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PowerBook 3400 Troubleshooting

My computer won't turn on when I press the power button

You press the power button, but your PowerBook doesn't turn on.

Press correct power button

The power button isn't as obvious as you would think. It is the upper right-hand button on your keyboard with an arrow-head pointing to the left.

Drained battery

If your PowerBook doesn't turn on, start by connecting the charger. After a few minutes, turn on the computer and then disconnect the charger. If the computer stays on, the battery needed to be charged. Reconnect the charger to recharge the battery.

Bad display

If you can hear that your computer is on, and the screen is blank or very dim, the display brightness is turned down. Adjust the brightness of the display with the "sun" button above the keyboard.

If that doesn't solve the problem, try resetting the PowerBook. Press the "Apple", "Control", and Power Buttons at the same time, and your computer will restart. If the computer shuts off and doesn't turn back on, press the reset button in the back labeled Φ.

If the screen is still dark after the reset, and you can hear the computer running, the display may be broken, or there is a broken cable connecting the screen to the logic board. Use the Repairing PowerBook 3400 M3553 Display manual to replace the display.

My computer doesn't turn on properly

You manage to turn on your computer, but it will not load to the desktop or displays a flashing question mark

RAM issues

If you receive a message that states there is a Ram or Cache memory error, there is a problem with your RAM, and it should be replaced. Use the Repairing PowerBook 3400 M3553 RAM guide to replace the RAM in your computer.

Hard drive

There may not be enough space on your hard drive. Try moving some of your data files to an external memory unit.

There may also be a problem with the OS (Operating System), or the System Folder on the hard disk. Use the CD that came with your computer to reinstall system software.

If the hard disk is still malfunctioning, you may have to reformat your hard drive. Be warned, reformatting your hard drive will erase all the information that was stored on it, so it should be done as a last resort.

Logic board

If you are experiencing more than one problem listed above, and none of the solutions have worked, there is likely a problem with the logic board.

My keyboard doesn't work

Trying to type something and the computer isn't responding, or just repeats letters

Dirty keyboard

Your keyboard may be dirty, and your keys may be stuck. In this case you may have to remove the keyboard to clean it. Use the Removing PowerBook 3400 M3553 Keyboard for instructions on removing the keyboard.

Faulty keyboard

The keyboard may not be working properly. Try to reseat your keyboard by removing it from the computer. Make sure all connections are clean and tight before replacing it. If that doesn't solve the problem, you may have to replace your keyboard. Use the Removing PowerBook 3400 M3553 Keyboard for instructions on removing the keyboard.

My computer turns off when I unplug it

You disconnect the laptop and it shuts off!

Bad battery

If your PowerBook turns off when you disconnect the power adapter, the battery went bad and can no longer hold a charge. You will need to buy a new battery to replace the old one. Use the Removing PowerBook 3400 M3553 Battery guide to remove the battery.

If the PowerBook still doesn't turn on after you replaced the battery, you may have a power adapter problem. Verify by checking if the light on the adapter is on when plugged in. Otherwise, you should seek a replacement power adapter.

My mouse doesn't work

No matter how hard you try, you can't get the cursor on your screen to move

Your computer froze

Check to see if your whole screen, not just your cursor, is frozen. Sometimes your computer will go through performance hiccups and will freeze, causing your mouse to freeze too. Try resetting your computer by holding the power button above the 'delete' button, followed by restarting your computer.

Bad trackpad

Trackpads are made to sustain the wear and tear of daily use, but it is still possible that your trackpad has a loose connection, or simply needs to be replaced. See the Removing PowerBook 3400 M3553 Track pad guide to check if all connections are good and if replacing is necessary.

My floppy disk isn't reading

You insert a floppy disk, and your computer doesn't read it

Bad floppy disk

Your floppy disk may be faulty, or you may have to format the disk.

Bad disk drive

Try multiple floppy disks. If none of the disks seem to be working, there may be a problem with the drive. Try removing the drive and reseating it in the computer case to ensure a good connection. If that does not fix the problem, try replacing the disk drive. See the Repairing PowerBook 3400 M3553 Floppy Disk Drive for instructions on removing the floppy drive.

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