Rebuilding the PowerBook 145b Pt. 1
I am an Apple nerd, this is nothing new. I love Apple products new and old. Today I am going to take you the reader on a journey as I reconstruct my new PowerBook 145b. Let's start off by talking about the design of the PowerBook 100 series. It is a fairly thick laptop in comparison to today's machines. It features a grey casted plastic case but most notably is the trackball in the front of the keyboard. This is the first laptop to ever offer a pointing device in front of the keyboard. So what's so special about that? Every laptop is based off this design. Yes it is true that we don't have trackballs today but we do have pointing devices like trackpads. Most portable Wintel machines at the time were clipping trackballs onto the sides of the computers. They were clunky and un-reliable but not everything about this laptop is all rainbows and unicorns. The LCD is mounted with plastic rivets and over time this plastic becomes very brittle. I bet you can guess what I am about to say next.. The hinges to the display are screwed into these plastic rivets and when those rivets break apart the screen is no longer mounted to the rest of the computer. This is problem number one that I have to overcome. Problem number two is in relation to problem number one. The ribbon cable that connects the LCD to the logic board was snapped in half because the screen fell off. So my second challenge is to find a new ribbon cable for this 20 year old laptop. Luckily I found one on eBay and in new condition. It did set me back $30 US currency. My part number is 630-6271 but this part on eBay is 630-6272. The auction specifically mentions the 145 series powerbook so hopefully this will work for me. If not I will just resell it online. So what am I going to do about the hinges? I attempted to super glue the screw mounts back together in the plastic case but that failed miserably. Maybe because I was using cheap off brand super glue. So I am going to try different adhesives and see if they work. I may just have to superglue the monitor bezel back together. Problem number three is that I don't have a power cord. I have also ordered one off eBay and hopefully that will make the computer section of the PowerBook boot up. I tried an off brand power adapter and wasn't able to get the PowerBook to do anything.


Disassembling the PowerBook 145b wasn't too terribly difficult, everything seemed logically placed inside. Most of my problems occurred during reassembly. One big obstacle I had to overcome was mounting the LCD power cable inside the monitor bezel. It kept falling out of place, moving, unplugging… It was driving me crazy! I ended up just taping it down and that held it in place while I tried to get it all screwed back together. Unfortunately the super glue I put on the rivets had come off and I thought at this point it would be a good idea to apply some more glue. Big mistake… I ended up dripping some superglue on the LCD! Thankfully goo gone came to my aid and helped me remove most of the glue. What a careless mistake… It probably took me around three hours to reassemble the PowerBook. I originally took it apart with intentions of repairing the screen mount but ended up finding many other things wrong with it. At least I discovered them now instead of later when I try to boot up the PowerBook, saw it wasn't working, becoming discouraged and putting the PowerBook back on it's display shelf. As broken as this machine is I feel pretty confident that I can get it working again. It still has it's original hard drive and I'm guessing it has a copy of macOS 7 installed. There are also no blown capacitors on the logic board and in general the logic board looks to be in good condition. My next wave of PowerBook parts are scheduled to be delivered by next week so stay tuned to The Apple Post for part 2 in my PowerBook 145b repairs. If you have any questions or suggestions, please post them in the comment section below!
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