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Revision to PowerBook G4 Aluminum 17" Troubleshooting

Jeff Stephens

[title|PowerBook G4 Aluminum 17" Troubleshooting]
 
[toc]
 
[summary]The Aluminum 17" is the first Apple laptop to include a Firewire 800 port. Bluetooth capability and Airport Extreme is standard in these machines. Troubleshooting is fairly straightforward.[/summary]
 
 
 
== Powerbook won't turn on ==
 
'' YourYour computer will not boot. boot.''
'' YourYour computer will not boot. boot.''
 
=== Bad DC-in board ===
 
If your DC-in board is bad, you will not be able to start your computer when it's plugged into the wall. It may or may not run on battery and the light on the power adapter will not light up at all. (Some power adapters do not have lights, so this may not apply to your computer.) You can [guide|255|replace] your DC-in board with the following parts: [product|IF155-008|1 GHz], [product|IF155-052|1.33/1.5/1.67 GHz (LR)], and [product|IF155-065|1.67 GHz (HR)]board.
If your DC-in board is bad, you will not be able to start your computer when it's plugged into the wall. It may or may not run on battery and the light on the power adapter will not light up at all. (Some power adapters do not have lights, so this may not apply to your computer.) You can [guide|255|replace] your DC-in board with the following parts: [product|IF155-008|1 GHz], [product|IF155-052|1.33/1.5/1.67 GHz (LR)], and [product|IF155-065|1.67 GHz (HR)]board.
 
=== Bad power adapter ===
== Laptop shuts off when I unplug it ==
 
'' AsAs soon as you unplug the computer from a power source, it shuts off off''
'' AsAs soon as you unplug the computer from a power source, it shuts off off''
 
=== Dead battery ===
== Flashing question mark on startup ==
 
'' TheThe computer displays the flashing question mark when it can't find a bootable operating system. This could be because your OS is corrupt, the computer doesn't have enough RAM, or your hard drive is failing.''
'' TheThe computer displays the flashing question mark when it can't find a bootable operating system. This could be because your OS is corrupt, the computer doesn't have enough RAM, or your hard drive is failing.''
 
=== Bad operating system ===
== My screen looks black, but I can see very faint graphics on it ==
 
'' SymptomsSymptoms of this are a dark screen, but everything else seems to be running. If you get in close with a flashlight, you can usually see the image faintly. faintly.''
'' SymptomsSymptoms of this are a dark screen, but everything else seems to be running. If you get in close with a flashlight, you can usually see the image faintly. faintly.''
 
=== Backlight ===
 
If your backlight isn't working, the [product|IF155-048|inverter]inverter may be bad. Other parts that may be bad are the display or the logic board. If your backlight fails intermittently while moving the display, the problem is with the [product|IF155-051|inverter cables]. Otherwise it is impossible to test for damaged parts without replacing them one by one. If you are comfortable taking apart the display assembly, replace the display inverter first, then replace the LCD. If you are not comfortable with this, you can replace both parts at once by replacing the [link|/search/17+alu+display+assembly+LCD|display/search/17+alu+display+assembly+LCD|display assembly] (which contains both components). If this still doesn't solve your problem, you need a replacement logic board.
If your backlight isn't working, the [product|IF155-048|inverter]inverter may be bad. Other parts that may be bad are the display or the logic board. If your backlight fails intermittently while moving the display, the problem is with the [product|IF155-051|inverter cables]. Otherwise it is impossible to test for damaged parts without replacing them one by one. If you are comfortable taking apart the display assembly, replace the display inverter first, then replace the LCD. If you are not comfortable with this, you can replace both parts at once by replacing the [link|/search/17+alu+display+assembly+LCD|display/search/17+alu+display+assembly+LCD|display assembly] (which contains both components). If this still doesn't solve your problem, you need a replacement logic board.
 
== Other problems ==
=== Ports/Audio ===
 
If you lose firewire or ethernet, the only thing to blame is the logic board. Because there are many components of the logic board, many possible symptoms indicate logic board failure. Any one of these components can fail and leave the others intact. If you lose audio, the [link|/search/17+alu+sound+ports|sound/search/17+alu+sound+ports|sound card] is to blame and must be [guide|247|replaced]. If the USB on the left side of your machine dies, you must [guide|255|replace] the [link|/search/12+alu+DC-in|DC-in/search/12+alu+DC-in|DC-in board], which houses the left USB connection. Loss of USB on the right side requires the [guide|249|replacement] of the [link|/search/17+alu+PRAM+keeps|PRAM/search/17+alu+PRAM+keeps|PRAM battery & USB board].
If you lose firewire or ethernet, the only thing to blame is the logic board. Because there are many components of the logic board, many possible symptoms indicate logic board failure. Any one of these components can fail and leave the others intact. If you lose audio, the [link|/search/17+alu+sound+ports|sound/search/17+alu+sound+ports|sound card] is to blame and must be [guide|247|replaced]. If the USB on the left side of your machine dies, you must [guide|255|replace] the [link|/search/12+alu+DC-in|DC-in/search/12+alu+DC-in|DC-in board], which houses the left USB connection. Loss of USB on the right side requires the [guide|249|replacement] of the [link|/search/17+alu+PRAM+keeps|PRAM/search/17+alu+PRAM+keeps|PRAM battery & USB board].
 
If you lose the use of another component of your computer, such as the display, battery, or even power, and replacing the apparently non-working part didn't fix the problem, it is possible that the logic board may need to be replaced.

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