Help with clamshell iBooks

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iantm's picture
Joined: Apr 2 2005
Posts: 709

Yeah, it's been awhile since I've been on here. Anyways, here's the skinny. While down in Florida, my parents gave me four clamshell iBooks. I'm hoping to have three working machines out of the bunch. Here's what I've got

tangerine 300 - works perfectly - original 3gb hard drive is whining (I might upgrade it or leave it as is - undecided)
tangerine 300 - missing the usb port, bottom case plastic is in five pieces (the superglue came apart when I tried to remove the top case)
graphite 366 - I get a solid green light below the lcd, the caps and num lock lights are on, the hard drive spins up, no chime when power is introduced
graphite 466 - I get a solid green light below the lcd, the caps and num lock lights are on, no chime when power is introduced

So far, the tangerine 300 sans USB port gave it's top half to the 466 - as the hinges were busted on the 466, and I'm not going to move the hinges over until I get it to work.

I haven't worked with a clamshell iBook in years, so this is a throwing me off. Throw me a broken iBook G4 - and I can get it working or figure out what's wrong within 15 minutes. I've tried the PMU reset without success. Any help is appreciated.

I'd like to get the 466 and 366 going, as that 300mhz tangerine that I pulled the display off of was in sad sad shape.


- iantm
ACPT & ACDT (long expired)
BMW Certified Technician

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Joined: Feb 11 2004
Posts: 208
Take the batteries out of the

Take the batteries out of the graphites and leave them plugged into AC power for 12-48 hours. I've resurrected more than my share of G3PBs and iBooks. The PRAM battery probably just needs to recharge.


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Joined: Feb 23 2009
Posts: 2
iBooks use a PRAM capacitor

For the record (and the search engine results) clamshell iBooks don't have a PRAM battery. They use a 5.5v .33F capacitor and their battery pack instead. This capacitor is supposed to provide 20 seconds of power for a battery swap while the computer sleeps. Power to the PRAM normally comes from the battery pack.

The PRAM capacitor has a tendency to fail and leak. If you can find a replacement to solder to the board, that is the best bet. I've found myself in this situation, though, and could not find these capacitors. If you find that yours is leaking goo, carefully cut the leads going to the logic board and remove it. Your iBook will function fine without it. If it is leaking, it is not functioning properly anyway, and may even be creating a parallel resistance that your board doesn't like.

As long as your battery is good and charges properly, you don't really need this capacitor. If you need to remove the battery and don't want to lose your system clock settings, make sure to swap the battery with the iBook plugged into the power adapter.

Joined: Feb 23 2009
Posts: 2
How to get a chime

Try resetting the PRAM.

1.) Add or remove a stick of RAM

2.) Plug the iBook in, power it on and hold down option-command-p-r. You will see the display try to start up, then go dark again. You should hear a chime when it tries to start up again. When you hear the chime, release the keys. It should boot.