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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > A DIY iBook Dual USB Logic Board Repair

A DIY iBook Dual USB Logic Board Repair (Page 2)
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Feb 11, 2007, 01:30 PM
 
Hi all.

my repair lasted just over three weeks bfore geting the familiar lines accross the screen and video balck out symptoms.

I've just given it another blast with my heat gun, this time keeping the heat on for about 40 seconds after the peice of solder i placed on the chip melted (low setting on 1500W gun)

its working again,

FYI i used the ifixit guide for removing the bottom shield:
iBook G3 12" Disassembly: Installing Bottom Shield - Removing Battery (page 1/6)

I used a brown raw plug split down the middle as a tool to free the plastic body (stronger than the bic pen top)

thanks again everyone

keep on ibookin'
     
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Feb 13, 2007, 10:15 PM
 
I have been researching this problem for some time, now. Own an ibook 800mhz with typical video/crash/lockup problems alleviated somewhat by significant pressure to left of the trackpad.

I've seen a website for a firm in Arizona that does reflows on these chips very reasonably ($50 + shpg) through eBay auctions. They claim 100% success on these ibboks with the ATI chip problem. I read in another forum of an ibook owner that had already had two logicboards repaired through them. For me (conservative old guy - my first computer was a mac plus) this sounds more appealing that torching my ibook with a heatgun. BUT, I've got the bottom off; my buddy owns a heat gun he offered to lend me...

In case anyone is interested in the reflow outfit they are www.firstphasetech.com and the ebay seller ID is tom1ptech; look for the listing as "ATI Video Chip Apple Ibook repair Radeon Mobility"

I have no connection to or financial interest in, or even first hand knowledge of this company, but wanted to offer it up for those who lack the nerve to melt their own ibook, and might consider this a reasonable repair option.

Wish me luck (torch or pay???)!

raynman
     
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Feb 14, 2007, 05:29 AM
 
I know this thread is about reflowing the video chip, but how about the firewire chip? - if there is a single device.

My iBook 500 FW port has not worked for a few years. I have tried all the PRAM zaps, re-installs, shutdowns, depowers etc to no avail. I do get power from the the port and the system profiler 'sees' the port though it does not see anything connected to it.

What do people think - or should I just sell my old iBook with a blown FW port?

TIA
( Last edited by Will C; Feb 14, 2007 at 05:30 AM. Reason: Bad typing)
     
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Feb 17, 2007, 10:41 PM
 
Just wanted to thank everyone here for the great tips. I had a dual-usb 700Mhz iBook with this problem, and this solution worked perfectly. I used a hobby-type heat gun to reflow the solder. If the laser thermometer I have is to be believed, I only managed to get the chip up to about 190C, but that was sufficient. Slapped everything back together and it booted on the first try.
Beautiful work figuring this out. Much thanks all around.
     
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Feb 21, 2007, 01:16 AM
 
It Sounded so amazing incredible, but :
IT WORKS
So lets see, I read it several times, before I bought the Heatgun. At least, when there is nothing to loose, the best option.
I deinstalled the motherboard compleatly, then covered the rest of the motherboard with black foil and started carfully heating. the Idea with the solder on top is a very good reference, so I heated until it melted and for 20 seconds longer. I heard the chip sinking, so I stopped. A clean and silent place is very helpful.
Reconnected the motherboard and there it was again!
I want to thank you all for the nice and detailed Tips and hopefuly this can realive other nice macs. in Fact it is a good machine!
THANK YOU!!!

By the Way, loosing the screen does not mean loosing Data, you can take out the hard disk, put it in an external FireWire Box and use it as a start Disk in any other mac. The Idea with the server is also not bad.

Bueno,
before you trash your MAC (the xBox 360 has the same Problem!) there is a nice Movie at :
http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...ir%20fix&hl=en

Also see :
http://geektechnique.org/projectlab/...c-board-repair

Think and ask a friend if you ar not shure, it is a good solution and not that hard to be done!

