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Old Feb 28, 2006, 10:03 AM   #1
sk1985
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12 inch iBook G4's case getting looser and looser...

I just recently bought a 12 inch iBook G4 this January. My first iBook had a defective case (the unit's case was so loose that you could pick up the left side of the case and separate it from the rest of the computer's body. Also the USB ports, modem, and firewire area angled deeply into the unit). Needless to say I return that iBook a day after I owned it and the apple store labels it a DOA unit and sent it back to the factory.

Now my current iBook was fine up until about two weeks of ownership. Then it too started getting loose on it's left side near the CPU, just like my first iBook. Its basically loose near the USB ports, modem, FW, ect.. and up to it's left most corner nearest to you. I recently took my iBook to an Apple store (it's not the Apple store I bought my it at) to have it's case tightened. To my surprise I was told the unit's case wasn't damaged enough for a repair. I was also told that if he tried to repair the case (i.e tighten some screws in the case and play around with it's clips) that there was a chance that the case could get even worse and never be repairable again.

It seems kind of shady that 25% of my computer's case is loose and it only gets looser as as the CPU gets hotter and my computer's case makes weird cracking noises as I type on it from popping in and out of place. I mean my iBook really just doesn't feel solid anymore and the Apple tech himself said the iBook's case was damaged and most likely not fixable.

I was told the only solution to the problem would most likely be a new case and yet no one even tried to tighten the unit to see if that would work and ordering me a new case wasn't even suggested (they just said that a new case would be the only solution).

What I don't get is why the Apple tech didn't just order me a new case and what am I suppose to do when my iBook needs a repair (i.e a bad logic board or a defective HD) and they can't put the unit together again? I was told that if my computer was ever opened up that the case was NOT fixable and maybe there was a chance that they couldn't piece it together. Basically, the Tech guy explained to me that he couldn't justify further damaging the computer's case even though it was already getting looser before his eyes (thats why they didn't want to open it up). Also without opening it up to see what's wrong with the case they can't order me a new case. This all seems kind of shady to me. On a side note I was treated rather respectably at the Apple Store and these were just the best solutions the Tech on hand could come up with.

One question I have is does anyone know if this is this a common problem among 12 inch iBook owners?

In addition to that does anyone know the best course of action to get my iBook fixed?

Last edited by sk1985; Feb 28, 2006 at 10:09 AM.
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Old Feb 28, 2006, 10:11 AM   #2
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My left palmrest is creaky (and this has pretty much always been true), but my case has otherwise stayed pretty rock-solid -- there are no major gaps or areas that lift up, like you describe. It's an iBook G4/800 MHz (Rev. A 12"), and I've had it for slightly longer than two years.

I'd call Apple directly and ask politely for their input. What this service center is saying sounds very strange to me. The creaking, I think, is just something you probably would have to get used to (I think it's a design limitation, and the iBook is hardly the only notebook I've ever seen it in). But the case pulling apart makes it sound like some of the tabs that lock it together are malformed or broken. And that should be a covered defect. And besides this, iBooks are repaired internally all the time. I think the idea that the case can never be opened and closed again is preposterous. The iBook has lots of pieces. So if *you* did it, you would have to be very careful. And it's a PITA. But hardly impossible.
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Old Feb 28, 2006, 10:14 AM   #3
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Mine iBook has no such problems with the case. It does sit on my desk most of the time, but it is moved around one or two days of the week. I will say that the case line's up fine where the ports are for me, and no heat issues bother it.

When the case is hot I could imagine moving the machine around a lot might cause loosen it. And I can never tell on here if people have a serious problem (some people nitpick reeeeal bad about Apple's computers). But that doesn't seem the case here.

Get another case then. I can't say I've heard about this problem ever, I've had my 12" iBook since August 05, and no problems (other than not maxing out the RAM).

EDIT: If the case is the problem, then I don't see how opening it is gonna help at all.
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Old Feb 28, 2006, 10:18 AM   #4
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^ I rarely move my ibook around. 90% of it's life has been on a desk^
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Old Feb 28, 2006, 10:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkrishnan
I'd call Apple directly and ask politely for their input. The creaking, I think, is just something you probably would have to get used to (I think it's a design limitation, and the iBook is hardly the only notebook I've ever seen it in). But the case pulling apart makes it sound like some of the tabs that lock it together are malformed or broken. And that should be a covered defect.
I might just call up apple this week and see what they have to say.

