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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Nov 20, 2007
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    5
    Question Powerbook G4 Problems
    I recently acquired a Powerbook G4 (667MHz, 1.1 USB, 512MB RAM, 80GB HDD, 32MB ATI) but...

    1. It's running 10.5.8, performance could be better, I've tried OnyX etc, any way I can roll back the updates to 10.4 or earlier? Original system was Panther.

    2. The battery doesn't charge past a point (was 49%, then 24%, now 30%), any tips on calibration or something else to fix it?

    3. Combo drive doesn't take a disk at all. I'd love to have this fixed as this would allow me clean installs, potentially Linux etc - Otherwise is there a way to install a new disk image from within OS X?

    Thanks in advance for any help, I've tried various things already like repairing permissions; OnyX stuff, PRAM etc - Any general performance tips for an older machine would be appreciated.

  2. #2

    Kevriano's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 02, 2006
    Location
    Crawley, England
    Posts
    4,558
    Specs:
    20" Intel iMac 2.4 Ghz/3G Ram/320HD, Snow Leopard. PBook G4, 1.5Ghz/1.5 Ram/250 HD, Leopard 10.5.6.
    Hi, my thoughts here:

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Edwin CBE View Post
    I recently acquired a Powerbook G4 (667MHz, 1.1 USB, 512MB RAM, 80GB HDD, 32MB ATI) but...

    1. It's running 10.5.8, performance could be better, I've tried OnyX etc, any way I can roll back the updates to 10.4 or earlier? Original system was Panther.

    2. The battery doesn't charge past a point (was 49%, then 24%, now 30%), any tips on calibration or something else to fix it?

    3. Combo drive doesn't take a disk at all. I'd love to have this fixed as this would allow me clean installs, potentially Linux etc - Otherwise is there a way to install a new disk image from within OS X?

    Thanks in advance for any help, I've tried various things already like repairing permissions; OnyX stuff, PRAM etc - Any general performance tips for an older machine would be appreciated.
    1> You could roll back by erasing the HD and doing a completely clean install from a Tiger disc, or to Panther from it's original install discs, however, issue 3 prevents that UNLESS you have a firewire external disc drive, in which case you can boot from that. I think it is possible to install from a USB stick with an image, but I have not done so, and am unsure as to the legality. You could add RAM to improve it's oerformance with Leopard though, but the real limiting factor is the processor here, very slow for Leopard, in fact not even minimum spec I believe, so not sure how it copes at all.

    2> The battery will be on it's way out (I have 2 like it, in fact neither charge, so I am tied to mains power). You can buy them still, but at around 40 you have to really consider if it's worth it given the status of the Powerbook now.

    3> Yes, it's possible to replace the combo drive, but again, cost is an issue, and buying an external disc drive would be cheaper and easier to be fair.

    Overall, given it's value, it would not seem worth the effort to repair and upgrade it.
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  3. #3


    Member Since
    Nov 20, 2007
    Posts
    5
    Cheers for the reply

    AFAIK, it can't boot from USB at all - hard drives, disk drives or thumb drives.

    I'm trying to source a firewire drive for free/cheap right now, maybe put Linux on it, or get a Panther/Tiger disk from a friend.

    I'll try recharging the battery now I've fully drained it. I'm not too fussed if it needs the power lead all of the time, as long as I can do something to perk the system up a little more.

    I'm trying lightweight apps the now as I'm with you - my processor is the bottleneck.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Could I do this, or something similar?

    Create a hard-drive based OS X installer - Mac OS X Hints

    Otherwise lightweight apps and ideas are appreciated.

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Nov 20, 2007
    Posts
    5
    I've managed to wrangle more life out of the battery and I'm getting it up to 88%, not too bad for a 10 year old laptop!

    I'm starting a new thread to address the optical drive.

  5. #5

    Kevriano's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 02, 2006
    Location
    Crawley, England
    Posts
    4,558
    Specs:
    20" Intel iMac 2.4 Ghz/3G Ram/320HD, Snow Leopard. PBook G4, 1.5Ghz/1.5 Ram/250 HD, Leopard 10.5.6.
    Really sorry, I missed your first reply. I swear sometimes not all threads show when I come back on.
    Will check your other tread.
    Try my custom Mac Forums Search Engine: Mac Forums Google Search

    Please use the reputation system if you consider any help given useful (it's the little ✓/✘ on the left <---)


  6. #6

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Location
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    Posts
    21,724
    Specs:
    Imac 27" Retina 3.3GHz, 512GB Flash, 16GB memory, OS X.11.4.
    And G4 machines will not boot from USB - must be Firewire.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

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