Previous 1 2 3 Next 73 Replies Latest reply: Apr 3, 2007 6:29 PM by c_w_arnold
c_w_arnold Level 1 Level 1
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
    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 Level 1 Level 1
    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.
  • MonkeySwitch Level 1 Level 1
    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.
  • c_w_arnold Level 1 Level 1
    From what I have read soldering the GPU is not a possibility because of the way it is mounted on the board. I decided to take a crack at shimming the thing. It took a while, but I was finally able to loosen the heat sink covering the GPU (see photos in links in my original post). I didn't have a real good shim handy so I pulled off a few soda can tabs and placed them directly on top of the thermal tape/paste on top of the GPU. My thought was that they were about the right thickness and would decently distribute the pressure on the chip. I then reattached the heat sink, tighting it as much as possible and quickly reassembled the case. My results? The thing worked...for about ten minutes. It's funny, it works consistently for about ten minutes and then dies. Maybe the soldering gets hot enough by then and seperates slightly? Maybe I am having heat dissipation problems due to my truly bootleg shim?

    My new plan is to use a better shim. I will post again when I have had the chance to try something different. Obviously my first attempt was done in haste. I was working with my roommate's broken laptop (not mine, he already bought a new one and doesn't care) and just wanted to see if there was some hope before I invested a lot of time into a real solution. I think there is hope, but it could also be that there's just no way to apply enough pressure to the chip by shimming it.


  • Edgar Silva Level 1 Level 1
    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...
  • Edgar Silva Level 1 Level 1
    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)  
  • c_w_arnold Level 1 Level 1
    I tried shimming the logic board again, this time with some nice pieces of copper. After tightening the heat sink screws I noticed that one side seemed to be a looser fit on the GPU. So I placed a shim on top of the heat sink on the loose side so that the plastic case, when put on, would force it down. There seems to be plenty of pressure on the GPU now, but the computer still does not work.

    Edgar, how tight is your clamp? Also, I've noticed that in general the position of clamps is not directly over the GPU. Is this because the clamps themselves can't reach that far or is it because that's truly where the pressure needs to be applied?

    I will try again.

  • Mr S Level 1 Level 1
    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?!
  • Edgar Silva Level 1 Level 1
    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
    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)  
  • c_w_arnold Level 1 Level 1
    Hello All!

    I think I may have found a fix. After getting frusterated and basically trying to push down everywhere on the logic board I found a chip that seems to be loose. After shimming it, which was super easy, my ibooks have worked without issue. I've posted in-depth details and photos on my website:

    Let me know how it goes if you choose to try it out.

  • Edgar Silva Level 1 Level 1
    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~!
  • c_w_arnold Level 1 Level 1
    Cool! Definitely let me know how it goes.
  • Sixten Kraemer Level 1 Level 1
    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.
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