The other day I mentioned that I was getting started one last time to try to get my 1998 PowerBook G3 up and running again. This is the third time it has failed after having replaced the Sound/AC In board (820-0986-B) and having to replace the 4GB ATA IDE OEM hard disk (and the keyboard, because I’m a klutz).
The PowerBook G3-Series
It is important when planning your repair of a PowerBook G3 that there are multiple version of this laptop. It says so right on the bottom of the laptop – “Macintosh PowerBook G3 Series“.
My particular PowerBook G3 is identified as being the September 1998 edition, using the code names PDQ (Pretty Damn Quick), or the one I knew it by, “Wallstreet”. According to EveryMac.com, PDQ was a refinement to the Wallstreet model to address inventory problems that Apple was grappling with at the time. Looking at the Wikipedia page for the PowerBook G3 Series, you quickly realize that there are three generations of PowerBook G3: The original Kanga version (1997) based on the earlier PowerBook 3400c, the Wallstreet models (May 1998 and September 1998), Lombard (1999) and the final revision known as Pismo (2000). Technical distinctions aside, I still plan on regerring to my particular unit as ‘Wallstreet’, since it is the style the PDQ is a descendant of.
When verifying which vintage Mac I am working with, I like to use the excellent MacTracker application for macOS, iOS/iPadOS and the EveryMac.com website.
Now that we can identify the particular model of Macintosh, we will need to refer to technical documentation to get a specs readout and learn how to disassemble the computer for repair.
I like to start with the above mentioned app and website, but I do also like to look up the technical specifications of the PowerBook G3 in the Apple KB support archive.
Another resource that I like to look up is the Apple Service Source documentation. AppleRepairManauls.com has a wide selection of technical information about Apple hardware, including the PowerBook G3 M4753 Service Source manual.
If you are more of the get straight to what I need to know tear down kind of person, PowerbookMedic.com and iFixIt.com have Wallstreet disassembly directions. To help diagnose the problem with your Wallstreet G3, iFixIt.com has put together a troubleshooting checklist.
Both vendors offer spare parts sales. PowerBookMedic.com also offers send in repair services, however, when dealing with computers that are over 20 years old, finding a good source of reliable replacement parts is becoming difficult to source.
Mac OS 8 Software Disc
Once the hardware is repaired, you may need to reinstall Mac OS. This is something that I like to do with all of my restored systems. At the time of this post, I was able to track down a restore CD on MacintoshGarden.org for the entire PowerBook G3 Series of laptops. You will need to burn the disk image .dmg file on to a physical CD before using it.