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I know, my history with iBook G4s isn't all that fantastic. In my nature though I had to try... this little machine is another victim of the "fractured solder syndrome" that plagued so many iBook G4s. I can't help it though, I love these machines, their shape, their battery life... so when I found out this one was destined for the bin, I fought to save it. The mission succeeded just a few days ago.

 

- 1.07GHz PowerPC G4 Processor

- 768MB RAM

- 40GB HD

- Combo Drive

- ATI Mobility Radeon 9200

- 12.1" Display

- Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.7

 

I have to admit, one of the things I missed about these is their performance. They're pretty standard in terms of specs, but it seems very difficult to actually strain the hardware of the system. Even Leopard runs like a dream on it.

 

So... I still had to tackle down the fractured solder. The best solution would be to retouch the solder, but it's common knowledge that these will almost definitely fracture again, so the board needs to be supported. Contrary to popular belief a shim is not sufficient as it pushes down on the chip, but doesn't prevent heat expansion of the chip leads. So my newest solution is to hot glue the chip down, applying it thick, so the glue then acts as a shim too. This applies even pressure across the chip and the component leads without straining the case too much. It also pulls the chip down because hey, it's glue! Win/Win situation and it works great. I borrowed some parts off my old iBook, but I used the glue technique on the old one and it seems to have worked well too.

 

So what did I get with the iBook kit?

 

- iBook G4

- 2 relatively new batteries (7 hours runtime)

- iBook G4 "Getting Started" Manual

- Original Box with foam and cardboard sleeves

(Already had a charger for it, so that's covered)

 

So... lets see just how long this new one lasts! :lol:

 

Cheers

- MB

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I am keeping one eye out for a cheap one of those. I also have the 12" iBook G3 600 and I really like it. I got it to use when traveling. But I'd like to get the G4 because, well, it's better! Small, light, runs Leopard and Skype with video, better Airport. I am glad to see it has a good home.

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I am keeping one eye out for a cheap one of those. I also have the 12" iBook G3 600 and I really like it. I got it to use when traveling. But I'd like to get the G4 because, well, it's better! Small, light, runs Leopard and Skype with video, better Airport. I am glad to see it has a good home.

 

8 or 16 mb video card ?

thats the only thing i dont like about my 600 mhz ibook the 8 mb video card

other then that is a huge improvement over my 500 mhz (who stil works fine thank you)

its amazing how much difference 64 mb extra ram a 33 mhz faster fsb and 100 mhz extra make

 

the 500 chugged with panther while tiger soars on the 600 mhz

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I love my ibook it is an 800mhz g3 ibook, I'd really love to have a G4 ibook to replace it, but at the price I'd find a g4 ibook in I'd probally just get an msi wind (if only they made a 12" of those).

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Hey,

 

Using hot glue to fix that little chip on iBook G4 isn't what I'd do - it'll just fail again within time and be a right royal bugger to remove (and you'll probably rip off the little chip getting the glue off). I was recently given the same specced iBook G4 1.07 - in pieces - same issue with the little chip (someone had already tried to fix it with a heap of BlockBuster video cards - layer upon layer as it got worse!), and just touched each leg for ~ 3 seconds @ 350 - 400deg C. This was using a not-very-fine-tipped iron point and wasn't at all hard to do, and it's been fine ever since.

 

Unless you can solder it back, glue/shim/clamps will work for a while but can never be considered 100% reliable in the long term.

 

JB

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Hey,

 

Using hot glue to fix that little chip on iBook G4 isn't what I'd do - it'll just fail again within time and be a right royal bugger to remove (and you'll probably rip off the little chip getting the glue off). I was recently given the same specced iBook G4 1.07 - in pieces - same issue with the little chip (someone had already tried to fix it with a heap of BlockBuster video cards - layer upon layer as it got worse!), and just touched each leg for ~ 3 seconds @ 350 - 400deg C. This was using a not-very-fine-tipped iron point and wasn't at all hard to do, and it's been fine ever since.

