 Service Source
PowerBook G4 (17-inch)
17 March 2003
© 2003 Apple Computer, Inc. All rights reserved.
 Service Source
Take Apart
PowerBook G4 (17-inch)
© 2003 Apple Computer, Inc. All rights reserved.
General Information
Overview
Some key features that distinguish this computer from earlier PowerBook models include:
• 17-inch TFT widescreen display in aluminum alloy enclosure
• Built-in Bluetooth
• Built-in AirPort Extreme card
• Added FireWire 800 port
• Uses double-data rate (DDR) memory
• Fiber optic backlit keyboard with ambient light sensor
New Procedures
If you are familiar with taking apart notebook computers, you will notice some differences
with this model:
• The keyboard is secured with screws accessible from under the top case.
• Memory cards are easily accessible from the bottom of the computer.
• The AirPort Extreme card is not user replaceable.
• The quantity and types of screws differ from earlier models.
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 1
Important Notes
• Memory from previous PowerBook models is not compatible with this computer. Do
not use older SDRAM DIMMs or SDIMMs even if they fit into the slot.
• The Bluetooth module is different from the PowerBook G4 (12-inch).
• The AirPort Extreme card assembly has a flex cable glued to the card, making it
unique and specific to this computer.
Tools
The following tools are recommended for the take apart procedures.
• ESD wrist strap and mat
• Soft cloth
• #00 Phillips screwdriver (magnetized)
• #0 Phillips screwdriver (magnetized)
• #1 Phillips screwdriver (magnetized)
• 4 mm socket wrench
• Needlenose pliers
• Torx T6 screwdriver
• Torx T8 screwdriver
• Black stick (nylon probe tool 922-5065) (or other nonconductive nylon or plastic flatblade tool)
• X-Acto® knife with straight edge blade
• Multi-compartment screw tray (such as a plastic ice cube tray)
• Kapton® tape
• Voltmeter (for troubleshooting)
• Small low-power magnet (for troubleshooting)
• Apple Pro keyboard and mouse (for troubleshooting)
2 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Serial Number Location
The serial number is located in the battery bay.
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 3
Zero Insertion Force Connectors
Zero insertion force (ZIF) connectors are used in several locations in the computer.
Important: The locking bar on the ZIF connector is extremely fragile and is not intended to
separate from the connector. When releasing a bar, use extreme care and a restrained
light pressure to move the bar only slightly.
Warning: If a locking bar breaks, you will need to replace the board.
To release the flex cable
Use a flat-blade tool to move the bar on both sides.
4 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
To connect a flex cable
Make sure the locking bar is released, then slide the end of the flex cable all the way into
the connector. Hold the cable in place, then slide the locking bar into the connector on
both sides to secure.
Important: Verify that the cable is straight. Use either the alignment mark, if present, or
the metal edge on the cable as a guide to ensure the cable is straight.
Warning: If the flex cable is inserted crooked, some signals may not be connected
or signals may short together (a bad connection is shown below.)
Note: If a cable is not securing properly, verify that it is inserted on the correct side of the
locking bar.
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 5
Battery
Tools
This procedure requires the following tools:
• Soft cloth
Part Location
Preliminary Steps
Warning: Always shut down the computer before opening it to avoid damaging its
internal components or causing injury. After you shut down the computer, the
internal components can be very hot. Let the computer cool down before
continuing.
6 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Battery
Procedure
Warning: If the computer has been recently operating, allow it to cool down before
performing this procedure.
1. Shut down the computer.
2. Disconnect the power cord and any other cables connected to the computer.
3. Place the computer face down on a soft cloth.
4. Slide both battery latches away and lift the battery out of the battery bay.
Battery
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 7
Memory Door and
Memory Cards
Tools
This procedure requires the following tools:
• Soft cloth
• #0 Phillips screwdriver
Part Location
Preliminary Steps
Before you begin, remove the battery.
8 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Memory Door and Memory Cards
Procedure
Warning: If the computer has been recently operating, allow it to cool down before
performing this procedure.
1. Place the computer face down on a soft cloth.
2. Remove the three screws from the memory door.
Note: Check for lost screws caught by magnets inside the front edge of the battery well.
3. Lift the memory door up slightly and slide it straight back to remove.
Memory Door and Memory Cards
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 9
Note: If only one memory card is installed, it’s factory installed in the top memory slot
(nearest to outside edge of the computer).
4. To remove either memory card, first release it by spreading apart the tabs in the
memory slot from the notches in the card until the card pops up slightly.
5. Pull the card straight out of the memory slot.
10 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Memory Door and Memory Cards
6. Align the notch in the board with the tab in the slot and insert the replacement memory
cards at a 30-degree angle, pushing the card firmly until fully seated.
7. Check that the notches in the card clear the tabs as you press down on the sides of
the card to lock it into place.
