12" PowerBook G4 Screen Issues

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by LOLZpersonok, Jun 11, 2014.

  1. LOLZpersonok macrumors 6502a

    LOLZpersonok

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    Calgary, Canada
    #1
    My 12" PowerBook G4 that I ordered about two weeks ago came in yesterday, and when I started it for the first time yesterday, the screen graphics looked distorted. After it ran for a little bit, it went normal.

    I started it today and it did the same thing, but while booting, it gave me a kernel panic on the strange graphics. Then, I powered it off and now it won't turn on because the battery is dead and I can't charge it with no power adapter.

    What it looked like was the Apple logo and everything else was somewhat fuzzy and it looked like everything was divided with lines. I'm not sure how else to describe it.

    I did some reading and it might be the display cable, and I'm hoping it is. Because I'll be quite unhappy if it isn't.

    Any ideas as to what this is?
     
  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #2
    That could be a failing GPU. If you can get it to boot by holding down Shift to start it in Safe Boot, you may be able to find out if the GPU is failing or not by reading the logs. I've come across a few of them that failed in this manner.
     
  3. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #3
    Could be the cable, could be the LCD. But, the details you give indicate to me it's the cable. After running it for a while it tends to work out, until you move the LCD. Pinching in the hinge and all that.

    The problem though is that unless you're really good, it doesn't matter if it's the cable or the display. The solution is the same - replacing the LCD.

    You can replace the cable, but like I said you've got to be really good. The LCD lid attaches with sharp little hooks on the inside. Getting it off without ripping the hooks off (they are strips glued to the inside of the lid) is really challenging.

    I did this and ended up with a FrankenMac for awhile until I replaced the LCD.
     
  4. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #4
    Not sure why you would think that a bad display cable is a Good Thing™…
    There's very little about the 12-inch PB that is an easy fix.
    As eyoungren hinted, you really need to be sure about what you do inside.
    I think I'm pretty stubborn about working through a problem until I fix it. A 12-inch is the only Mac that I got halfway back together, and had to put it away for a couple of days, because of my frustration with the "puzzle-box" that is the 12-inch PB. (Maybe it was just me :D I think spilling my parts tray, scattered for about 20 feet radius had something to do with that, too … )
     
  5. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #5
    Those little 12" Powerbooks are fun and easy to take apart. Even more fun when you get dropped into the previous person's desk after he quit and there's four of them in one box fully torn down. (He had a window stand desk that overlooks the river. [Sucks for him. {Weeeeee, curly brackets! <My desk now.>}])
     
  6. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #6
    So that is why Intell knows every specification, location, and part on the 12" Logic Board :eek:
     
  7. LOLZpersonok thread starter macrumors 6502a

    LOLZpersonok

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    #7
    Do you think I should just contact the seller? I looked at a repair guide on iFixit and now I'm actually quite scared. (Just so you know yesterday after the issues subsided I was using it for a couple hours and I never had any issues, even when closing it a couple times and readjusting the screen angle)
     
  8. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #8
    They were the workhorse where I work for four years. Still have heaps of them in the warehouse. I'm not as good with them as I was in the past. They've been out of the field for almost a decade.

    First try to get it started again in Safe Boot.
     
  9. LOLZpersonok thread starter macrumors 6502a

    LOLZpersonok

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    #9
    Alright, but I won't be able to do it for another couple of days, as I won't be able to have a power adapter until Friday.
     
  10. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #10
    What are the terms you got the PB on? If it was sold to you "AS IS" of "for parts or repair" then you probably don't have much recourse.

    Replacing the LCD can be done. I've done it. I broke two parts and had to open the damn thing three times (a hacksaw was involved at one point - don't ask, it was a long night and my brain had checked out) before it was done but my wife has had a solid Mac since then.

    It's a complete strip. Everything in that bottom pan has to come out, including the logic board. Once you get to that point you realize that the only thing holding the LCD to the bottom case is two small screws. It was quite disppointing to realize then that the only thing keeping the LCD from falling over was my own hand.

    But if you take it slow and work methodically you'll be fine.
     
  11. LOLZpersonok thread starter macrumors 6502a

    LOLZpersonok

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    #11
    The laptop was sold as working and in good condition. It even had two stickers on it that say "working". I think I want to speak to the seller...
     
  12. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #12
    And I thought the 15" was bad to remove the display. The Logic Board comes off, but even the speakers come out on the 15". And that is why I love my 15" and not a 12".

    Though, I do ask how a saw came into use for a computer.

    I don't trust people, I would rather take the gamble on a Goodwill Mac than deal with some schmuck selling something on eBay that probably was noted as defective before hand. Those stickers could be a ploy. However, if it is an honest seller, he could of just gotten the machine, loaded OS X and tried it for a little. That means the defects may not show right away.
     
  13. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    I recommend contacting the seller. The worst that can happen is they say no.
     
