Followup on PowerBook G4

I had received this laptop yesterday, and when I was looking at it there were some things wrong with it. The FW800 port didn’t work, the keyboard was sticking way up in one corner, a bunch of backlight bleed from the keyboard, always noisy, and it looked like someone had tried to replace the hard drive and couldn’t put the PowerBook back together. One thing I did find out was this thing seems to have been a teacher’s at a school, as it is in much better shape then the rest we all see. The battery is relatively new, had only 44 cycles on it!

So the first thing I did was to turn it on and see if maybe Leopard’s installer would see the hard drive in here. Nope, not even detected so then I pulled up iFixit on my G5 and started the teardown process. The hard drive in here was a WD Scorpio 120GB drive, and the connecter to the motherboard was lose so I figured I could boot back into Leopard Install and format the drive. Nope! The drive was detected as 0 bytes, and unable to format. So this lead me to find my collection of PATA drives which consisted of a 10 and 20GB from iBook G3s, and a 40GB out of a Dell Latitude D600. So I picked the 40GB to push through the weekend. Got it all mounted and off I was trying to install Leopard. I get the notice of 512MB Ram required so I grabbed the 2 1GB sticks I had on my desk, and Leopard was now being installed! While I was taking it apart, it became apparent that the guy who replaced the hard drive had no clue what he was doing. By the time I got to the hard drive I counted 6 missing screws, and I found 2 of these missing screws shoved in the screws that secure DVI cables. But I still will need to buy a set of screws off ebay among some other parts that I’ll list later on.


So the keyboard’s backlight bleed through the back was bright, and this was easily fixed with some electrical tape over the opening on the underside of the top case. The next thing was how the keyboard was popping out at the Esc/F1/~/1 keys. just had to push that area down hard enough so the clamp would put itself back into place.









One other thing that bugged me was the fans. When I was using it testing everything out, the fans sounded like they were humming and I had thought it was the speakers. My solution was one that usually works wonders in temperatures/fan noise, and that is to re-apply the thermal paste with some new stuff. Sure enough, the fans are much quieter and my legs haven’t turned into steak from all the heat coming off the back.


So, there are a few things I still need to buy in order to make this thing pristine, and here they go as follows:

  • 120/160GB PATA Hard Drive
  • Duckhead for AC Adaptor
  • 6ft cable for AC Adaptor
  • New 65w AC Adaptor
  • Top Case
  • Bottom Case
  • Laptop Screw Set

So we will see what we can get done with this thing! It’s certainly usable right this second, as I used it to make this post, and I even was able to plug my iPhone in and use Image Capture to retrieve the pictures to post in here!

This entry was posted in Customization, G4, Hardware, Software, Uses for PowerPC and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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