Thank you all and see you with the next bug !

kai
     
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Feb 22, 2007, 01:19 PM
 
Well. I finally got the guts and the heatgun, and BY GOLLY! IT WORKS! I performed this miracle following the instructions provided by Guy Kuo, and my ibook is, at this moment, loading OSX 10.3 successfully. Prior to this Heat Trick, I could barely get the ibook to boot by holding significant pressure to the left of the trackpad, but it has run flawlessly for over twenty minutes now!

I did the process almost verbatim the instructions of Guy, except that I left the heatgun close for nearly two minutes before slowly backing away to gradually reduce heat. I did not remove the board, but did open the screen and set the keyboard face-down over the edge of a counter so that the heat did not affect the LCD (I just heard the chime of my happy ibook rebooting for the next install step!) It got warm inside the body of the ibook. I left it set for 5 minutes before turning it over to try booting, and the palmrest to the left of the touchpad was still warm then!

I took some photos of the process, but since I was working alone, I have no photos of the heatgun actually in use (not enough hands). But, if anyone wants to see how I masked off the remainder of the logicboard I would be willing to email photos.

I hereby make all the usual disclaimers.... blah, blah! if you torch your kitchen or ruin your mac, it's NOT my fault. but if you were planning on stripping it out for parts (as I was close to doing before I found these posts online), what have you got to lose by trying this first?

I will keep you posted on future developments.

Thanks again, Guy!

raynman
     
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Mar 1, 2007, 06:07 PM
 
Hey, fabulous idea. I kinda had an idea along similar lines when I fixed my first laptop. I knew there must've been a loose component/solder of some sort inside the laptop, and I was thinking that I might've just had to do this. Luckily, it just turned out that the CPU was a bit loose.

Although lots of people are having success, one CRUCIAL thing to do is to try to heat everything up as slowly as possible. The foil paper was a great idear by that one reader to help avoid heating up unnecessary components. Putting a coin on top of the chip is a good idea to spread heat, since it probably is made up of ceramic, which doesn't really spread heat too well.

But what I'd really recommend is to RUN the laptop (sans foil paper) first, just to allow it to heat up, then disconnect it and place the foil paper. Running the laptop first will allow it to heat up a bit, and therefore there'll be less of a heat shock when you first whip out the blow torch
     
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Mar 3, 2007, 05:02 PM
 
Hi, i've just bought a faulty ibook g3 500.

I can start it, i heard the boot sound, but the screen is blank.

So i thonk about the infamouse problem of the GPU, but i have to ask a thing when your ibook had this problem the apple logo behind the lcd was lighted or not?

My one isn't lighted at all, and I started to thing about the possibility that my problem isn't only the gpu, due to this fact.

Anyone could give me a tip about this?

Thanks in advance.
     
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Mar 5, 2007, 09:48 PM
 
to gh3,

...the apple logo is lit by the same light which provides light to the screen (which was not lit on my machine when it had the graphic problem), check for screen backlight failure by shining a bright flashlight from behind the apple logo, through the screen. If a faint screen image is visible, it may indicate a backlight that needs replacement. My screen had NO image whatsoever with flashlight. Also, if I booted my ibook while holding some strong pressure just the the left of the mousepad, it would begin to show screen images, but then show some garbled lines, then totally blank screen again shortly after releasing the pressure (this is the reasoning behind the "shim" remedies)

My G3 ibook worked for 6 days after the initial repair (2-22-07; see above in this thread) while I was carrying the ibook around my house checking wifi coverage; I probably flexed the casing, and stressed the logicboard. So, I dismantled the ibook again (I'm getting pretty fast with that by now) and re-applied heat, a bit closer for a bit longer this time, PLUS applied a shim composed of a piece of a CD over the chip, re-assembled, and I have had a running ibook for 4 more days now, without any signs of failure.

hoping for a "total cure" this time.

raynman
     
Guy Kuo  (op)
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Mar 6, 2007, 08:27 PM
 
:-)
     
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Mar 8, 2007, 10:41 PM
 
it took a few tries, but i think i got it! the first 2 (maybe 3) times i used the heat gun on the 750 degree setting for approximately 2 minutes. the solder on top liquified, but apparantly the ball solder under the chip didnt get hot enough. then i finally upped the gun to 1500 degrees and left the heat on the chip for about 45 seconds after the solder on top melted. so far so good!
     
