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PowerBook 5300c / 5300cs Restoration (Lid Fix)


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Recently saw two PowerBook 5300 series laptops on eBay. One was a 5300c listed as parts only and apparently had some keyboard and chassis issues. The second was a 5300cs listed as parts only and apparently would not get past a sad mac with death chimes. I was only intending to pick up one but both of my offers were accepted and so I ended up with both. (That should teach me a lesson about assuming a low offer won't get accepted). I would like to think that this impulse buy was due to @3lectr1cPPC ... 🤣 but in reality as is always the case, I kinda wanted one. Not two though.

So I received a PowerBook 5300c and a PowerBook 5300cs a couple weeks ago.

Both seemed to be in good shape physically but were both missing the rear port doors. They each had a non functional battery. One had a floppy, the other had a Zip drive. Neither would boot... one was actually missing a power port! The other did the sad mac with death chimes as the listing said. And on this sad mac one, after the first few boot attempts, the power port broke loose. Nice.

Time to take them apart. Here's a picture of the 5300cs's loose power port.


It looks like it fell off before and someone did a really poor job soldering it back on. I was concerned on initial glance based on the black areas that this laptop had a power surge or something. But on closer inspection, it was just dirty. For the 5300c (the one with the missing power port), I found it inside the case (phew!) rattling around.

The battery bay didn't really have any corrosion which is great. The mother board capacitor had not leaked on both units. All the parts seemed to be present although it was very clear both units had been disassembled by someone and not put together properly. And the 5300c was missing lots of screws.

Onto the lids, both suffered from broken standoffs. Broken lid latch spring pins. Broken speaker mounts.


@3lectr1cPPC tells me this speaker mount is always broken, one side or the other.


I thought it was funny that the lid latch wasn't springing back when you slide it... here's why:


More broken standoffs.


and more...


Ok, first thing was to fix the power ports. Cleaned up both the board and the port itself, then remounted, soldered them back on, and then used some epoxy to ensure it had more strength and the solder joints were not taking all the stress.



Next was the caps. I replaced the stock caps on the display (5300cs), the inverter boards (5300cs and 5300c), the motherboard (5300cs and 5300c), and the power unit (5300cs and 5300c). Here's the display from the 5300cs (this is the Sharp version):


And the inverter boards:


And the motherboards:


And finally the power units:


Ok, one note there. The caps above are Nichicons. When I got them I was annoyed as I thought Mouser had sent me incorrect 100 volt capacitors when I had ordered 100uF 35V capacitors. I decided to measure one with my multimeter and it read 100uF. Ok that's good, so what's up with the 100V, did they send me 100V rated capacitors instead of the 35V I requested? I looked up the data sheet for the Nichicons. Turned out they are the correct ones. Nichicon uses codes for their voltage ratings. So the second row is actually "100 V"... the 100 is for 100uF and the V according to their data sheet represents 35Vs. Go figure.

Next up was the damaged stand offs.

I took measurements of both parts of the display housing and modeled some replacement 3D printable standoffs:

Screenshot 2023-08-22 at 9.12.56 PM.png

There isn't much room inside housing so I had to make the replacements small. I was concerned at first that there would not be enough surface area for a good bond with the plastic. I didn't think super glue was going to work but figured epoxy would work.

The little square R2D2 sensor like thing in the upper left.. what is that? Well, my lid latch spring pin was broken. Needed to replace it.


The above picture is with the piece epoxied to the lid and the spring mounted. Latch works again! I 3D resin printed this piece. Why is it clear? Well, I had printed some light pipes recently and was too lazy to clean out the resin tray so printed it with clear resin.

Here are the rest of the pieces printed in ABS:


The top two pieces are for the outer lid. The next two pieces are for the inner lid (with the hole for the LCD). They fit next to the speaker (and include a new mount point for the speaker bracket). The final four pieces are replacement standoffs for the inner lid.

Not all of these standoffs broke on my lid so I didn't get to test most of them. But I did line them up and it looked like they would fit just fine. I will make the models available in this thread for others to use. Note that you will need to cut off some of the original plastic and sand down any stubs first. I would use epoxy. I don't think super glue will cut it.


The red regions above need to be free of plastic so that the new 3D printed pieces can fit. Now some pictures of the new replacement standoffs:




Yay, speaker mounted properly.

And now with the hinges mounted again:


Both laptops are now back together and the new standoffs are working as expected. Lid feels good but I'm still handling them gingerly out of habit. Both laptops are booting now and seem to work fine. Both had 750MB hard drives that work as well as 32MB of memory. I tested the floppy drive and it works. I have yet to test the Zip drive.

I am now in the process of putting a ZuluSCSI in one of them. The issue is that it won't mount the way the hard drive did as the Zulu is lacking a side mounting mechanism.

EDIT: nevermind, should have realized these PowerBooks use IDE. Thanks @3lectr1cPPC !
Last edited:


Well-known member
Now as promised.. I have attached the 3D printable model files for the standoffs as well as the lid latch spring pin. I have not tried all the standoff models but I believe they should work. For adhesive, I would use epoxy instead of super glue.

Note that since I have not fully tested everything, please proceed at your own risk. I'm obviously not guaranteeing anything.

For the holes, the stock screws have M2.5 threads. You can get M2.5 brass threaded inserts on Amazon. You will need M2.5 brass inserts that have 3.5mm diameter and 3.0mm height for the standoffs for the inner lid. For the outer lid, you will want M2.5 brass inserts that have a 3.5mm diameter and 5.0mm height. You can then use a soldering iron to heat them and melt them into the plastic replacement standoffs.

