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Mangled Powerbook 12" 867

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courtesy of a random PC forum I picked up a 12" Powerbook, in very mangled condition. Obviously someone couldn't wait unscrewing everything to get to the HD, and essentially opened it up like a tin can, prizing up the hand rest to get to it, and ripping out the HD.


It cost $45, specs are (sold with "logic board issue", but it booted right to a flashing disk icon):


- 867Mhz

- 256MB RAM/no HD

- Early Superdrive (1x?)

- Bluetooth

- Airport extreme card, doesn't seem to detect it

- Battery: only 15 cycles! :)


I'm installing 10.4 onto it now with 384MB RAM/30GB HD, and have been able to bend most of the hand rest back, which doesn't look too terrible from a distance. I was able to rebuild the hard disk harness quite nicely (tip: keep all those screws and grommets from any PC notebook you chuck out!). However, many screws are missing and the handrest is loose from it's welding, so I'll have to go back and fix these things up.


And oh how I love this form factor - truly tiny machine, close to a Netbook but with internal Superdrive - how can you go wrong!


Will post an update once I determine if it's fully reliable :)



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My main machine is its faster brother, the PowerBook 12" (DVI) at 1 GHz. I absolutely love it and I won't let it go when I buy a new MacBook unibody. Actually, I plan to get a new battery and AC adapter for it, and also a bigger hard drive.


I think you did a good job on your recent conquest :)




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it's a shame that even with all the apple engineering, they could not squeeze the backlighting system for the keyboard into the design, even though it uses the exact same keyboard as it's bigger brothers.


I have always thought of the 12" as the perfect design. A compact form factor, including a optical drive. Just a PITA to get to the HD, but ifixit is a saving grace with that.

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How did it get so mangled?


Normally to gain access to the HD you have to unscrew the PB's keyboard and top case - about ~ 30 screws all up, which actually isn't too bad compared to iBooks and fairly straightforward. The previous owner decided they couldn't be arsed and basically uncrewed about ten screws, then went for it and bent/mangled the aluminium top case off at 90 degrees to get to the HD.


I've since put in an 80GB drive (borrowed from my Pismo) into it, and it's running a fresh install of 10.4.11. No issues, the Geforce 4 seems pretty smooth. One oddity: I bought it knowing it had a "logic board" issue, and I've found the onboard 128MB DDR RAM is faulty and will not detect. Funny thing is it's quite happy to boot still with a 256MB stick put in, just it doesn't chime! I'm going to buy a 1GB stick and see how I go.


I've been really tempted to buy a Netbook recently (eg. MSI Wind for OSX86), but would consider this to be an ever better machine - probably just as fast, onboard firewire, better screen, onboard Superdrive, for about 10 - 15% more size :)



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