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Fixing the Dreaded iBook Backlight?

Cliff posted more than 10 years ago | from the do-it-yourself-repairs dept.

Portables (Apple) 173

Aliencow inquires: "I've recently bought an iBook, and it started having the very common backlight problem. Basically, there are two types of things that can cause the problem: either the screen hinges pinching the cables, which is pretty easy to fix if you're not scared of opening things up; or it could be the logic board, which is what happened in my case. I've heard of someone being able to fix it by doing a bypass operation on the board, soldering a wire before the break and soldering it directly on the backlight connector. Aside from that, however I haven't been able to find much about how to fix that particular problem. Have any of you iBook-owning Slashdot readers had to repair your iBook like this? Any hints? If my repair is successful I'll surely snap a bunch of pictures and make a website, as this is a problem that affects a lot of iBook owners."

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173 comments

We interrupt this FP for important news: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7988264)

Why is this story important? And why does this story, Domain suspended [www.nic.cx] keep getting rejected and ignored by the Slashdot editors? Oh the humanity!

which backlight problem is it? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7988265)

I have a dual usb iBook and have a problem with the backlight on the LCD going dim. According to apple, this is a common problem that comes with the age of the screen. I suppose thats an answer, but its a sucky one when the iBook just went out of warranty.

Which backlight problem are you talking about?

Re:which backlight problem is it? (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 10 years ago | (#7989866)

If an iBook is "just out of warranty", you can still buy the extended warranty (AppleCare, 3 years for about $250, IIRC), and get it repaired for no cost beyond the warranty extention.

Extended warranties are a joke when it comes to most electronics, but laptop computers see enough abuse over three years that it's not a bad idea.

Re:which backlight problem is it? (3, Informative)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 10 years ago | (#7990846)

You can only buy AppleCare within 1 year of purchasing a Mac. Once your original warranty is expired, they will not sell you AppleCare.

I do agree that it's not a bad idea to get it for laptops, but you do need to do it before your 1 year is up.

Was about to tell you. (0, Funny)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 10 years ago | (#7988393)

Man I was about to tell you, but then you threatened snap a bunch of pictures and make a website out of it.

Apple should recall them (4, Insightful)

Kevin Burtch (13372) | more than 10 years ago | (#7988399)


If it's this common a problem, Apple should recall them.

Danger replaced my HipTop (AKA T-Mobile Sidekick) without me even contacting them, when a very large production run was found to have a defective hinge that may (or may not) damage the wires going to the display.
This must have cost them a fortune, but is good business and impressed me enough to recommend the product highly.

On the other hand, my Vaio F-series has the oh-so-common won't-charge-the-perfectly-good-battery problem and Sony wants to charge me something like $400 to flash the BIOS to fix it (they refuse to post the fix for download)... not to mention I'd be without the unit for a month since it has to be shipped to their repair center, etc.
I won't buy another Sony after this (there's much more to it than that, including a brand new $250 battery that took over a year and a half to get, etc.).

Re:Apple should recall them (4, Insightful)

ce25254 (25706) | more than 10 years ago | (#7992845)

So how come Sony doesn't get tons of nasty press about charging for fixing a consumer's equipment (the "oh-so-common won't-charge-the-perfectly-good-battery problem"?), but Apple gets hate-movies made when the iPod battery has the same characteristics as many other PDA batteries (i.e. non-user-replacable), or when they have trouble with their iBooks?

Maybe it's because the Vaio runs M$Windows (by default)?

Hmmmm?

Re:Apple should recall them (1)

Kevin Burtch (13372) | more than 10 years ago | (#7994866)


No idea.
The way I found out it's actually a BIOS bug (and not a fried charging circuit) was an article in Infoworld a while back (Cringely, I think).

I was quite shocked when I read that many had complained to him, but I hadn't read about it anywhere else.

If you recently bought the damn thing (3, Insightful)

MoneyT (548795) | more than 10 years ago | (#7988586)

Call Apple to get it fixed.

Re:If you recently bought the damn thing (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 10 years ago | (#7993753)

Agreed, and even if you bought it a while ago. This is a common problem, and it's more than likely that you're going to have other issues in the next few weeks.

God forbid you use 3rd party RAM and upgrade to Panther...

yup, been there, done that (5, Informative)

crahan11 (530704) | more than 10 years ago | (#7988587)

I had that problem 6 months after I bought my ibook. Closing the lid halfway would make the backlight go off for no apparent reason. At first I thought it was the suspend mode kicking in, but since the little blinking light didn't come on and it started to happen when I barely touched the screen it had to be the backlight. Good thing it was still under warranty. On a side note: I had a problem with one the rubber feet a few months back. It kept falling out so I decided to go buy a new set at the local Apple Store. I was rather surprised to here the clerk tell me that they didn't sell those anymore. If I wanted to have the rubber thingies (or just one) replaced, I'd have to send it back to an Apple Service Center to have it replaced. In the end I decided that a big blob of glue would solve it a bit faster.

Re:yup, been there, done that (3, Informative)

phlyingpenguin (466669) | more than 10 years ago | (#7988653)

You can order them from apple, you dont have to send it in. They charge like $7 plus shipping for five feet.

Re:yup, been there, done that (1)

McAddress (673660) | more than 10 years ago | (#7994688)

but given that there are exactly 1837023 different display implementations

thats a good deal. I just got an email offering 1 foot naturally for just $39.95.

Re:yup, been there, done that (1)

McAddress (673660) | more than 10 years ago | (#7994722)

MOD ME DOWN!. i ctrl k'd ctrl v'd the wrong line. it should have been:
They charge like $7 plus shipping for five feet.

thats a good deal. I just got an email offering 1 foot naturally for just $39.95.

Re:yup, been there, done that (2, Informative)

greentree (682982) | more than 10 years ago | (#7989397)

I had a 12 inch powerbook covered by Applecare and the initial one year warranty. One rubber foot came off. I called the 800 number for applecare and they sent me a set of four bottom feet and two for the lid, glue, and instructions without any charge and very quickly. I was too lazy to do that and so i went to the nearest apple store and didn't even bring the stuff that i got in the mail, they just glued the one that was without any question. maybe it just depends on who you happen to talk to. this all took place over thanksgiving break of 2003 i believe. maybe a few weeks earlier, can't remember for sure.

i've has the same issue (1)

stylewagon (197083) | more than 10 years ago | (#7993480)

About 6 months ago my dual usb was one week out of warranty when screen backlight refused to work beyond about 30 degrees open.

