I've been having a problem with my 12 inch powerbook (1.33 ghz model). It's gotten its share of drops and dents over the years, and while out of town my wife reported "bumping" it (much less of a hit than I've subjected it to), and it worked a little after that and then wouldn't boot.
I get home, and start troubleshooting. Bong, but no video, even trying to boot from CD. Hard drives seems to spin up but no activity. CD spins a lot, but no boot from there either. After trying some of the usual placebos, I take out the hard drive,
RANT #1: Holy Cow did Apple make this ridiculously laborious
...and reassemble. I get video, it sees the CD, but I get a circle with a slash. The hard drive works fine in an external enclosure. It even boots from it via the startup manager.
So, next thing I figure is to swap drives, or put the original back in to see if maybe it was just a loose connection that accidentally is working now. See: Rant #1. To save time, I try to reassemble the powerbook as little as possible, just as much as is necessary. However, nothing internal seems to boot. I try again the external booting, which worked before, but no longer works. Meanwhile, power supply for the enclosure *literally* starts melting down (I mention this just for illustration of state of mind). Dig out another enclosure. Still doesn't boot like it did before. So I give up, put the thing back together and try one last time- Leading to:
RANT #2: Apparently, the powerbook has to be completely assembled, with screws in, in order to boot. Merely having the top case laying on top with the keyboard connected isn't good enough. This makes me want to scream lots and lots of horrible swear words at Apple, as this caused me to waste two days of troubleshooting, including hunting down and assembling enclosures, trying them with my desktop to make sure they work, etc. So this means that anytime you need to troubleshoot something like a hard drive, see Rant #1.
I'm still not sure what's wrong. I'm tempted to think maybe the IDE bus is zapped? Does this ever happen?
I've also lost Airport for some reason. Re-seating card didn't help. I don't recall taking anything apart I wasn't supposed to inside.
I'd be ok just using an external drive but not having airport kind of makes it half-useless and I have yet to find (locally) a bus powered 2.5" enclosure that works with any of my macs/drives (I've already returned two to Fry's). Dragging around a large external enclosure that requires another power chord makes the whole experience just a little too annoying.
Thank you for listening, and TIA for comments/suggestions.