Friday, April 9, 2010

Third Time's a Charm!

She's back.

It took me a year and a half, but tonight (after two hours of work) I finally repaired my Powerbook G3 Lombard.

My beloved Nadia is alive and kicking.

--

Nadia died (for the second time) in December 2008.

I remember it was on a Saturday morning. I was browsing eBay and checking the soccer scores online when the phone rang. A friend of mine wanted to meet for breakfast, so I quickly checked the bus schedule and made my way out the door. I left Nadia on, and let OS X's Software Update do its thing. After a half-hour had passed, Nadia went into "Hibernate" mode.

She never woke up.

I tried everything in my power to get her to boot. Tried resetting the Power Management Unit, tried zapping the PRAM settings, tried pleading and swearing, all to no avail.

I took the laptop apart a couple of times, to look for any obvious problems and found nothing. After a couple of weeks of researching, poring over repair guides, and asking around on Mac forums, I gave up. Nadia was put in the Lab along with all the other machines in need of repair. The Pile of No Return, as it has since come to be known.

Fast forward to today.

I've been wracking my brain trying to fix my Compaq Armada (aka iBludgeon) since it died last week. I've managed to get the thing to boot off of floppies or CDs, but only if I remove the hard drive. Remembering that I had a nice 60Gb drive sitting in Nadia's lifeless shell, I made the decision this evening to donate some of Nadia's organs for transplant purposes.

I was removing her hard drive when I noticed a tiny broken connector on Nadia's sound board.

I remember I'd been having trouble with Nadia's speakers before she died... then it hit me like a ton of bricks: the power switch on the Powerbook G3 Lombard is also routed through the sound board!

Son of a bitch! Could the solution be that easy?

I grabbed the spare non-working Lombard I'd bought solely for its battery and tore out its sound board. I slowly and carefully took Nadia apart, removed the old sound board, popped the replacement in, put her back together, powered her up, and...

"Startup Chime"

Yup. It was the power switch after all. Somehow it must have come loose or broke during our travels.

The hard drive whirred to life and booted into OS X. Guess that settles that!

I've spent the last hour checking her out, making sure everything does what it's supposed to do. The internal PRAM battery is dead, so she's not keeping date & time current. The main battery is depleted, hopefully it'll still hold a decent charge. The speakers work well (listening to Luxuriamusic as I write this), and overall Nadia seems ship-shape.

I have my mobile blogging machine and Girl Friday back again.

Hopefully for good this time.