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Mar 10, 2007, 12:59 AM
 
Hi guys,
Looks like I'm going to have to perform this operation on a friends iBook. I've had it apart already and on top of the graphics chip is a yellow heat transfer compound. It seems very brittle and would probably disintegrate if I took it off. Has anyone else encountered this and if so what did you replace it with?
     
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Mar 12, 2007, 10:44 PM
 
i used a knife to get under it and got it off in two pieces.

edit: turns out my repair only lasted a week...i just tried it again, so we'll see how long it holds this time.

edit2: up and running again. hopefully longer this time...i thinki was a little too rough with the ibook previously..

edit 3: doesnt seem to want to stay fixed...i added a couple thin cardboard shims and now its being consistant...
( Last edited by unisphere; Mar 18, 2007 at 11:46 PM. )
     
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Mar 20, 2007, 05:18 PM
 
Are the torches being used standard Benzomatic or the Map gas variety? Or something else?
( Last edited by imacfly; May 17, 2007 at 11:31 PM. )
     
Guy Kuo  (op)
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Mar 22, 2007, 08:59 AM
 
HEAT GUN. Not torch. A gas torch very easily gets too hot. I've tried it that way as well and a heat gun is MUCH easier to control.
     
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Mar 22, 2007, 09:48 AM
 
Fantastic! Did this on a mates dead ibook, and it worked wopee .

Sadly my old ibook seems to suffer from a loose cpu (it shuts down after being on for a short whil), is there a similiar way to fix that issue?
     
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Mar 23, 2007, 09:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by Guy Kuo View Post
HEAT GUN. Not torch. A gas torch very easily gets too hot. I've tried it that way as well and a heat gun is MUCH easier to control.
Somebody here mentioned a torch, I believe. Maybe I just responded to the wrong message... sorry.
( Last edited by imacfly; May 17, 2007 at 11:32 PM. )
     
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Mar 31, 2007, 12:07 AM
 
Snagged a 12" 800 Mhz w/ 640 MB ram / 32 MB vram in nice shape knowing it had bad
video for $120 - would display desktop 1 out of 4 tries but various video crashes
< 15 min - have a 60 Watt Soldering Iron [big pencil type] I thought I'd try - took
back skin & RF shield off - video package is different ~ has rectangular ATI 7500 w/
2 square Samsung vram chips (and one teeny surface mount capacitor in far corner)
underneath yellow thermal foam surrounded by thin clear plastic square - cut 1/4"
thick copper plate to roughly 1" square - drilled v. small holes in center of plate
with drill press to facilitate pounding in a medium small screwdriver that matched
tip of Soldering Iron - eventually got a 'friction fit' where Iron would balance
upright even w/ heavy cord - dished hole side of plate w/ die grinder in drill press - put closed laptop on carpeted floor - positioned plate & fired the Iron up
- heated up pretty slowly - applied lots of solder around Iron/Plate interface to
improve thermal transfer (reason for dishing plate) let cook for 4 hours - using
cheap IR thermometer guessing board temps nearby reached 250F - surface of plate
~ 375F - clear plastic surround barely singed ! - let cool for 1/2 hour - teeny
capacitor ok ! - laptop works great ! --- going away on vacation so won't be able to reply to comments any time soon - some notes : Big Soldering Irons like I used are
expensive & rare (mine a 60w HexAcoN Roselle Park N.J.) you could use 5 'el cheapo
pencil type irons etc. [I wouldn't use 'acid core' or plumbers solder ~ I also wouldn't use an aluminum plate] - perhaps a silver dollar and a nest of dollar store irons is the safer ghetto repair - good luck !
     
