: Help!!! I'm afraid to turn on my computer!


jeac5
May 8th, 2003, 03:59 PM
Okay, while I was surfing ehmac, the fan on my G3 Lombard came on. I was a little disconcerted as it hadn't come on before (I bought it used about 6 weeks ago). I thought, well, it has a fan for a reason, right? So, I didn't worry too much and it shut off about one or two minutes later.

Then, I heard a little 'pop' and immediately smelled something, sort of like a burning smell but there was no smoke or anything. Right away, I pulled the power and RJ45 and tried to shut down but it had frozen. I can't remember if the cursor still moved or not. So, I panicked a bit and it took me a minute or so to think of popping the battery. As soon as I pushed the battery button, it shut off. The battery didn't come out though, is it supposed to?

Anyway, to all the techs out there, I need some help. Should I boot up to see if it starts okay? What could have gone and do you think it is a big thing or just a little curcuit or something like that? Unfortunately, there are limited technical resources around here and I don't trust the local Apple dealer to fix it. I really would like to have some idea what it might be and then considering how serious it may be or not, may consider sending it away to someone from ehmac if necessary, who I would trust a lot more.

Please, any advice or possible suggestions as to what happened are welcome. I am a little upset and desperate. Thanks in advance!!!

monokitty
May 8th, 2003, 04:07 PM
Boot the Powerbook and see what happens. If it doens't boot at all, no noise, video, power at all, I'm suspecting your poor Powerbook has mulitple hardware failures, including a damaged logic board. If it does boot and gives errors, post the errors here so I can see what's going on.

jeac5
May 8th, 2003, 04:53 PM
Thanks Lars, I won't be able to try until tomorrow. However, that's not the answer I'm looking for. :(

I would like to have a well rounded idea of possibilities before I do try, although I understand I guess, that errors would help in the troubleshooting process.

Please everybody, keep 'em coming...

minnes
May 8th, 2003, 05:01 PM
did the pop and smell come from the power pack or from in the computer
Was there a power surge or blackout?
if it was from the power supply, that can be replaced
Otherwise,I would take it to a tech to get checked out.

Betty Fooz
May 8th, 2003, 05:08 PM
i think lars' answer was a good one. how can you tell if something is wrong if you don't turn it on?
maybe open it up (unless still under waranty)and check for scortching on the boards.
if really scared take it to your apple techs.

donut

jeac5
May 8th, 2003, 05:08 PM
Hi minnes, I think it came from the computer, not the power supply. No power surges that I am aware of. In fact, I can still smell it if I sniff around the vents near the battery area. Ohhhh.

jeac5
May 8th, 2003, 05:16 PM
I agree that Lars' answer was a good one in that I have to start it up to see what is happening, yes. I meant, that I was hoping for a more positive possibility as to what has happened. Doesn't mean that I don't appreciate Lar's response.

Regarding telling if something is wrong, I am sure that it is. Things don't go 'pop' and emit odors if nothing is wrong. I was just hoping for a few responses regarding possibilities before I give it a try.

Betty Fooz
May 8th, 2003, 05:30 PM
i know lots of things that go 'pop' and emit odours and aren't broken..he he.
anyways this may sound stupid but i have seen this happen. check and see if the contacts between the battery and the computer are clean, sometimes with older computers (by this i mean after 1 year) the contacts get dirty and not work properly, the 'pop' could have been a mild short between battery and computer causing a slight smell but no real damage.

hope this helps.
donut

jeac5
May 8th, 2003, 05:46 PM
Now, see donut, these are the sort of things I want to hear. It may not change what has actually happened, but I am looking for some hope.

jeac5
May 8th, 2003, 06:11 PM
Okay, here's another thing. If I start up and everything seems fine (I can hope), how concerned should I be to use my computer right now? Should it still be looked at? Doesn't this seem to indicate that something should be checked out? Also, this may be a stupid question, but will any error messages be obvious on startup or do I have to look somewhere for a log or something?