Searched around on google and found it to be a relatively common problem. Took it into an Apple Store and got if fixed within 3 days.

I questioned the 'genius' about what I found to be a common problem and was told that they had not see such an issue before.

I was a little surprised but I guess they wouldn't say if it was common. Was a little bummed that it occurred just one week out of the warranty but I got it fixed quickly and moved on without much hassle (except for the small matter of the service cost)

Apple's Support (4, Interesting)

phlyingpenguin (466669) | more than 10 years ago | (#7988620)

That sucks pretty badly. I had a bad fan, and then the oh so common the logic board (As seen on blackcider), and then I had the logic board problem. Even though I was thoroughly disgusted with Apple for selling me such a worthless piece of garbage that it never worked for 3 weeks straight, I must say that every time I used the warranty, it came back within two days. As in I ship it Monday, it's with apple Tuesday, and it's back Wednesday. That kind of service is incredible seeing as how they must be swamped with repairs given the record of known issues. That iBook is gone, I had it for six months (The end of the warranty) and dropped it off on eBay (It was working at the time of sale) for a Dell which hasn't had an issue to date.

Re:Apple's Support (1)

jarrwlee (685293) | more than 10 years ago | (#7994627)

The only Apple I own is one of the G3 iMacs. I do, however, own a Dell laptop like the guy above. It's about a year and a few months old. When I got it, I went ahead and got the 3 year warranty and the 3 year CompleteCare warranty thing. I've so far not had to use either, even though I've spilled an entire glass of water on it and, later, a can of freshly opened Pepsi. The first I called tech support and they told me to take the power cord and the batteries out and sit it on its side open, kind of like a book. The guy explained that I could send it in and get it fixed for free if anything was wrong with it after letting it thoroughly dry, since I had the CompleteCare. The second time I took the thing apart myself and washed all the parts off with tap water and let them all dry for about a day. Both times I noticed the screen flicker a bit before I got the batteries and the power cord out. Both times the thing worked perfectly after everything dried. I must say that if somebody is bad on laptops they should get a Dell add CompleteCare if they're like me.

Re:Apple's Support (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 10 years ago | (#7995391)

Almost sounds like they were swapping your problem-ridden stuff with other people's problem-ridden stuff ;).

Fix your stuff in two days :).

Re:Apple's Support (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7995447)

Just for contrast, my Apple experience has been a great one. I've owned a Blue & White G3, a Pismo Powerbook, Several iMacs and my latest is a Dual 1ghz MDD G4.

I've only had problems with the Pismo, maybe... three over the lifetime of the computer. And for at least a year and a half it was my only computer. I used it all the time, took it to class, to labs, in the car. The thing took a beating in my backpack.

One was the screen... after several years the backlight started to fail/get old and the screen would have a pink tint to it for the first 20-30 seconds of operation..then it'd be okay. Apple replaced the entire LCD screen (under warranty) no questions asked. The sound board had to replaced after the audio out port became loose- who knows how many times I plugged headphones or a headphone->rca (out to my stereo) cord into the thing over what... like 3 years? Again, Apple replaced it for no charge. I also received a new battery when mine stopped holding full charge, no questions asked.

IMO, all of these problems were related to lots of use / age. Hopefully the iBook line will improve with the next revisions. Apple is a good company with solid products, but it sounds like the iBook has some flaws. :/

If you're looking for an Apple laptop, wait for the next revision or make the jump to a PowerBook. I think the PowerBook is a better choice anyway. Laptops are expensive, so you want to purchase something that is going to last you the longest...

Out of curiosity. Are these G3 iBooks having trouble? G4? What revisions/lines.

Quality hardware? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7988663)

Thats all I have been hearing for years. Now that Apple is becoming more "cool" and mainstream though, all I hear about anymore are the problems. Have things changed, or were the apple zealots just fooling us?

Re:Quality hardware? (3, Informative)

addaon (41825) | more than 10 years ago | (#7988781)

A little of both. The iBook is the cheapest, lowest-margin laptop Apple has ever made, and it has had a high failure rate. On the other hand, even if the failure rate is half that of Dell, say, you'll here more about it because Apple users expect more. So the iBook does suck, quality-wise, for an Apple (I'm typing from one now), but it's still better than a PC. Also, Apple has been fixing the iBooks out of warrantee, if you ask nicely. I can't imagine Sony ever doing that.

Re:Quality hardware? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7990993)

you'll here more about it because Apple users expect more

I rather think that you'll hear more about it because Apple users paid more. Any piece of equipment can fail, but when the relation ``more money -> more quality'' doesn't hold, it's like getting ripped off twice.

The iBook is the cheapest, lowest-margin laptop Apple has ever made, and it has had a high failure rate.

For any particular company that has several similar products at varying costs, it's not a good idea to have a quality/money tradeoff. The better tradeoff is features/money.

Re:Quality hardware? (2, Insightful)

addaon (41825) | more than 10 years ago | (#7991276)

What company /doesn't/ have a quality/money tradeoff? Features are, in today's electrical age, essentially free, up to a certain point. Even when you have a feature tradeoff, that can only take you so far... and on the cheaper item, the consumer really expects it to be cheap, so costs must be cut somehow. Look at Apple, yes, with there 12" iBook vs. 12" pBook. Look at Canon and there consumer vs. L series lenses. Look at any bike company, say Shimano. Look at movie theatres. Look at shoe companies!

Re:Quality hardware? (1)

prockcore (543967) | more than 10 years ago | (#7993646)

What company /doesn't/ have a quality/money tradeoff?

True, but Apple's problems aren't related to quality/money. They're related to laptops. Even their most expensive TiBooks have a history of product defects and other problems.

Apple laptops may be sexy, but they're much more poorly built than their desktops. I still have a Mac Classic that was built in 1990 and it still works. I'm confident in saying that none of Apple's laptops will last 10 years.

We have 10 year old ThinkPads that still work.

Re:Quality hardware? (1)

subtillus (568832) | more than 10 years ago | (#7991525)

As of this moment I'm writing on my ibookg4 and I love it. It hasn't had any problems at all and it's definitely hands down more functional and practical than my Dell P4 2.8 desktop which crashed on a bidaily basis.

I've heard a lot about the ibook G3s but I think they might have stepped up quality control a notch this generation.

