5 Replies Latest reply: Jul 12, 2008 7:50 PM by BGreg
Suzanne Watkins Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
Hi all,

I am hoping somebody can help me. My daughter's 12 inch PowerBook G4 is having problems starting up. She has been able to start up with power cord but when battery is inserted it will not start up. The battery is 4 years old and the computer is used daily. Does this symptom sound like a dead battery? Or does it indicate something more catastrophic is beginning to go? I hate to spend the money on a new battery if that turns out not to be the problem and the computer needs a more expensive repair job.

She and the computer are a 5.5 hour drive away from me so it is hard for me to diagnose the problem via telephone. We are trying to hold onto the computer until she is finished editing her dissertation and it is handed in - hopefully before the end of July!

Sue

12 inch PowerBook G4, Mac OS X (10.3.x)
  • 1. Re: PowerBook G4 not starting up with battery inserted
    BGreg Level 6 Level 6 (17,500 points)
    For clarity, she can't start up on battery only, however, she can start up when the power adapter is plugged in? It doesn't make any difference if the battery is in the system or not when the power adapter is used, it still starts?

    When she pushes the button on the battery, do any of the LEDs light up? When she goes into the system profiler (click blue apple, about this mac, more info), goes to power and battery information, can you post what it says? Or at least what is says for full charge capacity and cycle count.
  • 2. Re: PowerBook G4 not starting up with battery inserted
    Suzanne Watkins Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    Thanks for your reply. My daughter says for the most part she can start up when the battery is installed and the power cord is connected. There were a couple of times when she had to remove the battery in order to start the machine.

    She is on 10.3.9 so does not have the power area in System Profile. When she presses on the battery button all lights light up.

    Sue
  • 3. Re: PowerBook G4 not starting up with battery inserted
    BGreg Level 6 Level 6 (17,500 points)
    With all the lights on the battery lighting up, we know it's getting charged up. Having to remove the battery to restart the system is suspect. Really need to know the battery stats to know if it's a part of the puzzle or not.

    The only battery status program, singular, that I found that runs under 10.3 doesn't tell us what we need to know. Maybe someone knows of a battery status program that reports cycles and capacity.

    Can your daughter take it to an Apple shop to see if a new battery makes a difference in being able to reboot the system? Or does she know someone else with a 12" Powerbook where she could borrow a battery?
  • 4. Re: PowerBook G4 not starting up with battery inserted
    Suzanne Watkins Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    Thanks for the link, This afternoon I took the plunge and ordered a new battery for her since the current battery is at least 4 years old. If that does not do the trick then we will have to delve deeper into the problem. I will let you know in about a week if the computer is happier with the new battery.

    I want to get my hands on that computer as soon as the dissertation is completely edited and turned in. Updating it to Tiger is on my list of things to do to it.

    Sue
  • 5. Re: PowerBook G4 not starting up with battery inserted
    BGreg Level 6 Level 6 (17,500 points)
    I want to get my hands on that computer as soon as the dissertation is completely edited and turned in. Updating it to Tiger is on my list of things to do to it.


    If you don't have a retail copy of Tiger already, you might want to pick one up now. You can't buy it from the Apple online store anymore, but there is probably still stock on the retail shelves.