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Thread: Powerbook shuts off within seconds

  1. #21
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    Sep 2000
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    I connected the Powerbook to an external display. Even though it's not registering on the external display, it caused the Powerbook's screen to be bright again. I've opened Disk Utility from the Install CD and am running that now. Strange!

    Just to review:

    Sometimes the screen goes black (without computer turning off) seconds after it's started up normally with the chime and apple logo.

    Sometimes it doesn't start up at all but just emits a deflated little spin-down sound when I've pressed the "on" button.

    Usually I can't shut it down except by unplugging it and removing the battery.

    Recently, I was able to get it into Target Disk Mode for hours and copy things from it.

    Just now I'm able to start up from an install CD (something it wouldn't do before), though then the screen went 90% dark. I could barely see information on the screen. When I hooked it to an external monitor, the external monitor is just all blue, but the Powerbook screen is now regularly illuminated. So now I'm running Disk Utility.

    I swear I'm not making this up! This is the craziest thing I've ever tried to troubleshoot. Clearly I was in the total rookie leagues when I troubleshot things before.

  2. #22
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    Sep 2000
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    Hi Ricks!

    I just posted the latest about hooking it up successfully to an external monitor. Has that post come through yet?

  3. #23
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    Sep 2000
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    All three volumes of my laptop just passed "verify disk". I'm on to permissions repair now.

  4. #24
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    While I still had it hooked up to the external monitor, I did an Open Firmware reboot as well, but then when I tried to start it regularly, I got chime, apple logo, and then dark, empty screen (both laptop and external monitor). Trying to start it from the CD gets chime, brief screen showing, then dark. Only way I can get the CD out is to have an external mouse hooked up that I hold down during restart.

    At least I'm consistently getting startup chimes now.

    I'm really sorry for such a strange, poltergeist-y problem!

  5. #25
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    Aug 2001
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    Grangeville, ID USA
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    Might try to set the external monitor as a mirror of the internal and close the lid. I don't remember now if a G4 will run that way, but worth the try. See if turning off the built in monitor changes anything.

    Gota run. Little League signups.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  6. #26
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    Sep 2000
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    Thanks, Ricks! Will do. And yes---please do go about your regularly-scheduled life! Me too---I'm off to a 3-mile hike!

  7. #27
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    Mar 2001
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    Umm have you tried a PMu Reset? take out battery. disconnect from power press power button, then plug in power cord and power on. once on u can put battery back in.


    also could try command alt p & R on restart until you hear the fourth startup chime.

  8. #28
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    Sep 2000
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    Thx for the recommendation. I had done those steps early on in this problem, but just did a PRAM reset, waiting until the fourth chime (hadn't tried that before) and perhaps crucially as well, with a DIFFERENT power cord. My girlfriend brought one home from a co-worker tonight, and my computer is acting very differently with this one plugged into it.

    We'll see if the improvement lasts, but if it does, then the accusing finger points at the much-loathed MacAlly power cord. I had to buy it in an emergency when yet another Mac power cord had broken near the point where it plugs into the computer.

    I've never liked the MacAlly. It seemed to just toggle between draining the battery and recharging it, with the charge often hovering at 6 percent. Unless the laptop was closed, when it would recharge fully. The Mac power cords, for all their well-documented physical frailty, never drained the battery as you were using it.

    If the computer continues to behave normally throughout the evening, then I'm guessing it's because of the virtuous ministrations of the TruePower 65W a/c charger instead of the wacko irregularity of the MacAlly power cord, which has also overheated so many times that its casing is beginning to crack.

    Will report back.....

  9. #29
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    Sep 2000
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    Talking The Answer!

    Well, the laptop has been running fine since early yesterday evening with the NEW POWER CORD!

    Interestingly, the battery---though it shows full charge and all its lights come on when disconnected from the computer and pressing the little "battery check" button----was completely not working. When I disconnected the power cord, the computer immediately shut off, even though the battery was registering full charge. When I took the battery out and used just the power cord, the computer came on like a dream. With just the battery attached, it wouldn't come on at all.

    So I'd say all that made all this really tricky troubleshooting. It's astonishing how many things go wrong with an unsteady power supply.

    I really appreciate your all's help. I'm sorry to have taken your time with it. The silver lining, I guess, is that now my computer is quite up-to-date on its PMU resets and OF resets and catalog, permissions, caches, and virtual memory clean-ups!

    'Til next time, when I promise it will be a REAL problem...
    MJ

  10. #30
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    Cool I love a good ending...

    Also a very inexpensive fix.

  11. #31
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    Sep 2000
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    THanks!

    I've always found my happy endings at macgurus, though seldom one as strange as this!

  12. #32
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    Nothing like banishing a little voodoo hobgoblin to make a day go better. Congrats.

    R
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  13. #33
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    Sep 2000
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    Thanks, Ricks!

    I'm happy I can now spend that laptop-replacement money where it's actually needed most---backup storage solutions!!!

  14. #34
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    Sep 2000
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    Default battery connection bad?

    Looks as though I'm dashing my tidy conclusion of weeks ago. Though my laptop continues to work flawlessly on a/c power with the new TruePower charger (for which I'm massively grateful), when I acquired and installed a battery (that charged fine in the computer judging from how it went from only a few buttons of light to full lights on the back), my computer won't boot with battery only. In fact, when I unplug the a/c power with the battery installed, it immediately shuts off. When I try to boot it up with only the battery, it either doesn't boot or just turns the fan on full blast (without the screen lighting up or chiming).

    Remembering back to how sometimes my computer would shut off when I grabbed it badly (just pincer-like on one side or the other of the trackpad), I'm now wondering if the problem with the battery is a bad connection between it and the computer (though the computer does seem to charge it ok) in terms of starting up the computer.

    If this just seems too poltergeist-y, no worries, and I'll just use it on a/c power only, but if anyone has any ideas about something physical I should check, I've got my tiny solder gun at the ready. This 17 inch laptop has really been a workhorse for me and has been moved around a LOT. Wouldn't surprise me at all if something has worked loose.

    Thanks worlds---
    MJ

  15. #35
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    If you can see your battery contacts check for a bent one, Also if you can get to them you can rub them with a pencil eraser to clean them
    Damien,

  16. #36
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    Will definitely do that. And maybe also on the computer itself since this is the second battery acting wonky in there. I appreciate the suggestion.

  17. #37
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    probably the internal clock battery that is flat then. can cause funny things, can be replaced handy enough too.

  18. #38
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    And there would certainly be an elegant symmetry to that solution-----replacing a battery to fix a battery!

  19. #39
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    you could just disconnect it, to test the theory. would involve taking the topcase off but it's just a few screws.

    believe it or not its not the only funny thing. there's actually a 2nd battery on the on the macbook batteries and its this that caused loads of issues with them, when it discharges the battery is rendered useless. Apple did release firmware updates to address it... but often times schools etc would get hit over the summer hols cause they wouldn't leave macbooks charging and they would die...

  20. #40
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    Nice tip Greentree

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