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  1. #1
    eni
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    Default Powerbook's mid-life crisis

    On waking this morning, I found that my Powerbook had turned itself off. Not ideal, but most data was saved.

    On turning it on, I found the classic zapped-PRAM issues: no WiFi settings, date reset to January 1970 (the heyday worth reliving for my Powerbook, apparently), etc. In addition, my Dock's content was reset to an interim state (not the original state, but not a state that has been in effect for a long while) as well as other oddities.

    Anyone have an idea what may have caused this? The Powerbook was plugged into the mains, and the battery is fully charged, so I doubt the battery run out. This is more a question of curiosity than anything else, as unless it continues to occur it doesn't bother me.

  2. #2

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by eni View Post
    On waking this morning, I found that my Powerbook had turned itself off. Not ideal, but most data was saved.

    On turning it on, I found the classic zapped-PRAM issues: no WiFi settings, date reset to January 1970 (the heyday worth reliving for my Powerbook, apparently), etc. In addition, my Dock's content was reset to an interim state (not the original state, but not a state that has been in effect for a long while) as well as other oddities.

    Anyone have an idea what may have caused this? The Powerbook was plugged into the mains, and the battery is fully charged, so I doubt the battery run out. This is more a question of curiosity than anything else, as unless it continues to occur it doesn't bother me.

    same thing happened to mine, and it wouldn't pick up an IP on DHCP, had to run it on manual for a while, and eventually came good after a few day, this was about 3 months ago, no issues since ...

  3. #3

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    Default Powerbook

    PRAM battery needs replacing?
    Jimdrum 2.66ghz Unibody MBP, 450mhz. Cube, 15" iMac, 16 gb iPod Touch, 16 gb nano. Successful trades: too many to list!

  4. #4

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jimdrum View Post
    PRAM battery needs replacing?
    +1

    It doesn't exactly explain why it turned itself off... but what you describe otherwise sounds like a dead PRAM battery. How old is this Powerbook?

    (Assuming you've now reset all of the settings - time/date etc..) Try turning the computer off, and pull the battery out. Wait 1/2 hour (probably less, but just to be sure). Then put the battery back in, power up... If the settings have again gone back to 1970 etc, then the PRAM battery is dead...

    Hopefully it wont be too hard to source one for your model... My Pismo (G3 Powerbook, released 2000) has a dead PRAM battery, and it's near on impossible to find a replacement.

    cheers

    cosmic
    From Macintosh Classic to Mac Book Pro... Dark Castle to Halo... Newton to iPad...

  5. #5
    AnthoMac's Avatar AnthoMac is offline One of them crazy ones...

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cosmichobo View Post
    (Assuming you've now reset all of the settings - time/date etc..) Try turning the computer off, and pull the battery out. Wait 1/2 hour (probably less, but just to be sure). Then put the battery back in, power up... If the settings have again gone back to 1970 etc, then the PRAM battery is dead...
    cosmic
    Wow that sounds almost exactly what my PowerBook G4 is doing. After taking the battery for half and hour or so upon reboot it parties like its 1970. And I though that was 'normal'.Maybe my PRAM is dead too...
    2005 15" PowerBook G4 1.67Ghz (1st Mac purchased on the day iTunes AU opened!); 2014 15" Retina MacBook Pro (16GB RAM; Nvidia 750M); iPad 3rd Gen 64GB w/ cellular

  6. #6

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    Default

    OK, think i've joined the 1970's club too, am having the same issues, can anybody point us to details of how to replace the PRAM battery? (Yes i've already Google'd it and couldn't find any schematics, etc)

    -Andrew

  7. #7
    eni
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    Default

    Thanks everyone for your input (and the opportunity to found a club, it seems!).

    I haven't checked the status of my PRAM battery, but I will when I have a chance. As cosmichobo correctly noted however, that doesn't explain my Powerbook turning itself off which was my primary concern.

    It's a 1.5Ghz 15" Powerbook circa 2004 (I'll admit that I had to look up the date via Klantenservice: Serienummers - I must be getting old).

    My only recent change has been switching to the Firefox 3 betas (from OmniWeb), so I'm wondering if the machine may have overheated and shut itself off. I used Firefox years ago, but found my lap significantly hotter while doing so. It did have adequate ventilation overnight, however.

  8. #8
    AnthoMac's Avatar AnthoMac is offline One of them crazy ones...

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by eni View Post
    , so I'm wondering if the machine may have overheated and shut itself off. I used Firefox years ago, but found my lap significantly hotter while doing so. It did have adequate ventilation overnight, however.
    You could try manually turning on your fans: Andrea Fabrizi G4FanControl
    Maybe the sensors misreportingly states the machine's temperature and thus auto shuts down.

