Technical Problems (Or the 26 Cent Solution)

I’ve been having some technical problems with my iBook. It’s a G3 with 700MHz. Yes, it’s 5 years old. I believe in using my computers until they die. That’s why I haven’t been posting lately.

Well, mine did, the other day. Screen went black and it wouldn’t boot. So I took it to CompUSA where the technician was kind enough to tell me it was probably a problem with the logic board. He said it would cost $160 for the labor and another $400 or $500 for a new logic board. He said he’d rather sell me a new laptop. This was not what I wanted to hear.

So I went home and did what everyone else in the world does with Internet access: I researched the problem. And lo and behold there it was: page after page about Apple’s iBook Logic Board repair program and numerous complaints about logic board problems. I’ve never had a problem with the logic board until now. Unfortunately, my laptop is long out of warranty. So any fix would be costly or would have to be done myself. You can buy logic boards here. Then you can replace it yourself…if you don’t mind taking every single component of your laptop apart.

I don’t have the patience for that. Especially when I realized it was the BGA video chip. This issue is frustratingly very common; the chip becomes disengaged from the board so the solder needs to be re-heated in order to reseat the chip. You can read about a solution requiring a heat gun here. You can read about an even crazier solution here.

I chose a variation on this solution, specifically this.

That’s right, I created a shim on the underside of my iBook with a quarter and a penny, and a strip of duct tape. The pressure keeps the video chip attached to the logic board. I’m typing this blog post on my formerly broken iBook right now. I’m hoping it’ll keep working until I get a new MacBook in the next month or so.


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