Repairing iBook G3 graphics card reflow soldering

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by poiihy, Sep 12, 2014.

  1. poiihy macrumors 68020

    poiihy

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    #1
    I have one of these iBooks that has bad graphics card soldering. Usually the display doesn't turn on at all but by pushing around there I managed to get light and image.

    I thought the iBook was not repairable and better just to recycle it or sell for parts.

    I've looked around on the internet and found out you can fix this by heating up the graphics card and try to reflow the solder. In the first article I read, the person put a hot candle or flaming thing on top of the graphics card for a while. In other articles they put aluminum foil around the graphics card, put solder on top of the card, and use a blow torch on low on it. When the solder on top begins to melt you stop torching it.

    I do not have a blow torch. I do not have a heat gun, but I do have a 220 volt hair dryer, but it is weak on 110 volts and wouldn't make enough heat.
    I do have isopropanol alcohol that I can use to soak a tight bundle of cloth and put on top of the card. I also have a lighter. And solder.

    So what would be the best way to do this? In all the articles/videos i've seen about this they always put the ibook upside-down (graphics card facing up) when doing it. Can I have the graphics card facing down, and then use a lighter to gently heat it up under it? Or does it have to be facing up?

    Another thing, it has no hard drive, so i have direct access to the other side of the logic board under the graphics card.

    ----------

    Here is the heat gun version:
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Fixing-the-infamous-iBook-screen-problem/
     
  2. poiihy thread starter macrumors 68020

    poiihy

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    #2
    Ok i suppose this silence means my idea is correct so ima give it a try when I can.
     
  3. n0cus macrumors 6502

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    Jul 16, 2012
    #3
    I don't think you want the graphics card facing down. It will separate from the board due to gravity. The heat gun will probably do the trick. Cover the rest of the board in tin foil as this will protect other components from separating from the heat, we only want the graphics card to reattach itself. I am surprised no one responded to this thread, the PPC forum is usually nicer than this.;)
     
  4. Zotaccian macrumors 6502a

    Zotaccian

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    Apr 25, 2012
    #4
    You should remove the motherboard from the machine, put some tinfoil under the motherboard and then cover area around the video chip with tinfoil, one layer is not enough or at least I recommend that you have 2-3 layers. It also critical that the motherboard is even (if that is the word, english is not my main language) because when you heat up it so that the solder melts it may move slightly and then you are screwed because fixing it would require reballing which is much harder and needs proper equipment.

    You should heat the chip to around 240C for some time. As far as I know temperature should not be risen too quick or this will cause tin to "explode". I once long time ago tried solder a laptop, it might have been iBook G3 and I put the heat gun the setting which I decided was the max. Heated the chip some time and bam, shrapnels everywhere :)
     
  5. poiihy thread starter macrumors 68020

    poiihy

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    #5
    Sadly i don't have a heat gun :(

    What about a soldering iron, can i touch a soldering iron on some aluminum on top of the chip?

    ---------------
    is it really the graphics chip? Pressing on the chip doesn't really do anything. If it did have bad soldering, I would think pressing it would get it to work.
     
  6. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    Location:
    Inside
    #6
    A soldering iron won't provide enough heat to properly fix that problem.
     
  7. n0cus macrumors 6502

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    Jul 16, 2012
    #7
    Oh yeah, it is most definitely the graphics card. This problem is very common on these computers. Apple actually had a free repair program for a while. This method isn't recommended, but i guess it is worth a shot. Good luck!
     
  8. JohnnyH1012 macrumors member

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    Jul 12, 2014
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    New Jersey, USA
    #8
    Poiihy, might I ask what model ibook G3 this is you're talking about.
     
  9. poiihy thread starter macrumors 68020

    poiihy

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    #9
    700MHz/256MB/30GB/COMBO

    Memory was upgraded to 512MB long ago

    I took out the hard drive when i disassembled it and I put the hard drive in an external case. This hard drive has broke (clicking) already :( so I don't have a hard drive for it.

