Powerbook blues

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by jeffstclair, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. jeffstclair macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    #1
    Hi I have a well used G4 powerbook that has a problem. It started a few weeks ago and then as if by magic it was fine ,yesterday it came back some times if I tilt the screen it clears for a bit then it break up again anyone had this? is it the screen or the connection between the computer and the screen?any clues.... jeff....
    [​IMG]
     
  2. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #2
    It's the screen. Possibly the LVDS cable, but most likely the screen. The PB I am typing this on had that happen shortly after I got it. I replaced the LVDS cable which royally messed up the cover of the LCD (I'm not good in really tight spaces) and the problem came back. So, I replaced the entire LCD with the hinges and it's worked fine since.

    Look on eBay for your model of 17". Try and find dead or "broken" makes that have working screens. Then swap out the screen.

    Note that this is a BIG procedure. You have to move parts, although fortunately not the logicboard. If you are not comfortable with working inside your Mac (there is an iFixit guide for this procedure) then you might find someone (or a repair shop) to do it. Apple won't as these Macs are out of the service period unless you have a really late model. And Apple will charge you big for it.

    On eBay, watch out. There are vendors simply selling the screen, not the bezel and the back for $300+. I got my screen for $80 because it was removed from a dead Mac.

    You want EVERYTHING. Bezel, back, screen, all as one unit, including the hinges. You can probably sub parts from your current Mac if you have to, but if you can get everything in one go you'll be better off.
     
  3. jeffstclair thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    #3
    Wow thanks for getting back to me so soon , Like you say this not a current model ,but it has been a work horse and don't owe me a penny. Later I will hook it up to another display and take anything important off it .I think I will put it aside and wait for another screen or a" for repair" powerbook on ebay
    It's strange that if I tilt the screen some times it clears for a few seconds so do you think it could be the cable connecting the screen and not the screen itself? ... thanks for your imput ....jeff....ps I live in a tiny village in the hills on the island of Crete .. so this has to be a DIY repair....
     
  4. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #4
    It could be the cable. At the back of the LCD, right behind the Apple logo is where the video (LVDS) cable plugs in. The cable is routed through the hinge to the logicboard. What happens is that over time it chafes with all the lid opening and closing. That can wear the cable.

    But replacing just the cable is really, really difficult. The LCD cover is connected to the screen by a series of very small (and sharp) hooks.You have to wedge a spudger or something similar in between the bezel and the back cover to pop the hooks. And you have to do it slowly, so it's time consuming. Once you get a small section off you can slide it a certain way to disengage the hooks. You'd think all you'd have to do is remove those two screws on the front side of the LCD, but nope, that isn't the way it works. You do have to remove them. But you have to also be careful here as they can strip. Getting them back tight again when they've been stripped is impossible.

    The problem is that the hooks are actually small strips of a tin type metal. They are glued on to the inside of the back cover. So any over exertion of pressure can actually rip the strip of hooks off the inside of the back cover. There's a certain way to do it, but it was my first time and I completely messed it up. If you mess it up there's no real way to get the cover back on and flush (and secure) like it is to begin with.

    Once you have the cover off, you can replace the cable. But it's getting that back cover off that's the problem. Once you get through all that though, there is no guarantee that it was the cable. You can go through that whole freaking process only to find out that it was the screen. So, then you have to replace the screen. Are you going to also take back out the good LVDS cable you just put in?

    It's a gamble. I lost, because even after replacing the cable the screen only worked for a short while. I also had a screwed up bezel and there were gaps between the cover and the bezel you could drive a truck through. So, I replaced the entire thing.

    Since this seems to be a DIY project then, go over to iFixit.com, find your model and look at the guide for screen replacement. It's involved, but it's not difficult. You just have to be comfortable working inside the Mac. You'll also want to pick up a set of Torx wrenches and possibly a spudger.
     

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