New iBook G4 14″ 1.42 GHz Guide

May 22, 2009 Hardware — walter

Hello. It’s our distinct pleasure to once again announce an addition to our family of ever-go-happy Guides. We’ve recently published a new guide for the iBook G4 14″ 1.42, which can be identified by the model number of A1134 printed on the lower case.

There are a few notable hardware differences that give the iBook G4 14″ 1.42 its uniqueness:

  • The laptop features a unique AirPort Extreme/Bluetooth combo card located under the top shield. It is specifically designed to only work in the iBook G4 12″ 1.33 GHz and iBook G4 14″ 1.42 GHz. Unlike previous iBook models, the replacement of the combo card requires a bit more finess. But don’t worry, we at iFixit strive to make your lives effortless. Simply follow our free airport card replacement guide.
  • The iBook G4 14″ 1.42 GHz does not utilize a hard drive cable like its predecessors. It connects to a hard drive connector that is mounted upon the metal framework. Replacing the iBook’s hard drive simply requires a simple tug and pull.
  • The Reed Switch board is mounted on top of the optical drive. It is responsible for sleep sensing in the iBook. A combination of a magnet in the display assembly and this sensor enables your iBook to automatically go to sleep when the lid is closed and magically wake up when opened.

Take a look at the new guide. We’re always open to suggestions on how to improve our guides, so keep us in the loop.

SPOILER ALERT: We may or may not be releasing a guide for the iBook G4 12″ 1.33 GHz in the very near feature. Only time will tell.

Meet iFixit: Mitra’s Upgrade Success Story

May 19, 2009 Meet iFixit, Repair Stories, Site News — Miro

Mitra works for iFixit as a Visual Designer. Most of the website graphics on our site have been shaped or created by her genius. She is the first person to write an article for the “Meet iFixit” series — personal blog posts written by iFixit employees relating some of their tech-related experiences. The following article is written solely by her, with a couple of edits here and there by yours truly. Enjoy.

-Miro

Last week I finally got enough motivation to fix my old 15″ PowerBook. The process was more fun and interesting than I expected. My repair story started in January of 2008 when I made the choice to update my computer system. My 2004 15″ PowerBook was making strange clicking sounds and the battery was dead (I had to keep it plugged in all the time). It was time for a faster machine and I needed a bigger monitor. I decided to get a 24″ iMac and retired my old laptop for use on special occasions.

In December my laptop totally died. It would display a panic message and then freeze when I tried to turn it on. From that point, it took 4 months to convince myself that I could fix the PowerBook. I started by using the ID your Mac help guide to figure out what kind of laptop I had. Next I consulted a few tech savvy friends to confirm my suspicion that the hard drive was the cause of my problem. Then I went about getting everything I needed to make the repair.

To fix my computer I bought a replacement hard drive, a battery, and a tool kit. I used the step by step iFixit guide for hard drive replacement, and an OS operating system CD. I was a little nervous getting started.

I used a cupcake baking pan to organize the screws as I took the laptop apart.

There were a few moments when I wondered if it was ever going to turn on again. Looking at the inside of my computer was strange.

I swapped the hard drive and put the pieces back together. I swapped out the old battery and installed the OS. It was easy.

It took about 30 minutes to replace the hard drive… And installing the software took 3 hours. I’m happy to have a working laptop now. Thanks to everyone who helped!

Updated MacBook Pro Guide…

May 13, 2009 Hardware, Repair Guides — walter

We here at iFixit jump for joy every time we publish a new guide, so it’s only fair that we share our joy with the iFixit community! We recently released a new guide for the MacBook Pro 15″ Core 2 Duo that covers models A1226 and A1260.

Although similar in design to the MacBook Pro 15″ Core 2 Duo Model A1211, there are some notable hardware differences that distinguish these models from their predecessor:

  • The logic board has a third thermal sensor near the left fan, buried beneath the logic board. This thermal sensor is attached to the lower case. In order to replace the sensor, it is necessary to remove the logic board.
  • The side tabs on the upper right and left of the keyboard have been removed. The keyboard drops right into the keyboard well, rather than having to bend the corners to fit in each side tab. To compensate for the removal of the corner tabs, two screws have been added to the bottom. The updated guide definitely includes this crucial step so that keyboard removal does not involve breaking the keyboard itself.
  • All three MacBook Pro 15″ models (A1211, A1226, A1260) utilize an 802.11n AirPort Extreme Wireless card. However, models A1211 and A1226 utilize a card with 3 antenna connections, whereas model A1260′s card has only 2 antenna connections.

Take a gander at our new guide and let us know if you have any suggestions. We’re always looking to improve the guides!

Thermal Paste: The Vehicle of Cool

May 8, 2009 Hardware — Andrew

Ever wonder why that green stuff in your car’s radiator is so important? Those of us that have a car with a leaky cooling system know that sitting in traffic puts the temperature needle in the red zone –  which has the potential to destroy the engine. The green coolant transfers heat from the engine to the radiator, keeping the engine cool and happy.

Thermal paste applied to the surface of a processor serves a similar purpose. During normal operation, a computer’s processor generates heat that transfers via thermal paste to a heat sink. The heat sink can be cooled either by a fan or a liquid cooling system. If you reassemble a computer without using thermal paste, air is the only substance to conduct heat between the processor and the heat sink.

A pocket of air surrounding your body insulates your skin from a cold environment. This effect is exactly what we do not want to subject our processor to. An insulated processor will quickly overheat, most likely causing permanent damage. Thermal paste is an excellent conductor of heat and is essential for keeping the processor temperature in check.

We created a guide on how to remove and apply thermal paste correctly. This procedure was performed on a MacBook Unibody, but the general steps can be used for any computer, whether Apple, PC, desktop, or laptop. However, be mindful that you never have to re-apply thermal paste during regular computer maintenance — only when you separate a processor from a heatsink. We love keeping you and your computer happy, and we hope you find the guide useful!

Bay Area Volunteers Needed

May 5, 2009 Events — Miro

Maker Faire is around the corner, and we’re still in need of volunteers for our repair sections. We’re looking for experts in the automotive, motorcycle, appliance, bicycle, and electronics repair fields!

As a volunteer, you will help people with problems within your area of expertise, but also get a chance to talk to other experts and resolve some problems you might be having!

As mentioned in our earlier blog post, we will provide you with free Maker Faire admission, a pass to the invite-only “Maker to Maker” event on Friday, and other cool perks (such as an iFixit t-shirt!).

Volunteering is easy. Send an email to MakerFaire@iFixit.com and include the following information:

  • Your name
  • Contact info (phone number, address)
  • Area of expertise (cars, computers, etc.)
  • Any specific interests or cool things you’ve fixed
  • Availability for either May 30th, May 31st, or both

All volunteers should receive an email confirming their volunteer status within a week. Volunteers will be assigned one or more shifts depending on their preferences and availability

We are updating our Maker Faire 2009 section with the latest news — check periodically for additional information. Please email us with any questions, and let us know as soon as possible if you can contribute to this awesome event!