Pismo help

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
Hey all,

Let me first give you the backstory on this Pismo, which will all lead up to the problem at hand.

This Pismo, as listed on the bottom, is a Pismo Powerbook 400mhz/1MB Cache/64 MB/ 6GB HD/8 MB Video/DVD machine. Back in 2002, the user of the machine at the time cracked the LCD screen on the machine, so he passed it down to me. Using an external monitor, I had the ability to get back into the computer, and I used it for an extended period with its Mac OS 9. It was fun and all, but eventually I got my hands on a copy of OS X and decided I wanted to perform the upgrade. This is around 2003, by the way. Anyways, from my memory, I remember that I successfully installed the OS X on the machine, and then it went to reboot and then.... no video on the external monitor. The same went for the S-Video. With not being able to see what is on the internal screen, I knew i was in trouble. Now for whatever reason and the time, I just put the machine aside and never touched it. Now, I just came across the machine 4 years later and I would love to get this old wonder operational again, at least to run OS X if not to get the LCD repaired as well (something we should have probably done years ago).

So where do I begin? The machine sitll powers up (have the old claim shell charger) and it is actually charging the battery right now, but I still have the issue of not being able to see whats on the screen. What about repair shops, is there anywhere that still likes to work on these suckers (perferibly up in Toronto or Buffalo)? I am not shy to take the machine apart and do it myself, but would need some pretty solid instructions.

Thanks a lot!!!

P.S. I also have an old hand-me-down IBM Thinpad T-20 machine, and it has a CRC error (basically a unrepairable motherboard error). The LCD on the machine works fine. Would it be possible to take the LCD off of the Thinkpad and just connect the cable straight int o the Pismo, or is it a different type of connector?


  • Reply 1 of 8
    ebbyebby Posts: 3,110member
    I still use my Pismo daily. Hehe. Grab a copy of xpostfacto and install any version of OSX you want. I am running 10.4.9 and it works perfectly. The screen may be hard to replace, but computer shops should still find parts. If you want to save a bunch of money, check out E-bay and buy a cheap Pismo for parts. You can swap the screen yourself, just be careful not to touch the back and the high voltage section.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    alebowgmalebowgm Posts: 6member
    Ya,I just phoned around here in the city, the only people who have it want to do the work for $300... well considering that for $400 I could get a 12'' iBook G3, it makes no sense. Any idea what exactly I need to purchase to get this sucker going again? I figure it is at the step that happens after you reboot, and it wont detect the external monitor for some reason at that step... sigh...
  • Reply 3 of 8
    benzenebenzene Posts: 338member
    You might want to try booting the Pismo into firewire target mode (hold down T) and then try reinstalling your OS of choice from a second computer.
  • Reply 4 of 8
    alebowgmalebowgm Posts: 6member
    I am sorry, n00b here and going to need more instruction than that...

    Unfortuantly, the Pismo is my only mac (well next to an old Powermac 8000 I have somewhere kicking and an IIvx).
  • Reply 5 of 8
    benzenebenzene Posts: 338member
    Nearly (all?) macs equipped with firewire can be booted into "Target disk mode" by holding down the "T" key as the mac boots up. This basically turns the whole mac into a glorified HD enclosure. You can then hook the mac up to any other firewire-equipped macintosh, and the original mac's drives will be accessible on the second mac.

    The twist is, as you brought up, you'll need two macs, and the older powermac you have won't cut it unfortunately. Find a pal with a newer mac, hook up your Pismo as described above, and reformat it's internal drive. You can try the XPostFacto trick as mentioned earlier in the thread, or just try reeinstalling a newer OS. (What version did you try installing originally?)
  • Reply 6 of 8
    ebbyebby Posts: 3,110member
    Why not simply boot form a OS X DVD and run the installer there. You could archive and install without loosing anything. The boot key is c on the older macs though option may work. If the display still doesn't work after booting from the DVD, you don't have a software problem in the first place.
  • Reply 7 of 8
    alebowgmalebowgm Posts: 6member
    I tried pressing apple-c and just holding c on boot, off of an OS X install CD some lent me... think it is OS X 10.2, but had nothing...

    Any other ideas?
  • Reply 8 of 8
    alebowgmalebowgm Posts: 6member
    One thing I should probably add... when I turn on my Pismo, the monitor which I am using for a second detects a signal coming from the device, but nothing comes on the screen... but as soon as I disconnect the VGA cable from the Pismo, it says check signal... so obviously there is some sort of signal???
Sign In or Register to comment.