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Apr 6, 2007, 03:04 PM
 
I must say after reading this I was totally inspired. I have tried fixing my ibook with shims but unfortunately they were only temporary fixes. My boyfriend bought me a new macbook a couple of weeks ago but my old ibook looked so sad sitting across the room dead to the world. So about a week ago, I took my ibook apart and wihtout anything to lose I took the heat gun and blasted away with no idea of what I was doing. I applied heat to the video card for a couple of minutes, let my laptop sit for about a half hour and then attempted to try to boot her up. I must say that I was very surprised to find that a) I hadnt absolutely ruined her in my fix attempt and b) that the friggin thing booted up. She has been running perfectly for over a week now. Anyways, thanks for the genious ideas! I think that she might be fixed for good (well atleast for awhile)
     
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Apr 8, 2007, 03:44 AM
 
i had an ibook with the logic bard problem. i made a shim over the GPU which worked fine but i didn't consider it a long term fix. i picked up a heat gun from home depot, read and reread the above directions and killed my ibook. i'm really not sure where i made my mistake. maybe i didn't make any and this logic board just wouldn't reflow. anyway, just leaving a word to the wise - you can fail at this.
     
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Apr 8, 2007, 09:57 AM
 
I failed this, but only because i poked my GPU and it moved. It was OK before that, it just wouldn't stay permanently fixed.
     
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Apr 8, 2007, 11:44 AM
 
Hi everyone, I just wanted to give a huge shout of thanks for everyone who posted to this forum as I found all the experiences and information VERY HELPFUL when my G3 800Mhz ibook stopped booting. I spent a couple hours researching possible problems and found that by applying frim pressure to area just left of touchpad (lower left hand corner) I could get it to boot. I found the problem based on that single finding and read several suggested DIY fixes. If it hadn't been for adrian1963 posting the link to: iBook G3 12" Disassembly: Installing Bottom Shield - Removing Battery (page 1/6)
I never would have thought of trying any of the suggested fixes I read about. FYI, I chose the "shim" method rather than the heat method. I was just too nervous about possibly damaging the logic board or other areas with heat.

I followed all the steps on the ifixit site and used 4 small (double sided) mounting tabs to "shim" the chip down. Sure enough, after reassembling the lower case and heat sheild, my previously dead ibook booted on first try! I shut it down and cold booted 3 more times. I also cold booted after waiting about 30 minutes and it has been great since!

Thank you all for your knowledge
     
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Apr 11, 2007, 02:05 PM
 
Great!
( Last edited by imacfly; May 17, 2007 at 11:33 PM. )
     
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Apr 12, 2007, 03:52 PM
 
So does anyone think this might work on my iBook?:

http://forums.macnn.com/66/ibook-and...t-help-please/

It never had a video issue, it just stopped working altogether.
     
Guy Kuo  (op)
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Apr 13, 2007, 05:41 PM
 
A few messages above reinforce the message that although DIY reflow can work, it is inherently risky. You are undertaking a task which normally requires specialized tools and knowledge. Even worse, you are doing it as someone who has never reflowed surface mount components and using a non-standard heating method. It is remarkable that so many have succeeded since I reported the method, but there IS risk and one should understand you CAN make the situation worse by attempting reflow.

On the other hand, my iBook is still running 24/7 as a server. So, if you have nothing to lose, it might be worth a try resurrecting an old iBook.
     
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Apr 13, 2007, 06:10 PM
 
I think mine may be a video issue after all. I've found that if I squeeze the case to the left of the track pad, it will boot every time. I may try the shims and see how long that lasts.
     
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Apr 13, 2007, 09:35 PM
 
So what causes this problem?

I just had a 1GHz G4 iBook have similar symptoms last night. I put it in a sleeve and I had thought I left it sleeping when it went in there but 5 hours later when I pulled it out. The Apple logo was lit with the lid closed and it was unresponsive when I opened it up.

