Repairing a dropped Powerbook
August 7, 2004 4:12 PM   Subscribe

Klutzyboyfriendfilter! My boyfriend dropped his 867Mhz G4 Powerbook and now it's busted. We're looking into repair options. [more]

The hinge is broken and something's awry with the inverter cable so there's no backlight. The rest of it seems to be fine. It's out of warranty, and we're trying to figure out the best way of rectifying this. We're looking at buying a used LCD and repairing it ourselves [we're pretty handy and we have the take-apart manuals] or sending it in someplace to get it repaired. Smalldog says it's a $1200 repair if they do it. We've seen LCDs on Ebay for $500-600. Anyone have experience with this sort of repair, either doing it yourself or getting someone else to do it? Anyone you've dealt with who was especially useful/inexpensive/friendly/helpful? I'm not looking for advice on getting another laptop, I'm trying to find a way to make do with this one if possible.
posted by jessamyn to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
Powerbook Parts replaced the hinge assembly on my old Wallstreet II some years back. I had done a bunch of comparison shopping and they were the most reasonable, and the turnaround time was fast. You might check with them for a price on the parts or repair.
posted by astruc at 4:44 PM on August 7, 2004

If you're fairly handy and have the take-apart manual, I'd say go for it. I took apart my Lombard apart a year or two ago in order to replace the power connection. The Apple Service Manuals are really helpful. I'd just say take it slow, use the proper tools and you should be able to handle it.
posted by bucko at 7:12 PM on August 7, 2004

The backlight bulbs in LCDs have a limited lifetime, sometimes as little as 10000 hours. If you buy a used LCD, be prepared to accept the risk that it may start going dim on you. Some LCD models have easily replaceable backlight bulbs, in which case it's an inexpensive fix (~$20); other models integrate the bulb inside the LCD, making it very difficult to replace without damaging the screen. I suggest figuring out which category your LCD is in before dropping $500 on a replacement that may not last.
posted by Galvatron at 7:37 PM on August 7, 2004

This exact thing happened to one of our g4 TiBooks at the office, both hinges split through. We sent it back to apple, and it was $660 to repair. It might be worth getting a price from apple before you spend $600 to do it yourself.
posted by ulotrichous at 9:23 PM on August 7, 2004

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