Success! - PowerBook G4 Titanium 15" Repair Thread

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by AphoticD, May 23, 2018.

  1. AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
    #1
    DSC_0071.jpg
    I have recently acquired four PowerBook G4 15" Macs which all need some work;
    • PowerBook G4 Titanium 667Mhz - This is our honorable donor. Currently not booting. There are a few missing resistors on the logic board near the power input preventing the board from powering on. The display assembly appears to be OK, as does the Combo drive. It is externally in pretty good shape.
    • PowerBook G4 Titanium 400Mhz - Cracked frame. Broken off chunk of frame at the optical slot and non-working DVD-ROM drive. No sound coming from the speakers.
    • PowerBook G4 Titanium 867Mhz - snapped off display hinges, intermittent inverter and/or backlight. No sound from speakers.
    • PowerBook G4 Aluminum 1.0Ghz - cracked LCD panel.

    The goal is to repair them as follows;
    1. Move the donor 667's Combo drive into the 400Mhz Mercury for a working optical drive.
    2. Strip down both the donor 667 and the 867 to parts.
    3. Rebuild the 867 using the best condition parts from both machines.
      This will primarily involve moving parts from the 667 to the 867 to;
      - Replace the full display assembly.
      - Replace the LCD inverter.
      - Replace the top case assembly (palm-rest and frame).
      - Replace the internal chassis, which has snapped at the battery bay.
      - Replace the bottom cover (plus glue a missing foot back on).
      - Replace the display clutch covers.
      - Replace the speakers.

    4. Re-paste the 867 CPU and replace thermal pads during the process.
    5. Take the LCD panel out of the display assembly with broken hinges from the 867 (1280x854 resolution) and install into the Aluminum 1.0Ghz model (which was 1152x768 res prior to the damage).

    This should result in the following models (mostly) refurbished;
    • TiBook 400Mhz, 640MB RAM, 20GB HDD, Airport, Combo DVD/CD-RW
      - Still with cracks in the frame (glued together), missing chunk at the front and no sound from the speakers.

    • TiBook 867Mhz, 768MB RAM, 40GB HDD, Airport, Combo DVD/CD-RW
      - Fully functional. Near perfect condition with some minimal paint loss.

    • AlBook 1.0Ghz, 512MB RAM, 60GB HDD, Airport Extreme, Combo DVD/CD-RW
      - Fully functional. Some dents and scuffs, but otherwise A OK.
      (I have a bunch of 1GB PC2700 SO-DIMMs coming in the mail soon to bring this up to >1GB)

    Here are some photos of the four before I get started;

    DSC_0072.jpg DSC_0076.jpg DSC_0079.jpg DSC_0080.jpg

    I'll be posting updates (and photos) as the repairs come along... So stay tuned!

    -AphoticD

    :apple: :apple: :apple:
     
  2. AphoticD, May 23, 2018
    Last edited: May 23, 2018

    AphoticD thread starter macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
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    #2
    Step 1. Failed. The optical drives are not swapable. Drive A on the left is from the 400Mhz unit, Drive B on the right is the 667's. Not only are they different physical sizes, but the connectors are on opposite sides. The 400 can go back together and back on the shelf now. Maybe I can use the 667's drive in the Pismo? I'll try that after.

    DSC_0081.jpg

    EDIT: A little off topic, but the Combo drive works perfectly in the G3 Pismo. This is the first time I've had a chance to see DVD Player in action with the 8MB Rage Mobility 128 and it is surprisingly fluid on this old Mac.

    DSC_0084.jpg DSC_0085.jpg
    The fit is flush, but not perfect (as it's a slot loading drive in place of a tray loader). It would be nice to cover the gap below the slot, but I'll live with this for now.. Maybe I could cut out the bottom half of the original tray bezel and glue it on underneath the slot bezel. Disc Burning is recognized as expected.
     
  3. weckart macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #3
    I used a generic DVD-RW drive in one of my Pismos. They all fit except for the tray bezel. Finding one that fits the Pismo's curved bezel might be a tad tricky.

    I also have a 1GHz TiBook with a damaged LCD display. I have never managed to find a cheap enough donor screen for it.
     
