iBook G4 “Black Screen & Loud Fan” issue



It’s a holiday from work today, but unfortunately I’m spending the day working on my wife’s iBook. It has suddenly developed a serious problem. The symptom is apparently a very common one: When the power is turned on the screen stays black and the fan spins at full speed.

We do have all the files on the computer completely backed up and it is an older computer, but with all the economic uncertainty out there it would still be nice to keep this laptop running for a while longer. So I’m seeing if I can fix it.

Corey Arnold has the best description of this issue. A chip that controls power management gets worked away from the motherboard. Re-soldering or even just pushing the chip back down usually does the trick.

The best iBook teardown instructions are (as always) at iFixit. So I used those to disassemble the iBook.

But even with all the good info I’m not having much success. Apparently the motherboard on the 1.33 GHz iBooks is somewhat different from the ones that Corey has. The main chip that typically has problems is in a different location. And on my wife’s iBook this chip doesn’t seem to be the culprit. There are no obvious solder issues and no amount of pushing or prodding makes things work better.

I guess I’ll just have to keep disassembling the poor little thing. There are rumors that the wi-fi card can cause issues as well…


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