Black Screen

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Joined: May 20 2007
Posts: 2

Hi, I am new to this forum, and site.

Ok, I realise you may have covered this ground already but I couldn't seem to find any that completely matched my own problem, so thought it worth a shot at posting my own and seeing the ideas any comebacks in reply.

Right, my mate has a spare ibook g3 14" 900mhz, and hardly uses it, he is also not 'Mac' inclined (shame on him!). He's offering the ibook to me becuase sometime ago, the screen just stopped working. I have dismantled ibooks before, replacing parts hard drive, optical drives....etc.including the whole top panel, but never have I actually changed the cables attached to the display - i.e. inverter ...etc. so wanted to know what you thought before so. He says he didn't drop it, and I don't feel he would need to lie, the ibook itself also is in good condition, no apparent impact damage.

Whats odd is the ibook sounds ' like it is running perfectly' and strangely if he puts it on his lap and moves it around abit sometimes the screen comes on completely as if completely working- it can then be used as an ibook, since no other symtoms...freezing lines across display - which would have steered me to think logic board problem.

Thing is I'm pretty skint and could do with the ibook for my design work. I don't have the ibook here at the moment to test out scenerios, and I can't vouch for whether the backlight light works (I should have checked this though - doh).

I'm think it's the inverter cable, or reed switch. I also read sometime ago that some ibook, screens did exactly this, but owners had to slowly tilt there screen back and forth till they got a picture at a right angle, and apparently it was because the inverter cable was worn (or getting worn) between the hinges. Could it be something like this????

I could really do with some ideas, as long as it isn't the logic board, but I can't see it not if the ibook hardrive- bottom base can be heard running fine.
It occurred to me that I might try to connect it to my g4 flat panel imac as an external monitor, to see if so, but does anyone know if I can do this on my imac g4. And what cables do I need.

Suggestions Suggestions, help help! Thanks for reading

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coius's picture
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Joined: Aug 25 2004
Posts: 1975
The iMac G4's display can NOT

The iMac G4's display can NOT be used as an external display. Simply put (and the short version) is that not all LCDs talk the same way. So, no, you can't use the iMac G4's LCD to display data. If you want to know more, do a search on the site for "Holy grail" That will give you a better insight

Second, it doesn't sound like the invertor or the Reed, but more like the display cable. You said it comes on as you move it around the lap?

IIRC, I think the cable that goes to the LCD is on the underneath of the board, but I don't recall if it was or not. I seemed have looked at the G3 tech manuals before and thought it was. if not, it's connected to the top part of the board (you can probably take the bottom off, the shield (metal foil) and the unscrew the board. It could be something as simple as the cable coming loose from the socket it is in. If you aren't comfortable with that, maybe a AF member around you, that is comfortable with fixing laptops would help you. Or, if you want to, I can give you the details on shipping to me, and I would fix it (you can ask people on the forums that I am reputable) If you saw the other forum topic on the laptops for DVD/CD/ Transport ZX systems, I know a thing or two about laptops.

If not, maybe you can find someone near you.

EDIT: sorry I should have read the post fully. it looks like you are comfortable with the systems
I can say, you should be able to pull the Display bezel apart pretty easily. four screws. I don't recall that they used glue on the bezel around the screen. IIRC, when I opened my friends display for a quick peak after his bezel got damaged, I didn't see glue

As for the tilting. You might want to see if the cable became unseated from the LCD Panel screen itself. It sounds actually more like as the screen gets tilted, it pulls on the ribbon cable pulling it from the socket at the back of the screen, when when it gets tilted back, it pushes into the connector. You might want to take a quick peak and see if the connector is seated properly. probably about a 7-10 minute job. You will need some small hex keys and a very small philips screw driver. I would say a jewelers screwdriver should be fine.

Check to see if the ribbon is getting loose on it, and try to tighten it. I believe I have seen this before in poorly constructed VAIO. Where as the screen tilted, it pulled on the cable, unseating it from the LCD Panel

if that doesn't work, i would say it's safe to say to go get a new LCD ribbon. I believe what you described, is that the LCD works. It's just the connection coming loose.

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iamdigitalman's picture
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Joined: Mar 2 2004
Posts: 629
the display going out like yo

the display going out like you said and flickering back to life is common of the later G3 and early G4 iBooks. The problem is the GPU (graphics processing unit) chip seperates from the logic board somehow. There are 2 solutions I know of, and both I don't think are perminant.

AFAIK, this is only limited to the iBooks.

the first is to replace the logic board. however, this is both expensive, and the replacement bord probibly fail in the exact same way.

the second, which is cheaper, is to insert something (like paper, or thin cardboard) between the GPU and case, like a shim. this uses pressure to make the GPU contact the logic board again. But I am not sure how well this works, or if it is perminant.

there are several topics on this in the forums, just perform a search on "iBook graphics' or something like that, and you will find what you are looking for.

hope this helps.

-digital Wink

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Joined: May 20 2007
Posts: 2
...the saga continues

To start, thanks both of you for such in depth replies.

Well, I got hold of the ibook yesterday and went about dismantling it. I did check it didn't come on by itself prior though! Wouldn't that have been easy!

Anyway, I was hoping and half believed the problem was something like the first reply, that is the cable running from the display to the logic board, was either - loosened by the hinge action or actually worn. I tried reconnecting (well at least the connection to the logic board). Though I haven't tried pressing the connection to the lcd/display, and I will do this when I find the time to. I have just in case bought a replacement cable to see- awaiting it's delivery.

My face turns glum as I type this part. - I have a funny feeling this is the video chip that is the problem, and am thinking it may make sense, now -about the being on his lap, possibly the pressure of your knee on the underneath or possibly heat? gets the display up and going.
As far as sorting this out, I hope to have ago end of next week (in the mean time I have an interview and therefore loads of stuff to do. So please keep this thread in mind since I maybe back toeither, cry for more solutions, or give you an update on the shim's success.
Pray for me, I am counting on the shim!!! In the meantime I will look up this website for ibook graphics.
Thanks again