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Old Dec 12, 2012, 07:45 AM   #1
MacMaister
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Powerbook G4 screen/display doesn't work

Hello everyone,

I own a 7 year old Powerbook G4 1.67GHz 15'' Model A1106, and yesterday it gave me a surprise. When I turned it on everything was ok, the keyboard (caps lock, num lock, volume and illumination controls were all working), the sound was working (i got the startup chime), but the screen wasn't showing anything. When I closed the lid to put the laptop to sleep, I noticed that the apple backlight logo wasn't ON and the laptop did not go to sleep mode. The LED sleep indicator was not functioning as well. The laptop kept working normally but with out any display functions working. I tried connecting an external monitor and i got no signal as well on it.

The only known problem up until yesterday were random horizontal lines in the laptop's screen and in my external monitor when connected to it, due to a faulty GPU that overheated. To avoid it the problem from getting out of control, I always kept the laptop in a cooled environment. And it seemed to work up until yesterday.

Does any one have any suggestion as to what can i do to fix this issue?

Many Thanks
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 07:58 AM   #2
justperry
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Your graphics card has died R.I.P. PB

If you are lucky you can find a logic board on ebay.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 08:06 AM   #3
Zotaccian
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Most of the time GPU's itself do not fail but the solder connects. Reflowing the solder might recreate connects and restore functionality, better option is to replace (reball) the solder connects with leaded solder and then resolder the chip back. If it actually is the chip which is damaged then it would need to replaced. Problem might of course be something else than something related to the GPU but those issues clearly point to it.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 02:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justperry View Post
Your graphics card has died R.I.P. PB

If you are lucky you can find a logic board on ebay.
Thanks for the quick answer!
I reckon the problem is the GPU as you mentioned.
I'll look it up on ebay.
Cheers!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zotaccian View Post
Most of the time GPU's itself do not fail but the solder connects. Reflowing the solder might recreate connects and restore functionality, better option is to replace (reball) the solder connects with leaded solder and then resolder the chip back. If it actually is the chip which is damaged then it would need to replaced. Problem might of course be something else than something related to the GPU but those issues clearly point to it.
Thanks for your answer.
Do you know if this reballing process is complicated?

Cheers!
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 04:05 PM   #5
Zotaccian
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Yes, reballing you cannot do without skills and right kind of equipment. Reflowing is bit easier and there are all kinds of non-professional methods with variable success rate, for example using a heat gun or putting the motherboard in oven.

This MBP I am currently using has been sort of fixed by using heat gun, sort of because first "fix" lasted 7 months and I had to repeat the whole thing. Reballing would produce better results, many companies only give 3 months warranty for reflow. I however don't have equipment or skills to do it.

I'm sure that you could find some companies who do reflowing and reballing, but the price might be too high for it to be reasonable. Motherboard replacement might very well be reasonable option, depending on price of course.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 09:58 PM   #6
MacMaister
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zotaccian View Post
Yes, reballing you cannot do without skills and right kind of equipment. Reflowing is bit easier and there are all kinds of non-professional methods with variable success rate, for example using a heat gun or putting the motherboard in oven.

This MBP I am currently using has been sort of fixed by using heat gun, sort of because first "fix" lasted 7 months and I had to repeat the whole thing. Reballing would produce better results, many companies only give 3 months warranty for reflow. I however don't have equipment or skills to do it.

I'm sure that you could find some companies who do reflowing and reballing, but the price might be too high for it to be reasonable. Motherboard replacement might very well be reasonable option, depending on price of course.
Thanks for the advice. I'll look into it.
Once I'll have a solution for this issue I'll post it here.

Cheers!!!!
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 10:38 PM   #7
Falstaff
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Before you give up hope completely, also have a look at your lcd data cable. Mine gave out on my Alum 12in 867 and I almost spent money on a new logic board, but looked a little deeper and the cable that passes through the hinge had gone bad instead. Only cost me $10 instead of $100. Just a though.
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 11:28 PM   #8
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Before you give up hope completely, also have a look at your lcd data cable. Mine gave out on my Alum 12in 867 and I almost spent money on a new logic board, but looked a little deeper and the cable that passes through the hinge had gone bad instead. Only cost me $10 instead of $100. Just a though.
Thanks for the tip. Good idea. I'll check it out.

Cheers!!!
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 05:57 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by MacMaister View Post
Thanks for the tip. Good idea. I'll check it out.

Cheers!!!
The LCD cable is not going to help you if you have no external video as well.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 07:17 AM   #10
Falstaff
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The LCD cable is not going to help you if you have no external video as well.
Very true. I had not noticed that he had tried an external monitor.
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