 

Unless you can solder it back, glue/shim/clamps will work for a while but can never be considered 100% reliable in the long term.

 

JB

 

I have to admit... agreed. I'd never just apply the glue straight on. After reflowing the legs of the chip, all I did was to apply the glue to a known dead iBook logic board to form the basis for the "mould". Once set over that, I removed it from the dead board and carefully lay it in position on the good iBook board- this gives it the extra bracing needed to support the chip whether it's reflowed or not (although applying it after the reflow will somewhat help prevent it cracking from heat again).

 

Was surprised I didn't rip the chip from the board when removing it from the scrap board actually... they hold down tougher than I thought. I fixed that old board too, but I want to see how long it lasts without being reflowed first. That one is my "test iBook".

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Well... the newest iBook exhibited a system lockup due to that chip this morning. Until now it had a pretty good run, 26 hours and counting without a hitch then as soon as it powered up this morning, it failed. Looks like i'll have to borrow one of the soldering irons from the electronics workshop, but that won't be possible until next week. Until then I need to hope these crashes aren't too frequent.

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My iBook has the same problem.

 

I might be tempted to rip it open and re-solder the GPU when I have some time. I've only had it a few weeks before it failed, but during that time I truly fell in love with it. Here's to hoping you get yours fixed up good.

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Will probably attempt the repair today. I have 2 chances to get this right (2 logic boards) but i'd like to get it right the first time around. Although we don't have the fine tip soldering irons, the tips are fine enough to contact each individual lead without any issues. Here's hoping for the best anyway... i'd love to have even one iBook that's been repaired properly. I may even go the full amount and scrape the varnish from the logic board for a greater surface contact point. Generally this ensures the repair will last and the information can be found here:

 

http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/tips/iBookG4_vreg_repair/ibookG4_vreg_repair.html

 

Funnily enough I have managed to resolder the Vreg chip before, but it cracked again shortly after... so part of the job will be an upgraded connection to the board and then of course epoxying it into place to prevent a flex and crack again. After all, a job worth doing is worth doing well- so I may as well go the extra half mile and make sure it's done extremely well.

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Posting from my phone so I'll keep this simple. The iBook is back from surgery, currently in intensive care but the procedure otherwise appeared to be a success. Just need to keep it in for observation a while longer. Ended up doing a full repair, all 28 pins resoldered down with the extra solder on pin 28 as per the images in my previous post link. With a little luck this issue won't return. :)

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Nice work - hope it goes well!

I have a few iBook G3 500MHz's to repair at some point - I don't know why I like the icebooks - I just do :)

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Nice work - hope it goes well!

I have a few iBook G3 500MHz's to repair at some point - I don't know why I like the icebooks - I just do :)

The G3 IceBooks use BGA so its not really possible to resolder just ONE pin.

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Nice work - hope it goes well!

I have a few iBook G3 500MHz's to repair at some point - I don't know why I like the icebooks - I just do :)

The G3 IceBooks use BGA so its not really possible to resolder just ONE pin.

 

The mistake most people make is to assume the common issue is the same across both G3 and G4 iBooks. This is not the case at all. iBook G4's most commonly fail from cracking of the solder on pin 28 of the Vreg chip (see my earlier link for details) resulting in a complete failure to power up or a sudden loss of video. iBook G3's most commonly fail from cracking of the Ball Grid Array solder below the GPU itself. On the G4 the affected solder is exposed and can be repaired with a soldering iron, while on the G3 the solder is not exposed and can not be repaired with a soldering iron. A heat gun is the only cheap fix the G3 defects.

 

Although the symptoms are similar, boot and video problems, and they both seem to occur from the same source (flexing of the logic board in the lower left corner, to the left of the trackpad), the chips and solder that become damaged are an entirely different kettle of fish altogether.

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Yeah, they're really different beasts

 

- Faulty iBook G4 chip: about ten legs, repaired easily enough

- Faulty iBook G3 video chipset: about three hundred, inaccessible :)

 

I can't imagine the "heat gun" method (which I've tried to some success on an iBook 800 - nut need to do it again) would actually melt the solder on the BGA array, but rather slightly expand the PCB due to the heat and when it cools down, it contracts making for a more reliable connection - kind of "resetting" the flex in the board.

