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?


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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