WallStreet Battery Problem

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davintosh's picture
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I've got a WallStreet that's giving me battery problems. When it's booted up and plugged in, it won't recognize a battery in it unless you eject the battery then snap it back in. Then after a few minutes it forgets it's there. I've got two batteries and it does the same with both of them. One of them shows a full charge before it disappears, and the other shows no charge; I left it in & plugged in overnight and it still shows no charge when it is recognized. It does the same thing if the battery is placed in the left or right expansion bay. I've reset the PMU according to the instructions on Apple's support site, but no joy.

The computer is new to me, and the previous owner hadn't used it for quite some time, so I'm not sure if the problem is new too or not. The hard drive was next to dead when I got it so I put a new one in it -- and added some RAM -- & did a fresh install of 9.2.2. I did the install from one of the gray G4 tower install disks; might there be some resource that wasn't installed? Everything else seems to work fine, even the DVD PC card & DVD drive worked without having to add anything.

Has anyone else had anything like this happen with a WallStreet (or any other PowerBook)? Any suggestions?

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protocol6v's picture
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My Wallstreet (300Mhz, 14.1"

My Wallstreet (300Mhz, 14.1" display) does literally the exact same thing with my two batteries. I don't think it would have to do with the install because i isntalled 9.2.2 off a retail 9.2.2 install cd with the big "9" on it.

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dankephoto's picture
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try the Battery Reset util . . .

which you can find here.

dan k

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protocol6v's picture
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I don't know about Davintosh,

I don't know about Davintosh, but i've tried that numerous times to no avail.

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davintosh's picture
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Well...

... while it's good to know that I'm not the only one in this boat, the Battery Reset Utility didn't help. Running the util and resetting a battery is kinda like ejecting it & popping it back in; when done the system recognizes it again, but forgets it after a few minutes. Also, the one battery that did show it had a charge (but would not power the computer) shows no charge after the reset.

The link on Apple's support site brings up another question; why the hey is it so tough to find answers there? I poked & searched for a good 90 minutes this afternoon and didn't come up with the article on Battery Reset Utility. Are there tricks to using Apple's support search? Or is it just blind luck?

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protocol6v's picture
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I just tried my batteries in

I just tried my batteries in another wallstreet, and it did not do the same thing. They began to charge up to about 50% until I took them out.

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davintosh's picture
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Re: I just tried my batteries in

protocol6v wrote:

I just tried my batteries in another wallstreet, and it did not do the same thing. They began to charge up to about 50% until I took them out.

Did the problematic machine recognize the batteries after they were partially charged in the other machine?

Did both machines have the same OS installed?

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dankephoto's picture
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re; tough to find answers

Heh, yeah. I knew to search on the terms battery reset which found the page, but Apple Support searches seem a little denser than one would hope.

You might try the ol' nvram reset thing (with the battery(s) installed):

on a Wallstreet-
hold cmd-opt-O-F while at the startup chime (hard to do this on WS for some reason, keep trying)
once yer at OF prompt type init-vram

hit return

type reset-all

hit return

'Book will restart

Worth a try anyhow.

dan k

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I just took a dumb (yep) leap

I just took a dumb (yep) leap of faith and bought a couple
of used Wallstreet batteries off Ebay. They are both acting
as you describe. I put one in, the Wallstreet shows that it's
in the bay, after a few minutes, it disappears from the bay icon
indicator on the control strip, and it will not charge.
I tried it in a second Wallstreet and it does exactly the same thing.
The other 2 batteries I have for these do NOT exhibit this
behavior. They charge correctly, so it probably is not the bays
or the machines. My guess is, the batteries are so far gone
that after a certain period of time trying to charge them, the
Wallstreet gives up. If a rechargable battery is really dead
and won't take a charge anymore, it will draw too much current, and the charger needs to disconnect itself to protect itself.
I assume the Powerbook's charging circuit is designed to do this,
just like any charger. And it probably decides the battery is
unusable at that point, and changes the icon to "no battery in the bay."

When you remove and reinsert it, it tries again.

Sometimes with rechargeables, if you can get a small charge on them,
their current draw really drops off and they will charge, so I'm hoping that after a bunch of times "trying" to charge, and having it disappear, the battery will work.

davintosh's picture
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Wow; I'd forgotten about this thread!

Here's an update; I was assuming the battery that came with my Wallstreet was good, because the former owner said it was. And I had no way to test it, so I assumed the problem was with the charging system and not the battery.

You know what you get when you assume....

On a whim, I picked up a cheap battery from someone on the LEM Swap List, popped it in, and it works fine. Go figure.

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davintosh's picture
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Wow; I'd forgotten about this thread!

Here's an update; I was assuming the battery that came with my Wallstreet was good, because the former owner said it was. And I had no way to test it, so I assumed the problem was with the charging system and not the battery.

You know what you get when you assume....

On a whim, I picked up a cheap battery from someone on the LEM Swap List, popped it in, and it works fine. Go figure.

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Obsolescence is just a lack of imagination.
Visit my blog: davintosh.com -- it may not be up to date, and it may not be exciting, but you can say you've been there.