Fixing the Infamous IBook Screen Problem




Some iBook G3s have the problem of their screens having lines or staying black when booting. The problem is with the graphics chip. To fix this problem we must reflow the the solder beads in the graphics chip. In this instructable I use a heat gun, but you can also use a blowtorch on low. Below is a picture of a ballgrid array graphics chip like the iBook's.

This is a very risky project so don't do this unless you don't want your iBook any more(except for parts).

Step 1: Finding the Graphics Chip

First you must locate the graphics chip. It is on the back of the logic board with some foam on top. Remove the foam carefully.

Step 2: Applying the Tinfoil

Apply 4 sheets of tinfoil around the chip cut a hole for the chip. Place a little solder on top of the chip.

Step 3: Using the Heat Gun

Use the heat gun on low. Start 12 inches above the chip and hold it there for 10 seconds. Slowly lower the heat gun until it is 3 inches away. When the solder on the chip melts, hold the heat gun for 10 more seconds. Be extremely careful not to bump the chip and keep the board level.

Step 4: Boot the IBook

Put the laptop back together and boot it. If it doesn't book you overcooked the chip. Scrap for parts. If it has the same problem lather, wash and repeat.



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    8 Discussions


    12 years ago

    I read about both of those solutions yesterday, as I'd gotten a broken g3 900 mhz ibook. I found both of those solutions, and was about to try the alcohol in cup method (moves the chip less than the heat gun method), when I found a fix that involved using shims against the case. I am writing this comment on the fixed ibook, i figured even if this fix only works for a little while, i can always use the heat reflow method later on, but as of right now the ibook works great, and it's a lot safer than the heat methods, which may destroy your computer. to shim, here's what i did : take an old cd/coasterized cd-rom/ or AOL cd, and cut a chunk out of it the size of your graphics chip. leave the yellow foam on the chip and put this peice of cd on top of that. put the metal sheilding peice back on, and on the other side put two more of those peices of cd (i used the screen wiper thingy that came with my razr, it's a perfect fit). then put the plastic cover back on and tighten it down normally. this fix has already survived three boots, a car ride, and a walk around the block in it's laptop case, so i'm saying it works pretty well, and is a good alternative to the heat-based options.

    1 reply

    Reply 12 years ago

    just a heads up if any of you try my method. the computer still works, but it has spazzed out a couple of times. it does it at unpreditcable times, but it's only done it about twice per day, and usually within five minutes of the first time. I'm still hesitant to attempt the reflow method,as the computer is working right now,and it seems so easy to fry the laptop if just one thing goes wrong.


    12 years ago

    The one with the tealights, that's me _

    Anyway, what seems a little odd to me is that the first image used here, is the same I used in my article. I got it out of an Intel-pdf and credited that. The two following images seem to come from the forumthread I also used as a source.

    Now judging by the date this is posted, it doesn't look to me one bit as if the author of this instructable actually did this himself, which is a little odd for an author of an instructable I guess...

    Imho, copy whatever you want but at least credit your sources.

    my article:

    2 replies

    Reply 12 years ago

    you should post it on here because some people dont know where to find it


    Reply 12 years ago

    This is also to m4ttj00: That wasn't a tea candle, a tea candle doesn't get hot enough.


    12 years ago

    Sorry for not crediting my sources. I just googled for the pictures (except for the ones on the form, I didn't think of crediting a forum thread, as there is no main author) as my digital camera is broken. However I did do this project and my laptop now works. I will post the images as soon as I get a new camera(1 week to 1 year). Cool website Markhoekstra!