  4. AphoticD thread starter macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
    #4
    Photo journal update Pt1.

    DSC_0081.jpg
    1. I decided I would simply transplant the logic board, HDD, optical, airport, ram, etc into the unit which has good hinges (the 667). This has eliminated some of the work involved in tearing them down completely. There are a few more areas along the frame around the wrist which have stripped patches of paint, but overall the 667 is in much better physical condition than the 867... So here is the first stage of the transplant; Open them both up.

    DSC_0084.jpg
    2. To release the logic boards from this tar-like green goop on the CPU, I ran them both from battery power for a minute or so to warm up once I had all the screws, connectors and internal devices removed (the power button's grey and black cable and the battery power input connection went back on for this). I discovered that the 667 logic board actually boots from battery power - but won't recognize AC power, even with a known working DC-in board. Once the back of the board was warm, I pulled the battery, disconnected everything and then the logic boards just easily lifted off.

    DSC_0082.jpg
    3. Here is the 667 logic board removed.

    DSC_0083.jpg
    4. And here is the 867 logic board.

    DSC_0085.jpg
    5. The green goop will be fun to clean up next. The 867 board is pretty badly caked in dust and will receive a thorough cleanup too.

    DSC_0087.jpg
    6. Here's a shot of the 667. They are both 7455 CPUs and both have 1MB L3 cache.

    DSC_0088.jpg
    7. This is a better shot of the 867 CPU pre-cleanup.

    DSC_0089.jpg
    8. For all intents and purposes, the 667 (DVI) model and 867 (last gen) appear to have a near identical internal layout. The first thing I noticed is the 867 has two fans (rear and right side), whereas the 667 only has the rear fan. This is the right-side fan from the 867 and the vacant placeholder frame found in the 667 sans-right-side-fan. To coincide with this difference in cooling, the heatsink in the 867 is longer, with a third (middle) pipe stretching across to the right side fan as seen in photo 4 above. I will also need to swap the heatsinks to suit this.

    DSC_0090.jpg
    9. Here's the Radeon Mobility 9000 (32MB) GPU found in the 867.

    DSC_0091.jpg
    10. And the Radeon Mobility 7500 (32MB) GPU found in the 667.


    It's worth noting that I have been lucky so far with this particular job because the 667 (DVI model) and 867 are so similar. If I had an Onyx 667Mhz unit it would have been a very different story.
     
  5. VanneDC macrumors 6502a

    VanneDC

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
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    Dubai, UAE
    #5
    wow, great mate, good luck. :D
    your taking it to a whole new level !! :D
     
  6. AphoticD, May 24, 2018
    Last edited: May 24, 2018

    AphoticD thread starter macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
    #6
    Photo journal update Pt2.

    DSC_0082.jpg

    11. The 867Mhz 7455 CPU beauty shot post-cleanup (For @LightBulbFun)

    DSC_0085.jpg
    12. And here is the 667mhz 7455 post-cleanup also.

    DSC_0086.jpg
    13. The transplant is well underway. Due to having to swap the heatsinks, I also need to remove the display hinges. So, the full tear down of both TiBooks did end up happening anyway. This gave me a chance to glue together any broken parts of the frame and chassis.

    DSC_0089.jpg
    14. Like this... The inner structural frame of the 867 was broken into 4 pieces. It all glued back together okay and went into the "for parts" unit with the 667 board.

    DSC_0087.jpg

    15. Here are the panels of the two TiBooks. I have removed the LCD panel from the display assembly which had the broken hinges (the 867). The panel is glued into the frame, so it's not the easiest job. Due to having to break the old glue (and then re-glue), I opted against swapping the front display bezel, so my 867 now has a Garamond style "PowerBook G4".

    DSC_0090.jpg

    16. The display assembly, heatsink and logic board swap is finally done. I figured I should put the 667 back together even if I won't be using it to save from losing all of the parts and screws.. Also, I mentioned earlier that it is booting from battery power, so I might pull out the soldering iron and take a crack at trying to repair the board and hopefully get it to recognize the AC.

