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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a used G4 ibook because, well, it was about what I could afford. The ram was less than advertised -- just 256mb -- but it seemed to be working fine and the seller agreed to lower the price a bit so I bought it anyway. I then added 1gb of ram, probably more than I needed (or wanted to pay for) but "you can't have too much ram," right?

Took it home and discovered, through reading this forum, why it started making those weird grinding noises (someone in an earlier thread suggested checking through Disk Utility the S.M.A.R.T. status). It declared that the hard drive was "failing." Sure enough, it then failed.

Went to another shop, this time to buy a new hard drive. Again, 100gb being more than I wanted (or wanted to pay) but smaller drives seem to be rare these days. And what choice did I have? So I reluctantly added more to a bill growing alarmingly large. But at least this way I would get a working machine, yes?

Took it home and reinstalled the system and discovered...the screen going pink (the white parts of the screen, that is, an oddd effect that can be partially remedied by squeezing the area to the left of the track pad).

So...can anyone help with advice on what to do now? (Please, no door-stopper jokes...I know, they might be funny, some day, but at the moment I'm mirth-challenged).
 

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I just bought a used G4 ibook because, well, it was about what I could afford. The ram was less than advertised -- just 256mb -- but it seemed to be working fine and the seller agreed to lower the price a bit so I bought it anyway. I then added 1gb of ram, probably more than I needed (or wanted to pay for) but "you can't have too much ram," right?

Took it home and discovered, through reading this forum, why it started making those weird grinding noises (someone in an earlier thread suggested checking through Disk Utility the S.M.A.R.T. status). It declared that the hard drive was "failing." Sure enough, it then failed.

Went to another shop, this time to buy a new hard drive. Again, 100gb being more than I wanted (or wanted to pay) but smaller drives seem to be rare these days. And what choice did I have? So I reluctantly added more to a bill growing alarmingly large. But at least this way I would get a working machine, yes?

Took it home and reinstalled the system and discovered...the screen going pink (the white parts of the screen, that is, an oddd effect that can be partially remedied by squeezing the area to the left of the track pad).

So...can anyone help with advice on what to do now? (Please, no door-stopper jokes...I know, they might be funny, some day, but at the moment I'm mirth-challenged).
If squeezing to the left of the trackpad makes it change, then you are probably not going to like this, but the GPU is probably coming loose. This is a known issue with the G4 iBooks. Normally the video will go out all together and putting pressure to the left of the trackpad will bring video back. If this is the case, which it sounds to be, the fix is a new logic board.

Ouch.
 

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I had to have the Logic Board replaced on my G3 iBook and although it cost me nothing (I had Applecare), I seem to remember the cost was around $900 :eek:

I hope you got that G4 at a very good price!!
 

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The Logic Board is your motherboard. Everything in you Mac (or PC) plugs into it. When you open a computer, the thin green layered board you are looking at is your logic board / motherboard.

I would see about getting your money back.
 

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Definitely try to get your money back, but keep that newer hard drive you installed.

The seller tried to rip you off from the start (the RAM was "less than advertised"). They probably knew from the start the logic board had failed.

It might be worth calling Apple Canada and giving them the serial number though. Sometimes there are extended "silent warranties" on certain models, so it might actually be covered still. Also, if the logic board blew a few time before and was replaced, it might have also extended the warranty on this particular computer. It's worth the phone call.
 

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I would see about getting your money back.
I would agree with that.

First, the RAM is less than advertised. So, the person is either an idiot or a liar.

Second, given the seemingly immediate failure of the heard drive, maybe this guy HAD CHECKED the S.M.A.R.T. status of the drive and, if he received a warning, thought it best to unload the laptop.

And third? Well, depending on the problem occurring, a system's motherboard could show signs of "going" yet still be functional for the time being... just enough time to UNLOAD the laptop.

I grant that there's a lot of supposition in my post, the wisdom of others may prevail, but there are a lot of coincidences here...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oh. Wow. Slump. I didn't realize I could feel more like an idiot but I'm learning more about that every day.

He seemed/seems the honest type, said he had no idea the hard drive might have been failing, and agreed to my request to refund $100 from the $450 I paid him (I took it at that price knowing I would have to increase the RAM), following which I'd said we would call it a done deal.

I tried Apple support...no warranty help there. I tried asking them the following question but they said it was a fee based service and would only answer if I paid them:

Does the fact that the ibook supports an external monitor just fine (while the pink/distorted screen on the laptop stays wonky) mean anything for the failing logic board diagnosis?

And a follow-up question: now what do I do?
 

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At best, it's a failed video inverter. There are some juryrig fixes you could try, but... you still got ripped off. I don't see how the seller thought this was a working computer.

With the video inverter located on the logic board, a working part would cost what you originally paid for the whole computer. Plus $100+ for labour although there are reports of ehMac persons who have braved the fix themselves. But you'd be throwing good money after bad.

Check out what the fix looks like here:
iBook G4 12" Disassembly: iBook Parts
or here:
DIY obsolete iBook logic board repair :: projects :: geek technique

One faint hope would be to find someone selling a similar iBook with a cracked LCD or case but an active/working logic board. Not exactly a frequent sale.

It wouldn't be the first time a seller has sold a product knowing its defects. Sometimes the ones that "seem" perfectly honest in fact do this all the time. But how long has it been since you actually purchased the computer? It isn't a new machine, and logic boards can fail a day after you buy a new computer, let alone a few months after you buy a computer four years old.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Does it make any difference in the doomed logic board diagnosis if I can connect the ibook to an external monitor and (with the help of screen spanner) the monitor looks fine?

It seems to me if the computer's main platform was bad the damage would carry over, but (as is becoming more obvious all the time) I don't know much...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Does it make any difference in the doomed logic board diagnosis if I can connect the ibook to an external monitor and (with the help of screen spanner) the monitor looks fine?

It seems to me if the computer's main platform was bad the damage would carry over, but (as is becoming more obvious all the time) I don't know much...
 

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I agree with everyone else: try to get your money back from the seller. If the drive was grinding, there is no way he wouldn't have noticed that before unloading. If the seller is reluctant to give you your money back or refuses, you might want to mention two words: police and fraud.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
here's an update for anyone who's might face something similar:

a friend with more experience than i have working with the guts of machines flipped the keyboard to peek inside. since the pink screen weirdness could be corrected by pressing on the area beside the airport card (approximately below the "a" key), he fit a small piece of foam in there to create enough pressure with the keyboard back in to mimic the finger press.

it all worked pretty well, for a day. but now the laptop screen is again going wonky, and finger pressing can change the pinkness but not fix the problem.

the external monitor it's attached to still looks fine...although it started taking on an odd hue as well at one point. when i moved the g3 imac that was right beside it further away, the problem seemed to be solved.

i'm typing this on the g4 right now, which is at least something, but does anyone know what all this means for the life of the computer?
 
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