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Serious problems with my iBook G4

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi. I've had my iBook G4 (1 GHz) since summer 2004. It worked great for a long time and I've really loved it.

Then around February of this year, the problems started.
The first two problems were: the CD drive started caving in toward the center, making it difficult to insert or remove CDs. In order to eject a CD, I usually have to grab the middle of the drive opening with my fingers and spread it apart, and quickly move my hand once the CD is ready to come out. So its annoying, but I can live with it.
Then, the computer start running noticably slow, and I look in disc utility and see that S.M.A.R.T. status for my hard drive is "failing".
So, I purchase a new hard drive from eBay, and swap out the drive using guides I found online (iFixit.com)

It worked again until April, when I was working on my computer when suddenly I saw a flash of scan lines running across the screen, and then everything went black. I tried various key combinations, to get the computer to respond and eventually shut it down by holding the power key.
From then on, everytime I turned on the computer, I would get one of three results:
1) The computer booted up normally, but then it said that the clock had been reset. Then at some point I would see the scan lines again and the computer would stop responding.
2) I'd be able to hear what sounded like normal computer noises, but nothing would come up on the screen.
3) The fans would run at a high noise level until I took the battery out.

So after looking around online, I decided that it was probably Logic Board failure, so I took it to an authorized Apple repair center.
There, I was told that it was the Logic Board (because of the clock resetting) and that it would cost about $800 to fix, so I might as well buy a new computer.
I couldn't afford that, so I ended up buying a 1.2 Ghz Logic Board from eBay for about $300.
After a tricky installation (I had to replace some cables and the top case with the track pad in order to get the new Logic Board to work with my old computer) everything was working again.

It worked fabulously for about two weeks.
Then it started again. Scan lines, black screen.
I've tried every suggestion on Apples website (resetting PRAM, booting up from OS X CD, etc.)
nothing works.

I am so frustrated.

Does anyone have any idea what to do next? I've thought about changing the AC Board, since that's basically the only board that I haven't replaced.

Thanks so much for your help.
post #2 of 14
Quote:
Originally posted by grizled
Hi. I've had my iBook G4 (1 GHz) since summer 2004. It worked great for a long time and I've really loved it.

Then around February of this year, the problems started.
The first two problems were: the CD drive started caving in toward the center, making it difficult to insert or remove CDs. In order to eject a CD, I usually have to grab the middle of the drive opening with my fingers and spread it apart, and quickly move my hand once the CD is ready to come out. So its annoying, but I can live with it.
Then, the computer start running noticably slow, and I look in disc utility and see that S.M.A.R.T. status for my hard drive is "failing".
So, I purchase a new hard drive from eBay, and swap out the drive using guides I found online (iFixit.com)

It worked again until April, when I was working on my computer when suddenly I saw a flash of scan lines running across the screen, and then everything went black. I tried various key combinations, to get the computer to respond and eventually shut it down by holding the power key.
From then on, everytime I turned on the computer, I would get one of three results:
1) The computer booted up normally, but then it said that the clock had been reset. Then at some point I would see the scan lines again and the computer would stop responding.
2) I'd be able to hear what sounded like normal computer noises, but nothing would come up on the screen.
3) The fans would run at a high noise level until I took the battery out.

So after looking around online, I decided that it was probably Logic Board failure, so I took it to an authorized Apple repair center.
There, I was told that it was the Logic Board (because of the clock resetting) and that it would cost about $800 to fix, so I might as well buy a new computer.
I couldn't afford that, so I ended up buying a 1.2 Ghz Logic Board from eBay for about $300.
After a tricky installation (I had to replace some cables and the top case with the track pad in order to get the new Logic Board to work with my old computer) everything was working again.

It worked fabulously for about two weeks.
Then it started again. Scan lines, black screen.
I've tried every suggestion on Apples website (resetting PRAM, booting up from OS X CD, etc.)
nothing works.

I am so frustrated.

Does anyone have any idea what to do next? I've thought about changing the AC Board, since that's basically the only board that I haven't replaced.

Thanks so much for your help.

Explain scanlines further. If they're moving, then try replacing the inverter/inverter cable. If they're not, try reattaching/replacing the video data cable.