Re:Quality hardware? (1)

addaon (41825) | more than 10 years ago | (#7992036)

Eh. I had an iBook G3, which was a bad unit, got it replaced with a G4. I badly miss my G3... better keyboard, better screen construction, better battery life, software over/underclockable... the G4 feels too much like a PC to me; it's nice and all, but it doesn't have that Apple polish.

Re:Quality hardware? (1, Interesting)

steeviant (677315) | more than 10 years ago | (#7991907)

A little of both. The iBook is the cheapest, lowest-margin laptop Apple has ever made, and it has had a high failure rate. On the other hand, even if the failure rate is half that of Dell, say, you'll here more about it because Apple users expect more. So the iBook does suck, quality-wise, for an Apple (I'm typing from one now), but it's still better than a PC. Also, Apple has been fixing the iBooks out of warrantee, if you ask nicely. I can't imagine Sony ever doing that.

Nice bit of Apple apologism there, but as the owner of a 667Mhz TiBook, I can safely that this has been the most unreliable computer I have ever owned, I have splotches on the screen that Apple won't fix, lost all the stoppers off the bottom and Apple won't replace them, had to have the top case replaced because of flaking paint, gone through a battery and four power supplies, had the plastic divider inside one of the USB ports snap off under normal use, and have had to be without it for a total of about 4 weeks because of a failure of the motherboard, followed by the charging system in the 'reconditioned' motherboard Apple sent out as a replacement for the original.

I'm a dyed-in-the-wool NeXTStep/OpenStep/OS X fan, but I will not buy another Apple product until I see evidence that they are taking quality control seriously.

I might not be so annoyed if not for the fact that everyone I know who has bought an Apple laptop since 2000 has experienced a failure of one sort or another. We're talking five or six people and every single one has had power supply, battery and screen problems with their laptops. These are experienced computer owners who aren't just slinging their laptops in a bag with a whole bunch of books, but taking good care of them, and storing them in specialized bags etc.

It's all very nice for you to say that the iBook is cheap by Apple standards, but my PowerBook was not cheap by any measurement, at $7000NZ all up for the TiBook and extended warranty, I'd expect something a little better than a never-ending string of problems and little in the way of support from Apple, who as good as told me to fuck off when my battery gave up the ghost after 18 months, halfway through the extended warranty period.

It's pretty clear that you've never owned a laptop made by any other company (I've had 4 PC laptops and never had these kind of problems) if you think that Apple's piss-poor quality control is defensible, especially at the premium Apple are charging for their gear.

Re:Quality hardware? (0, Redundant)

jabberjaw (683624) | more than 10 years ago | (#7989071)

Hmm, I only have second-hand accounts with regards to the iBook but from what I gather they are pretty tough little cookies with regards to drops & spills. Yet, I have also heard of issues like the backlite. With regards to the price, I have heard that they are reasonable when compared to other brands, especially Sonys
Now for the tiBook. I have been rather impressed with the quality of mine and have had no issues to date. Then again you expect it when you pay and arm and a leg for your laptop. A common problem I have been hearing of though is that the screen hinges tend to break.

Re:Quality hardware? (-1, Troll)

TwistedGreen (80055) | more than 10 years ago | (#7989392)

They were the ones who were fooled. It's all about the marketing... you could put a happy face on shit and sell it to millions.

Re:Quality hardware? (2, Insightful)

Clockwurk (577966) | more than 10 years ago | (#7989908)

Apple hardware has never been subject to any higher manufacturing standards than dell or any other OEM. Apple gets their laptops made by AlphaTop, the same company that makes IBM and compaq [theregister.co.uk]

Re:Quality hardware? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7990502)

That article is rather old and probably refers to the previous model (the toilet seat iBooks, they were ugly but very solid). I believe the current iBooks are made either by Compal or Quanta.

Re:Quality hardware? (1)

Zelet (515452) | more than 10 years ago | (#7990549)

Even if they have the same manufacturer apple can supply better quality components and design.

FUD

Re:Quality hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7990990)

Actually your post isn't FUD. It's more like bullshit speculation.

Re:Quality hardware? (1)

Clockwurk (577966) | more than 10 years ago | (#7995032)

Which is why the apple-designed hinge is responsible for the iBook's screen failure.

FUD? Yeah I guess pointing out the truth (that apple's are mass produced by the same companies that make everyone else's notebooks) would induce fear, uncertainty, and doubt in someone who believes they are getting "better quality components and design"

Very common problem. (3, Interesting)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 10 years ago | (#7988712)

I've owned three Apple laptops-- A powerbook 140, an Powerbook 1400, and an iBook 500. They've all had problems with the backlight or scan lines turning on or off. It's probably not specific to Apple, though.

The guy a few posts up re quality of Apple stuff (2, Interesting)

spence calder (679882) | more than 10 years ago | (#7988838)

I bought a bunch of Apple hardware when 10.1 was released and it seemed to be pretty good quality. I am still using it all regularly. BUT I have noticed a general trend with their new products; quality control seems to be slipping. My new iPod has crash the system several times, and my girlfriend's iMac seems to be cheaper than previous models. This all might not be true for everyone but it is something that I noticed with the products around me.

Re:Very common problem. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7989346)

Oh, of course, don't blame Apple! They never do anything wrong.

Right.

Re:Very common problem. (2, Insightful)

egomaniac (105476) | more than 10 years ago | (#7992233)

I've owned three Apple laptops-- A powerbook 140, an Powerbook 1400, and an iBook 500. They've all had problems with the backlight or scan lines turning on or off. It's probably not specific to Apple, though.

You had problems with three out of three laptops. Admittedly a very small sample size, but judging by the other posts here, it seems to be a very widespread problem with Apple laptops.

Here's my experience. My wife is on her second Sony Vaio, I used to have a Thinkpad, and I know at least a dozen people at work with a company-standard-issue Compaq laptop.

Know how many backlight/scan line problems I've seen or heard of? Zero. Not one of these laptops has, to the best of my knowledge, ever had any problems more significant than a worn-out cooling fan.

Well, other than the time I set my wife's Vaio down on an unsteady surface and it fell two feet to the floor, but that was obviously my fault. And even then the damage was minor.

Again, I hate to draw conclusions from a small sample size, but this is definitely scaring me away from wanting to own an Apple laptop (which I was actually considering).