    I wonder if anyone else wants to join the 70s club =)
    2005 15" PowerBook G4 1.67Ghz (1st Mac purchased on the day iTunes AU opened!); 2014 15" Retina MacBook Pro (16GB RAM; Nvidia 750M); iPad 3rd Gen 64GB w/ cellular

  9. #9

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    Default

    You could try here: macosxhints.com
    or here: Macintosh User Guides and Repair Manuals
    Jimdrum 2.66ghz Unibody MBP, 450mhz. Cube, 15" iMac, 16 gb iPod Touch, 16 gb nano. Successful trades: too many to list!

  10. #10

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MisterFnord View Post
    OK, think i've joined the 1970's club too, am having the same issues, can anybody point us to details of how to replace the PRAM battery? (Yes i've already Google'd it and couldn't find any schematics, etc)

    -Andrew
    Try googling your model, plus the words "pull apart" or "take apart"...

    I don't think it's always (if ever) an easy process on laptops...
    From Macintosh Classic to Mac Book Pro... Dark Castle to Halo... Newton to iPad...

  11. #11
    tanguero's Avatar tanguero is offline Irregular

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    Default

    My tibook has been flashing back for a couple of years as well.

    Recently it has started to shut itself down from time to time.
    It looks to me as if the power brick is on the way out - it just stops working sometimes.
    When turn off and on at the mains it starts to work again and presto- I'm back in 1970.
    If you are using an old pb as a desktop like I am and leave it plugged in all the time then it could be your power brick shutting you down.
    I am going through a new brick every 18 months or so.

    good luck
    hmmm ... crunchy

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by tanguero View Post
    I am going through a new brick every 18 months or so.
    To clarify...

    Powerbrick = External Power Adaptor
    or
    Powerbrick = Internal Power Supply?

    (or?)
    From Macintosh Classic to Mac Book Pro... Dark Castle to Halo... Newton to iPad...

  13. #13
    tanguero's Avatar tanguero is offline Irregular

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmichobo View Post
    To clarify...

    Powerbrick = External Power Adaptor
    or
    Powerbrick = Internal Power Supply?

    (or?)
    The external power adaptor.
    hmmm ... crunchy

  14. #14

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    Default

    If it's a Pismo or Lombard , then they are dead easy to replace the Pram batteries in. Lift up the keyboard , slide out the CD or other module and hey presto ( hey pismo ), there is is. Carefully lift off the little white connector and then install a new one. Of course , finding a new one is the hard part, but they are easy to install if you do find one.

    Stewie
    Lotsa Macs - PM's , G3's , G4's & Powerbooks - Love 'em
    ----------------

  15. #15

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    Default Powerbook

    Jimdrum 2.66ghz Unibody MBP, 450mhz. Cube, 15" iMac, 16 gb iPod Touch, 16 gb nano. Successful trades: too many to list!

  16. #16
    Byrd's Avatar Byrd is offline Moderator

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    Default

    The "yoyo" power adapters are very flaky and fail often; the newer white adapters are considerably better. Make sure it works OK, and leave your PB plugged in (with correct date/time) for ~ 48 hours to charge the PRAM battery.

    Replacement Ti/Alu PB PRAM batteries can be very expensive, so you might be better off getting equivalent cells from Jaycar etc. and rebuilding the pack.

    JB

  17. #17
    eni
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    Default

    About a month after my original post, the underlying problem revealed itself: the lower RAM slot of my Powerbook has died. I diagnosed this using a combination of trial, error and memory testing. I realise this is not an uncommon problem, so unfortunately I'm back to 512mb in the upper slot, running stable (crashes and kernel panics began occurring).

    It is clear that my Powerbook longs for retirement, as now the hinges that hold the screen appear to have given up! The screen does remain relatively stationary for now, but they certainly aren't stable.

    For people familiar with Powerbook internals (1.5ghz, 15" screen):
    1) The screen appears to tilt further back now than it did previously. Is it possible to damage to connector between the screen and the GPU by utilising this additional range of motion? I would not tilt it on purpose, but given the hinges no longer hold tightly I am concerned.
    2) I have seen replacement hinges on eBay - how difficult would they be to install?

    Thanks all.

  18. #18
    gikku is offline

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    Cool new battery will fix 1970 isues

    I also was experiencing the 1970 club on my PowerBook G4 12"

    Battery was a replacement from the recall 18months go.
    During April it suddenly got to have less than 40 minutes life and at round 50% charge, but would vary, the machine would loose all power. On booting up, airport and email passwords were lost and date time reset to Thursday 10am January 1970.

    After investigating the internal battery, it appears there isn't one on the 12".
    A new battery fixed the issues, $49+$25 postage for a replacement from China via ebay.



    Imagine having a PowerBook G4 12" in 1970. Rad!

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