Weird PB display a symptom of what?


macrumors G4
Original poster
Just had a very weird experience with my Powerbook. I clicked onto the Les Miserables site in Safari and my Powerbook threw a fit. The display started to fade and within a few seconds it had created an odd pattern with a dark patch in the top right corner and a very light patch in the bottom left corner and the rest all looked 'dusty'. Over the next minute or so, the effect worsened and the PB froze entirely.

A hard reset got the screen looking normal again but is this a symptom of something about to go 'boom'? I've got 3rd party RAM in there but it's coming up for a year old and Tiger's been just as stable as Panther with it. There was a strange fluttering noise from the keyboard a few minutes before my screen pattern which I wondered about but it stopped just before the PB did.

Picture below in case it helps anyone identify the problem - as usual, excuse the quality - it's from a phone. EDIT- the discolouration of the screen is on the Mac though and not just dodgy lighting in the photo.



Moderator emeritus
Mar 10, 2004
Bergen, Norway
Oooh. That looks very familiar. My girlfriends Pismo started doing that at (irregular) intervals. After speaking to a Apple Service Center it was diagnosed as a bad connector/cable between the LCD and the main board, and that this was NOT cost effective to fix :eek:

This is also one of the possible symptoms of the motherboard problems that plagued many iBook G3s. And, as far as I can remember, those were also caused by bad connections between the motherboard and some of the other components (often the screen).

The fading out (often just half the screen at first) and or freezing started to happen more and more often and she could hold it at bay by pressing a certain place on the right side of the screen (presumably where the connector to the LCD sits) and it would be more or less useable, until a total "whiteout" forced her to restart.

In the end the problems became too unbearable, so she had to have it permanently hooked up to a screen (still is, BTW, everything else works). Back then she "inherited" my Pismo (which she actually paid for ;)) and I got my cute little iBook.

So get it looked after by a service center. Maybe they have more experience with this sort of problem after the iBook program.


macrumors G4
Original poster
Mitthrawnuruodo said:
After speaking to a Apple Service Center it was diagnosed as a bad connector/cable between the LCD and the main board, and that this was NOT cost effective to fix :eek:
:eek: :eek: Oh dear!I'm glad I took a picture to prove to people what happened if it's intermittent and that serious!

i've got a 2 year warranty from my retailer so it should be fixable at someone else's expense! I'm about to make sure I have a fresh backup :rolleyes: and then I guess my Powerbook and I might make a trip to Genius Bar to be diagnosed before I take it back to the regular retailer to be fixed. Somehow I suspect things will go faster if Apple have already diagnosed it. I'm just not looking forward to being without it for a few weeks... :(


macrumors G4
Original poster
Have been doing a little research on this and the pictures I've found of the faulty displays seem to involve completely blank screens unless viewed at an angle or lines flickering along the screens which don't match my picture. Mitthrawnuruodo's Pismo seems to be the only other case that I can find.

Unfortunately, I can't come up with another non-hardware reason for it... so some problem between display and logic board does seem to be most likely in my, admittedly non-Apple certified technician, opinion! I'm not sure when I'm going to be able to get into the Apple Store with it since I'd like to have a bit more background knowledge when I get there since I do feel occasionally that the Mac Geniuses can be a little condescending when a girl pitches up at the Genius Bar.
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