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Powerbook G4 15" 1.67 Battery issue

I'm having an issue the my G4 Battery taking a charge. I have bought replacement batteries (2), replaced the charger (2) and ordered a Battery Connector from Ifixit and replaced. The computer will power-up if connected to any for the chargers and detects the charger but I get a battery "not charging". I've spent quite a bit of time on goggle trying to figure it out and ran across your PRAM video, but my machine is powering up. So my question is this fixable and worth fixing?

Answers

  • Hi and thanks for the post!

    First I would note that the 1.67GHZ 15" PowerBook definitely requires the 65W version of the AC adapter (as opposed to the 45W version), so that's the first thing I would check. A 45W would fail to charge the battery, and would usually (but not necessarily always) fail to power the computer at all.

    Second, as much as it seems like a "new" battery should be trustworthy, you don't know that the batteries are known-good parts because you haven't seen them working. (Actually, when they arrived did they have a partial charge, and did the laptop power on via battery when they had a partial charge? That would be some evidence of known-good status.) But as a general rule in repair, you don't know anything for sure unless you've witnessed it, so as long as you've never seen these batteries working, you can't rule them out as the problem, however slight the chance might be.

    Once the battery and AC adapter are ruled out, it's pretty much between the board and the DC-in/sound module, which is a small board along the left side of the machine that contains all of the ports on the left side. This board deals with power issues and is often at fault when power-related problems are happening. It is fairly difficult to replace, but you can find a good guide at ifixit.com. If you replace that and still have the problem, all that's left is the logic board itself.

    As for the question of whether it's worthwhile, your computer basically has no monetary value, so it's really about what it's worth to you. If you've taken this on as a fun project and want to get to the bottom of it, then I say go for it! But if you don't care about repair and just want a working laptop, it may be a good time to jump ship and buy a more functional laptop. These days you can get a 2+GHZ 15" MacBook Pro aluminum for $200, and that is lightyears ahead of the PowerBook in terms of capabilities.

    As far as finding parts, the best source is almost always a broken laptop. I'd check out eBay and see if you can find a working machine with smashed screen for $30. A mostly-working parts machine will allow you to make sure beyond any doubt that you have known-good parts, and will even let you test your existing batteries and AC adapter. There are several 15" PowerBook models though, with different DC-in/sound modules, so make sure you are getting an exact match.

    Good luck, and let me know how it goes!

    Thanks,

    John
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