LCD problem on Ibook g3 600

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Joined: Oct 15 2005
Posts: 21

Hey everyone, I hope someone can help me out here!

I have an Ibook g3600 12", and after immense airport travel I started having troubles with the screen.

Basically, if the screen is opened to the right angle (quite wide) and it is powered on afterwards, it will work fine. However, if you open the screen to lets say 90 degrees and power it on, the screen is so faint it is almost not on at all..., infact I didn't even know it was coming on faintly until i really looked at it.
If you power it on and the screen doesn't come on, it wont come on by adjusting the angle. You have to shut it down, close it, then open it to the proper angle and restart.

I took it to the mac guys here and they quoted me a ridiculous price of something like 300$. But what they did tell me is that it is probably the LCD cable, or the "inverter board". Both of which I've found on ebay, but not purchased yet becuase I am confused as to what this problem actually is.

I know that during the airport travel, the Ibook unfortunately got packed pretty tight - a squeeze on the top and bottom which sort of pinched the fold.

I figured I'd try to take it apart and have a look, but I am not so experienced with laptops, and after taking out about 15 screws, I don't wnat to go much further as I'm afraid I wont be able to put it back together.

Does anyone have any solutions as to how to replace this LCD cable? or if anyone knows what this problem is for sure?

Thanks a lot for your help guys.
I really appreciate it.
-Anthony

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Macbook 1.83ghz,1gb ram,60gb HD.
Ibook G3 600 12",384mb ram,20gb HD.

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iantm's picture
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Joined: Apr 2 2005
Posts: 709
reed switch/inverter cable

Sounds like the reed switch/inverter cable on your iBook has given up the ghost. Inverter assemblies seldom go bad. If you've never cracked open an iBook before, I would recommend against doing this yourself. There are how to guides, but there are lots of opportunities for something to go wrong. I would recommend taking it to a good independant Apple shop that has a technician who is certified for portables. Based on your description, the place you took it to doesn't have someone who is certified in portables and sends everything out to the Apple service depot in Memphis. Since it's a cable, this classifies as tier 1, which, with markup will end up around the 300 price point.

Don't go to the Apple store, because they will charge you the same price whether it's done at their store or not. If you can find someone who can do it in house, you should expect to pay around $130-$150. Depending on where you are, there may be some other, excellent options for repair. (know of some good shops in Florida and Pennsylvania, as I am sure that some others here can recommend other good places around the country)

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- iantm
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Offline
Joined: Oct 15 2005
Posts: 21
Thanks a lot! I'll take a

Thanks a lot!

I'll take a look around, Do you know where I could find any how to guides?
I won't do anything ridiculous, I'd just like to see how complicated it is.

What gets me about this problem is that the LCD works like completely fine when its opened to the right angle.
its flawless.

Anyhow, thanks again

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Macbook 1.83ghz,1gb ram,60gb HD.
Ibook G3 600 12",384mb ram,20gb HD.

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Joined: Oct 15 2005
Posts: 21
which part?
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Macbook 1.83ghz,1gb ram,60gb HD.
Ibook G3 600 12",384mb ram,20gb HD.

cwsmith's picture
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Joined: Oct 13 2005
Posts: 699
You should start by searching

You should start by searching the internet for a service manual or take-apart guide for your model iBook. iFixit.com has a pretty extensive collection of take-apart guides to walk you through the process.

It should be noted, however, that this is not a trivial undertaking. The iBook's small form factor makes for some very tight tolerances. Expect to spend the better part of a Saturday working on this project, and consider what other changes you'd like to make (larger hard drive? CD burner? DVD-ROM drive?) so you only have to open it up once.

The sheer number of screws is staggering. I use an egg carton or divided tray to sort the screws by location as I go. And a digital camera is helpful too -- to take pictures of the parts as they were before you removed them.

Be sure to have some sort of soft plastic tool to pry the bottom case (the part that sits on the desk) from the top case (the part where the keyboard sits). I've found that a Fender medium guitar pick gives just the right combination of size and leverage, without marring the iBook's finish.

I hope I haven't scared you off the project. It really can be rewarding to do the work yourself, but you have to have the courage, patience, tenacity, and the proper tools to see it through to completion.

Please feel free to contact me if you have questions, as I have done similar jobs on similar iBooks before. The private messaging service here in AppleFritter is a great place to start, and I can give you more contact info from there.

Good luck!

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Joined: Sep 21 2004
Posts: 74
First off...

If you've never taken apart an iBook, don't do it unless you're sure you know what you're doing in a laptop. It's like no other. I've actually gotten to the point where I can have one completely in pieces in about 45 minutes, these days people bring them to me because I enjoy doing them. A couple beers... a couple free hourse... it's fun, and good practice too... But if you're even remotely nervous about going in, stop now. If anyone here is making you afraid of working on an iBook, that's a good thing. It's the only portable I've seen that's so difficult.

Having said that, it's just like any other job, it all goes one piece at a time. A tear apart guide is your second best friend, your first best friend is a place to put the 60 or so screws that are each the size of a spec of dust. Try to number whatever type of thing you're putting the screws into, that you can correllate the screws' numbers to the steps in which you took them out. That'll save you the headache of trying to remember which micro-screw goes where, and when. Make sure you have the proper jeweler's screwdrivers for this, some of these things will strip with the wrong size, and that will result in fun on a scale you've likely never seen before.

To remove the bottom panel, there's an easy trick to get it started. Once you've gotten to the point where you're ready to take the bottom cover off (according to your take apart guide, not according to when you think you've got enough screws out)and the battery's removed (which it should have been a long time ago, with the laptop shut down) you can see there's a think wall of plastic from the bottom case that runs the outside edge of the battery compartment. If you pull that away from the upper part first, by pulling it into the battery compartment (gently) you will have started to seperate the bottom case, then you can use something like a plastic knife or something else fairly soft and smooth to prevent marring to open the rest of the gap on the bottom.

Basically, if you decide to go through with it, be VERY meticulous, keep track of EVERYTHING, and if you have questions, ask before you yank. Oh, and when you get the top cover off, make sure you don't just pull, as the speaker connector and the power button connector have VERY short leads, I've had to solder a few of these joints when people trying to do this step have assumed they were home free, pulled, and yanked the connector's socket off the mobo.

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Joined: Mar 24 2007
Posts: 1
lcd screen problem

I have the same problem and wondered if you ever fixed yours and what you did.
Thanks