iBook G4 died.... what to do?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Dan76, Feb 4, 2008.

  1. Dan76 macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2008
    My iBook G4 1.2GHz died, presumably because of a small machine screw I discovered that had shaken loose from inside.

    At first the computer would just lock randomly, and the display would freeze up with vertical lines. The freezing became more frequent over a couple of days, until finally the computer just refused to power up at all. I attempted to reset PRAM and PMU to no effect.

    Now when I attempt to power on there is no chime. I hear the optical drive crank and hard drive spin up, but the screen does not light and there is no further drive activity. The machine is then totally unresponsive unless I reset the PMU again, which then only lets me try to power up again with the same results.

    I pulled the hard drive and placed it into an enclosure, it works fine.
    Power is getting to the hard drive, optical drive, and keyboard (caps lock light toggles).
    Neither the LCD nor external display will show anything
    The AC adapter and battery are known to be working, and the symptoms are the same from either power source.

    I figured the logic board must have went bad, presumably thanks to that loose screw bouncing around and causing havoc. I can do my own repairs, so I ordered a replacement logic board off eBay. However, after a smooth replacement the iBook exhibited the EXACT same symptoms, except that occasionally the LCD backlight would power up with the replacement logic board.

    It appears I have a lemon replacement board from my eBay seller, but my question is whether anything else could caused these symptoms. I can't imagine what that would be though. Any ideas?


  2. Reflow macrumors 68000


    Mar 30, 2005
    Did you ever find that loose screw inside the machine? That would be my first thing to do. To me it must have shorted something out.
  3. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    The only other thing I can think of is maybe you had the computer on mute before it was last shutdown so no startup chime. So you could try an external display to see if that may work, just to rule out a bad LCD.

    But I'm hedging my bets on a lemon board.
  4. Dan76 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2008
    The screw was visible immediately as soon as I uncovered the ram shield, so I got it out, but the problem continued. IF that was what caused the problem, the damage was permanent.

    The original board was definitely not muted, as it would chime before it completely stopped working. I can't be sure how the replacement board was set though.

  5. Sawtooth811 macrumors 6502


    Oct 18, 2007
    Alsip, IL
    Take your iBook Back apart, and smell around the motherboard. Make sure there is NO Burnt plastic smell arount it. If it is, then you're SOL.
  6. jmlawson macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2008
    Ibook G4 Test

    This is my first reply on Forums. I hope not to step on anyones toes. It sounds like your Ibook has the"Solder Reflow" problem on the motherboard that Apple says does't exist. My understanding is that with many power-on and power-offs, the warming and cooling of the motherboard cracks the solder joints on some of the chip sets. Sometimes the cracks can be repaired by "reflowing" the solder. It costs about $50 to have done, once the motherboard is out of the computer.
    I have "tested" for this problem many times and it has been right-on 80% of the time. I take no responsibility for problems to your Ibook! It is a risky method! Squeeze to the left of the track-pad very hard. (I use a small C-clamp with rudder pads.) Power on the Ibook. Try it several times. If you get a partial or full boot, I'll bet that is the problem. I hope this helps.
  7. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Jan 1, 2007

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