I'm having similar problems to some old threads I've come across. Not sure if the two are related but I'll begin with what started first. My battery, when fully charged, never seemed last very long. It went from maybe lasting two hours to only minutes. This was maybe 2 months ago. I just started bringing my power cord with me and plugging in, figuring I'd eventually order a new battery.
The new problem started about a week ago. I was sitting in a recliner watching a DVD on the laptop. The screen went to sleep on me. Got it back. Happened again and couldn't get it back. I checked the power cord. It was plugged into a protected power strip so moved it to a different outlet on the strip. Got it to work again. The same thing happened over the week whenever I was watching a movie. I thought maybe it was the way the cord was and I wasn't getting a good connection.
On Sunday I started getting nervous and backed up all my files. I was able to get it started yesterday and used it for a short while. This morning I got it started and wanted to see if the battery showed a % charge but it went to sleep before I could even see that. I don't remember now how I got it shut down...or if I did. I may have just unplugged it.
Tonight it went right to sleep after booting up and it is not responding to the command/control/start button combo. The tiny light in front by the catch where you open it stays on and pulses. That is the only thing showing it has life.
I read some things about the DC-in maybe being bad. Also read about resetting the PMU (is that the right acronym?).
When I did get it to boot tonight I did try holding the cord at the computer connection...kind of pushing it in and holding in case that was the problem. It did start but would not stay on main screen...went to black.
I hope this is fixable. I don't want a newer model because I use older versions of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator that can't be used on the intel macs. I can't afford to buy new versions of these two programs.
I also read something about the pin on the power cord and squeezing it with pliers but that did not make sense to me how that was going to tighten the connection.
Ideas are most welcomed and appreciated.
I apologize for any typos or weird formatting. My only Internet connection now is withy iPhone so I am typing one-fingered one letter at a time and on that little screen.
Niel and Tom, I was mistaken. My computer is 1.25 GHz not 1.33; the bus speed is 167MHz.
New happenings. So the computer sat in its sleep mode for about 3+ hours. I decided to mess with it. I tried the C/C/start button combo several times, then removed the battery, tried again. That light still on and pulsing. Plugged cord back in, tried again; put the battery back in; tried again and it is back on. Battery showing 0% charge after power cord being plugged in for about 20 hours. Computer has gone to sleep since I started typing this but I got the screen back now.
??????? Where do I go from here?
Left the computer on all night. Just opened the lid and the screen came up. Battery showing 99%. Now screen has gone black. No response. Now restarting with Control/Command/power on combo. It started up.
I did set it up last night for a screen safer photo to come on after 5 minutes and it isn't coming on. Screen dimmed after about a minute. Is that the power saver mode? Ok, now after 2 minutes of a dimmed screen, the screen just went to black. 5 minutes...screen saver photo did not come on. So now I tapped the "mouse" pad...no response. Hit power on button, screen back.
Just set up a hot corner for screen saver and that works.
Just closed the lid...left computer on. Leaving for several hours. We'll see how it is when I get back.
I'm wondering if maybe you have two separate problems combining here.
The first is a possible very short battery life. If you are using a battery that's more than a couple of years old, it could just be too old. These batteries start to lose capacity sharply after they're over 300-400 cycles or 4-5 years old. They will lose capacity just by sitting on the shelf doing nothing. If your battery has reached this age, it could die after a few minutes. If it has very little capacity left, it may reach full charge quickly and deplete quickly.
The second problem might be the difficulty starting up. This can sometimes be caused by another battery, the PRAM battery, being dead because it's too old, which can happen after 5-6 years. This battery is tiny and saves time and other settings when the computer is off or unpowered. If this battery is dead, you'll know because the laptop works fine as long as it is plugged into a wall but has problems if unplugged for a short period of time. The other symptom of a dead PRAM battery is that it won't remember the correct time setting after being shut down.
I think you may be right. I have been thinking I need a new battery for some time now. And it does se like it will charge and deplete fast.
Re the PRAM battery - a lot of the times when the computer shuts down on its own when it restarts I get the message that the clock is wrong...it reverts back to 1969. Can this battery be replaced?
Both batteries are original and I bought the computer in 2004.
The PRAM battery can be replaced, however, finding a new one is challenging (there are used ones for sale). It's not so much the battery, it's that the battery normally is mounted on a circuit card. I've heard of some have bought the battery and replaced the battery on the circuit card, which is somewhat involved, I'm told. I don't think OWC carries a PRAM battery for your model, but they would be worth a look. Do a search on PRAM battery.
I figured out which PowerBook I have. It's the 15-inch FW800.
Ah, a fine model, I am sad mine died. ifixit.com has a repair guide for it and a link to a PRAM battery at the bottom of the page, you might contact them and make sure you get the right one for your model.