iBook about to die?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by miloblithe, Mar 3, 2005.

  1. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    With about 6 more months of graduate school ahead of me (stupid summer class), I'm hoping my 3.75 year old 500Mhz iBook will last me until I am once again gainfully employed. I can't afford a new computer right now.

    In the last couple days, the screen on my iBook has twice suddenly gone very dim for no apparent reason. The display was still working, but the image was barely perceptible, like the screen is on the lowest brightness setting. However, it wasn't the brightness setting as brightness was set to maximum. When I tried to change the brightness with the keyboard the screen remained dark (also meant the computer wasn't sleeping). However, after closing the lid and reopenning the computer, the screen was back to normal.

    Does this seem like a bad sign? Is my reliable little iBook on its last legs? Or is this just computer quirkiness that I should expect out of an old laptop?
  2. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    Can be things like "the motherboard problem" or simply a bad connector to the screen... I would use it as long as possible and be as careful as I could with the screen, chances are that, apart from the occasional "black-out" it will work fine over the summer... be sure to have backup of all your data, though... ;)
  3. wwooden macrumors 68000


    Jul 26, 2004
    Burlington, VT
    I think it might be the connection to the screen. I had that exact computer and sometimes it would go dim. But if i moved the screen just a tiny bit or gave it a nug, it would go back to its normal brightness.
  4. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    You most definately have the "90 degrees and BLACK" problem that plagues many iBooks. There's a bunch of threads over at Apple's Support forum for this problem. I think it's a simple fix. The display wiring (and the Airport wiring as well) are snaked through the fancy hinge and into the screen bezel. Over time, the constant opening/closing of the lid will put considerable strain on these wires and cause them to fail. I had this problem on my iBook and Applecare took care of it. Now, my Applecare is expired and I'm having similar problems (instead of a dim screen, I see purple/blue flickering on my screen) that can be solved by "jiggling" the screen. Also, the backlight seems to go a little dim (not completely black) from time to time.

    Do a search over at Apple's board and see what others have done.
  5. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    miloblithe or wwooden, i hope i can help

    being a computer tech, i have noticed this as a weakness in many laptops...the connector from the motherboard to the lcd sometimes gradually gets unplugged through the constant motion of opening and closing the laptop day in and day out over a course of years

    unfortunately the only way to fix this safely is to have a certified technician take apart your machine and reconnect the cable until it is tight again...you cannot do this from the outside of the machine...i know, it sucks and it's an issue with my pc laptop i have had from 1999

    i cannot open up my lcd screen a full 90 degrees or else the image will flicker, get darker, or even black out...so i have to make do with a screen that opens up to a 80-85 degree angle so i have to prop up the laptop in front about a half an inch in order to get the best viewing angle

    another possibility is that the small battery on your motherboard, probably a lithium sony battery, is about to die out...again, it takes a technician or service center to replace the fifteen dollar part and due to labor, it will cost you over a hundred dollars...and i know, that too sucks

    if you have any specific questions, you can PM me here

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