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Thomas Z
Thomas Z, Mac Genius
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 172
Experience:  15 Years of Personal Experience on Mac, 6 months full time Computer Tech with Mac specialty
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Battery in my 15 G4 PowerBook wont charge, even tho it is

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Battery in my 15" G4 PowerBook won't charge, even tho it is only about a year old. The original battery lasted probably 3 years. But now, the charge-status is always 0% with the power cord connected. If I unplug the power cord, the computer shuts down completely. I boot it up, again, and it says (as you'd expect) "your clock is set for 2004..." because it is shutting down for having no power. Could there be a problem besides the battery?
Press the button on the battery, do the LEDs light up at all?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Nope, Thomas, nada, zilch, no lights on the battery.
Well the date should be preserved by the PRAM battery even when the machine has no battery or AC power. You will need to replace this PRAM battery to fix this problem. Your PRAM is part of your systems Power Management, it may be confused and telling your charger to stop charging the battery.

In the mean time, you can zap the pram. WIth your machine off, hold down Command - Option - P - R immediately after starting the machine. Timing is important but hold this key combo down until your machine chimes again and restarts. Continue holding it down until the machine has chimed an additional 3 times. This may or may not fix your problem temporarily.

For a more permanent fix, you need to purchase a PRAM battery.

Link to buy:

The guide to replace the PRAM battery:
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thanks --zapping the pRam seems to have had no effect (I'll admit, I let it chime more than the 3 times you suggested-- was that bad?)

On startup still says it is 2001, so that means the pRam battery is dead? I looked through the instructions for opening my laptop, and while the instructions are wonderfully clear, (thanks for those great links) I am still too timid to do this. The $69 for the battery plus the tools, well, I wonder what the apple store would charge me to do this. Let me know if letting the chime go 4 or 4 times was the wrong thing to do, and if it wasn't, thanks for telling me about the pram battery. I'll have to pursue that replacement through a repair-guy, unless I get up the nerve.
You could've let it chime as many times as you liked (no damage done). As for the date, it resetting confirms our thought of the pram battery being dead. However, contrary to what happened, when you zap the pram it resets itself and I was hoping that it would trigger the battery to charge.

If you don't feel like this is something you could do on your own, I would suggest you take it to the Apple Store. When they work in-shop they turn around repairs quite fast and for something like this it would not be an expensive procedure. They will even run a diagnosis on your machine to make sure everything else is up to snuff.

Good luck!

If you like my answer click on accept, that way we both solve our problems! Thanks and Happy New Year!
Thomas Z and 7 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Ok, you (sorry) didn't have the right answer. I took the laptop to the apple store, and the "genius" nerd was dubious about my "history." He didn't buy it. It didn't make sense to him. He said "HUH? Pram battery? He was puzzled about it being P-ram memory. We told him, when you plug it in, it gets no juice, and when it is not pluggged in, it has no juice. He opened the back and believed the battery was shorted, by, (get this) MAPLE SYRUP. This is weird because we never use maple syrup, except a week ago when we smoked a slab of salmon filet. I have no memory of the laptop being anywhere near the salmon PREP, but what can I say. The apple genius said the battery was "shorted" and saw this residue (debatable, I suppose) and we replaced the fairly new battery with a NEW new battery. It immediately started charging, and was up to 30% when we left the Apple store.

So, what should my feedback have been? not sure. My expert was responsive, but it was not the right answer, but then I did not know there was an alleged residue in the battery compartment. When I opened it, it looked very minor. Maybe apple sold me (another) new battery -- but at least they are the ones who figured it out (at least as it appears at the moment, I haven't "lived" with my new battery this evening.) Tanks