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#1 2016-08-14 19:01:36

MacOS Plus
Registered: 2015-12-09
Posts: 110

PowerBook G4 Titanium 1GHz - loss of primary ATA channel.

A while ago I purchased a used TiBook 1GHz.  It was working fine throughout except for an occasional loss of contact with the hard drive preventing it from booting.  When it booted it was perfect.

  Later on I decided to replace the HD with an SSD by Transcend.  This particular brand of SSD does not seem to play nice with PowerBooks for some reason (On my Pismo it causes chimes-of-death).  It would install from the OS X DVD fine but would crash on first boot and corrupt the partition so badly it became unreadable.  Needless to say, I gave up on the Transcend SSD and went back to the original drive.

  At this point I discovered upon close inspection that one of the contacts on the drive-end of the ATA ribbon cable had gotten damaged at some point in its life.  Assuming this had been the cause of the random issues, and because it finally broke enough to be rendered unusable, I bought a new ribbon cable.

  Initially everything was fine after replacement, but very shortly after it started randomly losing contact with the drive again just like before.  Now it won't see any drive at all.  The original magnetic drive is definitely powering on because I can hear the initialization.  If I take the original drive or a known-working substitute and install them in an external case I can boot from firewire no problem.  Everything is working with the exception of the primary ATA channel.

  Is there any chance that this fault is repairable, or should I just bite the bullet and replace the motherboard?  I really didn't want to spend that kind of money on this machine, but I will if I have no other choice.


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