g3 iBook dead, can anybody help???

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Joined: Mar 14 2006
Posts: 2

My g3 700MHz "16 vram" 12 inch iBook doesn't start. I've searched everywhere but find no explanation. I'm new to applefritter, and the folks here seems to be expert(!!!) so might I ask...

Symptoms: last Summer I replaced the internal drive, which had died. No problems with the replacement; drive has been working wonderfully. Later it has occasionally taken a few presses of the power switch to start, but otherwise no problems at all. Once started all would be fine, and this power problem was rare too (only once or twice altogether, until recently). Lately, though, it simply would not start no mater how many tries, until al fin it is now effectively dead. No subtle sound of power surge, no activity in internal nor combo drive.

I've tried (more or less in order): zapping PRAM, resetting PMU, resetting nvram and "reset-all" in open firmware, and every variation of battery in-out, power adapter in-out. I should add that when I've tried the reset PMU key combination with power adapter plugged in the color ring on it changes color for 5 seconds (every time), which might not be significant, but at least indicates that the power switch itself functions.

I should add that it has never showed ANY of the infamous video problems that plague this model.

As I say, I'm not eager to just "run out" and buy a new logic board until I have reason to believe that that would actually fix things! Especially in light of the cost. Any help would be appreciated!! Especially regarding whether it sounds like indeed the logic board is at fault. Or might I have pinched a wire or something--I replaced the internal drive myself, but was very careful and don't think I did that (but it's not impossible). If so, could you suggest where I should look now when I go looking under the hood...

2nd, if I do need a new logic board: I'm confused. Is it true that the 800 and 900 MHz boards are exactly compatible??
3rd, if I do need a logic board: I'm in Germany; any tips on dealers here who sell these cheap?

Thanks a lot for any help!!!

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cwsmith's picture
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Joined: Oct 13 2005
Posts: 699
Another common problem

Another common problem with the iBook 700 was with the DC board -- the card that takes the 24V feed from the power adapter and distributes to the charging system, the logic board, the drives and display. It can cause all kinds of squirelliness (a purely technical term) with powering up and unexpected shutdowns.

My own iBook 700 was pronounced dead last April, and I subsequently bought an iBook G4 (1.2 GHz) to replace it. Last month, out of curiosity, I put a fully-charged battery into the 700 (borrowed from the G4) and it booted up -- saw no drives because I'd removed them, but IT BOOTED UP to the flashing-question-mark-in-the-disk icon! I hooked up an iMac via FireWire, booted the iMac to target mode, and booted the iBook from it -- it came completely up, found my network, saw my iPod, the works!

My recommendation, before replacing a logic board, is to find a DC board for this machine and try it first. I found one myself on eBay for about $25 US, and I'm sure you'll find something similar near you.

You can either take it to a trusted tech or do the job yourself (it's well out of warranty, so Applecare won't be violated). You'll need a good set of precision Phillips screwdrivers and a #8 Torx (T8) screwdriver. The case plastics pry apart once the screws are removed -- I recommend using a medium-gauge guitar pick. With a quick Google search, you might be able to find a service manual or a takeapart guide to walk you through the whole process. Or private message me -- I've been in and out of my 700 so many times I can do it in my sleep!

Good luck!

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Joined: Mar 14 2006
Posts: 2
Wow thanks for fast answer(!) but I thought...

I thought the DC board was suspect only when the iBook wouldn't start with power adapter connected, but with battery alone it would start. If I said that right--you know what I mean. But do you mean that it also does "squirelliness" even when the power adapter is not connected??

Re the process of replacing a board (even logic board if necessary): I'm comfortable to do it. I replaced the internal drive myself. Was extra careful, what with all the warnings, but in the end I found it basically fine to do. I found somewhere Apple's own .pdf with the whole take-apart instructions, including pictures, but I now don't have any idea where I found that (months ago when I did the drive). Now I'd do it without hesitation. And I even have a torx screwdriver...

Thanks again, and any thoughts on whether the DC board is still suspect, even though the power adapter be out, those would be appreciated if you don't mind.

Whosawhatsis's picture
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Joined: Aug 28 2005
Posts: 66
Re: Another common problem

cwsmith wrote:

...
My recommendation, before replacing a logic board, is to find a DC board for this machine and try it first. I found one myself on eBay for about $25 US, and I'm sure you'll find something similar near you.

You can either take it to a trusted tech or do the job yourself (it's well out of warranty, so Applecare won't be violated). You'll need a good set of precision Phillips screwdrivers and a #8 Torx (T8) screwdriver. The case plastics pry apart once the screws are removed -- I recommend using a medium-gauge guitar pick. With a quick Google search, you might be able to find a service manual or a takeapart guide to walk you through the whole process. Or private message me -- I've been in and out of my 700 so many times I can do it in my sleep!

I could do that with my 800 too.

DC board here: http://www.ifixit.com/cart/customer/product.php?productid=350&cat=&page=1 (you might be able to find a better price on ebay)
Guide here: http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/50.16.0.html (you can also find the entire service manual on google)

Also, if you can borrow a known-good, charged battery from someone, I'd try that first to see if that's even what the problem is.

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cwsmith's picture
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Joined: Oct 13 2005
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Re: Wow thanks for fast answer(!) but I thought...

samashley wrote:

I thought the DC board was suspect only when the iBook wouldn't start with power adapter connected, but with battery alone it would start. If I said that right--you know what I mean. But do you mean that it also does "squirelliness" even when the power adapter is not connected??

Symptoms may not be consistent if the board is deteriorating but has not yet completely failed. Mine started erratically for days before it finally failed -- and would cut power without warning (usually just as I was thinking, "Gee, I'd better save again before *blip!* AAAAARRRRGGHHHH!").

The battery was not getting a proper charge and eventually didn't hold enough power to start the machine -- which explains why I was able to start up with a fully charged battery from the G4 iBook.

Again, I suggest this because the DC board is an easier, less expensive fix than a logic board -- and a new logic board won't cure the symptoms if the problem is the DC board. I'd rather waste $25 on a DC board I didn't wind up needing than $200ish for a logic board I didn't need.

__________________

Dozens of Macs; a handful of PCs; Apple ][e, ][c and ][gs; a few iPods; lots of parts
17 guitars, 2 baritone guitars, alto guitar, 6 bass guitars, bajo sexto, 3 ukuleles, mandolin, banjo, sitar
3/4 scale upright bass, 4pc drum kit, congas, travel congas, bongos, cajon, cabasa, 12 harmonicas
http://www.cwsmith.fmhttp://www.facebook.com/cwsmith2620