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iBook G4 with a white screen.


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iBook G4 with a white screen.
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Marcucco
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Join Date: Sep 2009
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2009-09-13, 13:46

I don't believe it's that "Loose chip on the logic board issue" because it works fine when hooked to an external monitor.
(but I did try it anyway just in case)

The iBook boots up normally, but the screen is blank, plain bluish white.
The back-light is on but there are no images at all on the LCD

Things I tried:

If I start the computer from the install disk, it still happens.
I ran the "Apple Hardware Test" disk from my original iBook disks (v 2.2.1) which found no problems.
TechTool 3.0.4 also found no problems.
I tried the catch-all's (zapping the PRam NV etc.) and F1/F2 to brighten or dim the screen.

I replaced the LCD and the ribbon cable and the problem remains.

This came on very suddenly, the computer was operating perfectly the day before with no signs that the display might be going bad.

I wondered if maybe a setting or preference had gone bad.
If I try to recalibrate the screen with an external monitor attached, it calibrates the external monitor.


Anybody got any ideas?

iBook G4, 1.2MhZ, 24+Gig available. OS 10.4.11
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chucker
 
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2009-09-13, 14:16

Try pressing your palm against the left of the trackpad. If that does anything, yep, it's the logic board issue.
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Marcucco
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2009-09-13, 15:57

I tried that with no success.

Note that the iBook will work with an external monitor.
This doesn't seem to be the case with others who have the logic board failure.
I'm wondering if it could be something else.
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chucker
 
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2009-09-13, 16:02

Then it's likely the hinge cabling.

Given that you've already tried PRAM resets and such, this is extremely unlikely to be solved in software.
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Brad
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2009-09-13, 16:09

I "repaired" a coworkers iBook G4 that was exhibiting this behavior and, yes, it was a matter of straightening and reconnecting the display cable that runs through the hinge.

I warned her (and as you should note) that that was probably only a temporary fix and that over time it will probably kink itself back into a broken state.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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Marcucco
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2009-09-13, 16:33

I replaced the ribbon cable when I replaced the screen, then I tried reusing the original ribbon as a jumper (without routing it thru the hinge) thinking maybe I did something wrong.
Did the plugs for the ribbon suffer from the cold solder issue as well?
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Marcucco
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2009-09-15, 16:50

I tried swapping out the LCD inverter and cable today but still have a blank white screen.
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alcimedes
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2009-09-15, 17:16

Hmm, not sure what else it would be actually. You know (external display) that the video card is working and producing video correctly. You also had actually worked on that specific problem part of your computer in the past.

That has to be it. The problem exists only between your video card and that specific laptop display, there's nothing in between other than the connectors on either end and the cable itself.

Double check them?

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Maciej
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2009-09-15, 18:20

Maybe it is the LCD, can displays go bad like that?
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Marcucco
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2009-09-15, 18:55

I suppose they could Maciej,
but to have one go bad out of the blue and then have a new one with the exact same problem problem right out of the box?

Alcimedes;
I did check the VGA connector the best I could.
They're hard soldered right onto the motherboard so I can't disconnect it.
There's noting mechanical in the connector (like the old earphone jacks that mechanically broke the connection to the speaker) so unless there's another component in the line, it's got to be software.

I'm going to try a clean install as a last resort tomorrow, but I'm pretty sure all thats going to do is waste more of my day and cheeze me off.

Thanks for the replies.
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Maciej
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2009-09-15, 19:00

Oh oopps, I forgot you had said that already. Hadn't re-read your post today.

Good luck.
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Marcucco
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2009-09-15, 19:03

Thanks
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alcimedes
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2009-09-15, 19:12

I just have no idea what else it could be. Perhaps a kink in the cable, or an internal break? A tiny hole in the cable somewhere? I think the problem *has* to be in that cable or the connectors, there's nothing else left.

I suppose it could be the LCD, but I've never seen that happen before, and I have seen a few bad cables in my day, so I guess my hunch is the cable again.

Google is your frenemy.
Caveat Emptor - Latin for tough titty
I tend to interpret things in the way that's most hilarious to me
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Marcucco
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2009-09-15, 20:00

I tried 2 different LCD cables and 2 different inverter cables as well as 2 different screens and 2 different inverters.
The 2nd screen was new, the 2nd cables and inverter came from an iBook I retired when I bought this (faster) one.
I'm 100% certain it was fully functional when I pulled the plug on it.

I agree that the only thing left is that I missed something.
...or it's a software issue I'm missing.

