PowerBook G4 15in Woes...

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Gamer9430, Nov 26, 2015.

  1. Gamer9430 macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

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    Apr 22, 2014
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    Central New Jersey, USA
    #1
    My PowerBook G4 15in 1.25GHz has been having a bunch of issues sadly. The issue is that it keeps freezing at random, most of the time without a KP. I've swapped the RAM multiple times to known working sticks, formatted the drive and reinstalled Leopard and Tiger, did a PMU reset, opened it up and unplugged everything and plugged it back in, and lastly I did a PRAM reset (which seems to help for a little while longer than normal). The only diagnostic task i haven't done is try another HDD. Anyone have any ideas? I really like this machine... It's the perfect size! (although I'm typing this from my 17in, which feels really nice :D)

    Also, happy thanksgiving to all the US people here!
     
  2. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

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    Jan 13, 2013
    #2
    Reflow? I had this issue on 'stair drop tested' 17" PB. I think it was a bad logic board.
     
  3. Gamer9430 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

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    #3
    I have no clue how to reflow anything. If I do, I'd give that 15in MacBook Pro a reflow as well to see if it gets fixed as well.

    15in Mac laptops don't like me apparently...
     
  4. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

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    Jan 13, 2013
    #4
    Preheat oven to 400*F. Remove all meltable plastics, stickers, etc. Place the board/part on small, pea sized tin foil balls on an oven pan. Place in oven for 10 minutes. Remove, let cool for 15, then repeat. After the second reflow, allow it to fully cool for 30 minutes.
     
  5. Gamer9430 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

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    #5
    So basically I just have to get down to the bare board? Also, my oven currently has convection bake mode broken, so would regular bake/convection roast work?
     
  6. MacCubed macrumors 68000

    MacCubed

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    #6
    I would think the oven was already taken up by thanksgiving dinner lol
     
  7. Gamer9430 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

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    #7
    Na, my grandparents' is though ;)
     
  8. LightBulbFun macrumors 6502a

    LightBulbFun

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    #8
    one thing to add to keatons comment is make sure the BGA chips (the CPU GPU etc) are facing upwards so they dont fall off the logicboard during reflow... (when I reflowed my Logicboard I didn't put it in twice I just preheated the oven to 400F slapped it in there for 6.5mins then turned off the oven pulling it out letting it cool then slapped it back into my MacBook pro and it worked LOL)
     
  9. Gamer9430 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

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    #9
    So basically it's super heating it for the components to essentially melt off the board, and when it cools, they reattach?
    God help me, LOL
     
  10. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #10
    No, the solder.

    The older the LB gets the more the solder tends to harden and crack which then means the LB stops working properly.

    "Reflowing" is essentially to heat the board up enough that the solder melts again and "reflows" back to the way it's supposed to be.

    If you're melting components then you've destroyed the LB. ;-)
     
  11. catzilla macrumors 6502

    catzilla

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    #11
    I would try a repaste first, it sounds like it is overheating. I fixed a PB G4 Arctic Silver.
     
  12. mikiotty macrumors 6502

    mikiotty

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    #12
    Have you tried running it with only one stick of RAM, switching between the two slots?
    A lot of G4 PowerBooks (mine included) suffered from one of the RAM slots failing and causing a lot of different problems (including freezes).
     
  13. Gamer9430 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

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    #13
    Yup, I have done that. It makes no difference sadly. It still freezes regardless...
     
  14. Gamer9430 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

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    #14
    I can try that, being that I have to take the entire thing apart to cook it in the oven. Doesn't it use a thermal pad though?
     
  15. cw48494 macrumors regular

    cw48494

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    #15
    Make a linux live cd, jump into a live session and see if problem persists; If the problem ceases, it's likely to be HDD related.
     
  16. MacCubed macrumors 68000

    MacCubed

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    #16
    Did you test the RAM in your 17"?
     
  17. Gamer9430 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

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    #17
    The RAM came from a known working ThinkPad, so that definitely wasn't the issue...
     
  18. catzilla macrumors 6502

    catzilla

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    #18
    IIRC, it uses both. The processor uses paste and the other chip under the heat tube uses a pad.
     
  19. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #19
    Sounds to me like either the CPU or GPU is reaching critical temperatures and locking the machine up.
     
  20. Gamer9430 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

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    #20
    Here's an update... I swapped around a known working HDD into it. I tried booting Leopard Install, and it froze. I then tried Tiger and I made it through installing and setting it up without freezing. I even restarted it several times because of updating and it still was ok. I didn't have it fully screwed together, so I shut it down, put it all back together, and booted it up. Once I got to the desktop, it froze... I forced it off and rebooted and it froze again right between the Welcome to OS X loading bar finishing and the desktop environment loading. I'm at a standstill now with this machine because I simply can't figure out what's wrong with it. Luckily, a fellow member has offered me a parts PB (exact same model), so I'll see if we can work something out and I can replace the boards, since that's what I'm thinking it is now that I've tested the RAM, HDD, and booting off a disk, as well as TDM. The temperatures are not hot at all (from what I can tell by touching the bottom plate since I can't look that Temp Meters or anything). If anyone has any other suggestions besides reflowing, feel free to share them! Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  21. RedCroissant Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    #21
    I think that definitely sounds like a LB issue that I think is better solved by either replacing the LB or by attempting a reflow (which I don't like doing). I'm against reflows because the solder does get old and start to prevent proper functioning of the components, but I don't think that reflowing is the proper way to go about it. The proper way would be to pay someone to completely re-solder the board with proper solder (but that would be prohibitively expensive I think).



    Just remember that removing the LB will require you to reapply thermal paste.



    How much RAM do you have now? Does the PRAM battery still work? Does your battery still hold a charge?
     
  22. Gamer9430 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

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    #22
    I'm kinda against the reflow idea as well being that I've never done it before and I don't trust myself too much.

    I have plenty of thermal paste, but I don't have any pads, so I have to find some other method or buy some.

    Finally, I have 1GB of known working RAM installed. The PRAM battery still works fine. And the battery is broken. It has something I call 10hr syndrome since both my 15 and 17in machines have this issue. It thinks it's going to take 10hrs to charge, and 10hrs to discharge. The discharge could be 30 minutes at most, but most of the time, the battery slowly drains while it's plugged in 24/7, but because the battery reports back wrong, the computer doesn't charge it back up.
     
  23. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #23
    Just a thought. I'm sure you've checked, but is there any possibility the hard drive cable/socket is damaged/torn?

    RedCroissant gave me an iBook G4 some time ago. Kept freezing during HD access (like what you describe). Turns out that the HD socket on the LB had partially torn loose from the LB. At that point I just bought my daughter a new iBook off eBay.

    In any case, something to check. You might also check the HD cable. My own 17" PB is freezing every once and a while. The only reason it'd be doing that after I bought it last year is from something I did. And the only thing I did was swap out a hard drive. Had a little trouble with the cable. So my plan is to check it when I get to it. Just haven't done it yet.

    Just an option to look over (try a different HD ribbon cable if the sockets look fine) before a full on LB replacement.
     
  24. Gamer9430 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

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    #24
    Good idea! I've had issues in the past with interface cables across various machines, so with my luck, I'd bet that's it as well. I'll have to check.
    Thanks for the tip!
     
  25. RedCroissant Suspended

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    Aug 13, 2011
    #25
    I completely forgot about that and that's a very good idea and I hope that's all it is!
     

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