I was looking for some info on powerbooks repair and I found your site, which is great! Now I'm totally dreaming of a back-lit keyboard!
I was hoping to get some advice regarding our Powerbook G4 12". That poor machine has been roughed up a little bit too much in the last year and a half. About a year and a half ago, our son, who was then 2, tried to pick it up while my wife wasn't looking. The powerbook was on the table. It's dense and heavy, so he couldn't hold it and it fell on the hard tile floor. Ouch... on the rear left corner, by the adapter plug. The courageous little machine kept on working though, despite a dent corner. Plus, the adapter's contact became a bit loose at times.
About three weeks ago, our son struck again. It wasn't entirely his fault this time: my wife left the computer on the floor, with her coffee cup next to it. Our son was quietly playing not very far with a train, and somehow slowly moved his way near the coffee cup... and eventually pushed it, spilling the whole cup on the computer, which was on at the time. The screen flickered, and it shut down after a little bit. My wife managed to turn it back on to email me a document she wanted to save, and then it went dark again, this time for good.
I'm guessing it probably wasn't a good idea to turn it back on in the first place. Anyways, our home owner insurance covers this, so I took it to the Apple shop, and made the mistake to tell them that the insurance would pay for the repairs. The estimate came less than 3 hours later: replacement of the whole motherboard - 640 € - of the bottom case - 140 € - of the keyboard - a mere 72 € - plus 2 hours of labour. Total, about 1,200 €. Yuck...
Well, the insurance estimates the computer at 400€. Minus 150€ deductible. You do the math. We ordered a new laptop for my wife... now I'd like to repair the powerbook though... and make it mine! >:D
I have a feeling that less than 3 hours is a bit fast to estimate all those repairs. I'm thinking the people at the Apple store probably decided that since the insurance was paying for it, they could go ahead and charge us out of the ying-yang. I'm hoping that maybe only the DC in board is dead, but I wonder what you guys think? Any advice on where to start to repair that thing? What to test, and how? How to clean the keyboard? Soap and water? It's going to have a lot of time to dry on a radiator before it goes back on the computer... what's the difference between the aluminum and the titanium models?
I'd very much appreciate any advice since I'm a complete noob to messing with laptops. :'( Thank you very much in advance.
HI, welcome to macmod... the original estimate seems steep, but accurate... I'm no expert but I bet the motherboard is shot, as well as the keyboard... if the bottom case is not broken just clean it up and use the same one. check if your hard drive is still alive, you can use an external enclosure for this... check ifixit dot com for the disassembly guides then browse through ebay to see how much the parts would fetch... and since you're already hacking into the thing why not make it a little more your own? an upgrade? a mod even?
Thanks for the welcome and for your answer! The reason why I'm questionning the motherboard being shot is that I opened up the thing before sending it to the shop, and there was very little coffee under the keyboard itself, on the panel that covers the motherboard. But the coffee was spilt right next to the part that was previously bent, by the adapter plug, so I'm thinking that most of it when through that opening, on the DC in board. When I completely opened the powerbook, I didn't see any trace of coffee on the motherboard itself. So I don't know...
I already got an external case for 2.5" HDs and I'm going to perform a backup as soon as I can (if it's still alive ).
Do you know what's the difference between aluminum and titanium models? Is it only the case material? I didn't find many motherboards on ebay (they call them logic boards, right?), but I did find some on macrecycling dot com.
And yeah, I am thinking about making it a little more my own... a lighted keyboard would be a good start! I need to change the battery though, it's been dead for a long time...
The same thing just happened to my brother's MacBook, except for him it was while wrestling a roommate his fishbowl got knocked over onto the laptop. Seriously, what college kid has a fishbowl, and next to his computer.
You should check the serial number of the battery to see if it qualifies for the battery recall of a few months back. My 12" PB won that lottery, so its got a fresh battery.
__________________ 15" MBP late 2008
Agree with Zenstate. I spilled fruit juices over my keyboard two times, which cost me €29,99 and got me the experience not to drink at the keyboard. If you wanna drink next to your PC, do it with a Windoze box, people.
Mmmh, yeah, thanks to the lesson-givers, that's exactly what I need. Even my dad, who's pretty bad, didn't even say anything. Maybe he's smart enough to realize that crap happens. Especially with kids in the house. Sorry, but offense WAS taken. Who do you think you are? Seriously... anyway...
Now, to answer people who were actually trying to help: I'm done taking it all apart. The mobo looks pretty bad, this is a close-up of the part near the DC-in connector:
How do I test the mobo? It looks dead to me... I get nothing when I try to power it up, no startup chime, nothing. As for the battery, it was already almost dead anyway, it gave us about 15 minutes max prior to the incident. And it didn't qualify for the recall unfortunately... :'(
Dude, that thing is fried. Cleaning it will do no good, you have components which are burned and in some cases exploded entirely. Since it is probably part of the power systems, if you are good with a soldlering iron and know a little about electronics, you could in theory swap out the damaged components, inwhich case cleaning the board might help a little, but any chip on there could have internal damage, which is a lot of time and effort down the drain.
I would say replace it and sell the rest for parts, the screen is probably fine.
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