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mcnaryxc 12-14-2009 06:23 AM

iBook G4 1.42ghz White Screen, but boots into Ubuntu
So, I was given an iBook G4 1.42ghz, with the integrated airport card, by a girl and was told that if I fix it, I get to keep it. Knowing about the iBook problem, I took it anyway to see if I could fix it. I've looked everywhere to find a way to solve my problem, thinking its specific, and I'm determined to figure out why it's broken.

The girl talked about how every once in a while, the screen would flicker some lines across the screen during use, but said it only happened when she was moving the iBook around. So, I'm thinking the LCD display cable finally gave out. But, she claimed that she couldn't even boot up anymore, which made me swallow hard.

I've done many things to try and see if it's the graphics giving out and I....I really can't put my finger on it. What I've discovered is:

- When I turn on the iBook, it chimes, but the backlight takes about 3-4 seconds after the chime to turn on. It'll turn on for a second, do a slow flicker, and then back on again. Completely white screen, no "?" logo, nothing, just white. The hard drive spins up, but putting my ear to it, it doesn't sound like its doing anything but spinning.

- If I plug in an external display while booting, it won't be detected. (keep reading)

- I can't seem to put the iBook into Target mode, or at least, my Macbook Pro won't detect the iBook when I hold the "T" button.

- I've reset the NVRAM and PRAM and PMU to no success.

- I've opened up the iBook and reseated all the cables to the display. Still nothing.

So, being the curious person I am, I burnt an Ubuntu 6.10 live cd, because the girl wanted her information back, if I could get it, so I tried to boot from the cd. And, I was a little surprised what happened.

- The iBook actually booted from the CD, but the display stayed white. I know it booted because if I waited long enough, the Ubuntu startup music would play.

- If I plug in an external monitor while booting off the CD, the iBook detects it and mirrors the white screen my LCD is showing!!!!

UGH! So, I really can't tell what the problem is. I'm thinking its the graphics because the LCD and external show the same thing. I tried pressing down everywhere on the logic board, but nothing budged or did anything. I tried to find the one component that people said needs to be resoldered but can't find it.

Ideas anyone? I'm getting desperate!

chscag 12-14-2009 05:53 PM

It sure sounds like the surface mounted GPU is dead which means replacing the entire logic board. May not be worth it depending on whether you can find one cheap enough and do the work yourself.

As far as her data is concerned, just pull the hard drive from the iBook and mount it in an external USB carrier and pull the data off for her that way.

Sorry I can't be of more help...


johnnyFIVE 12-14-2009 07:58 PM

you could probably pick one up on ebay with a busted/cracked LCD on craigs list or ebay. all you have to do is make sure you can kind of see something behind the destroyed screen or bring an external display with you.

just pop the board out of that and your good to go. take the leftover parts and lot them together on ebay and you could probably make back some of the money.

mcnaryxc 12-15-2009 04:44 AM

Awww man. I was hoping that wouldn't be the case. Guess I'll just have to salvage the data and move on. On the bright side, it gives me a good excuse to go buy a Firewire external enclosure now.

Thanks for all your help!

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