Help: PPC 17"PwBk HDcapacity = "-" but not true

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Help: PPC 17"PwBk HDcapacity = "-" but not true

Postby Dan_Kelleher » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:55 am

17" PPC PowerBook OSX 10.5.8 Problem:
"Get Info" on the one internal Hard drive shows "-" for Capacity and "-" for available space.
It should show the actual values of about 80GB capacity and 40 GB available.
This state ( "-" and "-") prevents transfer of any file onto the computer because it thinks there is no space available.

If I move any file that is on the computer already to the trash and empty the trash then the get info returns the correct values.

(the battery is dead on this powerbook qnd is running off of the house electric supply --> the battery is a separate issue but if anyone has any suggestions of where I might get one, please let me know)

Does anyone have any thoughts on how the capacity error arose or how to fix it so I don't have to throw out a file every time I start up.
I use this for lecturing and just got an offer to teach a course imminently.
Thanks,
-Dan
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Re: Help: PPC 17"PwBk HDcapacity = "-" but not true

Postby Dan_Kelleher » Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:47 pm

It turns out the battery appears to be recovered.
Luck of the Irish I guess;
I should have removed it for storage long ago when not in use for any long period of time.
-Dan
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Re: Help: PPC 17"PwBk HDcapacity = "-" but not true

Postby Scott » Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:39 pm

So are you saying things are now good? If not, have you done any checks using Apple's disk utility?
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Re: Help: PPC 17"PwBk HDcapacity = "-" but not true

Postby Dan_Kelleher » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:20 am

Things do appear to be OK now.
They were not when I reported the recovery of battery function.

"OK now" means that I can restart several times over a period of days with battery power alone or with external power and reasonable values for "Capacity" and "Available" space are shown (via "Get Info") for the internal Hard Drive and new files can be loaded onto the hard drive.

I don't know why the problem occurred although I ran Xupport's repair functions piecemeal with restarts each time to try to come to an understanding of it.
(I can't recall the results of using TechTool Pro on it a month or two ago)

Any ideas, explanations, are welcome.
Thanks,
-Dan
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Re: Help: PPC 17"PwBk HDcapacity = "-" but not true

Postby vinnie-bob » Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:10 am

Hi Dan,

If you still need it, you may be able to buy a replacement battery for that old PPC. You might also consider upgrading the hard drive if you suspect it is close to end of life. See the link below.

Replacing the hard drive might cost considerably less than you'd expect...I just bought a 500gb hybrid replacement hard drive for my daughter's old laptop for about $80. (and this is a seagate which has NAND chips that speed up response by caching frequently used files in the memory chips) You can probably get a "regular" 300GB drive for about $60.

Look at Other World Computing: http://eshop.macsales.com
They have online videos that show how to open the laptop and replace the drives, memory, etc. I have purchased several drives from them and had no problems.

Edit: Don't forget you will want to install system software onto the hard drive before you pop it into the laptop.So you either need an external case you can put it in to do so (which OWC also sell), or you can buy a Newer Technologies universal drive adapter for $29 to attach to any drive and allows you to run the bare drive and install software on it. Also available at OWC. Then you can use Carbon Copy Cloner or similar to copy everything from the old drive to the new...or reinstall "fresh" system software from CD (or was that floppies?). :o
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Re: Help: PPC 17"PwBk HDcapacity = "-" but not true

Postby codegreen » Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:44 am

vinnie-bob wrote:Edit: Don't forget you will want to install system software onto the hard drive before you pop it into the laptop.So you either need an external case you can put it in to do so (which OWC also sell), or you can buy a Newer Technologies universal drive adapter for $29 to attach to any drive and allows you to run the bare drive and install software on it. Also available at OWC. Then you can use Carbon Copy Cloner or similar to copy everything from the old drive to the new...or reinstall "fresh" system software from CD (or was that floppies?). :o

I think you should also be able to do that via FireWire Target Disk mode.

-Mark
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Re: Help: PPC 17"PwBk HDcapacity = "-" but not true

Postby vinnie-bob » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:21 am

it is kind of a chicken and egg problem...assuming you just have a laptop and a raw, unformatted internal drive with no case or usb or FW connectors.

You have an empty blank drive which has to be installed in the laptop to work, and a working drive in the computer with system software. You could set the laptop using the old internal drive to run in target disk mode, but that doesn't get you very far as you stare at a bare internal drive with no firewire or usb connectors...

If you want to add the completely raw drive to the laptop to use it in "target disk mode", the raw disk has no system software on it, so once you install it, you can't enable target disk mode (and the disk isn't even formatted, which you need disk utility to do). Therefore, you need to get system software onto the raw drive *before* you pop out the old one and install the new.

