An open community 
of Macintosh users,
for Macintosh users.

FineTunedMac Dashboard widget now available! Download Here

Topic Options
#44859 - 06/03/17 04:02 AM Why does a laptop die?
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Another poster who's less interested in basics than I am has reported that her iBook G4 has died after 4-5 years of very little use.

Not just its battery, it doesn't even chime when it's plugged into the wall.

I understand the battery's going belly up, but I'm wondering which other components are subject to disuse atrophy?

I believe Rita lives in a dry part of CA.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

Top
#44860 - 06/03/17 05:09 AM Re: Why does a laptop die? [Re: artie505]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Just a guess: Is there an internal backup battery, similar to the one that used to be in the old G4 tower? If that dies, the computer may not boot (it happened to me with my G4 DP 450).
_________________________
Jon

OS 10.14.3, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

Top
#44861 - 06/03/17 07:43 AM Re: Why does a laptop die? [Re: jchuzi]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: jchuzi
Just a guess: Is there an internal backup battery, similar to the one that used to be in the old G4 tower? If that dies, the computer may not boot (it happened to me with my G4 DP 450).

Good thought, Jon, but I've never heard of such a thing, nor have I ever seen user service instructions that deal with battery replacement.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

Top
#44863 - 06/03/17 08:18 AM Re: Why does a laptop die? [Re: jchuzi]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
I just verified this with MacTracker, the iBook never had a separate backup battery. As I recall the iBook relied on residual charge in the main battery to retain the data stored in PRAM. So if the main battery is dead anything stored in PRAM would be lost any time the iBook was powered down. However, assuming external power, the PRAM contents would be reconstricted on booting up but the date/time would have to be reset each time. IIRC an incorrect date/time could cause mischief but I don't remember what form that took.

More recent and expensive MacBooks use a different type of chip that is not dependent on power to retain its contents for PRAM and the backup battery has become extinct. Magnetic media such as the HD will deteriorate over time and the data becomes unreliable, but that should not effect the startup chime.
_________________________
joemikeb • moderator

Top
#44899 - 06/04/17 10:42 PM Re: Why does a laptop die? [Re: artie505]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Unfortunately, sometimes a computer with a totally dead battery won't start up even when it's plugged into the wall. But it will start working again if you replace the battery. This just happened to an old laptop of mine, don't ask me why.

I think it's related to the power management systems that provide power to the PRAM; that power still has to pass through the battery even if it's plugged into the wall. I'm not sure about that; it's just a guess.
_________________________
Photo gallery, all about me, and more: www.xeromag.com/franklin.html

Top
#44900 - 06/05/17 12:14 AM Re: Why does a laptop die? [Re: tacit]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Thanks for kicking in and jogging my memory (or what passes for one).

I'm not certain when, why, or even if it actually happened, but I've got the weirdest feeling that I once powered up a Mac laptop with its battery removed, which, I think, would compromise your guess.

I'm going to ask Rita to yank her iBook's battery and try to start up without replacing it.

Hmmm...
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

Top
#44934 - 06/06/17 04:10 AM Re: Why does a laptop die? [Re: artie505]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
I was right about having powered up my iBook G4 with its battery uninstalled; I remember the circumstances.

When Rita tried, though, she got sparks at the outlet end of her power adaptor, so a problem adaptor may be her problem.

Alas, we'll never know.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

Top

Moderator:  alternaut, dianne, MacManiac