After restarts it wouldn't chime and the screen was mostly black with the multi-colored stripes in a couple of locations. OVer the course of the last 24 hours it has boot up for a few minutes at a time but I have also had trys when it refused to chime but the HDD would spin up and then times when it would chime and the fan would kick in full blast. Oddly ehough thought the battery is charging like normal according to the green lights on the bottom.

I am a little surprised tht after 3 years it went belly up with no discernable damage or abuse causing it. From what i gather I seem to have the same problem as you all but I need to investigate a little further before I try consider the heat gun trick.
( Last edited by Langdon; Apr 13, 2007 at 09:52 PM. )
     
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Apr 13, 2007, 11:09 PM
 
I haven't owned mine nearly as long, but same thing happened to me. No indication that something was coming. Worked fine Tuesday night but Wednesday at noon it would not start up.
     
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Apr 14, 2007, 10:20 AM
 
Good Day all.
I would like to see if this is the same problem. I have a iBook G4 933 and at first the video started to go fuzzy and blank out after 10 mins.. about 10 more boot ups and uses it would start the boot up circle screen and then it would stop right there.. tried to reboot a few times and then blank screen.. I tried to boot up with putting pressure next to the track pad.. it would go further but as soon as release pressure .. video halts...

Thank you in advance for help and constructive comments
     
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Apr 16, 2007, 02:06 AM
 
Hey everyone!
I was handed someone's broken iBook 700mhz G3. They wanted to get their data off it, told me it hadn't worked for 3 months. I found it was one of the iBooks within the range of serial numbers covered by Apple, however this is 2007 and that program ended in 2005.

Then I found the tealight solution.. haha! I love that ****. Which led me to here.. I didn't hesitate getting out my heatgun and some foil.. Now the iBook works better than before, but still crashes.. I think I'm a little too scared to heat it up too much.

When you guys talk about putting solder on the top of the chip.. is it ok for it to melt onto the chip? Do you leave the solder there, melted? I feel a little uncomfortable at this prospect. Anyhow, my heatgun, just blows the solder pieces straight off! I have to use a butterknife to hold the solder down while I fire the heatgun at the chip.

I blasted it on the high setting for about 20secs.. (After warming it up on the low setting for awhile first)

.. Oh yeah.. Incidentally, I had a dead flatscreen 17" iMac .. I fired the heatgun at 2 of the chips, GPU and some other one. and now the screen works!! When it hasn't worked for a year.. Although it freezes just after the inital boot. I guess I'm just going to keep blasting these things with heat until they either work for good.. or break.
     
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Apr 21, 2007, 02:21 AM
 
Well i removed the bottom of my G4 1GHz iBook.
The video chip seems to have been moved to the inside of the motherboard.

This pic seems to show that the back side of the motherboard has 3 arrays traced out. I am not sure which is the video chip without removing the motherboard altogether - which I have not done yet.
If anyone knows please let me know.

This would make it seem impossible to shim the chip to apply the needed pressure in an effort to see if that would fix the problem. And i have no idea how much harder it would make trying to reflow the connections. I assume that without removing the board it would be impossible since the chip would actually pull father out being on the underside.





Advice at this point would be appreciated.
     
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Apr 21, 2007, 08:44 AM
 
I am not personally familiar with the G4 ibook graphics problem, but I understand that the symptoms range from garbled graphics to total inability to boot with a loud (high-speed) fan noise.

a link to another site that proposes a potential fix for the G4:
http://www.coreyarnold.org/ibook/

BTW, my G3 ibook is running just fine now (I fixed mine a second time with heat PLUS a CD shim about 6 weeks ago). see my notes earlier in this thread.

I'm considering obtaining a G4 ibook with the 'classic' graphics symptoms, so I can experiment with a fix for that.

raynman
     
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Apr 21, 2007, 11:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by raynman View Post
a link to another site that proposes a potential fix for the G4:
http://www.coreyarnold.org/ibook/
I am definitely going to try this fix. I'm sitting here reading that and it describes EXACTLY the problem I'm having. In fact, I had to laugh, because he describes using a clamp on the iBook to get it to run and that's exactly what I've done to mine. Takes the portability right out though!!!
     
