8 Replies Latest reply: Oct 8, 2008 2:59 PM by mmanter
mmanter Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I have just gotten a Powerbook G3 Pismo from a local garage sale for a couple bucks and I noticed that the CMOS battery is completely missing.

When I got it the keyboard was not working so following the instructions I found online I removed the keyboard & noticed the CMOS battery was gone. The keyboard problem was a loose cable as it is working now.

My question is that when I power it on I get the flashing folder with the question mark. I tried to boot to a MAC OS 8 CD I have by holding down the c button but no go. I hear lots of noises from the DVD drive so I'm sure it's bad but could the mising CMOS battery cause an issue with the hard drive?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Powerbook G3 Pismo, Other OS, Unknown OS.
  • Texas Mac Man Level 8 Level 8 (46,535 points)
    What you are calling a CMOS battery is called a PRAM battery in Mac terms. The missing battery is not the cause of an issue with the hard drive. In fact, most times when a G3 laptop will not boot, the "fix" is to disconnect the PRAM battery.

    Here's how I revived my Pismo's failed disc drive. http://macosx.com/forums/howto-faqs/290895-how-resurrect-failed-laptop-disc-driv e.html

    Here's some helpful laptop sites.

    Fix It Guides for Mac Laptops & Mini
    http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/
    The guides can be viewed on-line or you can download a PDF file.

    How to Upgrade, Repair, Disassemble an Apple/Macintosh Laptop or Notebook
    http://repair4laptop.org/disassembly_apple.html

    PowerBookTech
    http://www.powerbooktech.com/
    (Note - PowerBookTech has some good info, however, some Mac users in other forums were having difficulty getting delivery on parts from them.)

    How to Upgrade, Repair, Disassemble an Apple/Macintosh Laptop or Notebook
    http://repair4laptop.org/disassembly_apple.html

    Laptop Repair Guides
    http://www.applerepairmanuals.com/#portables

    MicroDock
    http://www.microdocusa.com/

     Cheers, Tom

  • mmanter Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Wow, thanks for the info! It's been a long, long time since I used any Apple Computer product on a regular basis and that was the IIe. Thanks for correcting me on the battery name so I know what I need to look for. I'll give the disk drive repair a try and also get a new PRAM battery for it. Since I am possibly going to keep it to use on a regular basis I won't mind spending a little to get a result.

    So it is a fair guess that if the PRAM battery is missing & the HD still isn't reading that the data on the drive be corrupt or the drive is just bad?
  • cornelius Level 6 Level 6 (17,825 points)
    mmanter:
    I tried to boot to a MAC OS 8 CD I have by holding down the c button but no go.

    The Pismo was released with Mac OS 9.0.2 (Mac OS ROM 3.5), so it will not boot from an OS 8 disk, even if the Pismo were fully functional.
    My question is that when I power it on I get the flashing folder with the question mark.

    The flashing question mark is the computer telling you that it cannot find a bootable volume. That means that
    a. you have a corrupted installation
    b. you have no OS installed.
    c. you have a failing of failed HDD, or you do not have a HDD installed.

    To determine if there is a HDD in the computer, lift the keyboard, as you have before, and look in to top right corner (toward the bottom right of the display). You should see the HDD if one is installed.

    To be able to boot from the optical drive you will need OS 9 or OS X. You will need the OS 9 noted above, or the Full Retail Version of either OS 9 or OS X.

    Please do post back with further questions or comments.

    cornelius
  • mmanter Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the info on the version of Mac OS I need. I will get that so I can attempt to boot from the drive. The optical drive does seem to be working now. Before I attempted the mentioned repair in the link posted the drive made a lot of racket and now I can just hear it spinning the disk but not the loud racket.

    As for the hard drive, yes there is one present and is a 40 GB drive. The laptop was previously upgraded at one time. Not that it matters, but the hard drive is a toshiba & the memory was upgraded to 256 mb.

    I'll get the mentioned OS CD and see what happens.
  • cornelius Level 6 Level 6 (17,825 points)
    mmanter:
    As for the hard drive, yes there is one present and is a 40 GB drive. The laptop was previously upgraded at one time.

    Yes, the Pismo originally shipped with 6, 10, 12, or 20 GB Hard Disk Drives. A 40 GB HDD will be nice, if it is working, which you will not know for sure until you have an install disk.

    Another option, if you have access to a second Mac that supports firewire, would be to connect the Pismo to the second Mac via Firewire and boot the Pismo into Firewire Target Disk Mode. You can then look at the HDD, and what is on it, and you can run Repair Disk from the host computer.

    Good luck.

    cornelius
  • mmanter Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Well, I have an older G3 Imac & just checked but it does not have firewire so that option is out. I've found an original Powerbook reboot Mac OS 9 cd kit so I should be able to get that to fix the problem, or hopefully.
  • cornelius Level 6 Level 6 (17,825 points)
    Sorry about the iMac. We'll wait and see how it goes when you get the OS 9 kit.

    cornelius
  • mmanter Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Well, the software & replacement PRAM battery came in the mail today and it still doesn't work. The optical drive is shot beyond belief so I am now going to look on ebay for one. Once I get one I will try again to diagnose the hard drive & reinstall the operating system.