ibook g4 backlight problems

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by dmiller40, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. dmiller40 macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2008
    I purchased a used ibook g4 a couple of days ago. It has work perfectly except today it has seemed the backlight has gone out. I contacted apple tech support and they were no help and told me to go to the store. I go to the store and they were no help and told me to buy a new lcd for $700.

    $700!!!! they didn't even really look, he turned it on and said "yep you need a new lcd". I have done some reading and it looks like it could be the logic board or inverter cable. this is my 1st mac and I've only had it 3 working days. this is very frustrating. I'm looking for the exact problem.

    So... i turn it on it flickers and i see some color and then it goes black and starts to boot, flickers color and screen again then boots and i can barley see the screen but i can see the dock at the bottom. I can close the lid and let it sleep, open it back up and it flickers i can see the entire screen w/ color and it goes black again.

    I have tried holding option and it goes to the selection menu but is still black. I have not tried to boot to a cd but will in the morning. What is the real problem? Why does apple not care it looks like this is a known problem. How can i fix it and i don't mean spend $200-$700 to do it!!!?

  2. chipchen macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2002
    They don't hire the "Geniuses" like they used to. I know that for a fact.... I used to be one.

    It's likely the inverter board. Costs about $20 off ebay.... I might even have one. You can check ifixit.com for instructions on taking it apart.

    If I were you though, I'd call up the guy you bought it from. I mean... you bought it like a few days ago. If it were a month... I'd be like... that's bad luck. But 3 days?... that wouldn't be acceptable to me.

  3. dmiller40 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2008
    I got it for a really good price, I't pretty much in new condition they never used it. I feel it was given to me in good condition... it's just my bad luck... anyway I watched a youtube video of replacing the inverter board, and wow, thats a lot of dismantling.

    Is there any way to be sure what it is before I start. I've read about the inverter cable i think but it sounds like it has probs when the monitor is moved and thats not my issue. Also this seems to be pretty common why couldn't apple have checked a little bit and said ok it bla bla. Instead of turning it on and saying "yep its broke you need a new lcd"

    thanks for your help
  4. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601


    Sep 16, 2007
    Northeastern Ohio
    Can you move the screen at different angles? Does it affect the screen at all when the angle is changed? I'd ask the person you bought it from about it and possibly a refund. I'm sure they knew "something" was wrong and especially if you bought if for less then $300 is an obvious clue too. Changing the inverter isn't really that difficult either.

    There's 4 torx scews holding the back cover of the LCD on and you will have to remove some tape at the bottom and remove the old inverter. It will be kinda tricky though because they used double-sided sticky tape underneath the inverter and stuck to to the back side of the LCD bezel. Just be careful prying it up.
  5. dmiller40 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2008
    I watched him try to sell it for awhile and nobody was going for it. It was an ibook built for lingraphica. I believe it's a hearing disability. Any way it was his grandma's and she never really used it. Moving the the screen does nothing, the only time there is a difference is when it wakes from sleep.

    Anyway i got it for $200, and it worked great for 4 days. With this issue I'm not sure how he could have hid it, it never flickered or anything. But i dont want a refund i want it to work. I watched this video and it looks like a lot of work. Are there some steps i could skip here?

  6. GlassOgnion macrumors member

    Sep 10, 2003
    Quebec, Canada
    There could be 4 possible issues with your problem. The inverter board, the reed switch cable, the backlight or the motherboard section that powers the inverter.

    The reed switch cable if often the culprick cause it has 2 very small wires passing through the right side hinge to connect to the bottom side of motherboard. Opening and closing the display will cut one or the 2 little cables after a while so you still get video on the screen but no light. G4 iBook Reed switch cable is available for + - $15 on ebay. Often you get the inverter board and the reed switch cable in the same auction. Swapping the inverter board or the reed switch cable is a big job it means you have to dismantle the ibook and the display. Apple charge $700 because they don't bother to open the display and swap a cable, they replace the whole display.

    If you're technically inclined I would say go for the DIY reparation if not you could only buy a used complete display on ebay for $75 cause it's it easier to only replace the whole display. You could then resell the LCD panel, the plastic cover and the display bezel on ebay.

    Good luck...

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