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Thread: Dead PB G4/667

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
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    69

    Default Dead PB G4/667

    Setup: PowerBook G4/667, OS X

    Problem: My PowerBook generally is not starting up at all (i.e. you press the Power button and nothing happens). Occasionally you do hear a clicking/whurring noise. Less occasionally you hear the startup tone. In both cases nothing else happens.

    Other Pertinent Info: I don't have another 65W power cord available, but I do have a 45W one. (I tried it; it didn't help). When the Power cord is plugged in, the green light on the power cord lights up. The battery has some (not a lot of juice). Before, when I ran the computer off of the battery, after a couple of minutes I get the warning that the battery is low, but nevertheless, I could run the computer for about a half hour on the battery. Currently, all four lights on the battery light up. When I press the power button, though nothing happens, the Caps Lock light does go on when pressed.

    Things that I have done: I've reset the PMU (as instructed on the Apple Tech Doc-i.e. pressed the reset button on the back where the ports are, waited 5-10 seconds, then pressed the power button). I also did this after the battery was out and the computer was unplugged for about 10/15 minutes. At one point I took out the hard drive (to temporarily put in an enclosure so I can copy some important files that I need to work on). With the hard drive out and just the battery in, (after the 50th/100th time) I tried to start the computer again and it actually started with no problem. (There was no hard drive, thus the flashing ?, but it did start). I have not been able to reproduce that, though.

    Where do I go from here? I am the technical type (I've taken apart most of my PowerBooks at some point) so I am capable of more complicated procedures (though would prefer to avoid them if possible).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
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    Lightbulb

    Disk drive. Laptop drives don't get a lot of cooling, tend to die early. If you can't run fsck or something, you may need to dig in and unplug the drive and see if it boots to DVD/CD - or Firewire.

    A damaged directory can prevent booting even from CD. A hard freeze can leave disk directory too corrupt to boot. (Which is why I would always run fsck and not trust journaling to restore the file system to a clean state.)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    69

    Default

    The disk drive is about a month old. When in the enclosure, the disk drive works fine. Now with the disk drive removed, the computer is still "dead" (with that one exception, when the computer did turn on when the disk drive was removed-I think that was just a fluke and nothing related to the removal of the disk drive). Generally at this point I would think that it is a more serious hardware problem (logic board or some other component) but with the computer booting that one time (when the hard drive was out) makes me think that maybe it is not. (If there is a problem with the logic board, is it possible to boot sometimes or is it all or nothing?) What other things can I do/test?

    Thanks!

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default

    It may not be "dead" but it could require an erase with zero-all. A corrupt directory can prevent booting. You may need to put it in FW case or something.

    Always backup. And always zero a drive before you begin using it (backing up if necessary).

    If you can boot from Tiger DVD or another FW drive you may be able to get it back. sometimes you need something like Disk Warrior or TechTool Pro though. And DW can take a long time.

    When in the enclosure, the disk drive works fine. Now with the disk drive removed, the computer is still "dead" (with that one exception, when the computer did turn on when the disk drive was removed-
    1. removed the internal drive and put it in external FW enclosure, and the drive works.

    2. the computer boots with the drive in FW.

    Boot from Tiger DVD and run Disk Repair.
    Boot into single user mode and run FSCK which, if your system is later revision than what is on the DVD, will be more current and likely better.

    Maybe the cable was loose or not getting power.

    You should have Apple Hardware Test that came with your computer.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    69

    Default

    Sorry for being unclear. When I had the hard drive in the enclosure, I had it hooked up to another computer. In the enclosure hooked up to the other computer, the hard drive worked fine. The PowerBook itself is what is "dead" (i.e. I press the power button and nothing happens at all). It doesn't get to a stage where I can boot with a CD. The only signs of life of the PowerBook is that when I turn it on, the Shift Lock key will light up when pressed. Holding the Power button for about 5 seconds will turn it off. I tried resetting the PMU many times to no avail. Occationally I'll hear a whurr of the fan after turning the computer on, and that one time it did turn on.

    Thanks.

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