Currently Being ModeratedJul 23, 2013 7:18 PM (in response to Jason Kulas)
Cleverly written. The easiest thing would be to buy a converter cable, like this one. It's a little cheaper at Amazon. And there are other cable arrangements that will connect an ATA drive usually to a USB connection, which works as long as you don't want to boot from it. Another one is here.
Cases, I like the OWC cases that use Oxford chipsets, as they work well with macs, however, I couldn't find an ATA/PATA 2.5" case .... everything has been serial ATA/SATA for years now. I'd probably look at newegg.com, as I'd expect they would have cases that would work. They also have gobs of user comments to help pick one, if you want to go with a case.
I would probably do one of those options rather than opening up one of your other Powerbooks and swapping hard drives. It's not impossible, but can be a bit annoying, and after you forget to connect one of the wire connectors well and you have to go back into it, after the first time it gets old.
Currently Being ModeratedJul 23, 2013 9:16 PM (in response to BGreg)
Does my dead PB sound dead? Any idea what would make it think every RAM module was bad? Bad logic board? Also, 1 time I got 4 beeps from the POST (bad ROM/sys config).
Thanks for the enclosure suggestions. I hope the drive is still ok. There's stuff I want off it (photos, documents), and my most recent backup is several weeks old If the drive is bad...do you know any good data recovery outfits?
I did already call OWC and they pointed me to the Triumph Eagle 2.5" IDE/ATA enclosure. Firewire 400! So I can boot from it. I also got a FW400/800 adapter so I can use it with the new MBP when it arrives.
Currently Being ModeratedJul 24, 2013 5:44 AM (in response to Jason Kulas)
Powerbooks did have an issue with their lower memory slot going bad, and Apple even did a warranty extension for a very small number. You might test that to see if that's making it look like the RAM cards are bad, by trying to boot with just one card in the upper memory slot.
Have you tried to run the Apple hardware test? May not be enough life in the Powerbook to run it, the way you've described it, but it would sure be interesting if it would fire up and run the test.
Currently Being ModeratedJul 24, 2013 8:12 AM (in response to BGreg)
Thanks, I'll try swapping RAM around!
Unfortunately the system is so dead, I can't run hardware test. 75% of the time I can't even get the startup chime (so no booting from DVD), and even when I get it, the system just kind of dies immediately after giving me the chime (often with a loud burst of static).
Currently Being ModeratedJul 25, 2013 9:41 AM (in response to Jason Kulas)
My recollection is the bad memory slot issue only affected the 1.5 and 1.67ghz PowerBooks with 15-inch displays. However, BGreg's suggestion of RAM swapping should reveal if it somehow affected a few 17s.
Every once in a while it ALMOST acts like it wants to boot...I get a chime, or a chime with a burst of static, but even then, the hard drive then quiets down, the screen stays black, it goes silent, and the system remains dormant.
That does sound like a dead hard drive but my 17-inch 1Ghz has, like almost every other PowerBook, a dead PRAM battery and they are nearly impossible to find other than as "used/pulled." Sounds like buying used chewing gum to me!
If I let the main battery (which is an original Apple replacement and still good) run down the computer will not start from the A/C adaptor alone. If I hit the start button when the main battery is flat, I get similar noises that you describe but it goes nowhere. If I walk away, leaving the charger plugged in, the computer will boot 5-10 minutes later.
So if your are living with a dead main battery and we accept that nearly every PowerBook has a defunct backup (PRAM) battery, you won;t get far without replacing the battery. Apple no longer sells PB batteries so that throws you into the third-party pool where not all batteries are created equal.
If you want to get an new main battery, I'd try these guys first as they are an established Mac equipment vendor with excellent customer service:
Pricey for a pre-2006 machine that may have a dead hard drive.
One old trick is to turn off the computer, remove the main battery and leave the PB on the A/C unit for 24-48 hours, then reinstall the main battery and try booting. The theory: the backup battery is rechargeable and there is the off-chance that it will get "pumped up" enough during that it will help with the next boot. It's a good step in that the only cost to you is 24-48 hours of time.PowerBook G4 1Ghz 17", Mac OS X (10.4.11)