faulty iBook G4 - advice on issue required
I managed to obtain a cheap iBook G4. It is a 1.2Ghz unit and worth having a go at, but although I can power it up and run it no problem on the PSU it keeps failing to charge the battery.
It arrived with a battery pre-charged at 88% and when everything was running I simply thought 'Excellent! No issues'. I left it running on the battery, got to roughly 2%, up popped the obligatory 'Connect external PSU' message and when I did so, the unit remain on, but failed to charge the battery.
With the PSU in place the battery level remains at whatever level, so no drop. You are running of PSU. Take the PSU lead out, it starts to shut down as frankly there is no juice left in the battery.
The PSU cable, adapter and plug look perfect. Little wear or tear, but if I sit coaxing the PSU into the unit I get it to start recharging, but then the charge will just drop...
I am thinking
A) Dead Battery that somehow manages to hold a charge, but cannot be charged without severe coaxing.
B) Faulty / Loose connection either on the motherboard or at the battery connection.
Anyone had the same thing? I went to the Apple site, saw a 'Having issues with your PSU charging your battery' thread, and read through it only to find it made no mention of battery issues. It did have images of damaged PSU plugs, but mine looks perfectly fine.
Any thoughts? New Battery worth sourcing or does anyone think it could be something else?
Thanks in advance!
Last edited by Parris; 03-12-2008 at 09:53 PM.
Hmm, I'm tempted to say it's a dead battery but iBooks are renowned for having PSU issues.
My main piece of advice is; don't open the ibook to look for faulty connections...for two reasons, firstly they are an absolute nightmare to take to bits and any fiddling with the logic board can cause serious errors and irrepairable damage, and secondly, it's unlikely to be a loose connection, the PSU plug on the logic board is very snug and very tightly fitted.
If I were you I'd just look to ebay and buy a battery and PSU and then resell whatever you don't need. It'll be well worth the time and money as the resell value of iBooks is pretty high if they're in good working order.
If you have a multimeter use it to check if the PSU is actually chucking any voltage out. Does the ring around the connector come on when plugged in, or only after wiggling? if it only comes on after wiggling then its probably a problem with the connector on the logic board.
I actually had a similar problem after I dropped my old iBook on its power connector, and had the power board replaced for I think around £80 from a company called cancom.
Thanks to you both for the advice. The ring of light does come on. It's mostly green, but invariably it turns Orange (charge) at random. I actually just powered it up a second ago and hey presto it switched to orange and started charging. However it truly is random and most of the day whilst I have willed it to turn Orange it has happily remained Green.
Originally Posted by the_steadster
Sodding thing! Might be worth looking at a new battery / PSU combo.
had the same problem with my thinkpad about a year ago, turns out it was some capacitor i think on the power inverter or something which was integrated into the mobo. Luckally I still had about 2 months warranty left otherwise it would have been a ~$400 repair, probably would have just bought a new laptop at that point. I'm not sure of the internals on ibooks very well but it could be the power inverter is on a separate board if this is the case.
It's strangely behaving itself at the moment - I'll look into the schematics of the unit if I can find them or a repair guide if it has exploded diagrams of the internals
Since I said it was fine, it has stopped charging at 71% and nothing I do can get it to start charging again - merde! :banghead:
Have you tried resetting the Power Management Unit?
If your iBook is white and DOES have a button above the headphone socket, then you need:
If your iBook is white and DOESN'T have a button above the headphone socket, then you need:
If your iBook is colourful, then you'll need:
Also, you can find out how badly treated your battery is by going into 'System Profiler' (which can be found by clicking the Apple logo on the menu, selecting 'About This Mac' then 'More Info') and selecting the 'Power' tab. Look at the 'Cycle Count' - that's how many times it's been charged. My 2-year old lappy with normal usage has had 202. Also, you can check it's voltage, capacity, etc.
The fact the light comes on means that I've no idea which is at fault. Ideal would be to try a different PSU or battery, but thats of course not always that easy! Might be worth taking it to an apple shop or retailer though and seeing if they have one you can test it on in the shop.
Try the ifixit site for repair guides.(http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Mac/iBook-G4-12-Inch/83) They're pretty good. Also the iBook isn't really to hard to get apart or back together. I've done it probably 20 or more times on various units. spare dc boards aren't hard to find for the ibook so maybe just pick one up and try it if all else fails. I think I might have a few laying around if you need one.
Now that I htink about it I have never had a bad battery behave like this on an ibook.. I have about half a dozen batteries sitting here ranging from completely dead to 45 minutes of usability and they either charge up to their full capacity or display an X over the charging icon and do nothing.
Last edited by ServiceGames; 03-13-2008 at 04:16 AM.
In The Beginning...
All excellent advice and material for me to wade through - will be back when I have attempted a few of them :-)
Given that I was sold it as a working item, I wasn't terribly impressed with the seller when I explained the issue and asked for some advice and he came back with 'Yeah, it took me all weekend to recharge it and sometimes you have to move the connector around to get it going...' For a start I don't need to move the cable or connection for it to randomly start charging, so that is bollocks!
None of that was mentioned pre-sale so I indicated my concerns about his integrity & ethics in no uncertain terms via email. Don't think I'll be hearing from him again!
Last edited by Parris; 03-14-2008 at 12:47 AM.
Well the Cycle Count is at 188, the remaining capacity is 2186mAh (69%), Amperage 0 (Is this correct?), Voltage 15940(mV).
Originally Posted by mooseblaster
Any of this abnormal for such a unit?
Also just tried the Reset Power Manager option, but no joy.
Last edited by Parris; 03-14-2008 at 01:26 AM.
Found problem. It's the connection between the battery and the motherboard. Needs replacing I think. Thanks folks!
Have a look and see if your battery should have been recalled by apple - I managed to blag a 2nd battery for my iBook back in the day.
If so then save yourself the money on buying a new one!
Sadly not. Mine is an April '04 model, however it's 14" and not the same as those recalled. Rats eh!
Originally Posted by the_steadster
Okay, got my iBook back from Apple today and they'd not done anything as they discovered it was the battery, not the PCB. So, just bought a new 14" battery and everything is fine. So, it looks like everything is fine again! Thanks!
BTW, my battery came back from Apple looking warped, I can't remember it looking like this previously, do you think I should contact Apple. I know the version I have is not covered by this Sony battery issue, but it seems strange.
The iBook G4 I'm on right now is having the same issue. I have to charge the battery in my old G3 iBook to use it, which is totally a pain in the ass. The battery powers the computer fine but the power adapter won't power it at all. I'm going to try swapping out the DC-in board. I think it's liquid damage that caused it.