14 Replies Latest reply: Mar 22, 2007 7:13 AM by Ronda Wilson
rweaver Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
The problem seems to be getting worse over the past few weeks.

A couple of weeks ago my power adapter couldn't decide whether to be orange or green, it kept flashing back and forth and taking forever to charge. I tried the PMU reset thing, no help.

Just today it started not turning orange at all. When charged, the batter still holds a 3+ hour charge. Right now it is plugged in, and the green light is on, but it the green light seems kind of dim(it might just be my imagination). And of course, my 3 year Apple Care ran out last November.

Any Ideas?

iBook G4, Mac OS X (10.4.8), 933 MHz G4
  • Pikados Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I'm just curious, as I have basically the same problem...

    When you pull up your system profiler, has this appeared in the power menu...?

    " AC adapter cannot charge battery: Yes"

    (this just appeared today under Battery Information for me)
  • rweaver Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Here is what it says. This is the first I've looked at this. By the looks of it, I think our power adapters are dead.

    Can Anyone help or confirm this?

    AC adapter cannot charge battery: Yes

    AC Charger Information:

    AC Charger (Watts): 0
    Connected: Yes
    Charging: No
  • K Shaffer Level 6 Level 6 (11,545 points)
    The alternate change of charging indicator lights in short intervals can be
    a clue as to the state of the power adapter; since I have read of other's
    experiences involving this and a replacement unit was in order.

    And, if the power and battery information in the System Profiler says
    your adapter is not putting out sufficient (or any) power, that is an
    indication the adapter is bad, or dead.

    With a dying power adapter, you may be able to charge the battery if the
    computer is turned off; it would take longer to do so; especially if the out-
    put voltage and milliamps of the charger have somehow been reduced
    from the specifications they need to be in order to run the machine and
    also charge the battery at the same time. So, a weak charger could do
    one job OK, but slow; but not run the comptuer -and- charge the battery.

    If a new (and tested OK) power adapter doesn't charge the
    battery, and the battery (also tested OK, elsewhere if necessary)
    can't get a full charge your computer may need further testing to
    see if there is a defect in the DC-In board. -That could be costly.
    This last idea is based on the thinking, one has also checked
    and re-calibrated the battery as per Apple Support instructions.
  • rweaver Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Well things are not looking good. I tried a friends power adapter and it does the same thing as mine. Glows green and does not charge the battery.

    So what it looks like, is something inside the computer has gone bad.

    Does anyone have any other ideas?

    Since my applecare ran out in November '06, apple has nothing to do with me now, right?

    Is there anything I can do to fix it?
  • Nathan Alderman Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    My iBook G4 won't charge my battery, either. It'll run fine when plugged into the AC Adapter -- the one I got with the computer, or the brand-new one I just got from Apple, thinking the adapter was at fault -- but the LED light doesn't come on, and the battery doesn't seem to charge.

    I got a new battery late last year as part of the recall, and made sure to calibrate it as specified in the instructions.

    I've got two theories here:

    - A component on the batch of motherboards that went into our computers is failing, since so many of these incidents appear to be occuring simultaneously, or
    - There was something wrong with some of the batteries sent out in the recall.

    Just theories, mind you. I have zero evidence to support them. But I'm not happy.
  • Frederick Smith Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    I've been have the exact same problem for months now. I took it to the local Apple Store in December but their power adapter worked in those few minutes so I bought a new adapter. I just now bought two more third party adaptors and a new battery. Nothing changed. All of them do the same thing. My battery icon switches back and forth between change and battery. I pull, twist, push and twirl until I can get it to change but in a minute or two it stops changing again.

    Nothing short of sending my iBook into Apple has changed anything. Any idea what is causing this and what it will cost to fix? I might add that this all stated happening after Apple fixed or exchanged my mother board over six months ago because the firewire port stopped working.
  • Ronda Wilson Level 8 Level 8 (41,075 points)
    Since the light doesn't come on, I would suspect that the adapter has failed, except for the fact that you've replaced it. It should glow green any time the battery isn't charging.

    Have you tried resetting the PMU?

    Will it run from a properly charged battery? If not, I would suspect the logic board is at fault.
  • Ronda Wilson Level 8 Level 8 (41,075 points)
    Try your friend's battery in your iBook. Does the same thing happen? Will it charge a battery that you know is working all right?
  • rweaver Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I have not tried my friends battery yet. But it just doesn't seem like that would be the problem. I have another battery laying around here somewhere that I will check when I find it. But like I said, it does not seem like it would be the fault of a bad battery.

    Thanks for the help though.
  • Ronda Wilson Level 8 Level 8 (41,075 points)
    You're welcome.

    When you're having troubles with the battery and charging and resetting the PMU doesn't help, the first thing to rule out is the battery, since it is most often the culprit. You need to swap with a battery you KNOW works (which probably rules out "another battery laying around here somewhere").

    Next in line for problems is the adapter, then the power input (DC-in) board, and, finally, the logic board.

    Good luck.
  • rweaver Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    OK, my problem is definitely coming from inside the computer.
    A friend brought over an identical computer to mine (besides the fact theirs is in working order).

    I'm using my adapter to charge their computer.
    I put my battery in their computer and charged it to full power (4h:30m).

    So that rules out 2 of the suggestions.

    Ronda mentioned the logic board, my apple care has replaced the logic board 3 times since I bought the computer. They would not replace the computer when I asked on the third occurance. And of course, once my apple care has ran out, it happens again.

    Does anyone know if there is anything Apple will do for me? Or am I just S.O.L.?
  • K Shaffer Level 6 Level 6 (11,545 points)
    Refer to the last "case number" or incident number for the work order on
    the computer in question from when the last logic board was replaced.
    You may be able to contact someone at AppleCare, with that number.

    I was told an incident is only over when the problem does not reoccur.
    However, I am not sure what they'd say is a reasonable time between
    failures when the same thing(s) happen to the same computer.

    Call Apple Support/AppleCare and give them that incident number and
    ask if they can help you resolve this ongoing issue. Can't hurt to ask,
    but please remember to be polite, since these people keep a generally
    good attitude given the many calls a day they probably handle. A bit
    of kindness and courtesy goes a long way; in any event I'd try calling.
  • Ronda Wilson Level 8 Level 8 (41,075 points)
    It is more likely to be the power input board than the logic board. The power input (DC-in) board is the part of the iBook that houses the adapter port.

    In my experience, when the logic board was involved, the computer wouldn't run from a charged battery.

    When my husband's power input board was damaged, the computer would ONLY run from the battery, and would not run from the adapter (but it worked sporadically from the adapter before it quit altogether). I swapped batteries with him and charged his battery in my iBook until we could get it fixed.
  • Ronda Wilson Level 8 Level 8 (41,075 points)
    Upon doing a little looking, I find that MicroDoc in Eugene, Oregon will do the repair for $118 ($59 for the part and $59 labor). It's the least expensive place I've found online. Maybe you can let your fingers do the walking in your Yellow Pages and see if you can find a local repair place that will meet that price.

    For your nearest Authorized Apple Service Provider, check out this search page and enter your Zip Code in the box to conduct the search.

    Good luck.