Here's a link to the ones I used on Amazon:
Hopefully these work for others.


  • LidSupports.zip
    35.1 KB · Views: 6
  • LidSpringPin.zip
    2.5 KB · Views: 6


Well-known member
This is amazing work, you’re a legend for designing these parts, really! You’re going to help out so many 5300 and 190 owners with these, myself included I’m sure as I’ll bet that mine break at some point soon. Great solder work on the power board too. Hard to get it to flow well on that board due to the ground planes. I think my iron is just weak though.

That ZuluSCSI isn’t going to work though - the 5300s use IDE hard drives, not SCSI.


Well-known member
This is amazing work, you’re a legend for designing these parts, really! You’re going to help out so many 5300 and 190 owners with these, myself included I’m sure as I’ll bet that mine break at some point soon. Great solder work on the power board too. Hard to get it to flow well on that board due to the ground planes. I think my iron is just weak though.

That ZuluSCSI isn’t going to work though - the 5300s use IDE hard drives, not SCSI.

LOL... I should have taken the time to look at the connector.


Well-known member
Easy to miss, especially if you haven’t worked on anything else that new. It happens a lot around here, pretty sure someone else was planning on fitting a Zulu in their 5300 just a couple weeks ago even.
One of these *should* work. They work in the 3400s and 1400s, and should in the 5300s too. I tried mine in my 5300 once and was met with errors, but my unit was going through a general period of uncooperative behavior at the time. Pretty sure I’ve heard that other people have had them work fine.


Well-known member
Yes, it’s still SCSI. Although, I’ve found that SCSI port on the PowerPC PowerBooks to be unstable, at least, it is when using my external PiSCSI. The PiSCSI is great for file transfer, but that’s the one flaw I’ve found. It works great on 68k laptops/desktops and PPC desktops from what I’ve tested. Could just be that one device though.

By unstable, I mean that I can’t boot off of emulated drives on my PiSCSI usually, and the system often locks up or bomb errors when accessing PiSCSI drives - but only on the PPC PowerBooks.

I typically use a PCMCIA to CF adapter to get files between the modern world and the PPC laptops without USB. It works really well, it’s stable, and you can boot of them very easily.


Well-known member
Ok, will probably keep one of these (5300c) and sell the other (5300cs). But we'll see.


Well-known member
Zip drive works. I guess I can use that to get files on and off. Will try to reinstall tomorrow as it's running 8.5 and I kinda want to go back to 7.x. I think this laptop can go down to 7.5.x, but will most likely run 7.6.1.


Well-known member
The 5300c has had a couple system errors in the past hour during boot. I'm hoping it's not the memory. Could be the drive as the one in this unit isn't sounding too great. But could also be one of the installed extensions as booting with extensions off hasn't crashed at all, although that might be because without the extensions, there's less activity during boot. Will need to play with this some more.


Well-known member
Please hold on using the models earlier.. I am going to generate a v2 set of models as I made some adjustments after some tinkering this morning. The inner pieces next to the speaker are slightly too thick so going to reduce that a bit. Will post later today.


Active member
Oh man, I am excited to see this thread! I am going to give the standoffs a shot in my 5300cs. Thanks for tackling this project!

Garrett B

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For some reason I'm just seeing this thread today - great work. I also have a 5300c with broken hinges and plan to give your files a shot later. Thanks for posting!


Well-known member
👍 Let me know if you guys find any issues. Just provide pictures and I can make changes relatively quickly if needed.


Well-known member
Next time I get parts printed I'm doing this preemptively to mine I think. Makes sense to do. May even be able to salvage my other set of plastics with these too.


Well-known member
I decided I wanted to use a modern 24V power supply with my 5300c. There are a ton of them on Amazon and cheap. But the issue is almost all of them have a 5.5mm x 2.1mm connector. The 5300 series uses a 3.75mm x 1.3mm connector which is non-standard. I could not find one that wasn't an arm and a leg in price.

So I went the other way... I decided to replace the power port on the 5300c motherboard with a 5.5mm x 2.1mm port.


These jacks are readily available on Amazon as well. The ones I bought were close... not exact, but close enough where I could bend the pins a tiny bit and get it to fit within the stock holes on the motherboard. The ones I bought are here.

But it wasn't an exact perfect replacement. I had to make some modifications. First, I had to clear out some plastic inside the chassis:


The metal was not touched. But the plastic area surrounding the hole I had to remove some material. I did not enlarge the hole and no changes are visible from the exterior. This was just on the inside. I used a dremel to clear this plastic out.

The other change I had to make was on the new power adapter. The 24V 5.5mm x 2.1mm power adapter I bought didn't have a long enough plug. The stock jack is really recessed inside. So I had to cut away some of the plastic on the new plug. I just needed another 4mm. Next time I will buy a power adapter with a longer plug (if I can find one). But this is fine for now.


Lastly, I had to modify the new jack a bit to cut away some of the plastic on it as well. Here's the jack soldered onto the motherboard with some additional epoxy on the sides to help secure it down. The stock jack seems to break off easily on this laptop. I didn't want the same fate here so I added the epoxy (similar to what I did to fix the stock jack earlier in this thread).


Here's a shot from the outside. Can't tell it's been modified.


And with the new power adapter being used. It works fine. So now I don't have a dependency on the Apple power adapter which is starting to get more expensive on eBay and all of them are getting old.