12" iBook G4 (800MHz) freezing

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by dustinschings, Jan 26, 2017.

  1. dustinschings macrumors 6502

    dustinschings

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2015
    #1
    I have a first gen iBook G4 12". It is in great shape, but came to me with no battery, and the hard drive had been smashed somehow so needed replaced.

    When I got it, I noticed it has 256MB onboard RAM and a 1GB stick. Cool. I installed a working HDD and installed Tiger. Within 5 minutes or so of being on, it freezes. I let it stay off for a while, it will work a few minutes again. If I try to turn it on again right away though, it only gets half way through booting.

    I know this sounds to be heat related, but the bottom of the laptop isn't even close to being a little warm.

    I suspected that it could be the HDD cable that connects it to the logicboard. It routes under the HDD and I figured it may have been damaged when the HDD was pinched. I replaced the HDD cable and used another known good HDD. I then tried to install Panther. It only got half way into install before freezing.

    Not the HDD, HDD Cable, or OS Disc causing this as they have now been ruled out.

    I did have the bottom cover off when trying to install Panther. I never saw the fan kick on, yet I suspect it is because the laptop did not warm up enough to warrant any fan usage. Again, it was not even a little bit warm before freezing.

    When it freezes, the screen stays on but everything is completely locked up. Most recent freeze I noticed the display freeze a good 10 -15 seconds before the CDROM stopped reading and accessing data on the install disc. (ie: computer was "froze" but CDROM still seemed to be operating). Then it too silenced and stopped working.

    Any ideas what could be wrong? I know this had the BGA issue, but from what I have ready, that presents itself with different symptoms and issues, no? (Namely, NO video at all, or artifacting).

    Dustin

    edit: I will add that I tried running the machine with only the onboard RAM, same issues. Also tried with an without the AirPort Extreme card installed, same results as well.
     
  2. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #2
    Open it back up and make a very careful examination of the connector where the HDD cable attaches to the logicboard.

    I got an iBook off a friend here and it had the EXACT same symptoms you describe. My friend likes iBooks and he's been in and out of them a lot so he had no problems taking it back and examining it. Turns out that one of those times he was inside this particular iBook to do something with the hard drive he managed to tear the HDD cable connector up from the logicboard just enough to cause this issue.

    Once it's been ripped up from the logicboard you're done if you want to continue using the HDD.

    Ended up buying my daughter a new iBook G4 (14"/1.42Ghz) for $40.
     
  3. dustinschings thread starter macrumors 6502

    dustinschings

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2015
    #3
    You mean the "port" on the board where the HDD ribbon cable connects may have come off the board? If this were the case, wouldn't the laptop actually just not boot instead of freezing randomly after a couple minutes? Either way, this was free aside from the HDD cable I ordered. While I would love to use it, I may keep it for spares. As you mentioned the 1.33 and 1.42 GHZ models are pretty well priced at the moment on eBay. Now if I could find one with a box for a good price.
     
  4. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #4
    I'm not familiar with the logicboard on an iBook. They really aren't my thing. My friend just said that the connector where you plug the cable in (on the logicboard) had partially separated from the logicboard. That led to intermittent contact. Which led to the same type of thing you are experiencing.

    I tried multiple times to install Leopard and it froze multiple times.
     
  5. dustinschings thread starter macrumors 6502

    dustinschings

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2015
    #5
    Hmm. I will have a look again and see if this is the case. I may be able to apply some heat to re-melt the solder. For now it sits on my shelf.
     
  6. RhianB macrumors 6502

    RhianB

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2016
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM USA
    #6
    I was thinking that. I had an old pentium3 laptop many moons ago that was dropped of the kitchen table (cables plugged in), tearing the USB ports off the mainboard. I re-soldered them on and it kept working for years until the monitor died around 2005ish. To help keep things in place when the port was in use, I hot glued the sides to the mainboard which I think helped in terms of long-term durability. This thing was a real brick though (think white prop laptop from Frasier's cafe nervosa) so I had some space to work with. Hopefully you have some space in the ibook too.
     
  7. dustinschings thread starter macrumors 6502

    dustinschings

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2015
    #7
    Got an iBook G3 the other day and I tried booting the G4 with a battery finally (with and without the charger connected). Computer still freezes after 5-10 minutes. Laptop still does not get even a little bit warm before shutting down.

    I am afraid it is probably dead at the logicboard level. I will keep it for parts as it is in great shape.

    Anyone know if this model will hold the late 2005 logicboard (in other words, is a logicboard swap possible for anything other than the 800MHz model board?)
     
  8. catzilla macrumors 6502

    catzilla

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2013
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    #8
    It still could be heat. if the heat sink isn't making good contact with the processor it won't get hot, but the processor will.
     
  9. dustinschings thread starter macrumors 6502

    dustinschings

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2015
    #9
    I will rip it open again one of these days and check the clearance between chips and heatsink, as well as repaste.

    Is there a command I can input into Open Firmware to check if the fan is operable? I never see or hear it spin, but that I have assumed is that the laptop does not get even warm. I would like to rule out a bad fan.
     
  10. flyrod macrumors 6502

    flyrod

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2015
    #10
    What if you try to run it off an external firewire drive? There are temperature reporting programs that should give you a temperature for the GPU and CPU. If these are getting hot it could be your problem. Is the fan stuck?
     
  11. dustinschings thread starter macrumors 6502

    dustinschings

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2015
    #11
    Fan not stuck. I do have an enclosure with a Firewire interface. I could try and install Tiger to that drive and see if it runs from that. (Would have saved me $ on the extra HDD cable that wasn't actually bad).
     

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