Re:Very common problem. (3, Insightful)

JonathanBoyd (644397) | more than 10 years ago | (#7993247)

Well you're in a thread discussing problems with Apple laptops, so you're vastly more likely to hear about problems than you normally would. Personally I have an iBook G3, as does my sister and both my parents have Powerbook G3s. They're all running great, with no problems other than my power cable wearing through, which is a genuine concern for Apple laptops. The only major problem aside from that is me putting a plug through the screen. It cracked, but still worked fine. The replacement seemed a wee bit brighter as well. Survived many a drop from tables and chairs and being run through the rain once while on. Not trying that again.

Re:Very common problem. (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 10 years ago | (#7994057)

Hmm. Perhaps, over a period of ten years, Apple consistently told its outsourcers, product designers, and assembly lines, to "weaken the hinge mechanism". I haven't had any experience with non Apple laptops, though. Perhaps I abuse them in a fairly consistent fashion.

Nearly 1,800 people for class action suit (1)

Zhe Mappel (607548) | more than 10 years ago | (#7988954)

On a related note, as of this week the Blackcider.com web site has nearly 1,800 signatures (give or take some trolls).

It isn't hard to see that Apple's policy of denying widespread iBook failures is going to bring about blowback. Can it really be worth the bad publicity, loss of customer loyalty and damage to the iBook brand? Does modern corporate experience teach that acknowledging product flaws is always a last resort, is Apple management just in denial, or what?

Out of 3,000,000 (3, Insightful)

Onan (25162) | more than 10 years ago | (#7991222)

Apple's SEC filings indicate that they sell about 250,000 ibooks a quarter. The dual-usb model came out very nearly three years ago. So even if every one of those 1800 signatures is accurate and unique, that puts the incidence rate at around one in two thousand units.

That doesn't exactly sound like lawsuit time to me.

Re:Out of 3,000,000 (1)

haut (678547) | more than 10 years ago | (#7993280)

Not all 3M iBook owners know about the site and lawsuit, so that cuts the number down considerably. Also there are owners like me that have had the failure, but everything was replaced in warranty and so have no reason to sue. Assuming that even a tenth of the people with the logic board problem even know that its widespread and know about blackcider is probably an overstatement.

If it fails (1)

nocomment (239368) | more than 10 years ago | (#7989037)

What if it fails? What would you do with the pics you snapped *hoping* it worked? Would you still make a website so we can all see the mangled iBook? Perhaps you could find some way of turning it into an iBookquarium?

iBook has a backlight? (-1, Offtopic)

Greedo (304385) | more than 10 years ago | (#7989088)

My G3/800 dual-USB doesn't have a backlight. Or it does, and I have no idea how to make it work.

Can someone shed some light on this (no pun intended)?

Re:iBook has a backlight? (1)

natefanaro (304646) | more than 10 years ago | (#7989282)

I thought all lcd's have a backlight. If you turn the brightness all the way down to low and shine a flashlight on the screen you can still see what's on the screen. The back light illuminates the screen so you can see what's on it.

Nevermind (0, Offtopic)

Greedo (304385) | more than 10 years ago | (#7990707)

I see what is meant by backlight now.

I thought it referred to a backlite keyboard, or a way to make the plastic that surrounds the screen light up (kinda like those makeup mirrors).

Now ... how about the power button? It glows on my G4 tower, but not on the iBook. That's by design, right?

Re:Nevermind (1)

natefanaro (304646) | more than 10 years ago | (#7991296)

yea, I wish I had a light up keyboard on my ibook (dual usb 2001 model) Anyone know if they're interchangeable with the new powerbook keyboards?

And you're right. the power button doesn't glow. Mad props to you if you mod it so it does!

Re:iBook has a backlight? (1, Offtopic)

MikeXpop (614167) | more than 10 years ago | (#7989294)

The backlight the poster was referring to is the light in the screen that makes you able to see it (and lights up the nifty apple logo).

Hold F1 until the little bar goes all the way down to see what it's like with the backlight off. To turn it back on, hold F2.

Re:iBook has a backlight? (2, Informative)

Udo Schmitz (738216) | more than 10 years ago | (#7989340)

My G3/800 dual-USB doesn't have a backlight.

Assuming you are talkin about an iBook: All have backlights. Otherwise the TFT would be pretty dark.

Re:iBook has a backlight? (1, Offtopic)

RevAaron (125240) | more than 10 years ago | (#7990317)

What do you mean it doesn't have a backlight? Has it never worked? Do you not use the machine's built-in display, using external VGA or something?

Re:iBook has a backlight? (1)

RevAaron (125240) | more than 10 years ago | (#7994556)

Hrmm. Not really that offtopic. The topic was backlight on iBook computers. Someone said their iBook has no backlight, or that it isn't on and has never worked. It seems a pretty valid and on-topic question to me.

Re:iBook has a backlight? (1)

Analog Penguin (550933) | more than 10 years ago | (#7990415)

Are you thinking of the lit keyboards on the newest PowerBooks? If so, the iBook doesn't have that. The "backlight" in this case refers to the light built into the LCD screen.

Good service anyway. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7989117)

I had my ibook die on me a few months ago. It was still under warranty, so I didn't have any trouble getting it fixed. I was very impressed with their service turnaround. It sat at my house boxed up longer than it was gone. It only took 2 days to come back to me. I'm hoping that they would have fixed the problem while it was there so it won't happen again.

On a completely unrelated note, my hard drive is starting to make horrendous click of death noises. Only a month out of warranty, damn. Probably would help if I didn't use it all day long. I love my little machine.

Re:Good service anyway. (1)

coolmacdude (640605) | more than 10 years ago | (#7990691)

Have you tried APM Tuner?

Re:Good service anyway. (2, Informative)

zachlipton (448206) | more than 10 years ago | (#7992086)

While some have recomended APM Tuner as a way to reduce the noise, I wouldn't recomend this. APM Tuner adjusts power management settings. However, it sounds like your issue is that the drive is going south. No amount of power setting changes will fix that.

Instead, I recomend that you run, do not walk, to the nearest backup device and backup all your data. The last time I heard click of death noises from my laptop drive, it was about 4 hours later (with about 2 hours of use in that time) that it was completely gone. You can't just ignore it and hope it will go away.

I'm curious (1)

ilsie (227381) | more than 10 years ago | (#7989163)

I'm curious as to how common this problem actually is. I've read lots about it recently (mainly on /.) but as of yet have not experienced it on my iBook (1.5 years old now). Am I one of the lucky ones, or is it something more on the order of the vocal minority? If it's the former, this would definitely affect my decision in buying another iBook.

