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Black screen 30 secs after normal start up

iBook was fine, Optical Drive crashed, installed one from ebay along with a Mercury Legacy Pro SSD. After that screen goes black 30 secs after normal boot. Reinstalled the old HD, same result. Tried all the keyboard finger combos and removed replaced RAM.

I’ve seen suggestions about an external screen but have no idea what that means. Using another computer in Target mode??

I love my old G4 and would really like to be able to use it again. I have an extra screen from a parts G4 from the past, might try to install that if I can’t get any solid advice here.

Thanks in advace

Update (09/29/2018)


Figured if it was running fine now with no shields or plastic I would spend my Saturday very carefully putting it back together testing it as I went. Seems leaving six screws out of the bottom shield did the trick eventually after about 4 hours or so of this and that.

Anyway, thanks for everyone’s help. Something happened when I put in that first Optical drive and for two months it has been very challenging.

Here’s my iBook with all it’s glory. The HP speakers are on an aluminum channel with felt on the inside as to not scratch the display. Really add to music listening.

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These are the screw locations that are empty after hours of testing.

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"Use an external screen" means "plug an external monitor into your laptop" and see if the problem persists with the external screen.


Perhaps we have a failure to communicate here. My language was not precise. I obviously was talking about and external monitor but not using the correct words.

I have no idea what an "external monitor" would be and I have been using Mac since 1985?? Is it some sort of screen like a tv screen? Why would someone have a "monitor?" Thanks


@ejd It seems you got it in the end..yet to understand if it's a single screw shorting something or the screws pressure pushing something out of place, but I believe the most is done and it's just fine tuning left.

To add pictures to a question select Edit from the options drop down menu besides your question date. It will take you to a new page with text inside a frame. On the frame upper part you'll see the edit options, for HTML, and a miniature that reminds a scenery, click on that and you'll be served with the insert picture options..from there it should be all very intuitive.



Thanks, I didn't "get" that the HTML was in the row to modify text. It is running great. On line with the latest TenFourFox version. As to whether it was pressure or shorting out I couldn't say for sure but glad it is done.

I've chosen not to go beyond 10.4.11 on my iBooks and 17" PowerBook as IMO the OS turned to crap with 10.6.8 on my iMac. Too much nanny state nonsense...always being asked: "Are you SURE you want to do this or that.." The ugly, industrial looking, unmodifiable side bar, the need to use that POS iTunes for everything. Why put the folder color in an annoying line across the whole menu? Changing long time keyboard commands and what is with the change of direction on the mouse wheel??

In fact I do most of my work: slide shows, creating mp3's of my songs (see EJ Doyle on youtube) letter, book, and screenplay writing, etc. in OS9.2.2 on my Pismo using AppleWorks 5.

Enough ranting :-)) Thanks to one and all.


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It might be the display inverter, the iBook has quite a few years life and inverters may deteriorate with time. Since you have parts around it would be a zero cost try. You can get some help from this guide:

iBook G4 14" 1.42 GHz Display Inverter Replacement

Update (09/28/2018)

@oldturkey03 Here are the bottom of the logic board and top pics with detail of what I mistakenly took for the Pram battery. Hope that helps, if not just ask for more

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If the inverter or inverter cable have failed you can usually see the desktop if you hold a flashlight at an angle to the screen while it is booted up.


Thanks Mayer,

%#*@, I wrote a long answer but had it in the wrong section. Don't know where it went?? Basically I will follow everyone's advice once I get the new display cable I ordered for the extra screen I have. Will report back next week after it comes in. My thanks to all, lots of smart folks here like at the Honda Rebel Forum I belong to.


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You should have a mini-VGA port on the side of your ibook.

You’ll need to get a mini-VGA (male) to VGA (male) cable, plug the mini-VGA end of the cable into that port [it’ll have a picture of a monitor by it), and the other end into pretty much any PC monitor. If you get a picture on the external monitor then the issue is either with your built in screen (which will need to be replaced), or the graphics driver is corrupted (which you should easily be able to re-download and re-install using the external monitor). If you don’t get a picture on the external monitor either, chances are it’s the on-Board graphics chip [meaning you’ll likely need to replace the motherboard].

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Thanks but somehow I'm not getting my point across. WHAT IS A MONITOR??? I mean my iBook is really sweet but why would I go buy another piece of equipment just to test a 13 yo computer? Not being snarky here at all.

As I have said. The iBook starts up and everything is normal...clear picture on the screen, able to negotiate the folders, etc. but just for 28-30 secs. I ordered an inverter cable for the extra screen since it has a broken male plug.


Ah OK, see your point. The fact that you are getting a picture on the screen to start with suggests there is no fault there. These things tend to either work or don't. It could just be a loose connection, but (after re-reading your original post) I'm more inclined to suspect it's a bad device driver for the new Optical drive. in these situations, I tend to go back to as close to when things were running normally. So, I would put the original hard drive back in and remove the new optical drive and see if it boots up (and stays up) then. If it does, try again with the SSD (and no optical drive). If all OK, then it is DEFINATELY something to do with the new optical drive.

It's a bit of trial and error abut thats really the only way to deal with this kind of thing.

If you have access to another computer, try and find the new OpticaL drive manufacturer website and download the latest device driver for it.


Thanks Kelvin. Ironically I have put a second optical drive in with the same results. I'll try taking out the optical drive anyway and try your ideas. The only thing that bugs me is the tiny plugs when putting the top back on. A few years back I broke one and it cost $60 to get it soldered back on board.


The past couple of weeks I have dismantled my iBook 14” 1.42 and put it back together a half dozen times or so. I’ve bought parts off of ebay, harvested stuff from my spare iBook and I am certain of this... It still loads as normal as can be. Bright screen, sound, etc. but 38 secs from first desktop view and 28-30 secs after complete load it gets a black screen.

I’ve checked or replaced: RAM, Inverter cable, HD, different display, Optical Drive, and more. I’ve tried rushing to the sys prefs and setting it to “no sleep.” I’ve quickly opened a song in Quicktime and it shuts off with the screen goes black.

Any other suggestions from anyone would be great. I really dig my iBook and it was working fine until I replaced the Optical drive (now gone) and at one point I started it up with only the aluminum shields on and it worked fine. Then, after putting the cases back together, nothing since.


OK now. The 5th time or so I was reassembling my G4 I tested it without any plastic or shields, just flopped the top on to start it and it worked. So I thought I somehow found the cure in one of the methods you guys have offered. I put it together and the screen went black again.

Today I tried starting it with no shields or plastic and just the keyboard laying on top. It worked fine. I rebooted, worked fine. I loaded a CD, it worked fine. So now I am going to slowly put it back together to see if I can determine what screw area is causing some sort of pressure or something to make it last only 30 secs. I know, sorta weird but I am getting desperate.

Any ideas on this would be welcome.


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DesertMac wird auf ewig dankbar sein.

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