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Question: PowerBook 100

Hello all,

I have had a PowerBook 100 for a while, but I've been studying it recently (because I just found the floppies to start it up). The Lead-Acid main battery is shot (this computer spent 10 years in a basement) and I believe the PRAM batteries are shot. Whenever I plug the AC adapter in, I get the dark screen problem (a bluish screen with the backlight on). I press the two buttons on the side simultaneously and the screen shuts off. I can power on the computer and hear the hard disk spinning and see the cursor (which responds with the trackball), but the PB needs the floppy drive with Disk tools to startup.
Once the PB is started up, it can run pretty well. But when it's loading items from the floppy drive, the screen flickers when the floppy is reading info unless I set the screen to maximum brightness. It's not a big problem to me, but is that supposed to happen?
I would just like to see if there are any ways I can revive the HD and get it recognized to reinstall the OS without having to buy a new HD. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Compaq Presario v2000, Windows XP

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Sep 5, 2009 5:00 AM in response to PowerBook 100 In response to PowerBook 100

Hi, one thing you should check before you do too much is the tip of your AC adaptor. The 100 had a recall on the original AC adaptors because the tip (black plastic piece) was brittle and would crack, this could cause you to blow the fuse on your motherboard! The original PB100 motherboards had the fuse soldiered to the board and this meant you replaced the board or unsoldiered and replaced the fuse.....

Apple did a retrofit of an easier to replace fuse at least on the PB100's we had in Canada as my original 100 and a second I own had this done by a local repair depot.

But back to your problem, the pram batteries are most likely shot. I would replace them, they are the three flat cells under the swing out cover at the rear. Your sealed lead acid main battery is absolutely shot by now, I doubt there are any good ones out there anymore.

What I suspect is happening is you just don't have enough power from your AC adaptor so check it and see what it is rated, at there were slightly more powerful adaptors used on the PowerBook 140/170 or the 165C/180C these also had the revised tips. The floppy drive is using a fair bit of power and that is causing the flicker, nothing to really worry about as I recall as mine do this as well now that their main batteries are shot.

Small SCSI hard drives are getting a lot more difficult to find, so you say you can hear it spinning? Or does it spin up and then stop? Does it make a clicking sound?

Can you see the drive with disk tools? If it is spinning but you can't see the drive my guess is that it has to be replaced.

If it was not spinning up I would try to gently unstick it removing it and gently swishing it from side to side but a drive that is sticking isn't reliable.

Kevin

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Sep 5, 2009 7:17 PM in response to PowerBook 100 In response to PowerBook 100

Sounds like you've made some progress.

The pram batteries might make a bit of a difference though they aren't like the one's in the newer PowerBooks that also take a bit of a charge from the PowerBook. But oddly I've accidentally started my PB100 from the pram batteries when I forgot to stick the main battery back in so it is possible.

Back to that AC adaptor, it's possible that your hard drive needs a bit more juice in order to fully spin up. This was something I ran into with the Mac Portable in some cases a Portable that was 'dead' could be started by using a more powerful AC adaptor. I custom built one for this purpose.

On the 100 I have used the adaptor from the 165C which is rated at 3.0A and not 2.0A though a part of me has a feeling that you could cause some problems with your video circuit if you put to much power through it.....

So have a look here, http://www.kevinomura.com/powerbooks/powerbook100/index.html

What you are looking for are the Apple fuse modification as well as the extra wires they installed to the VLSI. If you don't have these I have a feeling it might not be a good idea to try a more powerful AC adaptor. Just a feeling...

Kevin

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Question marked as Helpful

Sep 5, 2009 5:00 AM in response to PowerBook 100 In response to PowerBook 100

Hi, one thing you should check before you do too much is the tip of your AC adaptor. The 100 had a recall on the original AC adaptors because the tip (black plastic piece) was brittle and would crack, this could cause you to blow the fuse on your motherboard! The original PB100 motherboards had the fuse soldiered to the board and this meant you replaced the board or unsoldiered and replaced the fuse.....

Apple did a retrofit of an easier to replace fuse at least on the PB100's we had in Canada as my original 100 and a second I own had this done by a local repair depot.

But back to your problem, the pram batteries are most likely shot. I would replace them, they are the three flat cells under the swing out cover at the rear. Your sealed lead acid main battery is absolutely shot by now, I doubt there are any good ones out there anymore.

What I suspect is happening is you just don't have enough power from your AC adaptor so check it and see what it is rated, at there were slightly more powerful adaptors used on the PowerBook 140/170 or the 165C/180C these also had the revised tips. The floppy drive is using a fair bit of power and that is causing the flicker, nothing to really worry about as I recall as mine do this as well now that their main batteries are shot.

Small SCSI hard drives are getting a lot more difficult to find, so you say you can hear it spinning? Or does it spin up and then stop? Does it make a clicking sound?

Can you see the drive with disk tools? If it is spinning but you can't see the drive my guess is that it has to be replaced.

If it was not spinning up I would try to gently unstick it removing it and gently swishing it from side to side but a drive that is sticking isn't reliable.

