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Ask Max: Does my Powerbook need a new battery?

Asked on 11/27/2009:

I haven't been using my Powerbook G4 1.5 ghz 15-inch for a while since buying a new iMac. I powered it up recently (with adapter) and noticed that the battery isn't charging. Date and Time required updating. I opened up Date and Time and fixed that. I launched G4 Updater and the program keeps quitting. I then reset the PRAM and PMU as mentioned in a recent letter to no effect. When the computer is plugged into the adapter it works fine.

Do I just need a new battery? The notebook is roughly four years old with a second battery. The original was recalled a year later after purchasing.

Thank you.

- Joel


A new battery would probably be the next step after resetting the PMU without success. But before you plop down some big cash, does the PowerBook retain date and time if you remove the battery and power supply from the laptop? If it still looses the time, you could have a faulty backup battery that should be replaced. In rare cases, a dead

backup battery will block a main battery from charging. This battery is internal and takes some technical skill to replace.

You can buy the part from We Love Macs if you want to attempt the repair yourself.

Another consideration should be your Power Adapter. Make sure you are using the proper Wattage power supply for your PowerBook. You need a 65W adapter for your PowerBook but some earlier models used 45 Watt and some replacement adapters don't provide a full 65 Watts. An underpowered adapter will not charge your battery.

Otherwise you can get a replacement PowerBook battery and that should fix your issue.

- Jacob

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