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ibook G4 logic board fix

40258 Views 73 Replies Latest reply: Apr 3, 2007 6:29 PM by c_w_arnold RSS
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c_w_arnold Calculating status...
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Sep 8, 2006 2:57 PM
I have two 12" ibook G4 laptops. The logic board in one failed about six months ago. I didn't try to hard to fix it because it was my roommate's and mine still worked fine (he bought a new Powerbook). Last week when trying to start up my ibook the screen went dark and the fan made a loud whirring noise, the exact same thing the other ibook had done. After doing some digging today it appears this is an issue with the ibook G4s, most of which fall outside of Apple's logic board replacement program. The problem seems to be that the case of the G4 (and possibly the soldering on the GPU) is defective. The case allows the logic board to flex, which causes the (possibly defective) soldering on the GPU to seperate, disconnecting it from the board. I just talked with Apple support and was told that they were not willing to fix my ibook unless I paid, which seems a bit unfair to me considering the product is defective, but OK, life's unfair, no need to dwell on it.

My question is: it seems that the hack for fixing defective G3s is easier because the GPU is mounted on the underside of the logic board. Has anyone found a reliable fix for G4s?

Also, if this has happened to you, please let Apple know about it. Maybe they will extend the replacement program (again).



PS. Here are a few relevant links:

ibook G4 Mac OS X (10.4.7)

  • Tony Rogers Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
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    Sep 16, 2006 5:29 PM (in response to c_w_arnold)
    I have this problem too! I'm currently borrowing my dad's iBook to use while I figure out how the **** to fix mine, but I'm very upset with the failure of a 2-year-old laptop (which was hardly used for the first 6 months).

    I'm totally comfortable soldering stuff, but I don't know my way around the insides of a laptop. If there's a guide to get at the G4 logic board I'd be very grateful.

    iBook G4 14", dead logic board   Mac OS X (10.4.6)   768mb memory
  • Tennoarashi Calculating status...
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    Sep 17, 2006 3:54 PM (in response to Tony Rogers)
    I would love a great reply to this as well. Also a 2-year computer, just replaced the battery because I was told it was a battery problem - any help would be great.
    iBook G4, Mac OS X (10.4.7)
  • MonkeySwitch Calculating status...
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    Sep 21, 2006 6:42 PM (in response to c_w_arnold)
    I too have the same problem. From what I hear it is pretty wide spread. If you read the wikipedia article on iBooks, you can find a link to a petition where I think over 1,000 people have complained about this.
    iBook G4, Mac OS X (10.4.5), paperweight (aka victim of logic board failure)
  • Edgar Silva Calculating status...
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    Sep 22, 2006 2:18 PM (in response to c_w_arnold)
    Please keep us updated!

    I cracked open my iBook the other night and got to the heatsink but I didn't have the tools to take that out and try putting a shim in... however I might be willing to give it another try if someone else can give some detailed instructions on what to do...
    iBook G4 1GHz, Mac OS X (10.4.7)
  • Edgar Silva Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Sep 23, 2006 3:10 PM (in response to Edgar Silva)
    Just an update of my own - I took my iBook to Tekserve, an Apple Retailer in downtown NYC, and I was told it was either the hard drive or the logic board - and I know it's the logic board... and the guy told me it would probably cost $350, however since I opened the laptop myself, it would cost $800 - that's right, eight hundred dollars.

    So I went across the street to Home Depot and bought myself some $6 clamps ... finally found the right spot and SUCCESS ...

    Kinda ***** since my laptop is no longer portable, but it beats a 400 MHz iMac.

    iBook G4 1GHz   Mac OS X (10.4.7)  
  • Mr S Calculating status...
    My 12" iBook G4 died in a classic (and by the sound of it VERY common) logic board failure in May. I decided not to pay to get it fixed after reading the dicussions and believe it is a design flaw so will break again.

    I am very irritated as no longer have use of a Laptop and am still paying for it as it was less than two years old! I decided not to risk buying a laptop from Apple again and bought an iMac with Applecare this time. I originally purchased an Apple laptop over a PC rival hoping would last through at least my 3 year degree.

    I do not understand why the logic board failure recall has not been extended under overwhelming evidence?!
    12" 1Ghz iBook G4, Mac OS X (10.4.7)
  • Edgar Silva Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Sep 25, 2006 12:36 PM (in response to c_w_arnold)
    When I had the heatsink exposed I manually tried putting pressure on practically every area of it, and one time the boot screen loaded for about two seconds then went black, and another time only the top right portion of the screen turned gray. I'm really baffled.

    The clamp I'm using is pretty tight, but could be tighter. I spent about 15 minutes in Home Depot trying a bunch of different clamps, all using trial and error on a bunch of different spots however nothing was working. I just decided to buy that one and try it at home since I felt rushed.

    While trying to find the right "spot" I tightened the clamp too hard once or twice, and the hard drive started making some awful noises, so I loosened it up a bit. I haven't tried moving the clamp around to see where else it might work since I don't want to risk the chance of actually not getting it to start up again. So far I've had it running about two days without any problems. *Knocks wood*

    Good luck and let us know how it goes~

    iBook G4 1.0 GHz   Mac OS X (10.4.7)  
  • Edgar Silva Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I'm in the same boat; I bought my laptop Oct/Nov 2004 with three years to go until I finished college - and the morning after I installed 10.4.6 I started having these problems... and that was back in April, so I've had this computer functioning fully only about a year and a half. I've never had a problem with any Apple products up until this. Around the same time, my 4th Gen iPod was (and still is) on the fritz, but that's another story.

    By the time Apple does recall this, if they ever do, I'm sure I'll be in the market for another computer, unfortunately.

    iBook G4 1.0 GHz   Mac OS X (10.4.6)  
  • Edgar Silva Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Sep 29, 2006 12:13 PM (in response to c_w_arnold)
    Beautiful! When I get some time this weekend I'll try your method; great details & instructions, seems like it should work. I'll report back on your post when it's all said and done. Thanks~!
    iBook G4 1.0 GHz
  • Sixten Kraemer Calculating status...
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    Oct 1, 2006 4:48 AM (in response to c_w_arnold)
    Thanks Corey.
    Especially for the well documented work you have done.
    I opened my iBook which I haven't used for eight monthts and checked the connection between the chip and the circuit board. Pins 2 and 3 (from left bottom corner of the chip on your photos) were not connected to the board at all! Looked like the foil to pin 3 was cut so I had to solder in a piece of wire to connect the pin to the component next to it. I resoldered the whole chip to be sure that it's well done.
    I had to borrow a very (I mean very) thin soldering iron and a magnifier to be able to do it. And it was not easy. My iBook has now been up and running for 3 hours and that's a lot more than those 5 minutes it used to work between the crashes.
    Yes, I know that I should not celebrate yet but I fixed the two bad connections and I need something to be happy about...
    I will write here about the health of my iBook after a couple of days again.
    Thanks again Corey. I hope this is the solution.
    iBook G4 800 MHz, Mac OS X (10.4.7)
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