    DSC_0092.jpg

    17. All back together and it boots! Here is the newly repaired PowerBook G4 Titanium 867Mhz (1MB L3 cache) with 768MB of RAM and a 40GB 4200rpm HDD installing Leopard via iPod 3rd gen (Firewire).


    (... To be continued)
     
  7. AphoticD thread starter macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
    #7
    Photo journal update Pt3.

    DSC_0094.jpg
    18. While Leopard installs, I begin to prepare the LCD panel, which will be installed in the Aluminum 1Ghz machine.

    DSC_0095.jpg
    19. Here the Albook's top display cover is removed and lifted back, revealing the panel, LVDS cable, inverter and Airport/Bluetooth antennae leads.

    DSC_0096.jpg
    20. Upon looking up the model of this display, it appears to have been originally poached from a Titanium (VGA) PowerBook and retro-fitted into the AlBook. All Aluminum PowerBook 15" models had a standard resolution of 1280x854, except for the DLSD, but this (cracked) panel was the 1152x768 unit, which started with the Mercury Titanium PowerBook G4. This machine also has an empty serial number recorded against the logic board, so I imagine it has also undergone a logic board replacement in addition to the display now being replaced for (at least) a second time... I've named this machine "RoadWarrior" to honor it's rough and unknown life history :apple:

    DSC_0098.jpg
    21. The Leopard installation finishes on the Titanium 867 and the intro video wooshes by without a sound... Audio is still dead. I can only appear to get sound out by plugging in headphones. I'll have to come back to this issue.

    DSC_0100.jpg
    22. Here is the lineup of our repaired machines. The 400Mhz Mercury model on the right didn't get a great deal of attention today, but I have a PRAM battery rebuild still to do for it and will continue to hunt down a replacement optical drive, as well as hopefully a new top case assy to replace the broken outer frame.

    DSC_0105.jpg
    23. The two Leopard machines are put through their paces with Geekbench.

    DSC_0106.jpg
    24. The Titanium 867 scores 546 - not bad at all. The L3 cache is at work here.

    DSC_0107.jpg
    25. The 1st generation Aluminum PowerBook G4, 1.0Ghz 7447 with 512KB L2 cache (zero L3), scores a healthy 634. Considering my 1.5Ghz PowerBooks typically score about 790, this is quite impressive.

    The AlBook received a 5400rpm 80GB HDD and is zipping along very happy. It also runs very cool and only spun it's fans during the peak of the Geekbench testing.

    The TiBook is also running cool and happy after finally completing Spotlight indexing and all of the software updates.


    In conclusion;

    Overall, the operation was a success! I salvaged 4 old beaten up and failing Macs, which otherwise would have been landfill, to make 3 working, healthy and happy portable PowerPCs.

    :apple: :apple: :apple:
     
  8. swamprock, May 24, 2018
    Last edited: May 24, 2018

    swamprock macrumors 6502a

    swamprock

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2015
    Location:
    Michigan
    #8
    I still need to attempt a panel swap in my 867. It's more for cosmetic reasons than anything, since the display assembly is badly bent. The screen works fine and the hinges are good, though. I do have a good screen assembly minus the hinges that I want to utilize for the procedure.
     
  9. AL1630 macrumors 6502

    AL1630

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2016
    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    #9
    Looks good! I still need to get a logic board for one of my dead 1Ghz Tis. Not too fun to take apart, but definitely easier than pretty much anything modern.
     
  10. AphoticD thread starter macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
    #10
    Cool. I can truly appreciate the design of the display assembly on the Aluminum ‘Books and pre-unibody MBP. It’s always a plus to be able to repair a machine by taking out a few screws and not having to crack a glued seal.

    Before this batch of repairs I took the time to replace a broken hinge on the Mercury 400. It required me to crack the glue down one side of the display assembly, remove the broken hinge and glue in the replacement. I then glued the front bezel back down on that side to finish it off.

    (I used a product of the USA called Versachem Quick set 2-part epoxy. Clear resin, 5 minute set time) :)
    --- Post Merged, May 24, 2018 ---
    Thanks @AL1630. I think it's going to be a bit of a rarity to find a 1ghz logic board.. PowerBookMedic has priced their 1Ghz Ti-boards accordingly (ouch!).

