12 inch powerbook tale of frustration and woe

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12 inch powerbook tale of frustration and woe

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.

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...

I am going out on a limb here... but... It sounds like it's a lot more serious than a loose connection. If video only works some of the time, along with the other issues you mentioned, i am tempted to think you may have a damaged logic board (!)

Now, this is only a guess, but, it is an educated one. I don't know why it wouldn't boot without being fully assembled, unless that provided enough tension to allow the possibly damaged logic board to make contact wherever it was broken, or something. I've had my 17" G4 PowerBook booted up with the palm-wrest / keyboard assembly detached ( i was swapping a HD, and didn't feel like completely reassembling before testing).

Now, be mindful, this is only a guess, and before you go about trying to replace the logic board, you should do some testing to be sure that is really the problem. Have you done the normal apple trouble-shooting things, like zap the pram, etc... ?

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[quote]Have you done the norm

Have you done the normal apple trouble-shooting things, like zap the pram, etc... ?

That's what I meant by "trying the usual placebos" Wink

I've had my 17" G4 PowerBook booted up with the palm-wrest / keyboard assembly detached

This inspired me to give it *one* more shot this morning, and it worked. I have no idea why. I didn't do anything differently, AFAIK. Still, no airport though Sad

Since now it booted without the case on, I retract rant two. However, after taking apart and putting it together about 6 times now, Rant #1 still stands.

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iBook troubleshooting

There are many things that can be done before tearing your machine apart. Booting from an external drive with the option key held down until you get a blue screen with icons, zapping the PRam. **Removing the memory** The ram chip if installed can go bad and is a big problem for macs. Try removing it and then reinstalling the airport card, zapping the pram and hold the keys down until you hear a third bong/chime/sound. Then let go and let it restart on its own.

I could keep going but those are some top ones to try out for your problem. Another reason the screen is not on could be due to the fact that Apple had used shit MOBO's that had faulty video component attachment. The iBook design is a walk in the park to open up compared to a Powerbook. The covers for the iBook can be left off and started up. Put a speaker or some headphones in the audio jack to hear the bongs, Take a screwdriver tip that will fit into the socket for the power button connector and short the two prongs together and the machine will start. If you do this work without the battery installed, all you have to do is pull the power to shut it down.

Good luck, I will check back and see if you got any where with it.

Peter in San Diego

Jon
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But, it is a Powerbook. ;)

But, it is a Powerbook. Wink

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Re: iBook troubleshooting

Good luck, I will check back and see if you got any where with it.

Thanks for the concern, as I said it's working again, except for the airport. By-the-bye, in case anyone is interested, the D-Link WUA-1340 USB wireless adapter works just fine with a mac- it's one of the cheapest, and much, much cheaper than the officially-works-with-a-mac options.

Jon
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it appears that that adapter

it appears that that adapter will work on Linux as well, using the RAlink drivers and a bit of work, though it is possible to do it with ndiswrapper.

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Ndiswrapper

it appears that that adapter will work on Linux as well, using the RAlink drivers and a bit of work, though it is possible to do it with ndiswrapper.

Just for the record, ndiswrapper doesn't work with PowerPC linuxes. (but I'm sure you knew that)

--Peace

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Of course. That's why I ment

Of course. That's why I mentioned the ralink drivers. The Open Source rt2x00 drivers work under PPC. On x86 ndiswrpper works too.

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