iBook - 5th Logic Board Failure - what would you do?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by mashcigar, Feb 27, 2007.

  1. mashcigar macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2007
    I purchased the infamous G3 iBook in June 2003. The logic board failed on the following dates, each time resulting in a call to Apple Care and arrangements being made to replace the logic board:

    June 2004
    July 2005
    January 2006
    October 2006
    February 2007 (current issue)

    Beginning with the third problem, in January, 2006, I escalated this at Apple Care. I asked for a replacement laptop at this time, and was told they would like to replace the logic board again. I had several friends whose iBook's were replaced (at the time with the G4 iBook), so I knew this was not a replacement was not a terribly unreasonable request. I asked what would happen each time when it failed again (as logic would suggest it would), and was always told "we will see, certainly this is an extreme situation."

    In October, when it failed, I sent an email to Steve Jobs. Someone from his "office" called me right away, arranged another replacement, which I reluctantly agreed to, and was told that was the best they could do, but to call him back directly when it happened again. So this time, I called him back, and someone else called me back. Apple is offering (and made it clear that ALL they can offer) is $200 off of a new macbook.

    This is unacceptable to me, is this reasonable to anyone else in the community? Someone hit me with a reality check here, because $200 is not compelling to me...
  2. nazmac21 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 25, 2007
    Digital World
    They should just give you a MacBook.:D What revision was that iBook G4 because last revision (1.33 and 1.42 Ghz) models did have this kind of problem. Those iBook G3s had the most problems than any other Apple computer.
  3. mgargan1 macrumors 65816


    Feb 22, 2003
    Reston, VA
    Maybe you're leaving something out of the story?

    Did this machine ever have apple care?
  4. EvryDayImShufln macrumors 65816


    Sep 18, 2006
    File a complaint with customer protection or whatever it's called. This sounds like a CLEARLY defective product to me. I like apple, but when a logic board dies 5 times there is obviously something wrong and it's obviously not your fault. They should give you a product that this would not happen again to at the least.
  5. mashcigar thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2007
    mgargan1 - I bought the machine refurbished from an auth Mac reseller, with Applecare. The logic board replacements were always handled under the "iBook Logic Board " repair program. I am not leaving anything else, the timeline above is exactly as this has transpired.
  6. Killyp macrumors 68040


    Jun 14, 2006
    Apple Care are complete idiots. I love Macs, and the OS is fantastic, but Apple really doesn't do themselves any favours by having a worse support team than Dell or any other PC manufacturer I've ever had to deal with (yeh yeh only about 4 others).

    Apple Care have been giving me hell when it comes to getting my MacBook Pro repaired, although they've swapped the logic board now and it's much better. However, they have been a real pain :(
  7. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    I can understand why you would be annoyed about this........but on the other hand, you're talking about a 3.5 year old computer that if it weren't for the "logic board" repair program, they would be saying "sorry! you're long out of warranty so there's NOTHING we can do for you"

    maybe you can ask them to throw in the applecare extended warranty in addition to the $200 discount? that would give you a pretty good discount on a new machine
  8. munckee macrumors 65816

    Oct 27, 2005
    I've got a similar G3 iBook that I purchased used (no AC). It's on its fourth logic board since I've owned it, and I'm pretty certain its dead again. My brother has been using it and is supposed to be sending it to me to deal with at some point soon.

    I'd love to raise hell about it and get a new machine, but I can't see them going for it. Wonder if this qualifies under the lemon law? Same issue more than 3 times?

    Either way, it's been put through the paces.
  9. mgargan1 macrumors 65816


    Feb 22, 2003
    Reston, VA
    you should call up customer service, and be firm but respectful. You need to stay strong, and tell them that this is unacceptable, and that you would like a new machine.
  10. mick4394 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 25, 2006
    Flyover country
    What problem does the logic board have? Is it the classic G3 iBook video problem?
  11. CrackedButter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2003
    51st State of America
    This is the best piece of advice given so far...
  12. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    no, it's not. The machine may be 3.5 years old, but the owner is entitled to keep it as long as he wants. Computers don't last forever, but this isn't a normal old-age issue. This is a clear defect, and the OP deserves to have it resolved satisfactorily. Ideally, the way to do that is to have them fix the ibook so that he gets what he paid for, but since Apple seems incapable of doing that, they need to do what it takes to make this right. In this case, that may mean a new macbook, or perhaps a refurb ibook G4.
  13. mick4394 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 25, 2006
    Flyover country
    I agree with you, and I think it would be perfectly reasonable for them to offer him a refurbished G4. We know they have them. They still pop up on the refurb site, and we know they don't have the reliability problems that the G3s had, so this would be a work around for the problems that the OP has had.

    I say this assuming that the OP is having the logic board problems that are widely known to be design issues with the G3 iBook (the G3 video problem). If these problems could stem from abuse, something like problems that would be caused by power surges, I don't think they owe him anything.
    That being said, I have heard nothing that makes me think the OP is killing his machine. I just think there are reasons that Apple could have for telling him to take a hike.
  14. mashcigar thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2007
    Just to clarify, it is the standard, known ibook logic board video issue. My wife has used the laptop around the house to surf, pay the bills, etc. Apple is not disputing what the issue is, they are just being firm in what they are able to provide, and have not budged off of this. I want this computer to last because Apple has not been willing to replace it, believe me. I would much rather NOT be in this position.

