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iceBook 600MHz A1005 16MB VRAM - Chimes, no boot/display

3lectr1cPPC

Well-known member
I recently picked up a lot of 2 iBook G3 "iceBooks" off of eBay, mainly because one of them was a working 900MHz 14", which I have been after for quite a while. The other one is a 600MHz 12" which I have identified as an "iBook (16MB VRAM)" model. It has the earlier ATI Radeon graphics not known for failure. This iBook chimes, the hard drive spins up and initializes, and then nothing. No display, and I can't hear the drive working as if it's booting either. I coincidentally have another iBook of the exact same model, but that one works fine. I can swap parts to figure out what's wrong, but if I have to take apart another iceBook, I think I'll implode. Before resorting to that or baking the board, does anyone here have any idea what could be the culprit here? I know it's probably just a bad logic board, but could it be anything else?

Thanks,
3lectr1c
 

Franklinstein

Well-known member
Could be RAM. Could be an ATA device not responding. Could be a bad display (the cables wear out because they pass through the clutch cover area). Try removing RAM, disconnecting the ATA cable (should be pretty easy - just pull the plug off the logic board), and/or using an external video cable.
 

3lectr1cPPC

Well-known member
Thanks for the suggestions!
I know it isn’t RAM because I’ve taken the RAM out and put it in the 900MHz because it was a higher capacity module, and the 900MHz still boots. I already tested the hard drive as good as well. I would still expect it to boot, even if the display was dead, but I haven’t checked if the drive actually has a system folder or not. I also doubt the cable being worn could be the issue because the system has very light wear, and the drive only had 1000 hours on it, which isn’t that much. I’ll try disconnecting the IDE cable, but im still thinking it’s probably a bad logic board.

Just tried with the ide ribbon unplugged and I got the same result. If I hold down the power button it does shut off, but I tried target disk mode and the drive didn’t show up, so I can assume that doesn’t work. I’ve also tried shining a flashlight to the screen to see if the backlight is just out, but I don’t see anything at all. I don’t have a miniVGA to VGA adapter, so I can’t test an external screen.
 
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Franklinstein

Well-known member
Well that's too bad. I've had a couple machines just... quit on me. Working fine and then 'oh hey I'm dead now, bye.' It could still be a RAM problem with the soldered RAM. I think that's what happened with my iBook G4 1.42 years ago (never fixed it; just replaced the board). I have a couple Kangas that chime and then just sit there blankly, forever. I think these are also memory-related but I don't know if it's the RAM or the L2 cache SRAMs. I'm sure if I knew what I was doing and had the equipment I could tease it out, but I don't. I can fix obvious faults like capacitor leaks or fire, but if it's a random bit dropping in a chip somewhere, I'll never find it.
 

3lectr1cPPC

Well-known member
What‘s funny about that is that my Blueberry clamshell’s soldered RAM appears to be bad, but it doesn’t stop the computer from working, it just doesn’t show up, so I only have 256MB, not the full amount with soldered RAM. This is why soldered on parts that are known to fail have always annoyed me. When an SSD on an M1 MacBook fails, the computer is made useless. I’m sure hobbyists in the future will have good PGA soldering skills if they want to keep today’s modern computers working, but in the case of an M1 system, the storage is on the chip itself, so good luck replacing that!

Edit: I just got the drive mounted and it works fine. It’s got about 50 seperate versions of AIM (why keep the old ones), LimeWire, Office 2004, and a strange program called “AS400” which appears to be something to do with an IBM server, so that seems interesting. I’m going to try to run some of the software on another iBook, especially AS400. It all looks untouched since the 2000s.

Edit 2: Yep, AS400 seems to be some terminal program. Not of much use to me but still cool!
 
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3lectr1cPPC

Well-known member
I've checked and it doesn't access the hard drive, and it won't do target disk mode either. And it doesn't have the Radeon 7500 that the unreliable ones had. I'm going to part this one out I think.
 
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