Betty Fooz
May 8th, 2003, 06:18 PM
chances are major system errors will show up on startup. application errors will only show up when the application is opened. run disk first aid after start-up and this will check your hd. also check your system log and if any errors occured it will tell you...providing it starts.

donut

jeac5
May 8th, 2003, 06:20 PM
Hmmm, yeah. Thanks, donut.

monokitty
May 8th, 2003, 07:30 PM
Yep, so once you report all your errors once booted (if it does), then I will most likely be able to give you a problem, and how to fix it, if possible. If it doesn't boot at all, definatly a hardware failure in mulitple area's. A clicking noise and weird smell is hardware related, and most likely a damaged part, at that.

Mike Banton
May 8th, 2003, 07:32 PM
So, I panicked a bit and it took me a minute or so to think of popping the battery. As soon as I pushed the battery button, it shut off. The battery didn't come out though, is it supposed to? Remove the battery before you "try" and restart the computer.... check the contacts like donut, suggested. Most likely, the pop and burning smell was a blown capacitor. :(

jeac5
May 8th, 2003, 08:05 PM
Thanks all, two questions.

1. I am new to powerbooks. To remove the battery, do I just push the little tiny button? The same sort of little button that I push to pop out the DVD or Zip drive?
I am asking becuase I pushed it to turn off the computer, but it didn't come out, just shut off the computer.

2. Will it be fairly obvious what I will be looking for when I have a look at it? The contacts, I mean. And, what is a capacitor and is this a horrible thing to blow? I'm looking for an idea of how serious this would be and/or how expensive.

Sorry if these seem to be stupid questions. I am not hardware inclined at all. :(

Rob
May 8th, 2003, 08:41 PM
Here is a link with disassembly pictures of the lombard.

Lombard take-apart (http://homepage.mac.com/sysop/PhotoAlbum5.html)

The battery should come out if you pull the crank lever at the front corner of your lombard.

Take the battery out and make sure the contacts look clean as previously suggested. If the battery looks O.K. then put it back in. Try restarting your laptop with battery power only (don't plug in the power adapter). If it works O.K. on battery power then there may not be any damage.
I would be suspicious of the power adapter since they have been problematic on many Apple laptops over the years. Get someone with a multimeter and some electrical know-how to see if the power adapter seems to be working properly before you try plugging it into your laptop again.

jeac5
May 8th, 2003, 08:46 PM
Thanks Rob, geez, I totally forgot about the little lever to pull at the front. I mean, I have removed the DVD drive to put in the Zip. I just haven't removed the battery as of yet. Guess there's a first time for everything.
Thanks for the link also. ;)

jeac5
May 8th, 2003, 09:06 PM
Have to go. I am going to have a look at the battery and try to startup the computer.

Please everyone, post any advice or ideas anyway. Will report back tomorrow. Thanks all. ;)

jeac5
May 9th, 2003, 03:25 PM
Update on the laptop:

Tried to startup using battery and nothing. The battery was fully charged before this all happened. Startup using AC, started fine with no errors etc. I ran Disk first aid and there were no problems to report. So, I thought I was in the clear except for the battery.

Everything looked fine. Desktop as it was and the computer seemed to work as usual. Date and time were set back to 1904, though. Also, I couldn't get a signal to get online. However, I hadn't done a proper powercycle as necessary with a broadband connection. Thinking something could have screwed up modem signal, I shut down for the evening, planning to bring modem online before starting up computer the next day.

Next day, started up and no screen. Black. I tried twice and nothing. I should mention that I checked out the battery contacts. Everything looked clean both on the battery and inside. So, the computer appears to work fine and the hard drive is okay, but first the battery is screwed and then the screen after having worked fine last night?

