Mac portable battery rebuild?

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Joined: May 7 2012
Posts: 2

I have a Mac portable that does nothing when I plug it in. I've heard that unless the battery is good, you'll get no response. When I plug it in I can barely hear a high pitched whine coming from the battery compartment. If any one can help me get this thing running again, that would be awesome.

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MaxTek's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 702
Re: Mac portable battery rebuild?

I use a gray Powerbook 100 power adapter with mine (with the mac portable battery removed). Also see below for more info found on the net:

My Portable Will Not Boot Up
A CONVERSATION WITH CLIFF THE PORTABLE ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE:
IF YOUR PORTABLE WILL NOT WORK, FOLLOW THE DIALOGUE BELOW TO SEE IF YOU CAN GET YOUR PORTABLE UP AND RUNNING USING THIS QUICK AND DIRTY ADVICE
1. I have a wedge shaped, platinum-colored Macintosh Portable Model
5120 or 5126 [Model number on the bottom of the case].
If you have any other model this page is not for you.
2. And the Portable has either A or B below:
If it does not have one of the two power supply systems described below in A or B you need to get one or the other.
A. APPLE Portable Battery and Adapter
It has a 2x5x2 inch brick shaped platinum colored Portable Rechargeable Battery Apple
Model Number M5137 battery in it.
A Portable 6 v. battery is not necessary if you are going to use a PowerBook 100 series Power Adapter (gray in color various models) to run the Portable, see further discussion below.
And, it has a platinum colored Portable Power Adapter Model M5136 plugged into the wall and the computer.
If your Portable battery is in good working condition and charged up you do not need a Portable Power Adapter to run the Portable for a while anyway. And neither is necessary if you are going to use a PowerBook 100 series Power Adapter (gray in color various models) to run the Portable, see further discussion below.
B. An Apple Power Adapter from a Macintosh PowerBook 100 Series
It has a gray colored PowerBook 100 series Power Adapter plugged into the wall and the computer.
3. I push in any key on the keyboard and . . .
This is the correct way to start up your Portable. There is no on or off switch. The Portable, if it has juice via 2.A. or .B. above, is always on awaiting your summons by pushing a key.
4. Nothing Happens, not a sound - dead quiet - or the Portable: (1) chimes, (2) trys to start up and whirs and hums, but stops midway during the boot or (3) a sad face or other trouble image comes to the screen and - in all events - does not boot to completion.
A. Check the Power Supply
A non-booting Portable could result from many different conditions or combinations of circumstances. But one has to start somewhere. I will start by addressing the power sources.
If you experience complete silence in response to a key push - unless it is other things like a missing drive or the malfunction of a major element of the computer, this is usually the result of a complete failure of the computer to get any juice at all. Even if your battery is very low, usually the Portable power adapter can make the Portable rumble and try to start up.
If the Portable is showing some evidence of trying but not succeeding in fully booting up, it is clear you are getting some power. You may not be getting enough since the Portable's power management system was designed to shut the Portable down when power got low to avoid work being lost when the user ran down the battery. Of course, the problem could be many other things, but let us try power first since this is usually the problem under these circumstances.
Check the following:
If you have are powering the Portable with a 6 volt battery you must check all the following:
Is there a blocking plastic sheet between the bottom of the battery and the Portable's two little plated contacts that make contact with the two
plated contacts on the battery bottom? (Save the plastic sheet if you find one. They are used for storing the battery in the computer without
keeping the computer powered.)
Are the two contact arms in the Portable battery compartment bottom pressed down so low and flat that they are not able to reach the battery

contacts when you insert the battery? (If you intend to lift them up, be gentle bending them.)
Is the battery compartment lid fully in place before you try to start up the computer?
Have you charged this battery by letting it sit in the Portable with the adapter plugged into to the wall and the computer for 8 hours or so, before trying to boot up the computer?
Does the charged battery show a voltage of 5.8 or higher? (If it is 5.4 volts or lower it is shot and must be rebuilt.).
If you are using a Power Adapter you must check all the following:
Is the Adapter plugged into a live wall socket?
Is the Power Adapter plugged into the power port in the back of the computer? (Wiggle the jack in the port a bit to insure it is seated.)
Is the Adapter putting out about 6 volts? (You put one wire of the Voltage Meter in the hole of the jack and touch the other to the exterior of the jack and read the output.)
If you are using a Portable power adapter and a Portable 6 volt battery and the Portable is making some sounds or showing effort to boot
up, I would suggest the battery is probably insufficiently charged or - not being susceptible to being properly charged - is shot/kaput past
useful life. A Portable power adapter with its 1.5 amp output cannot run the Portable without a charged battery giving assistance.
If you have tested the power equipment and it passes the
reviews described above, keep reading this dialogue. There is
more to check on.
B. Reset the Programmer's Switch (From the Portable Owner's Manual)
All Macintosh computers come with a programmer's switch. On the Portable it is built into the left side of the case. Despite its name, it's not just for programmers.
If your Portable does not wake up when you press a key on the keyboard, or if you have a system failure, you may need to restart with the reset key.
To use the reset key, follow these steps.
1. Slide the locking switch toward the back of the computer to unlock the interrupt and reset keys.
2. Press and then release the reset key (the one closer to you). The Portable should restart.
3. If pressing the reset key alone has no effect, follow these additional steps:
i. Press both the interrupt key and the reset key at the same time.
ii. Release the interrupt key, then the reset key.
4. In nothing happens, repeat several times.

I would add only that you sometime have to first hit the two reset buttons, then hit a key on the keyboard, and as necessary repeat this sequence half a dozen times. Patience and perseverance.
If none of this works, the following steps require more hands on effort, but it is worth it to try to get it running before you fall back into a life of despair and degradation.
C. Additional Step Without Taking off the Keyboard Cover
IMPORTANT WARNING: Never plug or unplug any Portable internal part or external ADB or SCSI connection while the Portable has either 6 v. or 9 v.battery connected or its Power adapter plugged in. If you forget, like Russian Roulette, perhaps no harm will be done this time, but it is just a matter of time.
Remove any cards in the slots between the battery compartment and the drives - one at a time. A card is removed by rocking it longways not side to side and lifting steadily until it comes out. Take one card out, try and boot the computer. Take the power away and put the card back and take out another. Try the boot process again.
You are hoping to isolate a bad card and allow the booting process to go forward with it removed. If the removals do not allow the boot to consummate, the cards are probably not the cause of the boot failure.
D. End of Simple Self-Diagnostic and Repair Tour
If none of this isolates or cures the problem, you may have to take off the keyboard cover to reveal the drive and screen plugs and the logic board sockets. This is not the subject for a fast and dirty layman's self diagnostic session.