View Full Version : iBook G4 laptop setup?

Graham L
14-10-2005, 04:00 PM
A friend has been given one of these very nice laptops, as a "non-functional" one. Of course, he would like it to be converted to a working one if possible.

It was alleged that it might have been left out in the rain, but there's no sign of that.

So far, I have:
... removed the case bottom, to get access to the PCB and power connector. (Very tricky, but accomplished without leaving any marks. ;) )
... got 24 volts into it, with much jiggling and double checking of the connections.
... heard the Apple music, followed by a completely blank (but illuminated) screen.
... inserted a blank CD and heard it spin up. Managed to eject it with some button manipulating.

Next comes the interesting part. Holding the Option key down while powering up causes (after a longish delay) two rectangular "buttons" to appear on the screen. One is a "right arrow" with a double border (as if it's a default "push me"); the other is a "circular arrow". A "watch" wait icon appears at the top LH corner, aand can be moved about the screen. After a long time, it chages to a cursor arrow, and can "push" the buttons. The "Circular arrow" causes the cursor to change back to the wait form. The Right arrow button just "depresses" and that's it.

I conclude that: The CPU is working. The screen is working. The CD drive is working.

Is this what it should do when it's expecting to have its software installed from CDs to a wiped hard disk? Is it worth getting an install disk from Trademe?

14-10-2005, 05:13 PM
If you were in wellington I would lend you mine. have you tried starting it in firewire mode?
Get a firewire cable and hook it up to a working computer, doesn't have to be a mac, and while starting up laptop keep your finger on the T key and the ibook's harddrive should mount as a external drive on the other computer.You should be able to see the ibooks home folder's.

14-10-2005, 06:56 PM
Okay it sounds to me that is can't find a disk to startup from.
This is probably because your hard drive is dead (or disconnected), or maybe just the filesystem is corrupt.

The Option key gives you the startup manager and what you see on a working system will be an icon for a Hard Drive.

The laptop definitely would have originally been sold with a OS X installation disk and probably a diagnostic disk.

To boot off a CD on a mac you hold the C key down when starting it up (or use the Startup manager).

What I'd do is find an OS X installation CD (you only need disk 1) and boot off that. From there you can run a utility called Disk Utility that will allow you to format the hard drive, etc. You could then see if the drive is working properly... If it isn't then you will need to buy a new one (they are just standard laptop IDE drives).

Also, worth giving the PRAM a reset (hold the Apple and Option and P and R keys all down for a while when turning on, until you hear another chime).

Read Apple Support (http://www.apple.com/support/ibook/) for more info. Some iBooks had faulty logic (aka motherboards) boards. Hard drive death is fairly common..

Graham L
15-10-2005, 01:26 PM
Thanks, gibler. That's exactly what I wanted ... it's hard to know if it's doing the normal things if you don't know what the normal things are. :D

I've seen the "frowning floppy" on old macs, but these new ones are a blank iBook to me. I was a bit surprised that there wasn't any disk icon, happy or not.

After getting it open I've found a set of "FixIt guides" which document how to do it. 30 screws to be removed to get at the hard disk. :(

The owner is watching trademe to see how the install disks go ... there appear to be some of the OS9 and earlier OS X coming up quite cheaply. And it seems that people have managed to get Linux going on the iBook G4.