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Apr 22, 2007, 08:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by raynman View Post
but I understand that the symptoms range from to total inability to boot with a loud (high-speed) fan noise.

a link to another site that proposes a potential fix for the G4:
http://www.coreyarnold.org/ibook/
raynman
I did the fix listed on the website listed above and so far, so good. iBook has been running for just over 2 hours now and I've carried it around the house, put it to sleep, moved the screen back-and-forth, everything that used to make it shut right off.
     
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Apr 22, 2007, 08:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by Gankdawg View Post
I did the fix listed on the website listed above and so far, so good. iBook has been running for just over 2 hours now and I've carried it around the house, put it to sleep, moved the screen back-and-forth, everything that used to make it shut right off.
You placed the shim under that same miscellaneous chip by the black cord? I'd still like to know what that chip is for and if its really the culprit or if it just is the right spot to apply pressure to so that whatever is loose does work.

Also which g4 ibook do you have.
I'm curious as to how thick the shim has to be
     
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Apr 22, 2007, 08:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by Langdon View Post
You placed the shim under that same miscellaneous chip by the black cord? I'd still like to know what that chip is for and if its really the culprit or if it just is the right spot to apply pressure to so that whatever is loose does work.

Also which g4 ibook do you have.
I'm curious as to how thick the shim has to be
Yes, I placed the shim under the power cord on the motherboard as shown in the pictures. If you read the guy's website, you will see you can use just about anything but it sounds like something around 2 mils is about right.

I have a 1.2 GHz iBook.
     
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Apr 23, 2007, 11:48 PM
 
I shimmed the chip under the black wires. And for now its running.

It passed a 2.5 hour run through where i let it sit on a table and used an external keyboard and optical mouse.

Now I removed it off the table and I am running it as-is. I am skeptical of how permanent a fix it is and I am even less confident that I would be able to use it as a portable again. One good bump and i feel i would be back at square one.

edit
Well it didn't take much for the screen to go black on me while using the laptop on my lap.

I added some 3M mounting tape, which has a small amount of foam, to the backside of the white plastic bottom of the iBook where the chip approximately is. It should add much more pressure on the motherboard in the area where the chip is. In fact there's a little bit of a bulge now on the underside of the iBook.
If this doesn't take then i don't think this will work out for me.

Does anyone else think this is why the macbooks moved away from using a dedicated graphics chip?
( Last edited by Langdon; Apr 24, 2007 at 01:32 AM. )
     
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Apr 26, 2007, 05:14 PM
 
whoops
( Last edited by custom_software; Apr 26, 2007 at 05:21 PM. Reason: Accidentaly submitted it)
     
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Apr 26, 2007, 05:19 PM
 
Followed Guy's method for "reflowing" the solder under the GPU, even to keeping the heat on for a minute after the solder chip I'd put on top of the GPU melted. (Talk about a nervous time!) The ibook has been running fine for several days now. I varied the reassembly just a little in that I put some Arctic Silver thermal paste on both sides of the thermal pad that I had to scrape off of the GPU. I figured that should improve the heat conductivity from the GPU chips to the RF shield.

After the repair, I've been able to hold the iBook in one hand from both sides of the case and open and close the case repeatedly; I've even applied torque to the logic board visibly twisting it and it still runs. I'm pretty excited about this.
     
