HOWTO: fix a G3 iBook with a "bad logic board" for 26 cents29 May 2007
I've had a 12" G3 iBook since ~2002, and I've really liked it. Of course me being me, I've run Linux on it for almost the whole time, even running a dual boot of OS X and Gentoo Linux back when I used this puppy on the job. The only thing I (and likely millions of other customers) didn't like is the systemic “logic board” failure. Yes, the logic board, which is just Apple's name for the motherboard, would fail, prompting a call to Apple, followed by about a one week turnaround on the repair, which was all covered under warranty. The only thing is, this only reset your iBook back to the original state, after using the iBook for so long, this issue would occur again, leaving you with a shinny door stop. Mine had come and gone 3 times, so this final failure fell far outside of even the extended program to cover the fix. Fast forward to last week, I had resigned from my gig at Mastercard, thus turning in my work laptop, leaving with no easy way (I can go downstairs to my desktop, but…) to work on a system and check my email. I got the iBook out of the drawer and started looking around for info online to solve this from a DIY angle. One interesting way was to burn a tea light directly on the video chip, eventually making it hot enough to resolder itself to the board! I was going to do this, when I found a lower tech, less risky, fix, with perhaps even more permanent results. You open the iBook, put some sort of shim just underneath the video chip forcing it to stay in contact with the logic board; that's it! There are plenty of sites out there now talking about this, but this one seemed the most direct. So I opened the iBook, found that little square you see in the pictures, duct taped a penny topped by a quarter to the metal, and all of a sudden had a revived laptop. It's fun when things are so easy. Oh, and Ubuntu Linux Feisty (7.04) for the PowerPC runs very nicely on the iBook! So much more power saving features, and the promise of Gnash to cover all the flash sites makes it a great laptop.