PowerBooks don't have a PRAM battery, like desktop Macs. There is a rechargable backup battery (like a small version of the main battery). It is used to hold the state of the PowerBook, when you sleep it to swap out the main battery (if you have two batteries). It also holds the sleep state for a reasonable (but limited) time, if you completely use up the charge in the main battery and need to get home to recharge. And it, plus the main battery, serves the function of maintaining the PRAM settings.
If both the backup battery and the main battery are dead (and NOT holding any charge), that would be a problem. It would be like a desktop Mac with a dead PRAM battery. However, if the main battery is good, it would probably work fine, even if the backup battery is completely dead. So, I would get a new main battery.
My Pismo PowerBook has a dead backup battery, but it works fine.
Thanks for your reply. By PRAM, I meant this re-chargeable battery. It is referred to as a PRAM battery in the on-line stores. It is also deep inside the computer!
The situation I have is that all batteries are dead. I can boot the computer but I have the problems described in my post and I am trying to ascertain if they will go away were I to replace the backup battery.
I think the difference between my machine and yours is that you still have "power" when you re-boot due to a working main battery but mine has none. Does yours keep the date if you re-boot with a charged main battery?
I maintain three Wallstreets for a friend who refuses to let them go. It seems a dead backup battery (I'm typing PRAM" from here out!) can have odd effects on the WS not seen in the Lombards and Pismos. These can happen with a good main battery/
- In one of my friend's Wallstreets, it would not boot OSX from either the hard drive or a valid OSX system disk until I installed a new PRAM battery.
- In another, a new battery would not charge until I changed out the PRAM battery. Not the "normal" symptoms but a new PRAM batt fixed both.
Neither of these fit the "typical" dead PRAM batt issues for other Macs. Note this is an "Old World ROM" Mac and, as such, tends to stick a lot more data in PRAM instead of the disk as in "New World ROM" Macs.
New PRAM batteries are stil available, This is the one I ordered and installed for my friend's Wallstreets:
Instructions for changing it out that I used are here:
It's mostly keeping track of a lot of different screws. The battery hangs in a bracket under tcover surrounding the keyboard, so you don't have to dig all that deeply.
My friend bought two new main batteries from this firm; both are providing excellent service:
I have carried this Powerbook all around the world and I'd hate to junk it.
Sounds like investing a little time and money is the perfect retirement gift this good and faithful servant.
Many thank for your thorough reply. That really helped. I was encouraged by your experience as it seems as if a battery replacment could "cure" quite a few of the symptoms I have seen.
I have now ordered a battery and will fit it as soon as it arrives. I went to esales and so it will take a while for the mail to reach the UK! I've taken later Macbooks appart before and I've done a few things on the wallstreet in the past. I found that if you draw diagrams of where the screws come from and stick them to the paper you can re-assembe it fairly easily. I will let you know how it all turns out.
You are welcome, Dave!.
I found that if you draw diagrams of where the screws come from and stick them to the paper you can re-assembe it fairly easily.
That is a good plan. I've also used a plastic ice cube tray with Post-It notes or, when the tray was in use, an old cardboard egg carton, to keep the screws sorted.
I've not delved inside any Mac notebook newer that the Wallstreet. However, from viewing the iFIixit gueds, It looks like the newer ones are more complicated, so the WS should be easy enough if you've done MacBooks.
The only cautionary note I can add is to carefully examine the old battery in its housing before removing it. In one I repaired, the battery's wire had been caught under part of the metal bracket during factory assembly and was hard to remove. The upper deck had a weak spot due to a cigarette burn my friend had inflicted during a lapse of attention (he has been properly chided). I noted the weakened area was trying to separate as I started to tug on the stuck wire.
I reinforced the damages area with a thin bit of plastic and glue, and repositioned my grip to reduce the stress. Was dicey but worked.
Well the battery duly arrived from the USA and I had time this weekend to fit it. The iFixit guide is very good and and it was not long before I had the whole thing appart with screws taped to various sketches of where they came from. I also took the opportunity to re-solder the connections for the connector on the power supply board. They showed signs of crackling due to stress from the power supply being pushed in and pulled out. It all went back together fine.
Good news: the new battery works fine and the computer holds the date between re-charges.
Bad news: It still does not see either of the batteries in the bays. If I pop in the DVD drive then this is recognised.
I have not tried re-booting into OSX yet.
It was a lot to hope that the PRAM issue would fix re-charging. I will leave it to charge for a day and will now see if I can find a a replacement main battery. Both my old ones are dead after 6 years in the cupboard.
Thanks again for your help.
I thought it would be good to give feedback on the eventual outcome of my project to resurect my old Wallstreet. Having been unable to charge any batteries I polled my company to see if anybody had an old machine. There were several offers of the previous machine but no Wallstreets. So I went to ebay and picked up a working Wallstreet PDQ with battery for GBP25. It duely arrived, recognized all the batteries and happily charged one of the old ones and the newly purchased one. One old one was recognized but refused to charge.
Once re-juvinated, the batteries were recognized in my old machine, powered it and would re-charge when the machine was in sleep mode but not when running. I now recall this was a behavior I had seen before. It looks as if I have a problem with part of the power system in that it has enough juice to re-charge when asleep but not when running. Additionally, it could not see or kick start an absolutely flat battery.
So now I have bought another PRAM battery for the new Wallstreet, found a wireless card that works with 10.2.8, cloned the system to a larger drive and am ready to go.
One last question, which board is suspect with the symptoms of re-charging only when asleep?
Thanks to everyone for their suggestions.