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  1. #1

    Join Date
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    Default Ibook g4 resurrecting - partly successful

    My wife's Ibook 800mhz g4 recently got slow (it *was* very snappy) and then stopped booting properly. Finally it would even get to a blue screen and all i got was a bit of fan noise on high. After some googling I realised that the logic board was probably fritzed, but then I came across a page by coreyarnold.com where he used some shims to press down on a dodgy chip on his ibook(s) to resurrect them. He claims they've been resurrected for 2 years now. There's about 500 comments with people mostly reporting success doing similar.

    Well, I tried it on my wife's machine last night, using compressed firm foam and electrical tape over the chip in question. It worked for a while. From a totally dead ibook I got it up and back on the net and then ran Onyx to check out any issues. From there I got hard drive errors and then it dies again - but now even in target mode via firewire it seems to hang.

    My question is, during target mode, if the firewire icon freezes on screen, does that mean that drive is knackered or more likely the logic board is fruity. Just wondering what to tackle first.

    Sorry for the long post, thanks for reading.

  2. #2
    Byrd's Avatar Byrd is offline Moderator

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    Nice to see you got it working for a while, but no amount of shimming is ever going to reliably fix a delaminated graphics chipset. The next "ghetto" step would be to put a tea candle on the chip in question.

    Target mode failing is also a symptom of the faulty logic board.

    JB

  3. #3

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    This certainly sounds like a hard disk drive related issue, especially if Onyx has reported faults with the drive before. You could try booting from a Mac OS X installer disc and giving it a scan in Disk Utility just to be sure.

    Another potential issue is that the shim wasn't firm enough (believe it or not). The machine i'm using now has an almost rock-like material as a shim, cut down to size just enough to not bow the lower casing but enough to put significant pressure on the chip.

    I'd be looking at the first option a little more closely though.


    Oh and Byrd, common misconception between the iBook G3 and iBook G4 is that the Graphics Chip is always the culprit. On the G3 this is usually the case, on the G4 it is almost always the PMU chip.

    http://www.coreyarnold.org/ibook/

    I still have a shim in my machine, although it no longer needs it, it's helping to reduce the effects of heat expansion.

  4. #4

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    thanks for the replies. Just to clarify, I only ran Onyx post resurrecting it. I was planning on swapping or upgrading drives sooner or later, and thankfully backed up the entire machine last week. I ran disk utility via fire wire mode from my powerbook, that's when it reported "invalid node structure" issues. Then trying Disk Utilty, repair of the drive failed and Disk Utility wouldn't recognise it again, and the drive was renames to disk1s9. Bummer, cause is just remembered I had Drive Genius for just such a purpose.

  5. #5

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    iMac600, funny you mentioned heat expansion, I figured that's partly why the machine stopped working after a time and not straight away.

  6. #6

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    Same issue with my sisters G4.....

    Purchased a used a logic board from U.S Ebay when the dollar was still good. Rebuilt it and it has worked fine ever since. Was a cheap repair and is now used like a netbook. Streams music and is used mainly for the net.....long live the G4.
    MB Unibody 2.0ghz, 4GB Ram, 200GB HD "7200"rpm.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by iMac600 View Post
    This certainly sounds like a hard disk drive related issue, especially if Onyx has reported faults with the drive before. You could try booting from a Mac OS X installer disc and giving it a scan in Disk Utility just to be sure.

    Another potential issue is that the shim wasn't firm enough (believe it or not). The machine i'm using now has an almost rock-like material as a shim, cut down to size just enough to not bow the lower casing but enough to put significant pressure on the chip.

    Well, I've had some more success. Firstly,

    Opened up machine, this time took I out the foam shim I tried a few nights earlier...



    and used 2.5-3mm rubber shim from a cut up eraser. I peeled back the power cord successfully (there was some glue holding it down) and slipped it underneath.




    I also measured where the chip sits from the under side of the machine, so I could apply further pressure if needed. Use eletrical tape to hold it in place,



    and then electrical tape over the top (outside) of the metal shield to also to add some extra layers. Put the machine back together. I did note that the caps lock and num lock keys no longer lit up initially (pre boot) - not sure what the deal is there. Thought they're meant to light up.

    I then booted the ibook in target mode via firewire, ran Drive Genius, selected repair hard drive, but it reported no errors. Strange.

    So I decided to reboot ibook ... reboot was successful, the iBook ran for at least 20 or 30 mins no problem without hanging.

    So then I ran Onyx from the iBook. Onyx said hard drive has errors, needs to repaired.

    So then I rebooted in target disk mode, using Drive Genius on the Powerbook to Rebuild the drive this time, rather than repair. Drive Genius rebuild failed. Here's what it reported, got about 67% done.

    "...Rebuilding Catalog B-tree.
    The volume Macintosh HD could not be repaired.
    Rebuild Failed."


    Importantly, though the drive seems to have underlying issues, the machine booted in target mode no problem and also did manage to boot normally, just gets slow when it gets to the finder. So the eraser rubber shim is looking quite promising right now.

    So the next thing I'm going to do is replace the hard drive in the ibook, and probably do a fresh install of OSX. I do have an image from the drive taken from last week, but I'm worried using that image is just going to cause continued catalogue tree problems.

  8. #8

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    Have you tried reworking the solder around the chip? In theory that should work if pushing the hell out of it does. It would certainly be more stable in their case if you did.

    Good luck though! My iBook actually had a crack in the chip (down the middle of the die, so I have no idea why it worked as long as it did) that would give it huge artifacts and some other random glitching. Ill see if I can find the old site for this..

    ED: Its here, but I got my memories mixed up, its the GPu problem here, still an interesting read though. I am sure there was a more detailed write up by this guys, but it seems to be evading me.

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