Re:I'm curious (2, Flamebait)

MacEnvy (549188) | more than 10 years ago | (#7989379)

I'd say it's a vocal minority (and a whiney one at that). I know many people who have iBooks (including 2 myself), and I've never seen or heard of this problem except on Slashdot and the Mac web.

If it's under warrantee, quit bitching and get it fixed. If it's not, you should've bought AppleCare. Learn how to fix it yourself, like this guy, or buy a new LCD. They aren't that hard to install, believe me.

Re:I'm curious (3, Informative)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#7989884)

Yes, it is a just a bunch of whiney people that purchased a product from a highend vendor that doesn't work.

What are they going to do when the warranty runs out? Screen and logic board problems appear to be an ongoing thing with newer apple notebooks. Just sending it in and getting a temp fix doesn't help when it breaks again, out of warranty, because the root cause of the problem hasen't been fixed.

Re:I'm curious (2, Informative)

addaon (41825) | more than 10 years ago | (#7990562)

What are they going to do when the warranty runs out?

Do what I do. Ask nicely if they'll fix it anyway. In every case Apple has said yes, and a few times has specifically said "if it's been less than one year since your last repair, we're authorized to do it." On the other hand, when my Sony died, no luck. When my Dell died, no luck. When my Compaq died... well, honestly, I was so happy about that thing dying that I didn't ask.

Gateway might be different... like Apple, they actually have a place you can go to ask nicely. Interaction in person is much more powerful than interaction over the phone.

Sorry, but. (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#7991087)

Sorry, but I am not going to trust their unwritten 'promise' to fix it. If they were really the 'highend' 'customer focused' company they claim to be the would extend the warranty on the replaced parts by 12 months. After all the sell a permium product so they should back it up.

"highend"? (1)

Onan (25162) | more than 10 years ago | (#7991312)

You seem to be saying that these people have paid a lot of money for their systems, so they deserve extra-good support? The ibook is among the least expensive laptops one can get, and the bottom end of apple's product line.

Now, I'm not saying that that means apple is excused from offering support; I wouldn't've thought of the two issues as being related at all. But if you feel they are, keep in mind that the ibook is not a "premium" or "highend" product in the senses which I think you mean.

Re:"highend"? (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#7991791)

Apple is a "premium" and/or a "highend" brand. That is what the sell themselves as so they should back it up. And yes, if apple sells themselves as providing extra-good support they should provide it. It doesn't matter if it is a 1.00 part or a 5000 part.

Why doesn't apple just extend the warranty for the parts they replace?

Re:"highend"? (2, Insightful)

Moofie (22272) | more than 10 years ago | (#7995043)

So, you got suckered by somebody's marketing scheme, and you think they should then pay up?

Seems like some people posting here have had some really good experiences getting their iBooks fixed. Some other people have had bad experiences. Apple being a "premium" brand has nothing to do with it.

I have had good experiences, both first- and second-hand, with Apple hardware. Therefore, they will be my next vendor of choice. You are free to make a different decision. What exactly do you want? Steve to fly to your house and personally repair your $1200 laptop? Come on.

Re:Sorry, but. (1)

addaon (41825) | more than 10 years ago | (#7991320)

They do back it up, for 12 months, or, if you want to buy the premium warrantee, for 36 months. You certainly shouldn't trust any unwritten 'promise,' and, in fact, I never mentioned a promise. But I do wonder whether the people who say "what should I do?" ever considered just being polite and asking for help.

Re:Sorry, but. (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#7991818)

And if the logicboard/lcd fails in month 11 they will replace it with a logicboard/lcd that has a good chance of having the same fault. Till they identify the root cause of these failures they should not leave their userbase out to dry.

They are. Why? So they can save a few dollars. Not what I expect from a company that projects the image that apple does. Maybe other computer compannies do it, but apple is susposidly different.

Re:I'm curious (1)

phlyingpenguin (466669) | more than 10 years ago | (#7993907)

After the warranty is out, Apple is quite happy to fix your laptop for you when you ask nicely. Just pay them money (and it's an assload for what some of the problems really are). The same is true if you call them after your support runs out in 6 months, before they put you into the hardware folks to actually get your problem fixed, they assume that there's a software issue. They then want to charge for those issues. Apple is in no way going to fix anything at a reasonable price when the warranty runs out.

There shouldn't be any reason to have that warranty other than accidents that the user creates. These problems aren't accidents that the user creates, rather issues that poor engineering caused.

Well, I try not to whine... (2)

Paradox (13555) | more than 10 years ago | (#7990772)

I thought kinda the same way you did. I didn't think the problem was really widespread. Now it's happening to me, too. My nice iBook wasn't AppleCare'd (College Grad gift, I would have AC'd it myself). I basically have the choice between an expensive repair option or no iBook at all. I'm still trying to decide which is best.

I mean, what assurance do I have that this won't happen again?

I'm all for being reasonable, and I'm not trying to get a class-action lawsuit going, but events like this hurt my trust of the brand. My dad has had a Dell laptop for a year, and it didn't fail. He's snickering at me about it, after all, Apple products are supposed to be superior, right?

Every time something like this happens, it hurts Apple's image, regardless of our status as a "vocal minority" or not.

Considering I know 5 people with iBooks and of them all, only the oldest (original offering, actually) iBook ran for more than 1.5 years, that's pretty bad. Mine was the most recent to go.

What are we supposed to do? Be happy about it? Defer our G5 purchases to get another iBook so that we have a laptop that shouldn't be experiencing such an obviously bad defect in the first place?

Re:Well, I try not to whine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7991515)

You do know you can buy AppleCare for stuff that is still under original warranty, right?

Re:I'm curious (1)

ChuckleBug (5201) | more than 10 years ago | (#7993586)

I'd say it's a vocal minority (and a whiney one at that). I know many people who have iBooks (including 2 myself), and I've never seen or heard of this problem except on Slashdot and the Mac web.

Having your computer repeatedly die suddenly tends to make one cranky, and with good reason. When I sent mine back for its second logic board replacement, the Airborne Express guy looked at the label and said, "iBook?" "Yup." "Is it a dead screen? I've been seeing a lot of these packages lately." I was amazed this guy knew about it.

If the delivery guy notices this, it's probably more than a handful of noisy malcontents. It's easy to dismiss others' problems when you don't have the same problems yourself.