So, when I upgraded my drive, I popped the new raw drive into a portable external drive case, installed a fresh copy of Mountain Lion onto it while it was in the external drive case, and then added my Apps and stuff using migration assistant on the laptop. So, I basically followed the instructions here: http://eshop.macsales.com/articles/how-to-transfer-your-data-from-your-old-drive-to-a-new-drive
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Re: Help: PPC 17"PwBk HDcapacity = "-" but not true

Postby codegreen » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:56 am

Dan_Kelleher wrote:(the battery is dead on this powerbook qnd is running off of the house electric supply --> the battery is a separate issue but if anyone has any suggestions of where I might get one, please let me know)
...
It turns out the battery appears to be recovered.
Luck of the Irish I guess;
I should have removed it for storage long ago when not in use for any long period of time.

When the lithium-ion batteries in modern laptops run really low, sometimes they will spontaneously reverse polarity (at which point they're basically just toxic waste). If you catch them before this happens though you can sometimes revive them by repeatedly running a conditioning cycle (or even just leaving them in the charger for a long time) but the fix typically isn't permanent. The reason why is that two bad things happen internally when you let the battery's voltage drop below about two volts:

- the copper anode begins to dissolve into the electrolyte

- the lithium cobalt oxide and/or lithium manganese oxide and/or lithium iron phosphate (the exact composition varies) in the cathode starts to release oxygen (which gradually poisons the battery and causes permanent capacity loss)

When the cell is recharged, that dissolved copper precipitates out of solution wherever it happens to be (i.e., not necessarily where it came from/belongs). This is dangerous because it can create an internal short, which may cause sudden catastrophic failure (i.e., the battery can catch fire or even explode). Lithium-ion batteries have approximately one sixth the energy of TNT by weight, so this is definitely not something you want to have happen anywhere in your home or office, let alone three feet from your face (or sitting on the family jewels...).

Some people report being able to temporarily revive even completely dead lithium-ion batteries by freezing them, or by hitting them with quick pulses of higher voltage. The latter course is an especially risky proposition that may cause severe property damage, serious injury, or death. When you can pick up a replacement battery from Amazon for under $50, I have to question whether it's worth it.

One thing to look out for is that some cheaper replacement batteries don't have the power-management circuitry in them which genuine Apple batteries do that puts the system into deep sleep when the charge starts to drop to critical levels, which means even if they have a nominally higher capacity they will die *much* quicker than the original if left sitting in your unused laptop (so try to verify from the manufacturer or reviews or whatever whether any non-Apple replacement battery you're considering has this or not before you buy).

Anyway I just thought you might want to factor this info into your decision about what to do...

-Mark
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Re: Help: PPC 17"PwBk HDcapacity = "-" but not true

Postby Dan_Kelleher » Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:29 pm

Thanks Vince and Mark.
Clearly both a new battery and then a larger Hard Drive would be desirable.
I'm ok with the 40 GB of free space at the moment for what I want to do with this machine, but I'll file your advice, Vince, in the powerbook folder, until I can get a new drive.

I'll try to get a new battery asap.
Thanks again,
-Dan
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Re: Help: PPC 17"PwBk HDcapacity = "-" but not true

Postby Dan_Kelleher » Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:31 pm

Amazon $49.99
for a June 2004 17 inch G4 Powerbook (2GB/1.5GHz/80GB/128MB graphics) original investment ; $3579.00
2004 17%22 G4 Powerbook Battery.png
2004 17%22 G4 Powerbook Battery.png (44.07 KiB) Viewed 7007 times
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Re: Help: PPC 17"PwBk HDcapacity = "-" but not true

Postby Dan_Kelleher » Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:28 am

If I charge the new battery overnight with the computer (OSX 10-5-8) shut down then press the battery indicator button on the back of the computer the number of green lights which has increased during night is now 4 indicating it is fully charged.
But after I boot up, the menubar icon percentage charge indicates 0% and when I press the button on the back I see no green lights.

Any ideas?
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Re: Help: PPC 17"PwBk HDcapacity = "-" but not true

Postby Mike » Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:48 am

Hi Dan,

Have you tried resetting the PMU (Power Management Unit)?
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1431?view ... cale=en_US
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Re: Help: PPC 17"PwBk HDcapacity = "-" but not true

Postby Dan_Kelleher » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:02 am

No
Thanks Mike
will read it now
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Re: Help: PPC 17"PwBk HDcapacity = "-" but not true

Postby Dan_Kelleher » Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:08 am

Well the situation has changed. What's new?
On this 17" Powerbook G4 1.5 GHz, the power management sys is reset using 4 "keys" Simultaneously:
shift-Control-Option-PowerButton.

Before I used the reset, the situation with the NEW battery had changed; it had lost all signs of it having any charge which it had had after an overnight charge and would not charge at all even if charged overnight.
It was then that I used the reset procedure to no avail.

On the other hand, the ORIGINAL OLD battery as you may recall HAD charged and appeared to work fine and still does and I bought the new battery thinking it was a good idea and the safest thing to do.

So, at present the OLD battery works well, supports the machine and recharges when necessary (demonstrating that the power management system appears ok).

So, Im just going with the OLD battery for now and will try to get the NEW one, which I conclude is no good, replaced.

Thanks everyone,
-Dan
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