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Old Nov 30, 2009, 01:18 AM   #1
A-Dog
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Bizarre grey cloudiness & freeze on iBook G4 startup..

Hi all,

I have a beloved iBook G4 A1055 that I bought secondhand several years ago. Never had a single problem until this evening: upon startup, I got to the grey apple screen, and the spinning progress wheel froze. I turned it off and back on again. Now the screen comes on with a splotchy dark grey cloudiness, which eventually turns to a bright white and just sits.

I still get the melodic chime on startup and the hard drive spins up as usual.

Been searching for hours as to what could be the cause of this, was wondering if you guys had any tips?
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Old Nov 30, 2009, 01:44 AM   #2
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I'm afraid it's only one thing to do. I hope you have done a backup recently. A clean install of osx is the only thing you can try. The same thing happened to my wife's iBook not long ago. I posted here and had a few suggestions, but the only thing that put it back to life was a clean install of osx. My wife hadn't backed up in several months so she lost a bit of info, but the 5 year old iBook came back to life and works perfectly again. Good luck.

Ps. You might wait fir a better suggestion in case someone know a magic trick that I didn't try.
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Old Nov 30, 2009, 02:03 AM   #3
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Nuts, I haven't backed up in quite a bit--I don't suppose there's any chance of doing target disc mode to make the hard drive volume come up on another Mac?

Not even sure I have Tiger install discs, will have to check on that. Guess I'll know a bit more when I get home from my girlfriend's with this thing..
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Old Nov 30, 2009, 03:00 AM   #4
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Not even sure I have Tiger install discs, will have to check on that. Guess I'll know a bit more when I get home from my girlfriend's with this thing..
Couldn't you use Leopard discs? Leopard is the last Mac OS X version to support PowerPC.

I think Leopard will be cheap, search eBay.
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Old Nov 30, 2009, 10:58 AM   #5
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Okay, I do have all the Tiger install discs, including the hardware test disc. I haven't run any of this stuff as I'm not sure where to start--I can't get to a screen where I can do anything. Should I begin in safe mode? Doesn't seem to want to let me get anywhere..

Any tips short of a complete re-install would
be great, if possible..thanks guys..
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Old Dec 1, 2009, 11:19 AM   #6
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I was hoping youŽd get some better advice, but I really think a clean install is the only way to get it up and running again
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Old Dec 1, 2009, 12:14 PM   #7
MacTech68
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I'm going to assume your 10.4 disks are the original Install & Restore disks.

Insert the Disc that has Apple Hardware Test on it. Reboot the machine and immediately hold down the Option key on the keyboard. Hopefully, you'll see a blue screen and gradually, you should see some large square buttons appear. If one of them is "Apple Hardware Test" then click on it once the wrist watch becomes a pointer then click the right hand arrow.

Follow the AHT instructions to perform basic tests of your hardware.

If you can't get that far, make sure all external peripherals (printers, USB thumb drives, firewire drives, ethernet cables etc etc) are removed. You could even remove the battery and/or try resetting the PMU.

If your iBook is a 12" 1.2Ghz or a 14" 1.33Ghz or slower, try removing the Airport Card. (12" 1.33Ghz and 14" 1.42Ghz have built in Airport cards that aren't user-removable - at least, not easily). Knowing which speed and display size you have would be handy.

If you have additional RAM, try removing that.

From your description, however, it sounds like the issue may be a poorly mated or partially severed/shorting display cable. Replacing/re-seating these is not for the faint-hearted.

If you have an external display adapter, try seeing if an external display continues to work.

I could go on, but let's see if any of the above works first.
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Old Dec 1, 2009, 09:28 PM   #8
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Hi again--so someone at work told me it might be a RAM issue--I took out the airport card, got underneath and reseated the chip (which wasn't noticably loose), and this seemed to fix the fogginess issue. I was even able to log in, see everything had booted normally, and was able to get into email when the laptop just froze. Restart, and it froze on the Apple screen. Left it for this morning, got to my desktop where it then froze there.

My iBook is the 14-inch screen, 1GHZ w/ 256 RAM. Thanks immensely for all of your help everyone. Mactech68, I'm going to go ahead and try the first part of what you prescribed above, tonight if there's time. I'm hoping this is just a RAM issue, and I'm glad all my data's not lost!
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Old Dec 2, 2009, 03:14 AM   #9
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Update: I ran the hardware test, and everything passed. I was able to do about 30 minutes of backing up, left it for the evening in sleep mode, and then it froze on the desktop upon waking up. Now it's hanging up on a restart at the Apple screen.

Could this be an overheating problem?
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Old Dec 2, 2009, 05:41 AM   #10
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Update: I ran the hardware test, and everything passed. I was able to do about 30 minutes of backing up, left it for the evening in sleep mode, and then it froze on the desktop upon waking up. Now it's hanging up on a restart at the Apple screen.

Could this be an overheating problem?
Hmmm, your previous post says you only have 256MB RAM. Either the RAM SO-DIMM isn't fully seated or it might be intermittently failing.

If possible, remove the Airport Card and RAM, and try running without them. If that works, just put the RAM back in and try that.

It will be slow with only 256MB, but that should prove or dis-prove the RAM theory.
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Old Dec 6, 2009, 03:23 PM   #11
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I tried what u recommended MacTech--took out the RAM and Airport, booted, and got the weird dark cloudiness on the screen again.

Replaced the RAM, left the card out, and it still booted up to a murky dark screen (not as cloudy). Replaced both the RAM and Airport card and let it sit for over 20 min and it booted up fine to the desktop, but froze when I tried to open a page in Safari.

Seems like were getting close to a solution? It seems more responsive when I let it sit for awhile. Will they look at it at the Apple store without Apple Care?
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Old Dec 7, 2009, 01:03 AM   #12
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I tried what u recommended MacTech--took out the RAM and Airport, booted, and got the weird dark cloudiness on the screen again.

Replaced the RAM, left the card out, and it still booted up to a murky dark screen (not as cloudy). Replaced both the RAM and Airport card and let it sit for over 20 min and it booted up fine to the desktop, but froze when I tried to open a page in Safari.

Seems like were getting close to a solution? It seems more responsive when I let it sit for awhile. Will they look at it at the Apple store without Apple Care?
Close to a solution? Possibly, for now it seems temperature related and NOT attributable to your RAM or AirPort card (since the symptom persists without them installed).

However, you might be interested in this. I'd suggest getting a professional to resolder the chip since using shims may flex the PCB (the reason it works), but flexing may break other solder joins.

The chip is an ISL6225CA which regulates power to (amongst other things) the GPU.

Of course, it's a long shot but highly probable.

EDIT: The store will look at it, but more than likely recommend a new laptop.
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