  14. LOLZpersonok thread starter macrumors 6502a

    LOLZpersonok

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    #14
    I used it yesterday, and even though it did it during bootup and for a little bit while it was running the OS, it stopped and I rebooted it a couple times, moved the screen and closed it several times and it never did it again. It only did it again today, after it was sitting all night and day. I emailed the seller just now and I'm waiting for a response.
     
  15. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #15
    Was this a personal or commercial seller? There are great people who post great things on eBay, but sometimes a lemon happens to the best quality control... Heck, even brand spanking new Retina MacBook Pros ship with image retaining LCDs :eek:

    Feel the situation out. If he is willing to cooperate then go ahead and return it. If he isn't at least try to get a partial refund to afford the parts that it will cost to fix it.
     
  16. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #16
    Well…allright, it went something like this. Mac arrives (LCD replacement got to my house first). I start breaking it down around 6pm on a Friday night. By 5am I am ready to go to bed. In between I had to break it down again because genius me did not get the connector that is UNDERNEATH the logicboard back in right!

    I've also taken the top case off three times at this point because, hey, who knew? That heatsink on the CPU seems to be important. BTW, the 12" will run oh, about 15-20 minutes without the heatsink before thermal shutdown. Did you know that? Well, I found out.

    So, around 5am I've got it all back together, but because I'm so smart I've got a few screws in the wrong place. One of those screws is really long and hey, it went through the logicboard when I tightened it and now it's poking outside the bottom case where the RAM cover screws down. F-it I say and go to bed. I get up about three hours later to try again and since I REALLY don't want to open this case again I try a hack saw on the end of that screw in the hope that I can hack enough of it off that I can get the RAM cover back on. I'm still so damn loopy from lack of sleep that all I achieve is scratching up the bottom case. Thankfully, my wife doesn't really care all that much about being able to read all that FCC logo info and model info and stuff Apple puts on the bottom case. Anyway, I wisely put the hacksaw away and reopened the case to set things right.

    …and that's when I broke one of the keys off the keyboard and stripped the Sleep Light wire out of it's connector!

    eBay has buyer protection and their customer service is great. They protected my wife from some ******* who tried to scam her over a $12 trinket. Guy got her unlisted cell number at one point!

    eBay took care of it.
     
  17. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #17
    The problem is that eBay is always with the buyer which is good in situations like this. But the other hand is that you can get screwed over so easily that not even a hacksaw can fix!
     
  18. LOLZpersonok thread starter macrumors 6502a

    LOLZpersonok

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    #18
    Does anyone have any ideas how I can get power to it without the power adapter? I want to test it very badly but I can't because I have no adapter for it. I will likely get one on Friday, but I can't wait until then, I'm far too antsy, it gives me headaches and I will end up thinking about it all night. Also, I looked on websites to see if they have any universal power adapters I could buy in store, and it looks like to me that there are none that will work with this PowerBook.
     
  19. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #19
    Ever own an iBook? Despite being a lower wattage it will run the machine. Short of that, don't try to splice or jerry rig an adapter. I am pretty sure eBay won't take claims on computers that have been blown up.
     
  20. LOLZpersonok thread starter macrumors 6502a

    LOLZpersonok

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    #20
    I wouldn't try creating an adapter. I have no skill in that. I'm pretty well aware that an iBook adapter will work with a PowerBook G4, and I heard from someone that an iBook adapter will still charge a 12" PowerBook G4. I really don't want to wait until Friday (I know it sounds mega dumb) but I have an extremely impatient personality with certain things like this and I become physically ill because of it. But I don't think there's anything I can do about it though.
     
  21. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #21
    Actually I said false information. The 12" shipped with a 45w adapter like the iBooks. I was thinking of the 15" model. Been a long night trying to find parts for all these Macs: power adapters, cords, hard drives, RAM, batteries, etc. It all blurs together after two hours of searching eBay and other online shops...
     
  22. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #22
    Do you have any other Macs lying around with power adapters?

    The old Titanium Yo-Yo's are 45W, have the barrel plug and would serve. I wouldn't try with any PC adapter unless it shares the same type plug.
     
  23. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #23
    And voltage...
     
  24. LOLZpersonok thread starter macrumors 6502a

    LOLZpersonok

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    #24
    I'm going to try and convince my friend to give me the adapter tomorrow. I'll wait until then and update the status of this issue.

    ----------

    I don't think there were any PC adapters that used the same plug, but I can very obviously be wrong here.

    ----------

    I have a PowerBook G3 Pismo that I got literally a couple days before getting the PowerBook G4, and even though its power adapter is the same shape it is much too big to fit in the PowerBook G4. Wattage matches though, it's 45 watts.
     
  25. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #25
    I am not sure but even if one was the same voltage and wattage, I wouldn't trust it...

    I bet that pains you that the G3's adapter is too big yet the same shape as the G4s. Trust me I know the pain of having a new toy and no charger.
     

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