Also I'd be okay with some creaking but when one side of your computer pops in and out of place it gets kind of annoying while typing a paper ( I have to periodically pop the left side in place).

The tech guy also said the either on of the clips was broken or defective like you said. I was told another possibility might be the plastic warped from the cpu's heat and loosened some screws and tightening them wouldn't do much (this sounds kind of weird because none of the Apple Store's iBooks have this problem and their left on all day). At the most my computer sees about 3 to 4 hours of use on minimum CPU usage (i.e reduced cpu power)
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Old Feb 28, 2006, 10:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sk1985
At the most my computer sees about 3 to 4 hours of use on minimum CPU usage (i.e reduced cpu power)
Mine sees a *lot* more than that. And it's fine. You shouldn't have to treat it with such kid gloves. Get them to fix it or replace it.

But... I do have to say...if you get a third one, and the third one breaks too... I don't know what to tell you, but the chances that there is something about what *you* are doing in how you use it that is related go up and up. These things are not so fragile, and usually, Apple's build quality is excellent. My iBook comes to the lab and the hospital five days a week, at least, in a backpack, gets carried around, used in different places, many hours a day. All okay.
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Old Feb 28, 2006, 10:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkrishnan
Mine sees a *lot* more than that. And it's fine. You shouldn't have to treat it with such kid gloves. Get them to fix it or replace it.

But... I do have to say...if you get a third one, and the third one breaks too... I don't know what to tell you, but the chances that there is something about what *you* are doing in how you use it that is related go up and up. These things are not so fragile, and usually, Apple's build quality is excellent. My iBook comes to the lab and the hospital five days a week, at least, in a backpack, gets carried around, used in different places, many hours a day. All okay.
My first iBook came out of the box with a loose corner (i.e used it for 2 hours and exchanged it). My second one's corner was kind of loose out of the box and just loosened with time (I thought the looseness was normal, till I used other older iBooks). I really don't know how casually using a computer (mostly to jam with music) could cause all this damage. FYI I really just use my computer casually thats why I only use if for 3 to 4 hours at the most I'll hit 6 hours a day. I just have other commitments that take up more time. Also I keep the CPU on a lower setting to keep my computer from getting hot. For my needs the lower setting works fine.
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Old Feb 28, 2006, 10:49 AM   #8
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my iBook has construction problems as well. basically every last revision g4 has been put together like garbage. my biggest problem is that my screens hinge isn't sitting properly. I'll be dealing with that when I get home, it's brand new and if they try to pull that "warranty doesn't cover that" ****, i'll just assassinate them .

however, the corners are loose and etc like you said. lots of creaking going on.
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Old Feb 28, 2006, 11:24 AM   #9
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I'll lay bets both machines were put together in China. Look up your ibooks birthday and place of manufacture on that coconut id card site.
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Old Feb 28, 2006, 02:50 PM   #10
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Yeah, i realized that a whilel ago. They switch production (at least of the iBooks) to China and the quality has sucked ass ever since.
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Old Feb 28, 2006, 04:28 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by California
I'll lay bets both machines were put together in China. Look up your ibooks birthday and place of manufacture on that coconut id card site.
Yup my iBook was made in China... and its also was made in November around the christmas rush.

Quote:
Originally Posted by calebjohnston
my iBook has construction problems as well. basically every last revision g4 has been put together like garbage. my biggest problem is that my screens hinge isn't sitting properly. I'll be dealing with that when I get home, it's brand new and if they try to pull that "warranty doesn't cover that" ****, i'll just assassinate them .

however, the corners are loose and etc like you said. lots of creaking going on.
Yeah my hinge doesn't sit right also, but that seems to be common among all of Apple's laptops. I'm a little pissed that my iBook was poorly constructed and I was offered no real assistance to solve the problem other than just live with it.
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Old Feb 28, 2006, 04:37 PM   #12
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Do you mean specifically shifted from Taiwan to the Mainland? My iBook G4 rev. A was built in Taiwan.