Kevin

Sep 5, 2009 5:00 AM

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Sep 5, 2009 8:13 AM in response to Niteshooter In response to Niteshooter

Thanks Niteshooter, but in response to your first question, the tip of my PB 100 AC adapter is actually not cracked, but in perfect condition. I think I might try putting in new PRAM batteries. Yeah, the main battery can't hold even like a millisecond of charge. Okay, the power adapter says the input charge is 100-240V~50/60 hertz. The output (in DC) is 7.5V, some symbol (I don't know what it means) then 2.0A.
About the hard drive, I think I hear the hard drive spinning, but now that you mention it, it sounds like it's clicking a bit (it spins the hard drive or makes some sound for a bit, then stops, the repeats the process) towards the end before the sound stops.
Whenever I load it with Disk Tools from the floppy drive, I can see the Disk Tools floppy image on the screen, yet no Macintosh HD icon.
I'll try to remove it and swish it around, then I'll tell my results.
Oh, and I probably should replace the PRAM batteries because my PB thinks it's 1904.
Oh, I can't exactly see how to remove the hard drive (I know there are the two screws on two of the sides), but I'm not sure I can remove it. I think I have to remove the brackets from the walls on the sides, but I don't want to mess it up. How do you remove the Hard drive? (I'm sorry, I'm just not the best with removing hard drives)

Sep 5, 2009 8:13 AM

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Sep 5, 2009 10:54 AM in response to PowerBook 100 In response to PowerBook 100

Okay, what happens is that I started it up with the floppy drive, and then I went into disk tools and clicked on the Apple HD SC drive setup icon. It searched for SCSI drives. I heard the Hard drive of the Mac start spinning for a bit, but then an error came up that said "Unable to read the required information from the disk". Before I shook the drive (gently, of course), it would say "No drives detected". So shaking the drive at least got me somewhere. Thanks for the disassembling manual Tom, and thanks for the tip Niteshooter.

Okay, I tried to start the PB from the installer, but the only drive it would let me install on was the floppy in the drive.

Message was edited by: PowerBook 100

Sep 5, 2009 10:54 AM

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Sep 5, 2009 3:54 PM in response to PowerBook 100 In response to PowerBook 100

The output (in DC) is 7.5V, some symbol (I don't know what it means) then 2.0A.


That symbol is intended to look like a Digital signal on an oscilloscope. It has Low and High and no in-between, and transitions quickly between them. The meaning is 7.5V D.C. (Direct Current). Some other kinds of power supplies just step the power down, and might produce a Voltage with a little sine wave symbol -- that is used to indicate A.C. (Alternating Current).

Can you take one or both of those batteries out? It clearly won't remember the date when you do that, but it may allow the power supply to give a little more power to the circuitry instead of having to fight against the dead battery.

Sep 5, 2009 3:54 PM

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Sep 5, 2009 7:17 PM in response to PowerBook 100 In response to PowerBook 100

Sounds like you've made some progress.

The pram batteries might make a bit of a difference though they aren't like the one's in the newer PowerBooks that also take a bit of a charge from the PowerBook. But oddly I've accidentally started my PB100 from the pram batteries when I forgot to stick the main battery back in so it is possible.

Back to that AC adaptor, it's possible that your hard drive needs a bit more juice in order to fully spin up. This was something I ran into with the Mac Portable in some cases a Portable that was 'dead' could be started by using a more powerful AC adaptor. I custom built one for this purpose.

On the 100 I have used the adaptor from the 165C which is rated at 3.0A and not 2.0A though a part of me has a feeling that you could cause some problems with your video circuit if you put to much power through it.....

So have a look here, http://www.kevinomura.com/powerbooks/powerbook100/index.html

What you are looking for are the Apple fuse modification as well as the extra wires they installed to the VLSI. If you don't have these I have a feeling it might not be a good idea to try a more powerful AC adaptor. Just a feeling...

Kevin

Sep 5, 2009 7:17 PM

Reply Helpful (1)

Sep 6, 2009 5:47 AM in response to Niteshooter In response to Niteshooter

Yeah, my PB still has the original fuse on it. So before I try a new AC adapter on it, whenever I start it, I hear the hard starting, then making a clicking noise, then stopping. It's been spinning longer when powered on than before I shook the drive. So this means I need a new AC adapter?

Sep 6, 2009 5:47 AM

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Sep 6, 2009 8:19 AM in response to PowerBook 100 In response to PowerBook 100

Sorry, I think I didn't understand your question. I don't have the updated fuse that Apple made. Would there be any other way to revive the HD? Or, if I could get the new fuse, would that solve the HD problem?

Sep 6, 2009 8:19 AM

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Sep 7, 2009 8:11 AM in response to PowerBook 100 In response to PowerBook 100

If you don't want to give me your email address (that's fine, I understand), you could always make a new one on one of those free email sites like Gmail, or Yahoo, etc.

Sep 7, 2009 8:11 AM

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Sep 7, 2009 2:08 PM in response to PowerBook 100 In response to PowerBook 100

... and then add it to your Public email address in your profile. Users can send you an email by clicking on your name. I have mine available, and do not get spam attributable to the forums.

___

Listen to these:

http://datacent.com/harddrivesounds.php

Message was edited by: Grant Bennet-Alder

Sep 7, 2009 2:08 PM

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Question: PowerBook 100