9 Replies Latest reply: Oct 15, 2007 10:31 AM by Ronda Wilson
motc Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
Hello,

I'm still having problems with my refurbished G3 iBook (originally purchased 3/2006). The adapter continually glows orange, indicating the battery is always charging. Not all of the segments on the battery level control strip are dark, but the battery icon has no lightning bolt through it. At one point I let the battery run down, plugged the adapter back in, and the problem seemed fixed for awhile, but it has started again. Now, draining the battery seems to make no difference. When I wake the iBook up from sleep mode, the adapter glows green momentarily, then goes back to orange.

I've also noticed when I'm working in a word processing document that the hard disk will spin down and start back up again, when it used to stay spun down until I saved the document again.

I've reset the PMU as recommended on this forum a number of times, but it's made no difference.

Any other suggestions?

Thanks

iMac Intel Core 2, Mac OS X (10.4.9), 2GHz,1GB,160 GB. Also iBook G3:900 MHz,640 MB,40 GB
  • Ronda Wilson Level 8 Level 8 (41,080 points)
    It may be that you need a new battery. That is the most likely possibility, judging from the symptoms you describe.
  • motc Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Update:

    I've replaced my iBook's battery, which did need replacing as the old one was only holding a charge for about 10 minutes.

    I did the calibration as recommended, and have gone through a couple charge cycles. It seems to be holding a charge fine, but I'm still having some weirdness with the battery level on the control strip and the adapter...

    When I installed the new battery and plugged in the adapter it started charging like it's supposed to: lightning bolt through battery on control strip and adapter glowing orange. It charged until all but one segment on the control strip was dark, then the lightning bolt disappeared, but the adapter continued to glow orange. It stayed like this, so I unplugged the adapter and used the iBook while it discharged. Charged it a second time with the same result.

    Don't know whether this means anything, but something else I've noticed: I have my Energy Control Panel set so the hard disk will spin down after a period of inactivity. It used to spin down when working (for example) on a word processing document, and only start back up when I saved the document again. Now it will spin down, and restart less than a minute later.

    Other than resetting the PMU (which made no difference with the old battery), is there anything else you can recommend?

    Thanks
  • Ronda Wilson Level 8 Level 8 (41,080 points)
    Have you tried resetting the PMU since installing the new battery?

    Could your hard drive be spinning up because your document is being auto-saved every few minutes? That seems likely. (For example, I have my AppleWorks preferences set to auto-save every five minutes.)
  • motc Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Well, Auto-Save was on in AppleWorks. Funny thing is, I don't remember turning it on or changing it.

    I think I've done a PMU reset once since installing the new battery, but just in case, I'll try again.

    Thanks for your help!
  • Ronda Wilson Level 8 Level 8 (41,080 points)
  • motc Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Well, I've done a couple PMU resets since installing the new battery, and it seems I have the same situation: right now, all but one segment on the battery level control strip are dark; the adapter continually glows orange, and the battery icon has no lightning bolt through it. And when I press the button on the bottom of the battery, all the green led's light up.

    If it makes any difference, this is a dual boot iBook, running OS 9.2.2 and 10.2.4. I use it almost exclusively with OS 9. However, this morning I booted to OS 10 and the battery icon on the menu bar shows 79% charge.

    Any other suggestions?
  • Ronda Wilson Level 8 Level 8 (41,080 points)
    It could be the fault of the adapter (since it always glows orange), but there is also the possibility that it could be a logic board problem.

    It always makes a difference what OS you're using, but I figured you were using OS 9 since you were talking about the Control Strip and lightning bolt.

    When a battery doesn't charge properly, the most likely problem is the battery. It is possible that you got a faulty one, but it seems unlikely that it would act exactly the same way the old one did.

    The next-most common problem is the adapter itself. They do wear out, and it's entirely possible that this may be the root of the problem.

    Next in line for consideration is the power input (DC-in) board. This is the part of the iBook that houses the adapter port. However, usually when it goes out, the adapter doesn't work at all. It won't charge the computer, and it won't run the computer. In this case, once the battery runs down, the only way the computer will run is with a battery that has been charged externally (by another iBook or an external battery charger).

    The least frequent cause of a battery not charging is the logic board. The power management unit (PMU) can be permanently defective. If this is what is going on, you're lucky to be getting any charge to the battery at all. From the way it's acting, this would be my guess. I would recommend saving up for a new MacBook, just in case this is a foreshadowing of things to come.

    Good luck.
  • motc Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Thank you for the detailed response.

    This is a refurbished iBook. I've had it for a year and a half; it's worked fine until about the last 4 months, when I encountered the charging problem.

    One last detail: the adapter will glow green for a bit when starting up or waking from sleep, then revert back to orange.

    The problem for me with buying a new MacBook is that I have an older music sequencing program that needs to run on OS 9.

    Guess I'll try a new adapter; an inexpensive fix if it works.

    Thanks again.
  • Ronda Wilson Level 8 Level 8 (41,080 points)
    I like OS 9, too, and have bought several vintage Macs on eBay just so I never have to worry about not having a Mac that can run it. I have to tell you, though, that this MacBook I just got a couple of weeks ago is beautiful for online things. Very snappy. No more choppy video on YouTube.

    Good luck.