    sorry to burge in this thread of yours so late, but, provided your friend still has the PowerBook, you might find this link of interest. They are currently offering:
    <UL TYPE=SQUARE>
    <LI> Logic Board for PowerBook G3 Wallstreet Series I - $229.95 (with exchange).
    <LI> Power Supply/Charge Boards (Set of 2) for PowerBook G3 Wallstreet - $89.95 (with exchange).
    <LI> PMU Board for PowerBook G3 Wallstreet - $119.95 (with exchange).
    <LI> Etc., ....[/list]

    Plus, on all kinds of PBs they offer just about everything to re-build up one for yourself from scrach .

    Is the above of any help?

    ------------------
    Costa

    Take it to the Max, Mac!

    [This message has been edited by Costa (edited 19 December 2002).]

  18. #18
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    Costa,

    Thanks. They have already decided to give the computer back to work. As it turns out it is owned by the business they work for so, hey...

    However, I do have an old 170 that I am trying to resuscitate. So I will give it a look.

    Greg W

  19. #19
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    Hi Greg,

    well.... never mind; you've give it a good crack, anyhow.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>However, I do have an old 170 that I am trying to resuscitate. So I will give it a look.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Mmmmm.... I have an old PB 1400 and I'm debating if resuscitate "him" or not. Your 170 is certainly older than mine....
    What do you think? Should I spend $600+ on my old PB1400 and hang on to it, or should I just replace the HD, max out it's RAM and put it on eBay? I could get out of it enough bucks to help me get a 2nd hand Pismo or iBook dual USB....

    What would you do in my shoes? In case you're asking.... yes, I tend to grow affectionate to the old Mac machines I own; I like the challange of certain "Mission Impossible" kind 'a stuff.... But I don't want to be silly about it.

    Cheers and thanks in advance for any suggestion(s).



    ------------------
    Costa

    Take it to the Max, Mac!

  20. #20
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    Costa,

    Yeah I know what you mean about the old Macs. It is fun to hold on to them. But, if I were you, I would sell it and get that second hand Pismo or iBook.

    To return to my original problem for a minute, it turns out that the owners of the Powerbook G3 series book that died were going to just toss the thing. So they just gave it to me! Now I need to figure out if I can fix the thing for cheap. I don't have a lot of cash, but I do have the time to start searching for the parts somewhere. So, who knows, I might get a decent old G3 book out of this...

    Hey, Baggy if you are still poking into this thread, what is the most likely part to start with on this 'book? The PMU?

    Greg W

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