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I got what I thought was an absolute steal today: An iBook G4 in amazing condition for 30$.

 

I had no assurance on the computer's working state, but was willing to take that shot (I'm in need of another laptop...and G4s seem to be my favorites).

 

Well, I get it home and plug it in, and surprisingly it charges the battery and would turn on and chime for me. And would go (very slowly) through the motions of booting. It could get to the blue screen and show the Mac OS progress bar thing, and I could move my mouse around...but then it stops there. I never lose control of the mouse, it never freezes. But it also never shows the Finder or anything. Subsequent boots show the same thing.

 

I think the hard drive is damaged. When running in Target firewire mode, it'll freeze both computers untill I unplug the firewire, at which the iBook stays frozen (and quite silent), and the other computer unfreezes. This thing also has a combo drive, but it won't boot my 10.3 discs, and it won't finish booting the Tiger DVD.

 

It also has no extra RAM, which might be attributing to the computer's slowness. I'm on the search for some DDR laptop memory, but I've got none at home, so I'm stuck till tomorrow.

 

Any ideas on what to do? Pram/pmu has been reset.

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. . . Even worse, replacing the hard disk on those is hard labour.

 

Yes, sounds like the HDD to me. I replaced the HDD in my old G3-500 iBook (original SnowBook) and yes, it was "challenging". You should still consider it though, but be prepared to almost completely strip down your iBook.

 

Not knowing which model you've got, have a look at this link at iFixit

 

If you do embark on this exercise, you will need an "older" style ATA HDD, which new, are relatively more expensive than today's SATA drives.

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Verbose didn't give any clues, it just would not load. I decided to take the plunge with it and used the hard drive from my Pismo (which honestly doesn't get as much use as my other laptops). I've got a 10GB the Pismo will take and run OS 9 just fine.

 

So about an hour and a half's work later, the iBook is reassembled with a 40GB Hitachi on board. The Pismo was running Tiger very slugishly, but after putting it in the iBook...night and day.

 

Still only using 256MB of RAM, but the 1.2Ghz G4 must have worked wonders. The computer could run MacTubes to play some music, have a CD copying in background, and check my bank accounts without skipping a beat. A little TLC later, and its a slab of white plastic beauty that I'm completely proud to own. In fact, it runs better than the 1.25Ghz PowerBook G4 12" that I had awhile back...Go figure.

Thanks for the suggestions, guys.

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Glad it's working. The iBook G4, particularly the later 1.25 and 1.33GHz versions, are underrated gems. They are durable, easy to maintain (except the hard disk) and clean, and still have decent performance. Their main drawback is the weak video and limited screen resolution compared to the PowerBooken. My 12" 1.33GHz iBook G4 is still my regular laptop.

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So about an hour and a half's work later, the iBook is reassembled with a 40GB Hitachi on board.

 

Glad your iBook is back in action. My iBook is the only "new" (this century) Apple laptop that I have sentimental attachment too. All my other later Powerbook/MacBook(Pro) notebooks have come, and gone. The iBook bridged me back to Apple machines from Windows based machines for video editing, to MOS9, and then to OSX.

 

It, and my (upgraded to the max) QS2002 are the only 21C Macs that I intend keeping, all the others are just appliances.

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I'd say that their main drawback is the vreg solder joint problem.

 

That was more an issue with the earlier units, though. The last few iBook G4s were quite solid (I've owned a number of them and none of them had any issues with solder joints), in particular the late 2004 and 2005 models.

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