Distorted video disappears after warm

There must be a engineering flaw or a manufacturing defect on the PowerBooks. There are thousands of people who have this issue - look at the Apple support pages. When I first start up my PowerBook the video onscreen usually does a dance for me and after awhile, when the computer has warmed up it, goes away. Though sometimes it will come back full force after warm-up too. The issue is present when using an external monitor as well. So, it is the ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 graphics processor or VRAM.

I have read that Apple moved from lead based solder to tin for environmental reasons; the tin oxidizes and causes poor connections. I am not sure millions of customers tossing computers because of premature failure is any better than using solder with a bit of lead in it. I digress. So, is there a way to salvage the logic board? Re-whet the solder or remove the oxidization? Replace components on the board? I have taken the computer apart a few times to discern what causing this - the cable connections are fine; undamaged.

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jprokos, as a general answer and not a device specific answer my suggestion would be find a reputable shop in your region that can reflow your boards. Since the error most often resolves after it warms up , I would think that it is most likely related to a bad solder point.

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oldtrukey,

I agree. Only one potential issue… I live in Nepal. Ironic isn't it? Here I am encircled by China, Singapore and India, in the middle of Asia, where all this stuff is manufactured and there are no services. Guess I will have to fly it to the US and fly it back… not really practical or conservative.

I read that there is one chip in particular that resides on the DC converter board. It's the same chip used in iBooks, PowerBooks, etc.. It's supposed to be causing issues. But that was power related; not video related. Any ideas on exactly what chip could be causing this? Maybe I could run a propane torch over the entire board… .

A bit of history. I bought this PowerBook Rev. B in late 2003 it was made in Taiwan during week 39. I did send it in under AppleCare warranty twice. Firstly, for a bad SuperDrive; they replaced a bunch of other components too. The second time it was the lower memory slot. I was already in Nepal and had to ship it to Singapore for AppleCare warranty coverage. I remember I had to pick a workshop from a list. I expected professional service but got far less. I wonder at that point, the last time, if they used a re-certified board, a new one or whatever they had on hand… In any case, it was about six months later that I started having video issues. When I took the computer apart, including removing the Logic Board to see what was up. I noticed there was no thermal paste between the processor and the copper heat sink on the frame. It had been aggressively removed, trained Singaporean monkeys?, leaving gouges in the copper.

One last thing to mention. After an AppleCare warranty expires, Apple offers to renew it. I did take them up on that offer but, I was refused. I guess Apple decided there wasn't going to be any money in it for them? So, keep that in mind when buying an AppleCare Warranty. If you use it, they take notes.

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jprokos, thank you for accepting my answer. Personally I have never been to impressed with any of the warranties. I always felt it's a wast of money. By the way there are a couple of people that have done some reflowing of various logic boards, i.e. iphone etc. Try and check some of those out online and see if you have the means to do it yourself. I remember having read one from a person who used a toaster oven to repair his boards. Nothing to lose I guess. :-)

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