If the clean install doesn't work, I'm going to have to see what I can cobble together with the old 800MHz MB/HD.

Too bad, I really liked that iBook
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alcimedes
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2009-09-15, 21:11

Oh, stupid easy test. Hold down "T" when you boot up to put it in Target disk mode. It would bypass any software glitch I could think of, about as basic as anything you could display to the LCD, as it pushes the image w/o ever touching the HD.

Google is your frenemy.
Caveat Emptor - Latin for tough titty
I tend to interpret things in the way that's most hilarious to me
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Marcucco
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2009-09-16, 07:52

Hmmm

When I do this, the iBook screen is still blank, but the backlight doesn't come on in this mode.

If I boot up holding down T with the external display attached,
the monitor shows the firewire (?) symbol wandering around the screen.
and the backlight on the iBook's LCD doesn't come on.
So far it's been showing a white screen (backlight on) with the external monitor attached, but the backlight is out in this mode.

I can't remember for sure what the backlight used to do when I plugged the external monitor in before this glitch.
I seem to remember the screen being black, but I could be wrong.

What does that tell me?

I was pretty sure the HD was good because the computer functions perfectly with an external monitor attached.

The "Clean Install" did nothing by the way.
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alcimedes
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2009-09-16, 08:58

Hmm, are you 100% positive the backlight isn't on at all in target disk mode?

The screen would be "black" so it wouldn't have much light, but there should be something. If you did it in a pitch black room, there should be very obvious light coming from the laptop's screen.

If there isn't any light at all then I suppose a broken LCD might be more likely, since a bad cable should give you a backlight in one scenario and not another, but bad screen might be glitchy like that.

Dunno, got me stumped.

Google is your frenemy.
Caveat Emptor - Latin for tough titty
I tend to interpret things in the way that's most hilarious to me
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Stone Of Love
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2009-09-16, 09:33

I don't know how similar or dissimilar the logic board issues are between the G3 iBooks and the G4 iBooks, but my G3 went down pretty much the same way you describe here.

For the last week I used the G3 way back when, it worked just fine with an external monitor. I was sure it was the cable feeding the screen. (had been fixed once before) I didn't pursue the issue at that point because I was ready to buy a PB and this gave me the reason to pull that trigger!

But about two years later, I wanted to get it working so I could hand it down, and was told that the logic board was fried and would have to be replaced if I wanted to use the iBook again. That iBook only sat on the shelf for that two years, not once was it turned on.

FWIW.

Different Strokes, for Different Folks.
And So On and So On, and Skoobie Doobie Doobie.
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Marcucco
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2009-09-16, 11:17

Alc:
I checked again, the backlight is definitely off in target mode, and I get the floating firewire if I plug in the external monitor.
If I restart it with the ext monitor it still comes up with the blank white (pale gray) screen, but works normally.

I can't imagine 2 different sets of LCD's, LCD inverters and 2 full sets of cables having the exact same fault, but I suppose anything's possible.

I'm stumped too, but I haven't given up quite yet.
I truely appreciate you effort, thanks.

Stone:
Thanks for the response.
At the time they told you the logic board was toast would the computer still run on an external monitor?
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Stone Of Love
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2009-09-16, 11:50

Nope. Wouldn't fire up at all.
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Marcucco
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2009-09-16, 11:56

Stone:
This one works fine on the external monitor.
But dragging an external monitor around kinda defeats the whole point of a "Laptop".

Thanks for the input tho.
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alcimedes
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2009-09-16, 12:01

I just find it very weird that you have a backlight when you're booting normally (as you should) but then no backlight in target disk mode (when you should).

Is that indicating that depending on the video source your LCD is behaving differently?

I would think that if it were a hardware problem it would at least be a little more consistent, but who knows.

Google is your frenemy.
Caveat Emptor - Latin for tough titty
I tend to interpret things in the way that's most hilarious to me
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Marcucco
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2009-09-16, 12:12

It is odd,
and again, I think I remember the LCD going black when I hooked up the external monitor,
but I was gaming any time I did this and had a joystick attached to the USB
so I wasn't really looking at the computer's display.

I'm wondering if I can put the old 800MHz motherboard in with the existing HD.
It looks like it will fit.
It seems to be the only option I have left.

The 800 was annoyingly slow, that was why I retired it.
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Marcucco
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2009-09-18, 10:36

If anybody asks, putting the 800 MHz board in with the 1200MHz HD doesn't work.
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