Powerbook G4 15 Screen Issue

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by macnerd93, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. macnerd93, Jan 17, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2014

    macnerd93 macrumors 6502a

    macnerd93

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    #1
    So yesterday I just bought a 1.25 Ghz PowerBook G4 15'' for £25 on ebay. It was so cheap, but yes it does two issues.

    Firstly about 1/3 of the bottom of the screen goes grey in colour sometimes according to the seller. I assume this is either a bad cable or just a failing display? (See attached image for what it looks like from the seller) Anyone know whats causing that? I have heard screen flicker and white flashes can be common on these PowerBook with cabling which comes lose as a result of the hinge. I was going to replace the entire display since a company here sells brand new replacements for the PowerBook.

    Second is a simple problem just a bad Superdrive which is an easy fix. Might also get a new top case just to neaten it up a bit. Guess it depends on condition when It arrives, but for £25 I can't complain and its gonna be a great addition to the collection.

    I'll hopefully get it working fully and can put Leopard on it

    Thanks
     

    Attached Files:

  2. micahgartman macrumors member

    micahgartman

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    #2
    The display issue could be caused by either a faulty video card or a failing LCD panel. To determine which it is, attach an external monitor to the PowerBook.

    If the grey band appears on the external monitor, it's a video card issue. If it does not, the LCD is the culprit.
     
  3. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #3
    This is good advice. If the LCD panel, it's most likey the LCVD (data) cable from being pinched in the hinges. Replacing that is hard, unless you're really good at getting back panels off (the LCD back panel has tiny, vicious hooks).

    I'd just replace the entire LCD.

    If it's the video, then it means it's the logicboard. There is no video card. The video is a chip on the logicboard. So, fixing this then would mean replacing the logicboard.
     
  4. macnerd93, Jan 17, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2014

    macnerd93 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    macnerd93

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    #4
    ah well I guess its just a bad display then :) The seller said using an external monitor with it works. I imagine if it was a bad GPU then this occurrence would be all the time? Said in the listing sometimes it works fine and then sometimes it just appears on screen. if it turns out to be the logic board well I only paid £25 for it so its not a great loss, i'd sell it for parts instead.

    I assume this is what is causing the problem? http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Apple-15-...ther_Computing_Networking&hash=item4d04139d93

    I'll have to wait for it to arrive next week to do my own testing on it
     
  5. micahgartman macrumors member

    micahgartman

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    #5
     
  6. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #6
    Maybe it's because I am not dextrous enough, but I replaced the cable on my 17" PowerBook once. I completely ruined the attachment mechanism.

    First you have to get to those two screws in the bottom right and left of the display. If you can get to them and get them out without stripping the fasteners inside the LCD then that's one.

    Two, there are a series of metal strips inside the LCD back cover. These strips are glued on to the cover and they have a really nasty number of hooks that keep the LCD back locked down and in place. If you can disengage all the hooks without ripping the metal strips off the back of the LCD you are dextrous enough. This will involve pushing, sliding, a spudger and an infinite amount of patience. I ended up cutting the back of my hand pretty good because of these damn hooks. They're sharp.

    Three, the cable still needs to be fed through the hinge. So, you're ultimately going to have to take the display off anyway just to get access to the screws and to route the cable through the hinge.

    Four, you have to do all of this AND be careful that you do NOT damage the Airport antenna cable that is routed completely around the bezel. AND, you have to make sure to get it back in place right when you put it all back together.

    If you can manage all that and make it look like you never did it, then you are either very good or a professional.

    I completedly f*ed up my try at it. Ended up replacing the screen entirely later on. Much easier.
     
  7. macnerd93 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    macnerd93

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    #7
    I have a lot of experience on upgrading and repairing various Macs, but never a PB G4 though. So maybe a new display in its entiraty would be the best option?
     
  8. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #8
  9. macnerd93, Jan 17, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2014

    macnerd93 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    macnerd93

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    #9
    Does the display assembly have to match the desired PowerBook model code? Mine is an A1046, but would one from a A1106 Powerbook fit on mine or is this wired different?

    I ask just because on iFixit it shows for display upgrades that display the assembly is compatible with either a 1Ghz, 1.25, 1.33 or 1.5 GHz 15'' alumnium models. The much later 1.67Ghz revision seems totally different though as different screen res

    So I assume if I buy the A1106 assembly it should work? I won't be buying from iFixit to expensive for such an old machine, but it gives me an idea.

    http://www.ifixit.com/PowerBook-Par...-1-25-1-33-1-5-GHz-Display-Assembly/IF154-012
     
  10. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #10
    I don't think the display so much matters, but Apple tends to change connectors. So, while it may work, if Apple changed the type of connectors you may not be able to get it to fit.

    This is one prime reason that on the 17" 1.67Ghz DLSD for example, you cannot switch LCDs with the lower res version of the 1.67ghz model. The connectors are different.

    I'd suggest just doing your research to see if the connectors look the same.
     
  11. Hughmac macrumors demi-god

    Hughmac

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    #11
    I second that - when I bought a whole top assembly for my A1095 15" PowerBook (I thought the hinges were broken and it seemed easier than stripping it down as eyoungren found out), I found the cable was different.

    Luckily when I started to remove the display housing I discovered the hinges were actually just loose and with some screws missing, but getting to said screws to tighten them was painful in every sense!
    The clutch cover is still bent from my efforts but at least it the hinges work properly now.

