PowerBook acts weird (EDIT: Works for now, GPU solder failure)

Zotaccian

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 25, 2012
637
2
So, my PowerBook is having problems. I watched a video using YouView when all of sudden video hanged while audio continued. Tried to quit but no help.

Powered off and it booted to blue screen. The OS was running in the background because I could adjust brightness and volume. I managed to boot once in safe mode and fix permissions. Then I tried booting normal again, blue screen etc. Now I'm not sure if it is able to boot even in safe mode.

PRAM and SMU (or SMC whicever it is) resets done.


Nvidia chip failed?


EDIT: OK it booted to safe mode fine again.

EDIT2: And now normal mode has background but extreme beach balling, no dock, icons etc.
 
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Zotaccian

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 25, 2012
637
2
Forgot to mention that in safe mode I checked with Smart Reporter, says the drive is OK. I tried swapping RAM, see if it boots now.

It booted to blue screen, no background wallpaper or anything else.

EDIT: and it seems to boot into blue screen with different ram as well.
EDIT2: seems like it is blue screen without any ram, too.
 

Intelligent

macrumors 6502a
Aug 7, 2013
924
2
Try an Apple Hardware test, put in a your grey CD should be something like "PowerBook G4 Software Install and Restore" and holt alt, you will see Apple Hardware Test there..
 

Zotaccian

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 25, 2012
637
2
I don't have those discs, I have Tiger retail discs and I'm trying to install Tiger at the moment but it seems that the optical drive does not like the disc 1, which is indeed bit scratched. I have two functional Macs and I guess I have to go the USB route and with Leopard.

EDIT: No, I think there is no need to go USB route, I cancelled the installation and when I restarted, pressed the key to get the disc out I saw that there are display artifacts on the screen where it display the question mark so it means that the GPU and/or VRAM have failed.

I still have fully working 1GHz model which I'm trying to sell so maybe I could go back to it again, swap parts to it. I could also try to reflow the chip but I might end up damaging it even more. Good thing is that it is the PB which has the least value of my machines, both usability and monetary :)
 
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harrymatic

macrumors 6502
Dec 30, 2013
331
20
United Kingdom
It certainly seems that there is some problem with the GPU and its memory. The thing you have to remember about reflows is A: they're usually not permanent, but also B: it's already broken, so you have nothing to lose! :)

I would advise against my regular method of baking the board in the oven; instead go with the heat gun fix that people used to do on the iBook G3s.
 

Zotaccian

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 25, 2012
637
2
Yeah, I just recently bought soldering station -thing which has heat gun and temperature can be adjusted, but I haven't really studied how to use it. I have infrared thermometer but I am not so sure about its accuracy.

I could of course try. I started to disassemble, I will atleast take the HDD out.
 
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Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,872
368
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That is a failed GPU. The 12" Powerbooks like to cook their GPUs. I've had to replace dozens of logicboards because of this. I did put the dead-ish ones to good use in the server room at work. Most of these dead/dieing GPU Powerbooks lasted another 7 months or so, then completely died.
 

Zotaccian

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 25, 2012
637
2
I will try tomorrow.
Still it's shame since this is the best model of 12" PowerBooks.
 
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Intell

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Jan 24, 2010
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I've never attempted to reflow a 12" Powerbook. They were always seen as disposable where I work.
 

Zotaccian

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 25, 2012
637
2
Well I tried reflow today and atleast when cold booted there are no artifacts.

Also I need better way to measure temperatures. The reflow station has ability to adjust temps by 1 celcius steps but I would need to know what are temps on the chip surface. My infrared thermometer I now have cannot be trusted. Do you have any experience of thermocoupling sensor or something like that, Intell? I googled some time ago and it is basically a sensor attached to a cable and that sensor can sustain very high temperatures and give accurate readings what the temps are where the sensor is attached to?

The problem now is that sometimes artifacts only appear after the chip heats up and now we have problem for testing that, as far as I can tell both of the springy things broke off and I have figure out way to connect the heatsink properly with G4 chip. I assume G4 does not have any kind of thermal protection like Intel CPU's now and back in the day had?
 
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Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
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I don't have proper experience to share with reflow stations. I think G4's have a built in throttle or at least the model I'm that Powerbook. There really isn't away way to reattach the screw mounts onto the logicboard.
 

Zotaccian

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 25, 2012
637
2
OK, well it works now (writing this message by using it) and temps were around 50C for the CPU after some use. I reapplied thermal paste.
 
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Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,872
368
Inside
The only air intake just under the machine on the left is a weak point of the 12" Powerbook design. They do tend to burn out if used on something like a bed or pillow that covers the air intake.
 

Zotaccian

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 25, 2012
637
2
Yeah.. Too bad I did not clean optical drive lens since it is very unreliable, it couldn't read reliably even scratch-free disc, often making noises like these drives do when they have difficulties reading the disc but the installation was surprisingly successful. Disc one it could not read at acceptable speed so I had to result in USB, as far as I know this can only be done for disc one with Tiger because it expects that you really have disc 2 in drive after it reboots first time?

EDIT: And I also forgot to connect the hall effect sensor or whatever it is called, it should not be difficult.
 

harrymatic

macrumors 6502
Dec 30, 2013
331
20
United Kingdom
Is that so?, You should try a-

Nevermind.. :D
I actually own a 2013 MacBook Pro, and don't get me wrong - it absolutely smokes my old PPC machines (I still use them for specific things like Adobe CS4 which I no longer own the disks for), but there's something about the proportions and size of the 12" PB that just seems right in every way.
 

Zotaccian

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 25, 2012
637
2
Great work getting it going again! I really love the 12" PowerBooks, probably my favourite Apple portable to date.
Well it remains to be seen how long this thing actually works :)
Without being certain about the temperatures reflowing is basically about luck. The machine has at least worked since the reflow and I have turned it off and on couple times, even watched video with YouView. Repeated heating and cooling is what breaks the solder connection so it might very well be that if I use the machine whole day it works fine no matter what I do, but after I power it down for several hours and try powering on again it fails.

Hard drive temps seem very high to me??

 

Intelligent

macrumors 6502a
Aug 7, 2013
924
2
I actually own a 2013 MacBook Pro, and don't get me wrong - it absolutely smokes my old PPC machines (I still use them for specific things like Adobe CS4 which I no longer own the disks for), but there's something about the proportions and size of the 12" PB that just seems right in every way.
It was a joke, You're allowed to like anything you want! :eek:
I was referring to some events in the past.
 

Zotaccian

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 25, 2012
637
2
This is related to OS X installation but it seems I cannot enable second mouse button, when I tap the touchpad with two fingers it does not do it, also when I place two fingers on touchpad and tap that doesn't work either.

The hard disk had OS X 10.5 and it seems that all or at least most my apps were preserved but could it be that some configuration files were left too and are now conflicting? Scrolling with two fingers works OK.
 

Zotaccian

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 25, 2012
637
2
Seems like I'm missing that whole feature in System Preferences :confused:

There are settings for two-finger scroll, pointing and dragging etc. but not for secondary click.