I haven't the power.
April 3, 2008 6:14 PM   Subscribe

Powerbook shorting out: out of warranty, wont power at all, no battery charge

I left my 17-inch 1.67GHz Powerbook G4 (2005) plugged in, and powered on, one night last week. When I woke up in the morning it was dead. Cold, hard, dead. No power. Nothing.

Mac guys told me it was the DC-in board. After replacing the DC-in board I discovered that they were incorrect. My problems still persist. While at the genius bar they also pointed out that when I insert my power cable you can hear a faint spark. Meaning I have a short. Also, I have a 3rd party power adapter, which blinks at high-speed when I plug it in. So -- quite sure there is a short.

The DC-In board has a rainbow colored 8-pin connector that goes through the computer and connects to the battery section, near the ram slots. When this cable is unplugged the sparks stop. Past this, I have no idea what to do next..

Brand new battery (boo waste of money) and brand new DC-in board are installed. Access to apple-branded power cable, but it does nothing differently.
posted by sindas to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
How do you know that the 3rd party adapter isn't broken?
posted by gjc at 7:24 PM on April 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

The rainbow cable goes directly to the battery connector, right? Inspect the cable, or check for shorts with a multimeter... if you replaced the DC board and battery, and the spark disappears upon unplugging the cable, that could be the problem.

Of course, there is no guarantee that you didn't fry the new DC board as well :P
posted by Krrrlson at 7:30 PM on April 3, 2008

the likely problem is the "logic board"/power port connection. its well known this was a huge flaw in the g4 powerbooks. I had the same problem with my daughters 12" 1.33 GHz G4 Powerbook. The first time I took it to the crack mac bar they wiggled the power cable while it was plugged in and that allowed power to flow...i was skeptical and the tech told me to try another power cable (i did not bring the power cable with me, and he used the store's) Well I found that wiggling the power port (which was very loose indeed) worked for a while, and then sparks and no juice. I did some research on the web through apple's forums and discovered that this is an extremely common problem, and if you look at the next generation of apple laptops you will notice a re-designed magnetic power port connection (which i really like). Any why was this done?? Hummmm. I returned to the apple store again, and explained the run around i received on the problem a few weeks prior, and also made it very clear that I was well aware that the power port/logic board connection was a problem for these laptops, and asked that it be replaced. The tech did not bat an eye, and it was back the next day.....I hope this helps!
posted by drjoop at 12:10 AM on April 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

I had a similar problem and the diagnosis was a problem with the logic board. (Although, this diagnosis seemed to made on the basis that everything else downstream of it tested okay, so it had to be the logic board.)

If it's the connection as above and can be fixed - well and fine. Otherwise, it's a logic board replacement and the prices on those mean that you'd be better off getting a new computer.
posted by outlier at 1:24 AM on April 4, 2008

i had apple care for my daughter's 12" GV so it was placed free of charge. If you dont have apple care left.....u are best off with a new or used mac book pro. the ones with the core duo intel processor can dual boot windows or the mac OS. I sold my friends on ebay. It was flawless...15" had 1.5 gb pf ram, 80 GB hard drive ( a bit small) processor was 1.83. Extra battery pack, apple care good for one more year, and a few extras for 1100. I really regret selling it for me, as I should have just boutht the thing off of him. If 1000-1100 will bet you that, I'd say that would be the cheapest option.
Good luck J.
posted by drjoop at 7:58 AM on April 5, 2008

« Older I just want to use the picture. Please don't sue!!...   |   How to find this 80s toy Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.