I've a cracked iBook LCD monitor - Help!
January 15, 2006 9:57 AM   Subscribe

Is my cracked LCD screen causing my iBook to crash? Also, what is my best route for fixing the screen?

I cracked the LCD monitor in my 14" iBook when air drumming to Rush. That was a bit annoying but I could live with it for the time being. But then a day or so later, the crack grew and the iBook started crashing. What happens is the screen goes black, then grey, red, green, blue, grey again, and that's that. I had a look in the crash logs and nothing was mentioned. The whole machine has definatley crashed (rather than simply having a display issue) as I can't ping it from another computer.
So the question is, how could a broken screen cause complete hardware failure?

Second question - how many of my Great British Pounds is it going to cost to fix the monitor? There's an Apple Store here in Sheffield, so obviously I'll get their opinion about all this, but I wanted some non-biased views first.
posted by chill to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Is this what you need?
I've ordered several parts for my ibook (SE 466 Clamshell) and my husband has changed them out and managed to keep my baby running. The service from PBParts has been great. I couldn't find any info on their site about shipping overseas, but contact them and ask. Oh, the price for the screen I linked to is $399.00 US.
posted by jvilter at 10:38 AM on January 15, 2006

(Neal Peart is a great drummer. Also, the Apple Geniuses told me my 12" iBook would take $800 to replace the screen. God, they're so unreliable, if what jvilter says is true.)
posted by johngoren at 11:18 AM on January 15, 2006

Not to derail, but johngoren, double the cost of the part doesn't sound out of line to me, for a retail establishment. At least, I think that's what you're saying.
posted by jvilter at 12:14 PM on January 15, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks for that jvilter, though I think I'd prefer to buy something from a UK supplier, given the costs involved. Unfortunatley, I just can't find one, even on Ebay.
posted by chill at 2:16 PM on January 15, 2006

Best answer: The crack is the problem, almost certainly. Check it out by connecting (via the handy dongle Apple gave you) to an external monitor. It should work just fine.

There's almost no point to changing the display on an iBook if you have to buy a new part from Apple. The display will cost nearly what a new iBook will cost. And your iBook isn't new. So it will cost more than your 'book is worth. If you can find the used part (probably by buying a dead used iBook, but get a guarantee that the screen is good) you still need to install it, which is no small job. Ca. $300 for a working used 14" display sounds right. And it's still hardly worth it. Retire that machine to a life as a file server or a kid's computer with an external monitor and pony up for a new one (or wait for the Intel iBooks, and snap up a G4 cheap).

That will teach you to air-drum.
posted by spitbull at 2:46 PM on January 15, 2006

When I plug my iBook into an external monitor, the LCD still shows a picture — that is, my LCD doesn't shut off when I'm connected to an external monitor ("screen mirroring" I think they call it). So, I'm not sure, if there's a wire crossed in the LCD, that connecting to an external monitor will help since the LCD will still be getting and using power and signal.
posted by blueberry at 9:19 PM on January 15, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks all.

I can't believe I didn't think of plugging it into a normal monitor, I'll give that a go tonight. If that works then at least I'll be able to use the thing and will tide me over until the almost inevtiable decision to buy one of those shiny Intel books.

I also can't believe that I have broken another laptop through clumsiness (this is the third one I've killed now). Maybe I should just find a cheap laptop that I can use as a kind of "dumb terminal" or something. A dumb terminal for a dumb clumsy fool.
posted by chill at 2:49 AM on January 16, 2006

don't feel so bad. i've destroyed more laptops than that through spills, drops, trips over cords, etc. it's incredibly common.

and yes, if the problem is a short in the LCD unit that is somehow causing problems elsewhere in the machine, the external display won't help, mirrored or not. but there's a good chance the problem is isolated to the LCD, so just turn the brightness all the way down, set it to mirror displays from the good monitor, and you should be good to go.

it's always an awful feeling to contemplate a thousand-dollar mistake, but console yourself: you wanted a new Intel Macbook anyway.
posted by spitbull at 8:47 AM on January 16, 2006

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