    I have 2 friends who did get a new G4 as a replacement on their 3rd logic board failure, I guess I let that lead me to believe that at some point, this is what Apple would offer. Back in October, they told me the logic board had "just been redesigned" and this would be a permanent fix. This has proven to be bull shittake. They have proven that with this computer, they cannot permanently fix the problem.

    I am leaning toward taking them up on a $200 discount on a MacBook, but it still doesn't feel right to have spent $1000 on a laptop and now have it be a totally dead machine less than 4 years later. And to answer the suggestion to "be firm" and insist on a new computer, I have tried this route, I am escalated to the highest level I can other than miraculously get Steve Jobs on the phone himself, and am being told anything beyond a $200 discount would not be acceptable to Apple.
  15. mick4394 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 25, 2006
    Flyover country
    Be aware, even as a broken machine, your iBook has resale value. List it as-is on ebay and you can walk away with a nice chunk of change, especially if it has an Airport and the original software and box.

    Getting some good cash for your broken iBook may be the only hope you have for this thing. If you walk away with a couple hundred bucks, plus the couple hundred that Apple will give you, you can get into an entry level, refurb, CD Macbook, for next to nothing (relatively).
  16. ramoose macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2007

    Am having the same problem in the last 3 months 2 logic boards replaced.
    This unit is the 1.42ghz and is still under apple care warranty. Going to give them a call to get this straightened out as I live 1 hour away from the apple repair shop tired of paying for the shipping.
  17. Sir Hobos macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2007
    The Streets
    don't sell those computers!

    Don't sell your computers, unless you want to sell them to me:D. I have received all three of my ibooks via people who think that their computers are dead and they don't want to spend 10 minutes looking online to find a solution to their problem. I ask, do you have any problems opening your ibooks? if not then you can go to ifixit.com and get the instructions to disassemble your computer down to the logic board. Once you can get to the logic board you have to fix it.

    If you have a G3 it is most likely the chip labeled ATI.

    If you have a G4 it is most likely THIS chip.
    I say most likely because there are many chips on the board that could be dislodged.

    Once you find the chip you must make a shim, I used tag board. tape the shim together and place it on top of the chip(if you have any questions about size look at the link for the G4). You want your shim to apply a little bit of pressure onto the chip to reconnect it to the logic board.

    Put your computer back together. When you put the metal panel back on you should see a little bump where the shim is.

    Start your computer. You should hear the chime, and instead of hearing the fan go on you should see your desktop. If you have no video and the fan goes on try a larger shim or different chip.

    Now you can run your computer like this, but if you would like a more solid solution than a shimmy you can take a heat gun to the logic board and melt the solder on the chip that holds the shim back. Although I must warn you, heat guns are not toys, they can seriously melt your computer's logic board and if you don't think you can do it, then just use shims.

    Now you just turned a $75 paperweight into a $300-700 computer.

    SO we now know how to fix our computers, lets try to think about why this problem occurs. Ill give you a hint: You don't hold your ibook like a book. Ill be back tomorrow to see what people are ranting about.
  18. filmgirl macrumors regular


    May 16, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    From your timeline, it looks like you got a year out of the first logic board - and since then, you have had to have it replaced almost every 6 months. That's ridiculous. How are you expected to get any use out of a computer (even if it is 3.5 years old) if you have to send it off twice a year and deal with the repair headaches?

    I guess is Apple really won't budge and give you a G4 (and as others have said, you know they have them) - the $200 off is better than nothing - but at that rate, if I were you - I'd be tempted to say "screw you" to Apple all together. The hardware is inherently faulty. Age isn't relevant because this is a problem that was intrinsic in the design and was there from the beginning. I understand that they don't want to give you a brand new machine - but they should at least either meet you halfway price wise or give you a G4. It only seems fair. This isn't the case of a machine having three or four distinct problems and the customer then whining 4 years later that they want something new (which is how they seem to be treating it) - this is the exact same problem, 5 times - a problem that was an acknowledged design issue and a problem that ultimately caused them to have to redesign the logic board on the proceeding models.

    What state do you live in? Perhaps you have some sort of consumer rights built into your state laws (certain states do) that could get you an adequate replacement. I would try telling them they can pay for half of the lowest end MacBook plus AppleCare and that you'll pay the other $550 (if that is reasonable for you) and see if they'll settle that way.
  19. ramoose macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2007

    I just talked to apple care about my daughters ibook still not working properly as in the last 3 month have replaced 2 logic boards. She told me to take it to a service center and if it is still the logic board they will replace it with a macbook 2.0 ghz 13" 1G mem 80 gb hd NO cost. I f we want to upgrade we can discuss that then.
    Her reasoning is it is not cost effective to replace the logic board a 3rd time
    We will get back 6 months apple care cash and will make sure apple care is on the new one. Sweet deal
  20. imagesandideas macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2007
    They won't do anything for me

    Mine has gone twice and when I called Customer Service they told me that the "extended warranty" on the logic board problem is up. They changed it twice but if my computer is clearly one of the "defective batches" shouldn't they do something. I even explained that I would be happy if they would fix it but they still said no. How can I get this resolved? Who should I call and if they say "no " again what should I tell them? Thanks

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