 

JB

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I can't imagine the "heat gun" method (which I've tried to some success on an iBook 800 - nut need to do it again) would actually melt the solder on the BGA array, but rather slightly expand the PCB due to the heat and when it cools down, it contracts making for a more reliable connection - kind of "resetting" the flex in the board.

 

I tried this on an iBook G4 exhibiting strange issues, but before I did I decided to try it on a dead PC motherboard. What I found is that the heat gun, hot enough (had to use maximum power for a few seconds) can in fact melt the solder under the chip. I managed to successfully remove a few BGA chips that way. The trick though is to apply the heat for just the exact amount of time and to not apply any downward force to the chip, otherwise the solder below could turn into a single massive pool of solder... and the board's toast at that point. :)

 

Of course you'd never know until you power it up and let all the magic smoke out, so it's a pretty risky operation overall. Thankfully my attempt went perfectly the first time, although it was pretty much all trial and error.

 

Anyway, back onto this iBook... we're up to day 2 now since the repair and the machine has yet to exhibit any strange behaviour. I thought i'd lost it again today, since it dropped into a black screen with only a backlight, but it turned out to just be Front Row starting up. :lol: All in all, it's fine! I'm satisfied that this iBook is fighting fit.

 

Now I just need to order a set of new rubber feet for it to make it all nice and new again.

 

Cheers

- Michael

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Ah hell, why not... lets have some pics.

 

20090908-tm4eihca9utn5hcgtbu6d5rgr9.jpg

 

Here it is with its partner, my old iBook, which is still awaiting major repairs including the solder joint fix, a new lower EMI shield, new lower case and a full screw overhaul set. It's already had BGA rework done. It should be in working order very soon though.

 

20090908-tgwnra9q77pedjembi7ra3jt61.jpg

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I noticed Leopard on there and this got me thinking...

 

Why doesn't someone write up a script or something that will remove x86 code so as to have our own powerpc Snow Leopard?

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Because there is no PowerPC code in Snow Leopard? ;) (well, not much anyway...while there's still some Universal stuff, none of the core OS code is PPC anymore)

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Because there is no PowerPC code in Snow Leopard? ;) (well, not much anyway...while there's still some Universal stuff, none of the core OS code is PPC anymore)

 

What I meant was keep Leopard. but take out the x86 code as apple did with the ppc code in SL. Basically the reverse in plan jane Leopard.

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Oh yeah...I've wondered about the same thing myself. I remember back in the mid 1990's I used to use a program called "I Love Native!" to strip useless PowerPC code from FAT binaries on our LCIII, in order to free up space on our overstuffed 80MB hard drive. :) I imagine if a similar solution existed for OS X, it would be possible.

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Oh yeah...I've wondered about the same thing myself. I remember back in the mid 1990's I used to use a program called "I Love Native!" to strip useless PowerPC code from FAT binaries on our LCIII, in order to free up space on our overstuffed 80MB hard drive. :) I imagine if a similar solution existed for OS X, it would be possible.

 

Xslimmer. :) It can strip all the Intel or PowerPC native code out of applications, so it should be possible.

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Oh yeah...I've wondered about the same thing myself. I remember back in the mid 1990's I used to use a program called "I Love Native!" to strip useless PowerPC code from FAT binaries on our LCIII, in order to free up space on our overstuffed 80MB hard drive. :) I imagine if a similar solution existed for OS X, it would be possible.

 

Xslimmer. :) It can strip all the Intel or PowerPC native code out of applications, so it should be possible.

 

Oh, I forgot about that! I remember using it back when I had my iMac G5 iSight.

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When you install Leopard on a PPC Mac, does it even install any x86 code? And vice-versa?

 

I know the Applications folder will have Universal apps, but what about the actual OS guts? Is it really installing a bunch of worthless x86 code on my G5?

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