tibook 800/DVI: video static leading to freeze

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by peteMG, Aug 29, 2005.

  1. peteMG macrumors member

    Mar 22, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    Hi all-

    My ol' faithful 800 mhz powerbook seems to have developed a rather serious ailment. It's nearly exactly similar to problems that happened - twice - when it was under AppleCare, and both times it went in, they replaced the motherboard..

    (disclaimer/credibility check: I was an apple repair tech for a couple years before I got into programming, so I have a pretty good handle on what's at play in these rather dire situations)

    The problem is this. I'd be working on it for some time, and then it would start showing distortion on the LCD. As if every fifth horizontal line gets shifted up and to the side. These videos show it pretty clearly (if a little darkly):

    (apologies for the 5mb, 15 second video, but I took them with my digital camera and since the mac wasn't usable I couldn't recompress them. At least my DSL has ~780kb upstream)

    The static would get worse and worse, and then the machine would freeze - no cursor movement, couldn't SSH in, didn't respond to pings. I'd reboot and it'd come up, but with the same static, and then it'd finally just fail to display any video on startup. I could tell that it had booted successfully to the login screen, because I could push the power button, and then Enter, and it'd shut down properly (some hard drive clicking followed by power-down).

    So, my theory is that something time-related (heat? short-circuit? static cling?) is causing the video chip to fail, and that after it has failed, it does not register to the rest of the system on startup and the system seems to run without it. Hence the successful booting but still no video on the internal or external display.

    This morning, after it had been off all night, I removed the bottom case just to make sure it wasn't a loose wire. Everything looked fine, so I put it back together .. and it boots up fine. It's been running for the last 10 minutes fine, but if the static starts again I'm just going to consider it failed and move on to recovery. (either a new motherboard, or ripping out the HD and sticking it in a brand new machine)

    I could get a new motherboard for it - 661-2689 from DT&T service - and do the replacement, but that still leaves me with a 3.5-year-old, out-of-warranty powerbook.

    I could get an iBook for $1000ish and be back in the swing, albeit without my beloved widescreen and video spanning. I had really hoped to be able to milk this machine along until the intel 'books came out...

    Any ideas, comments, ?


  2. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    Apple has a replacement screen thing for 867 and 1 gig tibooks -- don't know if this is your same problem or not.
  3. Jesus macrumors 6502

    I have a TiBook and so do most of my friends, one of them hhad this problem. it is caused by interference on the LCD connector ribbon cable that runs up behind the screen, every time you open/close the screen it moves a bit, and over time it can become frayed, and as the raw cable touches the titanium of the case, the message get ditorted, and eventually the screen gives up and freezes, along with the computer.

    Well, that is what happened to my friend. I may be wrong, it could be the logic board...


    Display Connector

    Logic Board (if this is broken, buy a new 'Book)
  4. faintember macrumors 65816


    Jun 6, 2005
    the ruins of the Cherokee nation
    If it is just the logic board, i would replace it so that it would hold you over or past the release of the Macintel PB. $325-$400 for the logic board, or $1000 to step down to an iBook, although the processor is faster, the screen is smaller, not an widescreen, etc. I have heard reports of people moving from TiPBs to the new iBook and not noticing any speed improvement, and actually noticed that the iBook is slower.

    I just upgraded the HD and in my 1ghz TiPB and it runs great. Ordering ram(that will hopefully work this time) today. So basically i spend the same amount on my PB that you would be spending on yours, once again as holdover until rev b Macintel PBs.

    Good luck with it man.
  5. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    Apple will replace your pb logic board on out of warranty pbs for 350 dollars. Call them if this is the problem.

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