    Screen Shot 2018-05-25 at 10.05.28 AM.png
    As I've discovered, the machine body will take any DVI model (667Mhz+) logic board.
     
  11. AL1630 macrumors 6502

    AL1630

    Joined:
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    Idaho, USA
    #11
    Wow, they certainly have! The price difference between the 1GHz and 667MHz is massive!
     
  12. AphoticD, May 24, 2018
    Last edited: May 26, 2018

    AphoticD thread starter macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

    Joined:
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    Australia
    #12
    The saga continues....

    Not to be discouraged by a non-booting Powerbook, I consulted with my top-tier technical support (@LightBulbFun) to attempt the repair of the 667. With the aid of schematics for the Giga and 867/1Ghz models, we determined that one missing resistor was crucial to booting via DC-in. It looks like a previous technician might have been a little too forceful and accidentally popped off this little resistor. It is a 102K, but I was guided by Dez to try a 100K.

    Fortunately, a failed logic board from an iBook 700Mhz (PowerBook4,3) was ripe for harvesting this little resistor (marked with "104").. So I set out repairing the board...

    DSC_0082.jpg
    1. The original resistor's solder pad was snapped off, so I scratched back along the circuit to reveal the underlying trace to build a new pad upon.

    DSC_0090.jpg
    2. "Flux in a Pen" to the rescue...

    DSC_0089.jpg
    3. The new pad is in place (to the left of the "3") the existing pad (below the "7") is raised up with a little extra solder to begin.

    DSC_0091.jpg
    4. I found a "104" marked 100K SMD in a field of resistors on the iBook's board to poach from.

    DSC_0096.jpg
    5. After a little patience, the "104" SMD is now soldered onto our TiBook. Rough looking... but.. does it work?

    DSC_0097.jpg
    6. I connected a HDD, plugged in the AC and pressed the power button... The HDD spins and it sounds promising.. but I forgot to install RAM, so no boot..

    DSC_0099.jpg
    7. A 512MB PC133 SO-DIMM is installed and an external (HDMI) display is connected via DVI ... and It's Alive!!

    So now I have a working TiBook 667 without a display, missing display hinges and no optical drive... I guess it's back to hunting around for more parts to restore yet another old Mac!

    -AphoticD

    :apple: :apple: :apple:
     
  13. VanneDC macrumors 6502a

    VanneDC

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    Location:
    Dubai, UAE
    #13
    Exellent write ups and pics mate, bloody good show.

    Hopefully mine goes as swiftly as your repair voyage.
     
  14. AphoticD, May 24, 2018
    Last edited: May 25, 2018

    AphoticD thread starter macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

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    #14
    Thanks! It was very satisfying to hear the machine power on after attempting a component-level repair like this.

    I noticed when running with the external display in mirroring mode, the ATI Displays prefs (app) reports VRAM as only 16MB (not 32MB) and Quartz Extreme is marked as "disabled" for the phantom internal display in System Profiler. I remember reading about the VRAM being divided when a second display is attached, so I tried running it in "clamshell" mode (closed lid, with external USB keyboard and mouse). But, because the display was removed, it wasn't activating the hall sensor / reed switch for sleep.

    To find the location of the switch, I took a little magnet and slowly moved it around the top case; palm rests, keyboard, frame and then trackpad... Bingo! The reed switch for sleep is under the top left corner of the trackpad. I was then able to tape the magnet into the back of the empty display assembly in location to fall onto that section of the trackpad, so now it goes to sleep when the lid is closed. I plugged in the mouse and keyboard to wake it from sleep and the external monitor switched into native resolution with a full 32MB VRAM being reported by the ATI Displays tool and Quartz Extreme is fully supported once again.

    Leopard performs incredibly well on this machine. I am very impressed.
     