BTW, I do not sympathize with people who let their warrantly lapse and then demand free service. If you knew you got a 1 year warranty, you knew they were only obligated to 1 year of warranty service. But I don't blame them for being unhappy.

Re:I'm curious (1)

spanklin (710953) | more than 10 years ago | (#7995219)

The thing is, if you haven't had a problem with your backlight, you probably haven't posted to this thread. How many people with iBooks haven't had this problem? I have a dual USB 12" iBook, and although the hinge was one of the sticky ones, I've never had a backlight problem in the 2+ years I've had it. I admit to being spooked a bit by seeing a lot of "me too" posts, but it would be nice to have some measure of how many iBook users haven't had the backlight problem. Is it 1%, 10%? I have had two problems with my Powerbook 17", but it's still under warranty, so I have had it fixed by them free of charge with a turnaround time of 2 days. If it continues to have problems, I'll start posting my complaints, but for now I'm still happy with both Apple laptops. Now .Mac, that's another story altogether. Hate it. I'll complain all you want about that service.

Re:I'm curious (1)

RevGregory (585273) | more than 10 years ago | (#7989676)

I purchased an 1Ghz 14" iBook G4 immediately when they came out and I have had absolutely NO problems with it. I also never had any problems with my Duo 230, Duo 2300 and PowerBook 5300. I've also had a dozen or so desktops and only had a problem with one (Performa 6320 refurb) which had a bad mic port. I called and had a technician at my door in three days who replaced the motherboard at no cost.

No complaints from me.

same problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7989628)

i have an iBook that's having the same problem. Its seems to be a loose connection in the front left (to the left of the track pad); pressing in that region will make the light come back on. I'm about to undertake the same project you are. I'll let you know how it goes.

I had it happen... (4, Insightful)

zaren (204877) | more than 10 years ago | (#7989659)

and I sent it in to be fixed. I dropped it off at the only authorized Apple service center in the area on Wednesday, and got it back Friday afternoon - and yes, they shipped it back to Apple to get it fixed, and yes, they sent me back the same iBook (unless part of their service involves putting all the same dings and chips in a new machine so it looks like the old one). They said it was a problem with the motherboard.

In other words... yeah, the fix is to send it back to Apple to have them take care of it. That's what warranties are all about.

My solution! (1)

dbirchall (191839) | more than 10 years ago | (#7989747)

I sent my 2-year-old iBook in for service under AppleCare. AppleCare's repair depot lost it (yes really). So they sent me a shiny brand new one.

I've only tried this once, though, so I don't know whether it will work for others...

Oh, and in Apple's quarterly earnings call yesterday, I believe they specifically mentioned setting aside some money to deal with the "white spots" screen problem some new PowerBooks had, and maybe also the iBook video issue. I didn't hear that part of the call myself, though.

Just had the same (4, Informative)

adamgee (700745) | more than 10 years ago | (#7989847)

thing happen. Out of warranty. Apple tech told me over the phone its $319 flat rate, including shipping. Clearly this must be happening all the time as the tech didn't even ask me to try any troubleshooting steps. Two days later I got it back and they even replaced one of the little rubber feet that had been missing for some time. Then the number 1 key popped off, but thats another story... $319 for a new logic board installed is not bad. Ever try taking an iBook apart? Not for the faint of heart!

Buy the extended warranty (3, Informative)

John Harrison (223649) | more than 10 years ago | (#7990322)

A laptop is about the only item that you should ever purchase an extended warranty for. It is worth the peace of mind.

This goes for any brand of laptop out there, not just Apple.

Re:Buy the extended warranty (1)

scaife (654891) | more than 10 years ago | (#7994216)

I disagree. To me, it's worth the piece of mind on anything that costs over $1000. Considering that just about every part on my G4 costs more than the AppleCare plan (plus it covers my 20" Cinema Display), I'm coming out ahead if anything goes wrong on it. I may never use it, but I'd rather not have to worry about having the money to fix some major problem if it occurs.

Re:Buy the extended warranty (1)

John Harrison (223649) | more than 10 years ago | (#7994771)

I can certainly understand your point of view. However, getting a desktop fixed is much less expensive than a laptop. Laptops see a lot more abuse than your typical tower system. They are more likely to fail in interesting ways, such as some part of the case cracking.

Also, many /. readers are probably comfortable fixing their own desktop.

Not for the fainthearted (5, Informative)

mean pun (717227) | more than 10 years ago | (#7990786)

The hinge fault and the motherboard fault are more frequently reported, but my previous iBook had a third variant of the problem: the video chip got partially disconnected by a motherboard that flexed too much. Distinguishing this problem from the hinge problem is easy: if wiggling the lid makes the problem appear or disappear, it's probably the hinge, if applying pressure to bottom of the iBook under the left palm rest helps, it's probably the video chip. I don't know how to recognize any other motherboard problems, but if it can be fixed with a bypass it must be a third version of the problem: the loose video chip can only be repaired by resoldering, but since it's a BGA chip that is impossible to do with ordinary tools.

I tried to repair it, but the only thing that fixed it permanently was forcing the control signal of the backlight (a PCM signal) to maximum by soldering a pullup resistor at a strategic point in the lid. I deliberately leave it as vague as this: you really should know what you're doing when you try this, and you should be able to fill in the details yourself. Google is your friend.

Have any of you iBook-owning Slashdot readers had to repair your iBook like this? Any hints? If my repair is successful I'll surely snap a bunch of pictures and make a website, as this is a problem that affects a lot of iBook owners."

Some repairs are documented online, but more are always welcome.

Disassembling an iBook is hard; reassembling it is even harder. Unless you really, really, REALLY know what you're doing, you're shouldn't try this. Even professional repairmen consider it a difficult machine to work on.

If you still want to do it, the procedure is roughly: remove bottom case, bottom shield, top case, top shield to expose the motherboard. Illustrations can be found online, but be prepared for surprises, in particular lots of sticky tape and screws at weird places. Most importantly: carefully document the origin of every screw you remove. I find it helpful to keep the screws from different disassembly steps separate, so that a sanity check can be done for each step of reassembly.

The video chip is located on the bottom side of the motherboard, under the harddisk, but again, resoldering a loose chip requires professional equipment. The wire loom to the display starts roughly under the 's' key, and goes through the left side of the hinge.

