Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Sell your MacBook

iBook g3 Video Issue

edited October 2011 in General
Hi, I recently bought an apple iBook g3 on eBay, with a video chip issue. I watched johns video on YouTube, and was wondering if it will boot up when you squeeze the chip. The example in your video stayed at the apple screen, and didn't boot. If anyone knows a way to make it boot that's be great!


  • What signs are you seeing that indicate it has the video issue? The video issue will often freeze the computer, so yes, if you apply pressure in order to keep the chip in place, or put something between the lower shielding and lower casing in order to permanently apply pressure to the chip, you can temporarily keep it from freezing. But these are just temporary solutions, and the problem will always return a minute or an hour or a day or a week later. The only permanent way to fix this issue is to find someone with a $10K+ rework station who can properly remove and re-seat the video chip. Because a perfect iBook G3 is barely worth $100 these days, it's just not worth the time/effort to get this done. I would not buy G3s with the video issue, unless you need them for parts. You are not going to find a satisfying resolution to this issue, and it's easy to spend lots of time on this only to end up with a machine that still shows symptoms.

    Also, there are other explanations for a machine freezing on the Apple icon -- the OS could be corrupted, or you could have a bad hard drive.


  • Hi John,

    I bought the laptop a few days ago so I don't have it yet, but I thought that in the meantime I should try to find a way to fix it. It says in the description that it turns on to a black screen and when you put pressure on it the screen works. But in your video, when you pushed on it the screen got stuck on the apple symbol, and I was trying to find out if that will most likely happen to me, and if I can fix it. It has OS X 10.3
  • edited October 2011
    The G3 video issue can behave a hundred different ways, depending on the severity. There is no way to accurately predict it, and it gets worse with time. If it's a mild case, the screen will light up and the computer will work simply by applying pressure to the left of the trackpad when powering up. The one in the video was a more severe case that would not even boot because the video issue caused it to freeze. Sometimes when it's really bad, you can't get the screen to light up at all. Seriously, it's a waste of time trying to get a usable computer out of a G3 with the video issue. It's a machine that is best used for parts (hard drive, optical, screen, DC-in, etc.)
  • Hi, I just got my laptop today. I barely pressed on it for 5 seconds and it works now. So far it's stayed working
  • Hi Tyler! Sounds like your machine has only a mild case. Trust me, though -- it will get worse. But if you leave the computer on a flat surface and don't move it, basically treating it like a desktop, it might last a while before showing additional signs of the video issue. You'll have to press on it periodically when video fragmentation or a black screen occurs. When you start noticing the computer freezing during use, it's time to replace it with something else. A shim might prolong its death for a while longer once that happens.
  • Ok, but I've heard before that plugging it in a monitor will bypass the video chip and it will then work. Is that true?
  • Also when I start it up it up I have to press on it to turn on the screen, but the screen has never turned black after its on. It just freezes sometimes.
  • edited October 2011
    No, that is 100% false. The video chip also controls the external signal, and a video issue machine will show either a black external display, or a distorted one. If the external signal is fine, but you're seeing distortion on the laptop's screen, that means your laptop's internal display hardware (screen, inverter cable, video cable, etc.) has a problem, and the chip itself is likely fine.

    But in your case, you are seeing classic video issue problems. Seriously, get a new computer -- believe me, there is no satisfying resolution to this, and you are going to spend hours and hours spinning your wheels. That computer is good for parts, and trying to use it for practical purposes is just going to lead to aggravation.
Sign In or Register to comment.