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Years ago I was the original owner of a "Titanium" PowerBook G4. Eventually, the unit bricked itself and refused to power on. Some quick research at the time led me to believe the PRAM battery was DOA - and sure enough, replacing the little battery pack allowed the machine to work as expected.

Unfortunately, not long after, the computer was stolen during a burglary by some lowlife creep. Since I had all the original packaging and accessories, and was certain I was never going to see my beloved G4 again (which I never did), I decided to replace the unit right away with a decent looking unit from ebay...

Now the replacement system has been powered off and in storage for several years and I'd like to dig it out and fire it up. But before I do, I was going to go ahead and buy a new replacement PRAM battery for it... of course, I can't seem to find a supplier with them in stock anywhere. Which leads to my question; Whats a retro enthusiast supposed to do to work around a DOA PRAM battery when no replacements are available? Could a suitable replacement be cobbled together from some coin cells? Is there a work around to get the G4 to boot even when the PRAM battery is dead or missing?

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  • Similar situation. Trying to get old photos off my G4 15". It seems it needs to be LIR (Lithium Ion Rechargeable) 3032 3.7volt with soldering tabs. 3.0volt will quickly leak battery fluid, so I've read. I read the 17" takes LIR 2032 3.7v with solder tabs (the first two numbers are millimeters of diameter and the send two are decimal millimeter thickness, so 20mm diameter and 3.2mm thickness). For the G4 15" we need the LIR3032 3.7v with solder tabs. I cannot find these anywhere in the United States. I see some stores have them in the UK but you cannot ship batteries by air or they will explode
    – user23333
    Nov 10 '21 at 9:58
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The PRAM battery for a Titanium Powerbook G4 is rechargeable, it might not need replacing (though will certainly go flat on the shelf). The cells are rechargeable lithium/vanadium pentoxide 3V coin cells, similar to Panasonic VL2020, in a plastic (tape?) wrap, with pigtail connection.

Hold down command-option-P-R at startup to reinitialize PRAM contents; keep holding until you hear a second startup 'beep'. If, after a day or so of power-on, the PRAM battery doesn't take a charge, it does need replacing. Suppliers such as OWC.COM might have third-party parts for this.

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I'd look to an electronic parts distributor to source a replacement. If the battery is the same as the one in @user23333's comment (Lithium-ion rechargeable 3032 3.7 V with solder tabs) then what you're looking for is something like the RJD3032ST1 which Mouser, Digikey, and Newark/Element 14 stock. In case it's not the same here's links to some parametric searchs to get you started: Mouser, Digikey, Newark/Element 14, Arrow

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