2 days out of warranty (2, Interesting)

e1en0r (529063) | more than 10 years ago | (#7991370)

My iBook has the same problem. I got it for a Christmas / birthday present in 2002 and the backlight started dying in December 2003. I bought AppleCare from the website on Dec. 13 but they wouldn't accept it as apparently my iBook was purchased on Dec. 11 and was therefore 2 days out of warranty. Even though it wasn't registered until Dec. 25 they wouldn't make any exceptions.

My specific problem is when I open up the screen and turned the iBook on the backlight would flicker and I'd have to put a little pressure on the back of the screen to push it forwards a little bit for it to work. I had to hold it like that for a while and then it usually took 10 minutes or so until I found a position where it would stay on. Oddly enough though, after it's been on for a while I can move the screen any way that I want and it'll stay on.

So my solution was to set it up as a music server, connect it up to some good speakers, leave it open on my desk and buy a PowerBook. I'm a little pissed, but on the bright side I guess I now have a 12" PowerBook and a sweet little web based interface to iTunes that I wrote last week. On the downside my employer hasn't paid me for 6+ weeks so perhaps the PowerBook wasn't the best idea.

I fixed mine... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7991395)

I have a dual usb that is almost two years old (few months) and out of warranty I had a problem with the backlight going out. It was caused by the hinge crimping the cable. I took the entire assembly apart, rewired the cable with a new splice and did a better job insulating and moving the cable so it wouldn't happen again. Took me a good 4 hours of work...but saved me a ton of dough.

Re:I fixed mine... (1)

trouser (149900) | more than 10 years ago | (#7991832)

Same problem, same solution. Took me a little longer but I also replaced the original 10Gb HD with a new 40Gb drive. Sweet.

That hinge arrangement is an absolute disgrace.

Badly engineered (4, Interesting)

GrahamCox (741991) | more than 10 years ago | (#7991463)

The problem with the iBook hinge is bad engineering, not low cost. Doing it properly would not cost any more, in fact it would probably cost less because the wires wouldn't need to be crushed into such a weird assembly. Have you noticed how swish and stylish the hinge looks though? That's the problem, they have sacrificed function for form. I wrote up my hinge problem and solution to it (i.e. full disassembly, remaking of the cable and reassembly) on my blog here. [blogdrive.com] I haven't had a problem with the video connector but I did notice in passing just how darn fragile it is - the slightest movement of the connector (at the screen end anyway) caused bad scanlines, weird colours, or complete blanking. I figured that was another fault just waiting to happen, but so far just left well enough alone. Apple should sort these issues out before they start to damage their reputation - they are stupid, easily avoided issues that would cost nothing to get right. They need an engineer there who understands reliability issues (hint: it's always the connectors, and always where there is mechanical movement. They should spend a little time building some rally cars, they'll soon learn this!)

no problem here (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 10 years ago | (#7991709)

I have an iBook G4 12" which I bought in October, got the 29th, dropped the 30th, and took me until the 32 to make it boot again. However, I have no more problems and it's been rather resiliant, going back to Ireland with me, getting treated not too particularly well, tho not being blatantly abused either, and then back to America. where I've turned it off once since the 30 of December.
I have not noticed any backlighting problems, or in fact, any problems at all.

Re:no problem here (1)

Chuqmystr (126045) | more than 10 years ago | (#7993837)

Um, you have Oct 32 where you're from? Kewl! I wana visit! I like October, it's a swell month. ;-)

My bad, couldn't resist...

Re:no problem here (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 10 years ago | (#7994347)

i don't even know what day of the week it is

logic boards (3, Interesting)

i0wnzj005uck4 (603384) | more than 10 years ago | (#7992106)

I'm on my second iBook since my switch from windows, and while I love them, I'm also on my *fourth* logic board.

Generally the backlight issue is solved by repairing the connector between the screen and the board -- a lot of times, the opening and closing of the lid kind of makes the wires bend back and forth, if you're unlucky, and like a piece of plastic they can snap or grow weak. Pulling it apart yourself is ... difficult. I've done it a few times, and I don't recommend it. You can probably find the actual apple repair manuals on some sites [torrentskickass.com] (*cough*) if you want to do that yourself.

However:

I'd say a higher percentage of the time *any* problem you have on an iBook, particularly the recent ones, is due to logic board failure. The problem is that *everything* is on the logic board, and if one thing goes wrong (IE, the modem shorts out, or a chip on one side of the board gets too hot, etc) the whole thing can have a cascade failure. I've had discussions about this with trained apple repair men, and they've all hated the iBooks because of this issue (which, incidentally, is shared by the Powerbook 12", but those machines fail at a lower rate due to higher quality parts).

So despite whatever you end up doing to fix your machine, you may still need to replace the logic board anyways. If you replace the connector between screen and board and your backlight doesn't come back on, I'd recommend you looking into the logic board replacement, as having one thing go bad on it can lead your machine down a dark path.

Buy a Toshiba (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7992138)

Whenever a PC owner complains about the quality of PC hardware the Crapintosh zealots waste no time in recommending "get an Apple :p" [sic]

So, get a fucking Toshiba Tecra or something and stop whining.

OK this is just wierd (1)

Freebasen (742014) | more than 10 years ago | (#7992181)

My fiance just had me look at her laptop for this today. After a fruitless (half-harted) google search I decided to put it off until later tonight.... until I decide to read /. and here it is. Does anyone have the link to the by-pass cable arrangement mention by the OP?

Might be a different or similar problem (1)

gsdali (707124) | more than 10 years ago | (#7992751)

My girlfriend's iBook has (clamshell, graphite) just devloped backlight problems. When you switch it on the back light fires up but as soon as the OS starts loading it cuts out. I believe it's also when the PMU kicks in, but whether it's the PMU (resetting the PMU hasn't cured it), tube or driver bord. Anyone have ant insight into this problem?

Re:Might be a different or similar problem (1)

ahunter (48990) | more than 10 years ago | (#7993271)

It's got less publicity than the iBook problems, but Apple has also been having some serious problems with a failing power inverter in the 17" studio displays. However, some people reporting this problem have actually been suffering from a similar Open Firmware problem. Your problem might be well be that. The solution is easy, apparently (I haven't tried it): on boot, hold down Apple/Option A+V to reset the video system. I haven't been able to find any apple docs on this beyond a few things mentioned in the support forums, so many disclaimers apply :-)

Look for the 'Half dimmed flat panel display' in the apple support forums to see the thread about 17" studio displays - this, and the 1 year warranty is the main reason my LCD display did not come from Apple.

Re:Might be a different or similar problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7993730)

You're sure the brightness isn't just turned all the way down? (Use F2 to try and turn it up.)