It is already with a Mac guy that I found, so I am keeping my fingers crossed. Does this info give anyone any ideas? I really appreciate anyone's input!!! ;)

monokitty
May 10th, 2003, 10:29 AM
Hmmm... no video on the screen? Your on-board video memory could be dead. If that was the case, your entire logic board would need to be replaced, since the on-board VRAM is soldered onto the board, and can't separently be replaced. When the screen went black, did the hard drive spin up? If not, you could have a complete logic board failure. Any lights on the Powerbook turn on that usually flash on?

jeac5
May 10th, 2003, 04:19 PM
Lars, it seems that the ethernet port chip has blown. The issue is though, did it just go for whatever reason or did something else screwy cause it to blow? It's not good. The guy who has the computer has ordered the chip and will try to sodder it on. As you say, the only other option is to replace the whole logic board and I believe it would be cheaper to buy another Lombard with base memory and HD with just a CDRom drive and install the DVD, memory and HD from mine.

Anyway, not good at all. Especially since I have only owned it for about 6 weeks. :(

minnes
May 10th, 2003, 04:55 PM
if you really need ethernet, then using a ethernet pc card may possibly help and be cheaper than other options.

jeac5
May 10th, 2003, 07:03 PM
minnes, I am not sure of what is going on exactly, but I don't think it is just a matter of the ethenet port not working, but rather that what has happened has affected other things on the board, such as the screen.

I don't know. I am rather discouraged. We can't be sure if replacing the chip will work at all or if it will just blow again.

monokitty
May 10th, 2003, 08:37 PM
If your video isn't showing, fixing the ethernet port is not going to fix it... I would recommend an entire new logic board than trying to fix that one.

Ron W
May 11th, 2003, 04:51 PM
As Lars mentioned, fixing the port has nothing to do with the video. Besides, who is good enough to do that kind of soldering anyway?

If there is no video, it could be the logic board or the processor. If the processor is dead, the machine will not boot and the video will not get initialized. Normally when a processor is dead, but not always, you can here the hard drive spin up when trying to start and then nothing.
Let me know if you need a logic board.

Ron

Peter Scharman
May 11th, 2003, 09:23 PM
I agree that the ethernet circuitry shouldn't affect the video. Did you by chance try zapping the PRAM along the way? If the logic board has gone south, you can usually find a good used one on eBay.

Rob
May 11th, 2003, 11:41 PM
Did you try resetting the power manager? It sounds like the power manager got conflusled when you had that strange problem. Make sure you reset the power manager before you take any drastic measures. Here is a link with instructions.

Reset Power Manager (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=14449&SaveKCWindowURL=http%3A%2F%2Fkbase.info.apple.com% 2Fcgi-bin%2FWebObjects%2Fkbase.woa%2Fwa%2FSaveKCToHomePa ge&searchMode=Assisted&kbhost=kbase.info.apple.com&showButton=false&randomValue=100&showSurvey=false&sessionID=anonymous|170105255)

Mike Banton
May 14th, 2003, 02:52 AM
Update on the laptop:

Tried to startup using battery and nothing. The battery was fully charged before this all happened. Startup using AC, started fine with no errors etc. I ran Disk first aid and there were no problems to report. So, I thought I was in the clear except for the battery.

Everything looked fine. Desktop as it was and the computer seemed to work as usual. Date and time were set back to 1904, though. Also, I couldn't get a signal to get online. However, I hadn't done a proper powercycle as necessary with a broadband connection. Thinking something could have screwed up modem signal, I shut down for the evening, planning to bring modem online before starting up computer the next day.

Next day, started up and no screen. Black. I tried twice and nothing. I should mention that I checked out the battery contacts. Everything looked clean both on the battery and inside. So, the computer appears to work fine and the hard drive is okay, but first the battery is screwed and then the screen after having worked fine last night?

It is already with a Mac guy that I found, so I am keeping my fingers crossed. Does this info give anyone any ideas? I really appreciate anyone's input!!! was the battery removed the first time, and installed the second time? If the computer started up fine once, it should again. Something must have been different, as you didnt report any burning smell the second time. I'd be carefull with this mac guy you have, there is NO WAY to solder on a new ethernet chip... did he check your pram battery? that may have "blown".
also... to "KNOW" you had blown the ethernet, he must have been able to get it up and running again.....hmmmmmmmmm

At this point if you are so unsure, I'd invest in the money to take it to an authorized mac dealer..that or part it out on ebay, and take your money and get a replacement.