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Apr 30, 2007, 02:51 PM
 
Hey, are we sure that the yellow foam on top of the video chip is a heat conductor and not just a spacer to put pressure on the chip? I tried the heat gun trick yesterday and it worked great (so far). A 14" iBook that would display horz. lines within 30 seconds or so of booting up. I've run it for a couple of hours with no issues. I was probably lucky as I simply covered the surrounding area with corregated cardboard and the metal shield off another iBook and attacked it with the 1500 watt heat gun on high--the whole procedure took perhaps 60 seconds

Now that I know this works, however, I would like to come up with a consistant method by which to effect this procedure. I like the above poster's idea about a HD soldering iron mounted to a copper plate and a temp probe to monitor the temperature. Wondering if an infrared probe would work OK or if it would need to be a contact type probe. What sort of wattage are we looking at to get the solder up to the melting point (which I understand is ~360 to 420 F)?
     
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May 1, 2007, 02:15 PM
 
Well, my repair worked for a day and a half. The laptop shut down and wouldn't restart last night. This morining it booted up and was fine. I'm wondering if it related to the removal of the foam stuff (I really don't think so) or that I just didn't cook it long enough. I think I'll try some more heat and see what happens. I've been pricing out laser temperature guns and I think that would be just the thing to help gauge the temp of the chip (though I'm not so sure about the solder balls beneath it). After learning much more than I ever wanted to know about BGAs, it seems that actual removal of the package can occur at a max of 220C (the melting point of the solder being ~183C, and plasticity at ~160C to 170C).

I recall back in the RAM shortage of the '80s that we made quite a nice profit by pulling DRAMS off old motherboards by using an infrared heat lamp. I'm thinking that something like that might be a idea to heat up the vid chip. One could raise or lower it to gradually increas/decrease the heat, and it would likely be more controllable than blasting the chip with a heat gun.

I also thought about using a square of copper set on top of the chip to spread out the heat.
     
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May 4, 2007, 03:12 AM
 
In quite a bit of detail you can read what the problem is with the G4 iBooks
http://www.forbrug.dk/presse/nyheder...g4/lab-report/




Study finds manufacturing defect
     
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May 6, 2007, 12:59 PM
 
I have read all of the posts posted in this specific thread and I seem to have a lot of the symptoms people have but with my Dual USB G3 800mhz iBook it doesn't turn on period. When it crashed many years ago, IIRC, the screen may have flickered ... I then reset it and it wouldn't turn on and still hasn't .... period, it doesn't power up, No fan blows, no HDD make sounds... I also tried pushing down on the left side of the mouse (and squeezed) and nothing seemed to happen. Should I try this fix? That is my question. Thanks for considering and reading!
( Last edited by Webby_s; May 7, 2007 at 07:07 PM. )
     
mdh
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May 7, 2007, 03:35 PM
 
Wow, I stumbled upon the geektechnique article the other night, then found this thread. I got a heat gun yesterday (the small "hobby" type) and revived my old 700 MHz G3 iBook. It's been running continuously for about 18 hours now, with a couple of successful reboots. Unbelievable.

As for technique, the only thing I have to add is that I, too, put some bits of solder on top of the chip, but since the solder will melt just about immediately under direct heat, what I watched for was flow of solder sitting on a portion of the chip that wasn't receiving direct heat at that moment. That way, I could feel confident that the chip was conducting enough heat to melt the solder. Kept the heat on for another 20-30 seconds after that, if I recall correctly, but I was sort of giddy, so I might not be a very reliable witness.
     
Guy Kuo  (op)
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May 7, 2007, 06:11 PM
 
Just to review the basics.

You shield the rest of components so nothing extra gets molten

Preheat the board so there isn't a large thermal stress on the circuit board.

Heat the BGA enough so ALL the solder balls underneath it soften. At that point only the surface tension of the balls are holding the device in place so ... no tilting, no pressing, no jostling lest you dislodge the chip.

Back off heat to allow gradual cooling and redue thermal stress.

Too much heat and you can destroy the chip.

Too little heat (and time) and the only some of the solder balls soften and you don't get a full reflow across the bad connections. Done right, the chip will appear to have sunken down VERY slightly towards the PC board.
     
