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Thread: iBook G4

  1. #1
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    Default iBook G4

    My wife's iBook G4 screen started flickering with odd lines floating in every direction.... eventually going to a black screen..... all is well when viewing the machine in Target mode from my machine..... based on this limited info, any clue as to what happened ???

  2. #2
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    Arrow Save your data

    You could have a hard drive going out or a badly corrupted directory. I'd copy any important data. The steps to trouble shoot might just overkill the drive if it's going bad.

    Then, boot to a CD/DVD of the same or higher OSX. Use Disk Utility to Repair permissions and hard drive. See what happens.

    If it boots... try creating another "test user" and see if the problem might be a software issue in your primary /users account.

  3. #3
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    Default

    hmmmmmm, really..... the hard drive could make the screen go crazy ? never heard that one....

    the hard drive is less than 2 years old and this iBook only gets used 6-7 months a year and only 3-4 days a week and no more than 4 hours a day.... (my wife uses it solely to prepare lesson plans at home)

    Fortunately, this machine gets backed up regularly....

    new note: screen totally black upon power up now !

  4. #4
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    Default

    I've seen bad hard drives do a lot. If you think the hard drive is good then try this route Apple's NVRAM and OF reset read about this here.

    No boot to a CD/DVD. Do you have another monitor to connect it to and see what happens?

  5. #5
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    Default

    since the screen is black, I can not see the disk utility if I boot from the DVD. If I keep the bad iBook in Target mode and boot my good Mac from DVD, will the disk utility allow me to repair the permissions on the bad one ?

  6. #6
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    Default

    If I keep the bad iBook in Target mode and boot my good Mac from DVD, will the disk utility allow me to repair the permissions on the bad one ?
    Yes, it should be able to repair it just like it was a FW drive.

  7. #7
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    Default

    so, here's what we know at this time.....

    I did a disk repair and permissions repair in Target mode. Disk repair says all OK. There were some permissions that were repaired.

    while in Target mode, I rebooted the good mac from the Target HD. booted up fine and everything seemed OK yet a bit sluggish ( may be because my good Mac is newer & faster)....

    Re-booted bad iBook and still nothing..... chimes to a black screen.

    I plugged a mini VGA adapter in and added an external monitor- no signal. ( granted, I haven't a clue if the mini VGA is plug & play)

    That said, are your thoughts still leaning toward a bad HD ?

    I'm no stranger to cracking these things open and replacing HD's ... but if I don't have to..... ya know !?

    your help is greatly appreciated

  8. #8
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    Default P.s.

    I also did the PRAM resets-nothing

  9. #9
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    Default

    Someone around will know more about all this than I. But all that said, it could be the iBook. I think that they had some problems with the screen connections. If you can access the HD in target mode it would seem the HD is OK. That would mean the information is intact. I'd back up the HD just to be sure. If it's the iBook then I doubt that repair would be viable option unless you can do it yourself. My Brother finally killed the G4 Powerbook I gave him. The HD died and the shop wouldn't touch it since it was a legacy MAC.

    Good Luck!

  10. #10
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    Default Sounds familiar

    I also recall a laptop issue with a bad connector on the video screen. A second monitor could potentially identify that issue. If know one else responds I might have a chance to search more tomorrow.

  11. #11
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    Default

    Not hard drive if booting to an installer CD just gives a black screen.

    PRAM reset is first. Second is a PMU reset.

    You should not have to DO anything except attach a monitor to the MiniVGA Adapalator. If it was a dead screen that should resolve it.

    Almost anything from CPU to graphics chipset can cause a screen to quit. It may just be getting gray haired (like me) Actually harder on a computer to be on and off all the time than it is on one that is used all the time and left running. No telling from how hard one is worked how long it will last.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  12. #12
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    Default

    well, with all the suggestions done, we still have a black screen......

    at some point, I will crack open this machine and take a look see..... but until then, I will entertain any additional comments from all the great people in the Forum !

    So, no video signal going to the mini-VGa so, I am assuming it's Video related NOT HD, right ? how would everyone sum up my situation ????

  13. #13
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    Default

    So, no video signal going to the mini-VGa so, I am assuming it's Video related NOT HD, right ? how would everyone sum up my situation ????
    I'll agree on that.

  14. #14
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    Default

    With the flickering my first thought was the video cable but if the miniVGA port is also out then the video card itself comes to mind.
    Damien,

  15. #15
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    Default

    Could it be the reed switch? It's the switch that puts your computer to sleep when you close the lid.

    Signs you have a reed switch problem:
    - your screen may flicker in brightness randomly.
    - it goes black more often when the display angle or laptop is moved.
    - after it goes black you can still faintly see the screen, or when you connect an external display it works fine.
    - you can put the laptop to sleep and wake it to temporarily bring the display back to life.

  16. #16
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    Default

    sounds like the GPU has given out. this was very common on iBooks. a solder connection on the chip would break, there are many guides how to fix it on the net, but with such an old machine I'd hardly say it was worth it. but you now have nothing but time to lose!

  17. #17
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    Default

    No doubt in my mind that it's the GPU. Seen so many of them go. Target mode gives no indication at all, unless of course you're getting the symbol floating around on the screen... THAT would be different!
    Otherwise, I have to agree with Greentree, not worth wasting the time on unless you can find a cheap logic board somewhere. I've got a few dead ones on the rack to keep yours company.

  18. #18
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    Default stupid question....

    the GPU ? is the the graphics card or another name for a video card ?

  19. #19
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    Default Yep,

    A graphics processing unit or GPU (also occasionally called visual processing unit or VPU). = Video card

  20. #20
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    Default

    In this case, it's not a card, it's a chip soldered on to the logic board, so if that dies for any reason the logic board will have to be replaced. The iBook was a graveyard for Radeon chips being badly applied to the boards. Same applied to the 2.2ghz and 2.4ghz Mac Pros, but in the case of the Mac Pro Apple issued a warranty extension program so owners like me didn't have to shell out for a new logic board. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case with my iBook, for which I managed to find a replacement board from Taiwan at an affordable price.

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