    Anyway, nice score on the PowerBook - mine cost about the same with a half functioning keyboard and floppy display, and when I got inside it was full of dried up mud.

    Cheers :)

    Hugh
     
  12. macnerd93, Jan 17, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2014

    macnerd93 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    macnerd93

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    #12
    Thanks :D

    What was the difference in connector? By any chance was that replacement LCD assembly you got from the higher resolution display PowerBook? I think the improved display ran at 1440x900. It was essentially the last revision of PowerBooks before they were discontinued in 2006.

    From what I can gather online from iFixit any display assembly will work on any of the following models (1Ghz, 1.25, 1.33, 1.5 GHz) So I am guessing that which ever I buy be it an assembly from an 1.33 Ghz model or an assembly from the 1.5Ghz model that they should work on my 1.25Ghz PowerBook? As long as I do not buy a last generation Rev E 1.67Ghz Model LCD assembly with the improved display. This seems like its the revision of PowerBook which uses a different connector, but Can anyone confirm this?

    much appreciated
     
  13. Hughmac macrumors demi-god

    Hughmac

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    #13
    I'll go up in the loft tomorrow and have a look for numbers on it, maybe upload a pic for you.

    Cheers :)

    Hugh
     
  14. macnerd93 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    macnerd93

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    #14
    thank you very much, really appreciated
     
  15. Hughmac macrumors demi-god

    Hughmac

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    #15
    Sorry, I forgot :(

    I've just been up and checked my spare screen.
    I'm afraid there are no marks or numbers whatsoever on the cable - all I know is that it's not compatible with the A1095 1.5 GHz PowerBook. The Airport and bluetooth cables are different too.

    uploadfromtaptalk1390085361795.jpg

    uploadfromtaptalk1390085401504.jpg

    uploadfromtaptalk1390085428521.jpg

    uploadfromtaptalk1390085463650.jpg

    uploadfromtaptalk1390085497328.jpg

    Anyway, hope this helps...

    Cheers :)

    Hugh
     
  16. macnerd93, Jan 19, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2014

    macnerd93 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    macnerd93

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    #16
    Thank you for the pics it may help. Looking on iFixit at a teardown of my model the connector for the data cable looks much longer in width than the one in your pictures is that why it didn't fit? Otherwise they do look identical. I spotted one on ebay for an A1106 model with a chrome connector I assume this would fit


    Thanks
     
  17. Hughmac macrumors demi-god

    Hughmac

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    #17
    If you're going to change the superdrive why don't you strip the top case off anyway and have a look inside?
    The cable you linked to on eBay looked very similar (without taking mine apart again) to the one on my A1095.

    In the next few days I will be putting a superdrive in my A1106 1.5 GHz PowerBook, so I'll have a close look at the video cable when I get inside it.

    Cheers :)

    Hugh
     
  18. macnerd93 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    macnerd93

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    #18
    Thanks, after much research I am thinking an A1106 wouldn't work as I have looked on everymac and this is a model with bluetooth 2 rather than my model which uses 1.1. So I Guess anything model A1095 or less is what will work with on mine.
     
  19. Hughmac macrumors demi-god

    Hughmac

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    #19
    Ahhh, hence the difference in airport / bluetooth connectors :)

    Cheers :)

    Hugh
     
  20. macnerd93 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    macnerd93

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    #20
    So guess this is where the issue lies, but it looks like I may have to get an A1095 assembly or less model from America. Once the PowerBook does arrive (next week) I am gonna give it a check inside. I mean there maybe is even a slim possibility that a connector has come loose not making contact properly and there is actually no problem just to make sure before I buy a new screen.
     
  21. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

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    #21
    I have exactly the same issue on my PowerBook 15'' 1.5Ghz. Grey or black or jumbled portion on the bottom couple of inches of my screen.

    [​IMG]
    (image copied from OP)

    Moving the screen back and forth to exactly the right place fixes it temporarily, as does using both hands to slightly bend the screen on a diagonal. Clearly a pinch in the cable somewhere.

    From reading the above posts, installing a new cable is clearly beyond me, however I'm going to open this PB soon to install a new PRAM battery.

    Any advice from anyone on what screws I could adjust to try to ease the pinch? Perhaps I could try wriggling some cables slightly?
     
  22. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #22
    There's really no way to solve this, short of a new cable or new display. The problem is that once pinched the cable is compromised. It works sporadically, but there's really no way to repair the cable.

    The pinching is something you just can't control. It's a gradual over time, sporadic thing. There's no screws involved really. The cable goes through the hinge and frame. It's the action of the hinge that can pinch things.
     
  23. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

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    #23
    Mmm. OK thanks. I'll just try wriggling the screen cables slightly - push & pull a tiny bit when I open it up for the PRAM battery replacement. Might make it worse, might help. Hopefully that will move the stress point to a different part of the cable.
     
  24. joepunk macrumors 68030

    joepunk

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    #24
    For years my PB has been working like magic. Except for the time when I had to get the screen replaced twice (first for white spot then a week after that the backlighting went dead). And a dead hard drive.

    Now I am getting mostly the black screen and lots of static like from an old TV. Temporarily fixable by adjusting the screen like RedTomato does or by restarting.

    I think it's more than just the screen because I've had a video playing when it all goes black and the sound stops. When I adjust the screen and it comes back to life the video was still playing though now more choppy for a bit.

    I think it started because I put the PB in the other way in it's tight protective sleeve for the first time yesterday. :(
     

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