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Ask Max: PowerBook G3 Screen Going Dark After Startup

Asked on 10/14/2008:

The PowerBook G3 Series I bought from PowerMax a while ago developed dark screen on startup when the desktop starts. You can light it back up by pressing the screen brightness button after a minute or two. If it goes to sleep it will not awake without a restart.

It had hinges replaced and that seemed to be the start of issue. I checked all the preferences and cannot find any problem.

The machine works OK otherwise. I have all the modules for it and would hate to give it up - but maybe It’s time to find a G4?


It is difficult to be certain, but what you describe sounds like a Backup / PRAM Battery issue. The same issue would also manifest in your clock being reset after you remove all power sources from your computer. Newer Technology makes a replacement battery for your system, part number NWTBATPG3WS. Consider replacing this battery as part of the troubleshooting process.

The other possibility is the sleep reed switch magnet, that indicates that the lid is closed, was not installed properly after the hinges were replaced. This is less likely but it is possible. Damage to the sleep reed switch, or misalignment, could cause a variety of sleeping issues.

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