Reviving PowerBook 5300

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Last seen: 8 years 1 day ago
Joined: May 26 2016 - 08:01
Posts: 2
Reviving PowerBook 5300


I've recently retrieved my old PowerBook 5300c after a good few years in storage. It was hardly ever used and even now there's not a scratch on the case - it's just been in a cupboard for a long time. I don't envisage using it regularly but there are some old text files I'd like to take off it.

Power goes in through the AC adaptor and the power light above the screen lights up. But there's not a sound from within the case and there's no other response at all. Is there an onboard battery that will need changing? Is it dead? I'm quite comfortable taking a desktop apart but I'm a little nervous taking this apart in case I can't get it back together again. Is it relatively simple? I'd welcome some advice. Any advice...

One last thing. Although the base of the screen reads 5300c, I don't ever remember the display being colour, which is the c suffix. The details on the underneath read as follows:

Bar code: CK5400X02TK
Family Number: M2785

I wondered if it was a grey import of the time but the case states it was made in Ireland. I was told it had been in a warehouse for quite a long time and was, in effect, brand new. There seems to be no discrepancy between top and bottom so I doubt if it's a Mac equivalent of a cut and shut. I wouldn't know if it was, though.

Think that's all. As I said, I'd welcome any advice.

Thanks for reading


gsmcten's picture
Last seen: 5 years 11 months ago
Joined: Oct 4 2005 - 18:52
Posts: 2629
Re: Reviving PowerBook 5300



From the manual:

The computer doesn’t start up.

1. The battery may need recharging. Plug the power cord into a working
outlet and then plug the power adapter into the computer. Let the battery
recharge for a few minutes.

2. Check that the power cord is plugged into a working outlet. If it’s plugged
into a power strip, make sure the power strip is turned on. The power
adapter should get warm after being plugged in for 10 minutes. If it is cold,
make sure the adapter is securely plugged in and attached to the power

3. The screen brightness may be turned down. Adjust the brightness control
(marked with the icon Û) and contrast control (O), located to the right of
the display.

4. Make sure the battery is properly seated in its compartment.

5. Press the Reset Button (marked with the icon I) on the back panel (Lower Left Corner).

Hope this helps.

Steven Smile

speedyG's picture
Last seen: 5 years 5 days ago
Joined: Nov 16 2011 - 07:45
Posts: 2493
Re: Reviving PowerBook 5300

Hello Steven,

in such a specific case it's not very usefull to citate the
text from the manual......

In such cases the trouble is often caused by the discharged
battery .... after years in the storage it's not a good idea
to just plug in and wait few minutes....

In such cases the NC-cells ( in that days they didn't use LiIon-cells )
have often been discharged far below the permitted specific specs....

It's often then better to remove the Batterycells completely
and then try to powerup without any batteries inside...

otherwise there is a risk to damage the internal power regulation
due to the fact that the battery cells simulate somehing nearly similar to a shortcut....

It's instead recommendedto "refresh / resurect" such cells external
with special equipment to examine if the NC's can be resurected......

In some cases it might even be needed to replace the internal battery set completely
by a replacement or "external solution"....

There is plenty stuff availiable at Google about the topic of
handeling outdated NC-cells by discharge and resurection process
and about the requirement to supervise that process with measurement equipment
to avoid further damage to that cells.....


Last seen: 8 years 1 day ago
Joined: May 26 2016 - 08:01
Posts: 2
Re: Reviving PowerBook 5300

Thanks for the replies.

Steven - thanks, but I've kind of done all that since I've had the mains plugged in. As I said, power's going in but nothing's coming out. I also tried the brightness/contrast controls but I can't really tell where they are at the moment. Any idea how many clicks there are from top to bottom?

SpeedyG - potentially very constructive but I'm not sure I entirely understand what you said. In effect, I should take the batteries out and try to run it just with the mains adaptor - is that right? Then have the batteries checked to see if they're any good or not? I do remember that battery life was very short when I first got it but I only ever used it at home so it didn't really matter.

Problem is, I'm not sure how to open the battery container, or even which one it is. There's also a slide on the base of the laptop which could be a lock switch - any idea? And, if so, which position is off or on?

Sorry to be a pain - I'm more worried about doing damage through ignorance of what I should be doing...

speedyG's picture
Last seen: 5 years 5 days ago
Joined: Nov 16 2011 - 07:45
Posts: 2493
Re: Reviving PowerBook 5300

How to remove the battery ? You'ld have to consult the manual....:

In fact every laptop is able to get powered up without inserted battery....
and yes in general at all Apple laptops there is a switch to unlock the battery
before you can remove it...

the fact that the battery allreadyhad trouble resulting from memory effect is
just another indicator that at th moment that battery is without use to the system
after adding up another portion of years in storage without any service
or recovering charges to preserve the battery


Dog Cow's picture
Last seen: 5 years 2 days ago
Joined: Dec 11 2008 - 16:26
Posts: 554
Re: Reviving PowerBook 5300

I have a 5300ce. It will boot without the battery.

Dr. Webster's picture
Last seen: 21 hours 10 min ago
Joined: Dec 19 2003 - 17:34
Posts: 1751
Re: Reviving PowerBook 5300

PowerBooks of that vintage (and later) have a small internal rechargeable battery to run the clock and keep PRAM settings. After this many years, yours is probably quite dead and in need of replacement. Also, the capacitors on the logic board may have started to leak too, and that can cause all sorts of odd behavior.

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