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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Dead Pismo PB G3 -- Need help with diagnosis

Dead Pismo PB G3 -- Need help with diagnosis
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Eastern Washington (St. John/Cheney)
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Oct 2, 2004, 02:31 AM
I recently traded a LaserWriter Pro 630 for a dead PowerBook G3/400 "Pismo" (knowing full well before the trade that it was dead).

The only symptoms it shows is this: press the power button and nothing happens EXCEPT: the Caps Lock and Num Lock keys will toggle their respective LEDs. There's no noise from the hard drive, no start up chime, no nothing.

I've searched the web high and low for these symptoms, but never came across an actual solution.

My brother recently acquired his own Pismo G3/400, which was exhibiting the same symptoms as mine. I disassembled both, poked around, changed a few parts and put them back together.

I have two extra power supply boards (that lie under the trackpad and connect the batteries) and one extra sound board (where the sound jacks are located and the AC adapter plugs in). Supposedly the extra ones are good, but I've yet to test them all thoroughly.

After putting the machines back together, my brother's Pismo appears to be working fine (booted right up on the first try. Mine is still dead.

I've tried just about everything I can think of to diagnose my Pismo's problem, going so far as to swap everything out of my brother's Pismo into mine except for the hard drive and logic board. That had no success. Still absolutely nothing when I press the power button (except for the Num Lock/Caps Lock thing).

I also swapped CPU modules (this is what I did first, hoping it was just a dead CPU daughtercard), but then neither machine booted.

Next up on my to-do list is to perform a full logic board swap and leave all the other components alone, but it's time consuming to dismantle/reassemble these things and I've done it half a dozen times already today.

At this point, I'm suspecting both a logic board and CPU daughtercard failure (since my brother's CPU, power supply, and sound card won't work in my Pismo, and my CPU won't work in his).

I want a second opinion on this, though, before I expend too much more time, effort, and money on this Pismo. (If it's just the CPU or just the logic board, I'd replace it, but if it's both, I'll part it out on eBay and put the money toward a new Powerbook).

Thanks to anyone who can help me out.

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Join Date: Feb 2004
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Oct 2, 2004, 02:51 PM
Well it sounds like you've done a pretty thorough testing of both systems. From what you said though, you're cpu not working in your brothers computer, and his not working in yours, sounds like it's both your logic board and cpu.

I've seen dead powersupplies do stuff like that, although you did say you changed it with one that works. Probably the logic board + cpu then is what i'd guess.
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Asheville, NC
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Oct 2, 2004, 08:06 PM
Sounds like a good diagnosis to me. If you have switched out everything but the logic board, then you likely have a bad logic board. If your CPU won't work in his machine, then you DO have a bad CPU. I'm assuming you checked RAM in the process of switching out the CPUs.

The parts that would cause this issue: power supply board, logic board, CPU, sound card. You should hear a chime with just those four parts (speaker too, of course).
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Oct 13, 2004, 05:35 AM
I've come across 2 apparently dead Pismos that were "repaired" by changing a defective RAM module.
I've also found dead Pismos that had dead processors or dead logic boards, so could be either or both of those.

Good luck.
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Oct 14, 2004, 11:37 AM
It sounds as if you've done your homework, but I had a similar problem with my PB G3 Wallstreet. I'm not sure it will help (you said your CPU wouldn't work in bro's machine) but have you tried resetting your power manager? I upgraded my Wallstreet from 233 no L2 cache to a 266 w/ cache and had exactly the same problem. After resetting the power manager and waiting a few minutes, she booted right up. Again, your CPU may indeed be fried but it's worth a shot in my humble opinion. Here's the procedure. Good luck!!!

1) Pull the A/C power.
2) Pull the battery.
3) On the back of your Pismo is a small button with a triangle above it. Using the tip of a ballpoint pen, press this button for 2-3 seconds (once; don't press it repeatedly). This resets the Power Manager.
4) Plug in the A/C adapter. As you plug in the A/C adapter, you may see the green LED (power light) flash green for half a second or so. This is a visual indicator that the PM has been reset.
5) Try powering up your Powerbook. If it powers up, put the battery back in.
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