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May 7, 2007, 08:41 PM
 
OK, I have ordered a laser thermometer that handles up to 250C. What I want to do is establish some sort of "ideal" heat/time profile. Since I have a number of iBooks with this issue, I think a little experimentation would be worthwhile. Guy, could you postulate on what a suitable chip surface temp might be to created the appropriate heat beneat the chip? I would assume that the BGA needs to hit 183C at least for them to flow. It may be difficult to pin-point an area with the thermometer. I suppose if one were to entirely remove the logic board a temp reading from the "off side" would be more reliable but that is such a pain. Did we establish if the foam on the chip is actually for thermal transfer of heat or just there to put downward pressure on the chip? Thanks for any input!
     
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May 8, 2007, 12:03 PM
 
I just registered to say thank you. I couldn't believe this, but last weekend, I've succeeded in repairing an iBook G3/800. It has booted up numerous times since then and works like a charm. I'll try a G4 next

I just removed the logicboard from the case, wrapped it in aluminium-foil and used a heat gun, held it about 10cm from the video processor at the lowest setting until a bit of tin I had placed on the processor melted and curled into a nice little ball. I counted to ten, tried to push the video processor down a bti with a screwdriver and turned the heat gun off. That's really all it took, thank you so much!
     
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May 8, 2007, 11:16 PM
 
I, too, have an iBook G4 which had video/boot up problems. I tried the fix suggested on the ibook G4 logic board fix site, but it would still give me intermittent problems and the machine was not reliable at all. Then, recently, I read that Denmark had found the flaw and read the PDF that they put out. In the PDF, they provided excellent photos of what the problem was exactly. Afterwards, I took apart the iBook and used a soldering iron to heat up pins 1 and 28 on the troublesome chip. My iBook has been running perfectly and has been running continuously for about 4 days now.
Mac Pro 3.2x8 - 48GB - EVGA GTX 680 - Apple Remote - Dell 3007WFP-HC
MacBook 2GHz - C2D - 8GB - GF 9400M
Mac mini 2.33GHz C2D - 4GB - GMA950 - 2 Drobos - SS4200 (unRAID)
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May 8, 2007, 11:25 PM
 
Again thanks to everyone for giving me hope that I may resurrect my G3/800mhz iBook. I have yet to be successful though, as I believe it is not a BGA problem (but I will try anything). Why I believe this is because I can not turn the laptop on period. The fan does not kick on, I hit the caps lock and it doesn't light up.

So my question again is does anyone have another reason there iBook has biffed it? Is it something with the power source? Any other issues with the logic board?

I should never have found this forum. Now all's I want to do is possibly get my old iBook running again after 3 years of being a paper weight. Oh the stuff I have on that HDD.

Thanks again all.
     
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May 10, 2007, 09:07 PM
 
You most likely don't have a video problem but a failed DC in board. It's easier to replace and less nerve wracking than heatgunning your ibook. Checkout iFixit.com on how to replace it.

As to the earlier poster who wondered what the yellow pad on the GPU is. It may act as a shim, but it's a thermal transfer pad that thermally connects the GPU to the RF shield. It helps conduct heat away from the GPU. (That's why the bottom of your ibook gets warm because it's dissipating the heat from the GPU.) Once you reflow your board, put the pad back on.

An update on my notebook: the first fix worked fine until I overheated my machine. I've applied the screen spanning hack to it and left an external monitor connected to it. (That's safe enough, but the next part's an ibook killer... ) Not thinking, I closed the case, with the monitor still attached and went to bed. My notebook is set to wake itself up in the morning. It did so. But it ran for I don't know how long with the case closed. That led to the machine getting really hot... and the GPU solder joints failed again.

So, I reflowed it again. Kept the heat on another 30 seconds longer than the first time and added a thin washer between the thermal pad and the RF shield, plus a tiny dose of Arctic Silver. The washer does act as a shim, but the main reason I have it there is I've pretty much hacked my thermal pad to bits and wanted to make sure the thermal connection between the GPU and the RF shield stays solid. Since, then, my machine's been rock solid with no problems.
     
 
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