-t
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post #3 of 14
By the way you NEED the service source manual to repair your mac without wasting money like you have. There are copies on the net, that I won't link to, but you can get by googleing an exact quote from the manual. Quotes like "familiar with taking apart iBook computers" would for example find the manual you're after.
I really do hope the next big thing isn't just a piece of UI garnish
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I really do hope the next big thing isn't just a piece of UI garnish
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post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hmmm.. I don't think the scan lines are moving, but when I do see them, it's very brief.

At this point, I just have a black screen when I turn the computer on. I put the OS X CD in and it took it, but now the computer doesn't respond when I try to eject it.

Thanks so much for the help!
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally posted by grizled
Hmmm.. I don't think the scan lines are moving, but when I do see them, it's very brief.

At this point, I just have a black screen when I turn the computer on. I put the OS X CD in and it took it, but now the computer doesn't respond when I try to eject it.

Thanks so much for the help!

plug in an external monitor. you'll find out if the fault is limited to the screen. and get that damned service manual.
I really do hope the next big thing isn't just a piece of UI garnish
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I really do hope the next big thing isn't just a piece of UI garnish
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post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
I'm going to try plugging in an external monitor tonight.

I found the service manual for Early 2004 iBooks which should be close enough...

It looks like checking the DC Board would be a good idea.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Tag Me Back
plug in an external monitor. you'll find out if the fault is limited to the screen. and get that damned service manual.

OK, nothing comes up on the external monitor, so it's not limited to the screen.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Is it even possible that the DC-in board is the problem? It won't boot whether I'm using the power adaptor or battery power.

Does the fact that the clock resets to 1969 guarantee that this is a Logic Board failure, or could that just be because I've been taking the battery out to shut the computer off?
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally posted by grizled
Does the fact that the clock resets to 1969 guarantee that this is a Logic Board failure, or could that just be because I've been taking the battery out to shut the computer off?

No, for ages Apple laptops have gone without a backup battery, only using a capacitor that will keep the clock going for long enough to swap a battery.

David
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post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
OK, well I'm going to buy a new DC board and try that, unless anyone has a better idea.
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally posted by grizled
OK, well I'm going to buy a new DC board and try that, unless anyone has a better idea.

Nowhere in the proper service manual does it suggest doing this. But, it's your money. I strongly suggest you try replacing or at least reseating your LVDS and backlight cables.
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post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Tag Me Back
Nowhere in the proper service manual does it suggest doing this. But, it's your money. I strongly suggest you try replacing or at least reseating your LVDS and backlight cables.

Well, I'll try reseating those cables too, but in the manual I got, it suggests checking the DC board if "the computer will not power on", and suggests checking the LVDS and backlight cables if there is "no display, but computer appears to operate correctly." I don't think the computer is operating correctly.

I'll let you know if anything works.
Thanks for the help!
post #13 of 14
I have the same issue as well. My friend who worked as Technician for Apple Service center before had told me that, it might be the onboard battery being week (a small battery which is soldered on the iBook G4 Logic board). I wanted to change the battery but can't figure out what is the brand or model to it.

It will be good if there is anyone that can point out the brand and model of that battery and where is the best place to get a good deal.
post #14 of 14
I have been fixing ibooks and ibook g4,s for awhile and they all have the same issues.Wich can be fixed easily with paitence and a steady hand.You will need a heat gun or a very fine solder gun with a small tip.the heat gun fix is the one i prefer you carefully take the unit apart and remove the memory and hard drive and be sure to cover the parts that could possibly melt! The video/volt regulator chip is under the power cable that runs from the dc in board to the logic board.if you unplug the dc in cable from your logic board its easy to spot it has 14 connectors on each side and a small dot in the chip pointed at the plug for the dc in cord. Once you spot the chip simply heat it up with the heat gun untill you see the solder get glossy,once you get it to that point back off with the heat and allow it to cool down then reasemble and fire it up,the other chip that has the same problem is the hard drive control chip wich is located just under the input plug for the hard drive.these chips are easily fixed with the same methed.the solder gun way is alot more difficult due to how much paitence is needed.you have to heat up each leg one at a time untill you see the solder go glossy and then reassemble. This works for all ibook g4,s they all have the same chips. the standard ibooks have a gpu problem wich is also an easy fix but i wont go into detail on that one as of yet.
P.S
This should be done as a last resort. You could possible make the problem worse if done incorrectly.

I hope this helps!
Fred
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