View Full Version : Green vertical line on Powerbook G4 17"

Jul 23, 2006, 07:56 PM
So the dock froze up on me and I rebooted my PB to get the dock's zoom working again. Upon reboot the dock was fine, but the screen had a green, 1 pixel-thick line, across the whole vertical area of my screen!! :mad: I thought that it was something temporary, but I rebooted multiple times and it was still there!!:mad:

Anyway, I'm at the airport right now (I'm leaving for a business trip), and I left my PB behind, so I won't be able to perform fix attempts on it until next week... All I really need right now is to know that it can be fixed. Comments along these lines are welcome:
"Dude, the same thing happened to me once, just re-install OS X and it'll be gone!" or "Just flash the videocard's firmware and BAM!"
Please tell me this can be fixed without replacing the expensive 17" screen :( My PB is just 1 year old...

Jul 23, 2006, 09:21 PM
If the line appears before the OS is started, then its a hardware problem. You can test this by just holding down the Option Key after the BONG! This will load the boot manger and will look like OS 9 with a purplish background. If the line appears there, then its a hardware problem of some sort.

You can perform a hardware test by using the hardware test CD which is either a seperate a CD or on the first Restore DVD. If its on the first restore DVD you'll need to put the restore DVD in, restart and hold the option key again after the BONG and then when the arrow reappears (which takes a few seconds) click on Apple Hardware Test and then click on the --> button.

Perform the test and see if anything comes back bad. Write down any errors that occur.

You may need to replace the screen or perhaps the logicboard if its an issue with the graphics chip. There's no reflashing the chip.

Jul 25, 2006, 07:20 PM
Thanks, I'll try that as soon as I get back home (3 more days to go). Do you think it could be something more benign like a loose cable or something? I did see the line during the apple logo screen at startup... I hope it can be fixed, I don't think I would replace the whole screen, it would still be a 100% functional notebook, except I wouldn't be able to brag about it around my windows friends anymore :(

Jul 25, 2006, 08:12 PM
It is possible the cable got pulled out of the socket a little. That does happen, but usually it would cause more lines than just one, but its certainly possible. It may not be the screen, but rather a problem with the video chip on the logicboard.

If you want to try something to ***** a giggles, you can download ATIcelerator for ATI chips and see if you can change the speed of the chip. Maybe if you fool around you may get it to go away.


You may also just want to try and do an archive and install of OS X. Maybe something got screw up. At this point its worth trying anything you can think of.

Is it still under warranty? If it is, I wouldn't even mess with it and let Apple figure it out. You may be without your PowerBook for a few days, but it will be diagnosed and fixed for free.

Nov 16, 2006, 01:41 PM
Hello floyde,

Your issue is a known mass defect affecting the PowerBook G4 17" model M9689 (which is probably the model you own). We maintain a thread in Apple discussion where we collect and document all issues, as this writing more than 50.

Please post the serial number of your device into this internet-based Apple model number decoder and store the output.

Please take a picture of our display with a digital camera and upload it to an image hosting service like photobucket, imageshare etc.

Post the model information, the link to the image (<img src="yourlinkhere"> ) and a couple of lines describing your experience into this thread in the Apple discussion forum:



Aug 21, 2008, 12:07 AM
For more steps to take if you have the Powerbook G4 vertical line defect (note that even if you pay to get it fixed, it may go bad again, if the repair isn't done properly):

Join the notification/uncensored discussion group (& see more advice) available at:

Register your PowerBook at

Sign this petition:

Read the exciting (& infuriating) info here:

Post in Apple Discussions. Something non-inflammatory like "I have this problem too, is there any new suggestions on what to do about it?" Here's a relevant thread that's been there for a while:

Call AppleCare, get a case #, and ask them how to file a formal complaint (so Apple has a record of the extent of the problem and is pressured to react).

Leave "Management Comments" here:

Write to high-profile Mac news & blog sites and ask them to cover this story. Sites such as

There are some other suggestions here:

Call and write Apple corporate HQ and Public Relations

Note that when people complain to AppleCare in non-U.S. countries, that info is not forwarded to any central location, so Apple never finds out about worldwide complaint patterns that indicate a defect. Ideally non-U.S. residents should be sure to call U.S. HQ and PR so all the complaints hopefully also get to a central location.

Take some of the steps documented in various pages at this site:

Contact your state Department of Consumer Protection.

Contact the Better Business Bureau