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Suddenly smelling powerbook


Yesterday, something must have happened to my powerbook g3 lombard. I was a bit in a hurry to make a visit in the server room, and so closed it quickly (for sleep) to take it with me. No problem when opening it again in the server room. But upon closing it again about ten minutes later, I noticed an odor like something was burning somewhere - it made me believe some computer in the room was having problems.. But after returning to the office, the powerbook wouldn't wake up again, and I realized that (in fact it was) the powerbook (that) was smelling. Damn, I thought, and took out the battery. But I then just put in the battery again and had no problems booting. Even today, the powerbook is working flawlessly - but it's still emitting this strong odour.

I think it could be some capacitor that exploded or something. Knowing that at least some capacitors are (or have been) filled with PCB (polychlorated biphenyles), I'm a bit worried about my health. After typing some time on it, I think I can smell the chemicals on my hands. Even if it's really harmless, it's not very nice to work with the powerbook anymore.

Has anyone experienced the same? Any idea what it could be exactly? (Having some soldering experience I maybe could replace the faulty part. I haven't seen something so far, without using a screwdriver, just looking under the keyboard.)

Christian Jaeger  Programmer & System Engineer
ETHLife CMS Project - www.ethlife.ethz.ch/newcms - www.ethlife.ethz.ch

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