If there really is a problem, it sounds like a firmware kind of thing to me...does the backlight work in Open Firmware (boot with command-option-O-F held down)? Or when you boot with the option key held down (to the choose-an-OS screen)? I wouldn't think it has anything to do with the PMU, since I've got to figure the PMU is involved with the boot process from the instant you hit the power button.

HTH

Right there with you guys... (5, Interesting)

superdan2k (135614) | more than 10 years ago | (#7992888)

My iBook is currently at Apple's repair center. But my story starts much earlier. I ordered my dual-USB iBook 500 the day after Steve announced them, in March of 2001. It took until early-June to receive it. I didn't want to finance the cost of AppleCare, so I figured I would buy it later. In October, I joined the ranks of the dot-com unemployed, effectively destroying my plans to order AppleCare that month. I wasn't particularly worried, though, as I had experienced no problems.

Fast forward to late April of 2002. I'm living at home, in my parents' basement piggybacking off their T1 (no shit), paying down debt via a combination of frugal rent-free living, unemployment checks and the odd freelance gig thrown my way. I'd sold my Win(D'OH!)s machine awhile back. I started getting mild electrical shocks from the metal rings around the footpads on the iBook, and the screen was flickering like mad and wouldn't go to full brightness. I needed to wrap things up on a freelance gig, so I called Apple, still well in warranty and got them to send me a box. It gets to be June 1st or so and I send it in. They repair it and I have it back in-hand less than 48 hours later, functioning perfectly. Life is good...up to a point. A choad at the Apple Store in the Mall of America tells me that I have 30 days in which to make a warranty claim if the repairs go bad.

~45 days after the repair, I'm out of my main warranty by a long shot, and I think I'm out of the repair service warranty. Problems begin to recur. Basically, I think I'm fucked, so I kinda decide to put off repairs until I absolutely have to. I'm back at work full-time and kicking ass on my bills, so I should be able to cover it. Well, about 120 days after the repair work was done, I'm in the Apple Store, looking at the toys, and I overhear mention that service work has a 90-day coverage. When I talk to the clerk about it, he tells me it's always been 90 days, and that he's sorry the other guy was wrong, but that there's nothing he or I can do about it.

So I stewed for awhile. Fast forward to 12/30/2003. In a fit of boredom at work, I drop an email to sjobs@apple.com, explaining the above...not asking for anything. I just want him to be aware of the communications disconnect in the store and expressed disappointment in the quality of the product.

I come home on 1/5/2004 and there's a message on my answering machine from someone at Apple that wants to discuss the email I sent to Steve. I think "practical joke" and then realize that I didn't tell anyone about the email. The guy and I finally make contact with each other last Thursday. He wants to hear the story, so I go into detail about it, again, and we talk for a bit. Then he says, "Well, we want to make this right. We'll cover it outside of warranty this one time. And you'll still get the 90 days of coverage on the repair work."

My jaw literally dropped. He hooked me up with the tech group, filed a repair ticket for me, and had a box sent Airborne Express overnight to me. I talked to the tech, and he told me that the work order ticket basically covered anything wrong with the laptop, including cosmetic damage. I nearly shit. So we went over the problems, and that was that.

I shipped the iBook out this Tuesday morning (1/13/2004). I spoke with the people at Apple today and they informed me that they had replaced the entire upper shell (cosmetic damage), several parts of the power subassembly, the little rubber footpads (god, how that warms my heart), and went down a laundry list of other items. They said it might get back onto a truck tonight to come home.

This isn't the first time that Apple has come through for me, I'm sure it won't be the last, but they've cemented me as a Customer For Life.

Why not send it back to Apple? (2, Informative)

Rimbo (139781) | more than 10 years ago | (#7992897)

If you bought it that recently, the one-year warranty should still be in effect.

Take it to an Apple Store, or fedex it to Apple (after calling 'em up for an RMA), and wait a week.

I did that when mine went out not 3 months in. Haven't had any problems since.

A word from the silent 99% (2, Informative)

etresoft (698962) | more than 10 years ago | (#7993148)

Keep in mind that those without problems usually don't complain.

My Dual USB 700 14" laptop is 1.5 years old. No LCD problems at all. I used it several hours a day every day. The hard drive started acting up (after warranty expiration) so I swapped it out for a 60 gig. You can't expect a hard drive to last very long these days anyway. Now that Quantum is gone, hard drives don't last very long.

In fact, after 15 years and 6 Macs, the only real Apple hardware failure I've seen was when the sound went out on my old 7100. I don't know, but the lightening strike may have been more at fault than Apple on that one.

Send it back to apple (3, Informative)

severed (82501) | more than 10 years ago | (#7993450)

Do yourself a favor and send it back to Apple. The iBooks are pretty well sealed until you pop it open, then it becomes a mess of different size screws and rf shielding.

About two months ago, my girlfriend's iBook was having problems. Unfortunately it was way out of waranty, and we had bought it second hand (at a very reasonable price). The hard drive was making clicking noise of death. So I thought, no big deal, I'll just swap it out.

So I talked with the people at the Genius Bar at the local Apple store (great folk by the way), and verified that it was just a standard ide laptop hard drive. They said it was, but advised against me doing it myself. I thought, yeah, whatever. less than 48 hours later I found myself wishing I had taken their advice, but I get ahead of myself.

Anyways, I decided to do a dry run on my 15 inch powerbook, just to see if there would be any surprises. It was easy enough to get to the drive. Satisfied, I decided to go ahead with her iBook.

Now, if I would have just googled for instructions on how to dismantle an iBook, I would have discovered the magnitude of my mistake. iBooks are laid out very different from powerbooks. In fact, in the iBooks, the hard drive is pretty much the last thing you get to.

Now, your problem isn't the hard drive, it's the backlight. that's much easier to get to, in much the same way a hand grenade is much easier than a nuke. However, if it's still an option, just ship it in.

Take it or leave it. You might be more inclined in the ways of hardware than I am. However, if you decide to go forward and do it yourself, get yourself an empty egg carton, or something similar. Label the holes, and keep track of which screws went where, because you're going to have a lot of them.

A financial conference call aside... (1)

finelinebob (635638) | more than 10 years ago | (#7995346)

... sorry, can't find a story link right now but one report I read on Apple's financial conference call mentioned the drop in profit margins over the last quarter was due to higher than expected warranty service expenses. Hmmm...
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