  15. galgot, May 25, 2018
    Last edited: May 25, 2018

    galgot macrumors member

    galgot

    Joined:
    May 28, 2015
    #15
    Wow, nice work !
    I have 4 Titaniums, 3 1Ghz and one 867Mhz. Two of the 1Ghz are working beautifully and are in excellent shape, very few dents and paint chipping. the others two are made of mixed parts from one another plus parts from wrecks. I've repaired one of the case plastic parts that was broken near the charger plug on one of them.
    TicaseRepair01.jpg TicaseRepair02.jpg

    TicaseRepair03.jpg

    The all plastic surround part can detached from the top case metal plate, repaired , then re-glued in place with strong epoxy. Guess I should have taken the time to mastic , sand and repaint that plastic part before re-gluing it to the case :rolleyes: But didn't had any paint at the time...
    only the 867 works fine tho, the 1Ghz just wouldn't boot.
    Funny thing is that it seems to be coming from the case, cause I've checked everything , mainboard fine, PRAM battery ok, ect... But I suppose it's the power button attached to that case that causes the problem, cause if I exchange the mainboard in it , it does the same problem... Even when trying to boot it from the reset button on the board. Well it was a long time since I've dismantled these, Will have to take time to try again .

    Now changing a dead screen panel in a good shape Titanium screen bezels without destroying it, that must be difficult. Never did that , but checked for infos sometime ago and saved a tutorial from a gone site, here :
    http://galgot.free.fr/transit/macdan-Titanium_PowerBook_display_repair.pdf
    Anyways, hope this can help. Don't want to hijack your thread :)
     
  16. AphoticD thread starter macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

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    #16
    This is great! Thanks for sharing. That's a tidy repair. Maybe there's an off the shelf auto-parts color-coded touch up paint we could apply to our TiBooks frames?
     
  17. galgot, May 25, 2018
    Last edited: May 25, 2018

    galgot macrumors member

    galgot

    Joined:
    May 28, 2015
    #17
    Back in the days when I had a VGA 667Mhz Ti (some time ago, bought it new...) , remember the paint started going off in some places, or even doing strange like copper corrosion green marks where my hand would more often lay on it. Turned it was the known problem with these paints. Seems the earlier models (hence my 667 too) had a more nacreous light grey paint then the later models, very difficult to replicate. The problem was so common that a third party produced a "Titanium paint repair kit" , TiPaint.com :
    https://web.archive.org/web/20040613165732/http://www.tipaint.com:80/
    Note the current tipaint.com domain still point to a paint related website, so it's maybe from the original TiPaint owner ?...
    Could ask him if he still has some of these kits :)
    When I first got my latter models 1Ghz/867Mhz, was surprised how that light grey paint is more "flat" then what I remembered from my 667Mhz. These ones should be easier to replicate.
     
  18. pixelatedscraps macrumors 6502

    pixelatedscraps

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    Hong Kong
    #18
    If it's half as difficult as fitting and fixing a 17" MBP (2011) LCD bezel without destroying it...
     
  19. galgot macrumors member

    galgot

    Joined:
    May 28, 2015
    #19
    ah well, i hear you there... I have a 2008 17" MBP with green artefacts on the screen (same screen as the 2011). It's not the GPU, so could be the LCD itself , or just the connection to the screen inside the bezel. But to find out i would have to disassemble that screen ... Mmmh I procrastinate for now :D
     
  20. pixelatedscraps macrumors 6502

    pixelatedscraps

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    #20
    Be very, very careful not to bend the bezel out of shape. Once it goes, it's incredibly hard to straighten it precisely enough to re-attach evenly again without it popping up randomly later on.
     
  21. bobesch macrumors 65816

    bobesch

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    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Kiel, Germany
    #21
    @AphoticD Great work! You should apply as the chief-engeneer for the first Mars-mission! ;)

    Last year I've been on the same TiBook trip: 2 Books out of 3. Got a working 1GHz and a working kind of 600 or so.
    AFAIR the 1GHz TiBook differs from it's predesessors (fans etc.).
    Had been good fun.

    I guess shipping-fees to down under isn't worth any spare parts ...

    BTW: I also got a shoebox of spare parts of a Wallstreet (got them in addition to an OSX-Panther-disk-set - or, wait, it had been the other way round ...) Anyway - I don't stick to it. If anyone's looking for something specific.
     

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