iBook G4 boots but no image on screen but able to access to open firmware

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by liwuen, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. liwuen macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2010
    Hello everyone. I have a question and hope someone is able to help me.
    I have an iBook G4 which was working fine. A week ago my little sister used the laptop :mad: and now I have the following problem:

    a) The laptop boots because I get the boot chime, but the screen keeps black.
    b) I connected an external monitor to check if the problem was the laptop monitor. When I start the computer, I get a gray screen (in the external monitor), but no apple icon :)apple:) and cannot pass from this gray screen.
    c) I noticed that the caps lock light was not turning on, so I accessed the open firmware (keeping hold the power button - getting a weird chime and a light flashing near the case button - power chime ) and I got the open firmware screen :D (still in the external monitor) and I noticed that the keyboard was not working also! I connected an external keyboard (usb) and I am able to type. :D

    I know I won't be able to use it as a normal computer because of this weird problem. I was thinking to keep it as a "desktop" with the external monitor and the external keyboard. My questions in this case are:

    a) Is it there any way I can boot from cd from open firmware? (I cannot do the "keep the 'C' key hold during start up" because my laptop keyboard does not work.
    b) Because I get the open firmware console, could this be a OS problem? What I mean is that if I reinstall the OS, could I at least keep using this computer as a desktop?

    Hope someone can help me.:( Thank you!

    Li wuen
  2. 666sheep macrumors 68040


    Dec 7, 2009
    a): type

    boot cd:,\\tbxi
    in OF

    b): I doubt. As it's iBook G4, those symptoms most likely are indicating faulty logic board/graphics chip. Even without HDD at all you'd be able to get video on screen. It's OS independent.

    What are iBook's specs? It has infamous R9200 32MB graphics chip?

    I don't want to accuse your little sister ;), but maybe she spilled something on iBook? Non working kbd would match this.
  3. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

    Jan 20, 2010
    Also, holding down the C key on the USB keyboard should work... works for me!

    Good luck getting it all figure out!
  4. raysfan81 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2009
    North Carolina
    Yes that is most likely the problem. I have seen DIY ways to fix it around on the internet but I dont know if any of them work.
  5. LordSeth macrumors newbie

    Aug 9, 2010
    I had a similar problem, although my keyboard and screen kept working.
    I figured out it might have been a HDD problem, as the drive didn't spin up when I switched the iBook on. So I took the iBook apart (did that before on various occasions) and disconnected and reconnected the hard drive and made sure it's connected properly. Et voilà, haven't seen open firmware again since. =)

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