My iMac G5 Rev. B was built in Mainland China. But so far, so good.
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Old Feb 28, 2006, 05:07 PM   #13
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did your apple store say they would straighten the hinge under warranty at no cost?
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Old Feb 28, 2006, 11:08 PM   #14
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so that's why i hear creaks to the left of my touchpad

well ****, this sucks

if i look at the side of my case where my latch is situated on i can see that the space between the dark grey top and the white bottom increases towards the left.

hmm. it seems sturdy enough but if i try to push down on the left side there's no give. this leads me to believe that the hard drive underneath the left side of the palmrest is slightly bigger than the space that the case should provide.

at least thats what i want to believe. i'd hate if it was due to a deforming case due to the heat from the hard drive.

i'll have to remember to get the guy at the apple store to look at this tomorrow while i get my lcd replaced.
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Old Mar 1, 2006, 01:49 PM   #15
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my ibook is th same way the left corner is loose and creaks when i type. although, i find if i push down on it with a little force, it stays down and doesnt creak. the right corner of the casing is loose slightly as well but its not close enough to the bottom casing to rub and creak.
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Old Mar 1, 2006, 01:51 PM   #16
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I can't believe there's so many issues about these g4 iBooks, it's rediculous. I'm taking mine in to my nearby Apple store when I get home on saturday to have them straighten the screen.. which is magically screwed only after 2 months. I'll ask about the case then too.
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Old Mar 1, 2006, 02:00 PM   #17
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since we're talking about the 12" ibooks, anyone notice theirs being really hot sometimes right over the harddrive? (computers' left palm rest.)
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Old Mar 1, 2006, 02:05 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by calebjohnston
since we're talking about the 12" ibooks, anyone notice theirs being really hot sometimes right over the harddrive? (computers' left palm rest.)
The CPU is located there if I'm not mistaken (although I could be wrong, but I don't think I am). Thats why the left side has an added vent port. My bro's 12 inch powerbook gets hot in the same area. Also that heat is normal, if you want your computer to run cooler just lower the CPU's performance.

Also HD's don't usually get too hot. Most of the time their stationary (if you put the HD to sleep whenever possible). It isn't until you start listening to music, do some video editing, playing a computer game, ect... that the HD starts rotating a lot. Basic web/typing use really wouldn't get an HD all that hot (at least to my knowledge).
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Old Mar 1, 2006, 02:07 PM   #19
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my left palm rest creaks too. I've just decided to deal with it. seems like your problems is a good deal more serious though, and should definitely be repaired.
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Old Mar 1, 2006, 02:08 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by calebjohnston
since we're talking about the 12" ibooks, anyone notice theirs being really hot sometimes right over the harddrive? (computers' left palm rest.)
Yep, get used to it. I don't think there's much you can do about that one, except to make sure you use it on a hard, flat surface, that lets it ventilate as well as possible.
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Old Mar 1, 2006, 02:30 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkrishnan
My left palmrest is creaky (and this has pretty much always been true), but my case has otherwise stayed pretty rock-solid -- there are no major gaps or areas that lift up, like you describe. It's an iBook G4/800 MHz (Rev. A 12"), and I've had it for slightly longer than two years.
My left palm rest is creaky too. It's the newest Rev. (1.33ghz 12"), but I mean it's not that bad. Once it heats up it goes away, it's just when it's cold. Since it's on a lot, it's usually fine, and it's DEFINITELY not bad enough to get replaced. I originally thought it was because it's a BTO for a hard drive upgrade, and that's the side that the HD is on...I figured the person just didn't but it together that great, but then I talked with some people, and it's extremely common.
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Old Mar 1, 2006, 02:42 PM   #22
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I guess the heat thing makes sense then, I was listening to music at the time. This is my first iBook so I'm just not used to the high temperature I suppose.
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Old Mar 3, 2006, 09:22 PM   #23
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I'll ask about the case then too.
did ya ask about the case?
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Old Mar 3, 2006, 10:33 PM   #24
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i haven't gotten to the apple store yet - within the next few days.
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Old Mar 3, 2006, 11:14 PM   #25
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On my 14" iBook, the right side of the computer has been a bit loose by the palm rest. I can only notice it when I'm holding the computer and I feel it move underneath me, but other than that it doesn't bother me and I've gotten used to it.

I remember the days when no Apple computer had as many problems as they do today. My IIc was built like a rock. Same goes for my Performa.

Like I've said before, and I'll stand by this...Steve Jobs is amazing at making new products and marketing them, but the quality of the product can suck something awful
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