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Old Feb 13, 2009, 02:30 AM   #1
BlueRevolution
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iBook G3, no graphics

Okay, I just picked up a used as-is iBook G3 on eBay to upgrade my even older iBook G3. I spent about the last 7 hours disassembling them and swapping components to get the best possible configuration, but swapping the LCD has failed to resolve the main issue that led to the as-is sale: no picture. I can tell that the computer is working fine, but the display remains black. What's more, the video out port isn't working either. Does that make it a logic board issue? The video and processor upgrades were a big part of my reason for buying the machine, so I'll be a little unhappy if it turns out that the board is shot and all I can do is salvage the hard drive and optical drive.

(By the way, the auction advertised the display as "very dim" rather than non-functional. A dim display would be trivial to fix, but...)
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Old Feb 13, 2009, 02:42 AM   #2
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2 thoughts...
1. Have you tried squeezing down on the case just to the side of the trackpad (I think it was the left side?). As the GPU on these iBooks tends to seperate with use meaning video = dead.
2. It probably is a logic board issue if the video out isnt working either.

Hope you get it fixed as they are nice machines
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Old Feb 13, 2009, 02:52 AM   #3
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WHOA! It works! Well, sorta.

I just restarted twice and that trick doesn't work any more. Still, I'm assuming this means there's something I can do to fix it?
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Old Feb 13, 2009, 03:03 AM   #4
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by the looks of it, it is a logic board issue, id try to get on ebay and see if any are there, you could also try opening it up and checking if the GPU (on the underside) is loose. It could also be a different issue with the video circuitry. In which case it will have to be a new GPU or Logic Board.
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Old Feb 13, 2009, 03:28 AM   #5
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Yeah, eBay is still ~$100 for a logic board. Not exactly what I was hoping for with the computer, especially after paying $120 for the as-is machine, which I'd hoped would include a functional logic board.

I do still have the logic board from my older iBook, which is 500 MHz. If I can't get this to work I'll just go back to that board. I'd prefer my new 900 MHz, though.

Is there any way I can diagnose the video problems to see what the real culprit is, logic board or otherwise?
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Old Feb 13, 2009, 08:32 AM   #6
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Someone in Arizona reflows old iBook boards for 50 bucks to fix the video issue. SOunds like you should have it done.
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Old Feb 13, 2009, 08:06 PM   #7
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What does that entail? Not a do-it-yourself task, I take it?

I don't suppose I could put a big C-clamp over the trackpad, could I?
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Old Feb 13, 2009, 08:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueRevolution View Post
What does that entail? Not a do-it-yourself task, I take it?

I don't suppose I could put a big C-clamp over the trackpad, could I?
Not like it hasn't been done before

firstphasetech is the company in Arizona.

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Old Feb 13, 2009, 08:32 PM   #9
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Generally, any kind of shim inserted between the case and the GPU will do the trick. It's fairly easy to do, iFixIt has a guide on it.
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Old Feb 13, 2009, 11:04 PM   #10
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Generally, any kind of shim inserted between the case and the GPU will do the trick. It's fairly easy to do, iFixIt has a guide on it.
Do you have a link? I couldn't find it.
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Old Feb 13, 2009, 11:26 PM   #11
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There's a million(well I'm exaggerating a little bit) threads on this.

Googling "iBook G3 Shim" brings up quite a bit.

http://www.applefritter.com/node/10193 is just the first one that came up.

Just be warned though. The shim method is only a temporary fix. I've had quite a few iBook G3s and the shim method might only get you a few weeks or if you're lucky a few months of use before it'll go out completely. Good luck though.
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Old Feb 14, 2009, 01:34 AM   #12
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Huh, sounds crazy, but I'll give it a go. If I destroy the logic board, well, I guess there's no big loss and I'll just go back to my old 500 MHz one. Thanks for the input.
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Old Feb 14, 2009, 01:46 AM   #13
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I remember my iBook G3 800 MHz lasting around 9 months with a shim. Still works sometimes, when it wants to.
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Old Feb 14, 2009, 02:28 AM   #14
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I wrote this guy about my own iBooks a few weeks ago. From Arizona. They reflow the video chips on ibooks, you have to send them the logic board only.


tom@firstphasetech.com

Yes we do still do these. We can test G3 ibooks.

Thanks
Tom McCarthy

On Tue, Feb 3, 2009 I wrote:
Tom, do you still do these repairs? And do you check them somehow before you send the boards back to your customers?

Let me know and thanks, I have an open 12' 1.33ghz iBook laptop and a 900mhz G3 ibook here. Need to figure out if I need to send to you or not.


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2640 W Medtronic Way
Tempe, AZ 85281
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Old Feb 14, 2009, 05:19 AM   #15
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Good to know. However, for the time being, IT WORKED! An extra-special hello goes out to the Hempfield School District's IT security department, as well as to Mr. Jason A. O***, who left a PDF bank statement on the desktop of the default, password-free user account.

I just put a double layer of padded double-sided tape, with the backing still on, on the outside of the heat shield over the square bit. Should I be worried about the GPU overheating?

Okay, I did a bit more reading and figured it's better to be on the safe side. I replaced the first layer of double-sided tape with 4.25 pennies (one cut up to fill the bit in the middle). Copper is a good heat conductor, so all should be good now.
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Old Feb 28, 2009, 11:41 PM   #16
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Well, it worked for a while, then it became quite unstable and is no longer working at all. I guess I'm out of options now? Would this "reflow" fix the logic board or is the problem bigger than just the graphics chip?
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Old Mar 1, 2009, 03:29 AM   #17
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Well, it worked for a while, then it became quite unstable and is no longer working at all. I guess I'm out of options now? Would this "reflow" fix the logic board or is the problem bigger than just the graphics chip?
If failing solder joints are your problem (and it sounds like they are), then yes, a reflow is a long-term fix for the issue.
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Old Mar 1, 2009, 10:21 AM   #18
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If the shim method works then yes, the reflowing of the solder will work. Usually if the shim method doesn't prove useful anymore, I don't think it's worth to get it reflowed. I think I remember reading that in their fine print ages ago .

They do however provide a 1 year warranty if the problem comes back. You just need to dismantle it again and ship it back.
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Old Mar 1, 2009, 05:27 PM   #19
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Usually if the shim method doesn't prove useful anymore, I don't think it's worth to get it reflowed. I think I remember reading that in their fine print ages ago .
As in my case, you mean?
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Old Mar 6, 2009, 11:39 PM   #20
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Okay, I'm giving up and going back to my old logic board. I'm pretty sure I already know the answer to this one, but are there any parts I can salvage from the new one? Even if the graphics chip is toast, I'd love to be able to put a 900 MHz processor in there.
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