    The logic board was replaced before by the apple logic board replacement program, but it broke again.



    The soldering iron has seemed to help a little so I am roasting it more for a while.

    If the iron does not fix it then I may do the big fire thing at the end.

    ----------

    Oh another thing
    I have a 700MHz ibook just like the guy in the article about using candles
    But my graphics card looks a little different. In his article his card is half the size and the other half has two memory chips. My card is a square and occupies the whole area. it doesnt have those two chips.
    His is a mobility radeon 7500c but mine is just a mobility radeon.
     
  10. n0cus macrumors 6502

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    Jul 16, 2012
    #10
    They made several 700MHz iBook G3s with different graphics card options. I hope the soldering iron works for you, as the fire method seems a bit more risky.
     
  11. poiihy, Sep 14, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2014

    poiihy thread starter macrumors 68020

    poiihy

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    #11
    I left the soldering iron for a while on it and it hasn't helped. Removing the iron from the chip, I can still touch the chip. I've heard it needs to get up to 210℃. No where near that. :( Looks like i'll have to put a giant flame on it.

    Well i do not have pure alcohol....

    I don't know what to do now, I don't want to invest money into something obsolete that may not work and can get a replacement for cheap or even free. Probably best thing to do is scrap it and sell parts. :'(
     
  12. n0cus macrumors 6502

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    Jul 16, 2012
    #12
    That is something you sometimes have to do with old computers.

    R.I.P. poiihy's iBook G3
     
  13. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #13
    You can try the oven trick...
     
  14. n0cus macrumors 6502

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    Jul 16, 2012
    #14
    This is true. Here is a Lifehacker article on it. It is absolutely worth a shot, as you have nothing to loose. I totally forgot about the oven trick. Thanks Altemose!
     
  15. poiihy thread starter macrumors 68020

    poiihy

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    #15
    But using an oven would melt all solder and the components will fall off...
    ............and I don't have an oven.......
     
  16. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #16

    Not always. Most of the time when done properly it fixes the problem. Look into how baking a video card is done.
     
  17. poiihy thread starter macrumors 68020

    poiihy

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    #17
    This is one of the reasons why I hate/don't-like laptops. If this was a desktop then I could easily swap the video card.
     
  18. n0cus macrumors 6502

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    Jul 16, 2012
    #18
    This is absolutely true. You win mobility, you lose repairability.
     
  19. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #19

    I have done numerous HP DV6000 (Nvidia) in my oven at 385 F for 7.5-8 minutes all with great results. It is key to replace the thermal compound in this procedure.
     
  20. weckart macrumors 68040

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    Nov 7, 2004
    #20
    Is it also true that baking causes toxic substances to leach from hot surfaces and attach themselves to the oven walls contaminating anything cooked susequently? In other words, you are going to sacrifice an oven to save a bit of money.
     
  21. n0cus macrumors 6502

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    #21
    Maybe a toaster oven?
     
  22. LightBulbFun macrumors 6502a

    LightBulbFun

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    Nov 17, 2013
    Location:
    London UK
    #22
    Reflowed a 2007 MBP

    Well I can Vouch for the Oven way of reflowing working as they other Day I decided to reflow the Logic Board of my Failed 2007 MBP I removed as meny stickers and stuff from the motherboard and Baked it in a Pre heated oven to 195C (383F) for 10 minutes or so and it worked a treat heh I was very happy. Im sure the same will work for you (see if u can use some ones oven) :apple:
     
  23. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #23
    I am guessing you also replaced the thermal paste and removed the fans. Those are the common misconceptions when reflowing boards.
     
  24. LightBulbFun macrumors 6502a

    LightBulbFun

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    Nov 17, 2013
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    London UK
    #24
    Well Yeah I removed every thing that i could including thermal paste from the GPU CPU and Chipset And how could some one forget to remove the fans lol? the MBP works lovely its just very beaten up but every thing still works altho it needs a HDD
     

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