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davorg (18)

davorg
  dave@dave.org.uk
http://dave.org.uk/
Yahoo! ID: daveorguk (Add User, Send Message)

Hacker, author, trainer

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Journal of davorg (18)

Tuesday March 02, 2004
04:34 PM

Powerbook Battery

[ #17722 ]

I may have done something a bit stupid.

I was in my current client's office yesterday when one of the chaps there mentions that the battery in his 15" Powerbook seems to be broken and he can only run it off the mains. When I mention that I have a Powerbook at home he asks if I could bring in my battery and try it in his Powerbook. As I'm going back to the office today I put the battery in my bag and take it with me.

We try my battery in his Powerbook and it doesn't make any difference. It still only works on the mains. He gives me the battery back.

But when I get home and put the battery back into my Powerbook disaster strikes. Now my Powerbook won't work from the battery. The four lights on the battery all light up when I press the button but if you pull out the power lead, it all goes dead.

As I see it there are two options. Either I was given back the wrong battery (and we then have to decide if it was accidental or deliberate) or somehow putting my healthy battery into a broken Powerbook has broken my battery.

I know little of Apple hardware so I'm not sure how likely the second option is. Maybe one of the iGeeks out there could give me some advice.

A replacement battery is £100. I really don't want to have to pay that much.

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  • There's some dedicated processor on pbook mainboards and some other voodoo that goes on. Here are my suggestions:

    1. Zap the PRAM. Do this by holding cmd-opt-P-R during boot. I think it'll BONG more than once if it zaps. I'm not sure about that.

    2. Enter openfirmware by holding cmd-opt-O-F. At the openfirmware prompt, run "reset-nvram"

    I make no guarantee that these will not cause your Mac to explode, but I do suggest that it's unlikely. I had this problem once, and PRAM-zapping would help for a while
    --
    rjbs
  • Did both PowerBooks have the reasonably recent (January, iirc) Battery Update installed? Does installing it now help?

    If the answers are 'yes' and 'no', then this will have been useless. You never know, though.
  • No more warranty on either powerbook?

      - ask
    --

    -- ask bjoern hansen [askbjoernhansen.com], !try; do();

  • ... the process is different depending on what model you have. See this knowledge base article [apple.com] for more info.

    You might also see what the command line tool battery [mitt-eget.com] thinks is happening.