Memory Door and Memory Cards
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 11
8. To reinstall the memory door, hold it at a low angle to the battery bay and slide it in
under the back edge, then lay it flat. If the door springs up and does not lay flat without
tension, remove it and reinstall at a lower angle.
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Memory Door and Memory Cards
9. Install the memory door screws.
Note: Before securing, check that the door edge rests flush and inside the ridge.
10. Replace the battery.
11. Use Apple System Profiler to verify that the memory is recognized. (Choose the menu
bar Apple logo () > About This Mac, click More Info..., select the System Profile tab,
open the Memory Overview.)
Memory Door and Memory Cards
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 13
Top Case
Tools
This procedure requires the following tools:
• #0 Phillips screwdriver (magnetized)
• #1 Phillips screwdriver (magnetized)
• Torx T8 screwdriver (magnetized)
• Black stick (or other nonconductive nylon or plastic flat-blade tool)
• Soft cloth
• Multi-compartment screw tray (21 screws to remove the top case)
Part Location
14 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Top Case
Preliminary Steps
Before you begin, remove the following:
• Battery
• Memory door
• Lower memory card (nearest to battery bay), if present
Procedure
Note: This procedure removes the top case and keyboard assembly. The keyboard is
attached to the top case and is not removed.
1. Place the computer face down on a soft cloth.
2. Remove the three screws inside the battery bay.
Note: These screws are shorter than on the memory door. Use care not to lose the
screws into holes along the battery bay.
Note: Check for lost screws caught by magnets inside the front edge of the battery well.
3. Remove the five screws along the back edge (the two outside screws are longer and
have “shoulders”).
4. Remove the two screws on the logic board.
Top Case
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 15
5. Locate the top case flex cable and ZIF connector.
6. Very carefully disconnect and remove the cable from the connector.
Important: The ZIF connector and locking bar are fragile and can easily break if too
much force is used. (See “Zero Insertion Force Connectors” heading.)
16 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Top Case
7. Open the display and place the computer on its side.
8. Remove four side screws from both sides.
Top Case
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 17
9. Turn the computer over.
10. Pull up on the top case along the sides and front until it releases.
Note: A black stick inserted and twisted under the top case seam may be helpful.
18 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Top Case
Replacement Procedure
Note: If replacing the top case, remove the keyboard and transfer it to the replacement top
case.
1. Verify the thermal pad shown here is in place. If not, check whether it is stuck under
the removed top case and replace. If not, install a new pad.
2. Visually check to verify that all cables (highlighted below) are connected and routed
correctly with nothing raised up or incorrectly over a component.
Top Case
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 19
3. Check perimeter wiring, where shown, to verify that it will not be caught or pinched by
the top case during replacement.
4. Check that display cable brackets are properly seated and secured with screws.
20 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Top Case
5. Verify that cables for Bluetooth, AirPort Extreme, inverter and power cable from the
DC-in board are routed and seated correctly in channels around the left speaker.
6. Verify that the LVDS cable’s metal bead fits into the metal channel (rounded side up so
that its teeth secure it) and that the cable is secured into the channel along the right
speaker.
Top Case
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 21
7. Verify that the sleep LED wires route over the notch in the frame (secure with Kapton
tape) and along the inside channel away from the front edge so that it will not be
damaged when replacing the top case.
8. On the top case, check cable connections and routing.
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Top Case
9. Check that the perimeter metal tabs are not bent.
Note: Do not bend the tabs; the metal quickly fatigues and can break off easily.
10. Lay the top case upside down and locate the flex cable.
11. While pulling the cable up, run a finger along its base to crease it at a 90-degree
angle.
Top Case
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 23
12. The cable should point straight up.
13. Open the display to 90-degrees and tilt the computer back so it rests on the back of
the display.
14. Guide the top case flex cable through the slot between the logic board and the bottom
case frame.
24 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Top Case
Note: For the following procedures, you will want to keep the top case close to the bottom
case so the flex cable will not pull out of the slot.
15. Turn the computer to rest on the bottom case.
16. At the left front corner of the computer, insert the top case edges into the bottom case
channels, shown.
17. Hold the front of the top case along the front edge of the bottom case and lower into
place.
Top Case
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 25
18. Note: If the tabs along the sides of the top case catch on the bottom case, use a
narrow tool and work from front to back to carefully push or pull the tabs very slightly
to help slide them into place.
Important: The tabs are fragile. Do not apply too much pressure or bend them.
Note: Some side screws have a flexible screw boss. If they block a tab from seating,
use a narrow tool to push the boss slightly.
26 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Top Case
Important: The top case should lay flat along the sides and top, if not, make sure
that cables and components are not interfering.
Also, make sure it is not held up by one of the metal tabs protruding down from the
top case. Carefully bend them slightly to fit if needed.
19. Install the front and rear side screws on both sides to hold the top case in place.
Top Case
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 27
20. Carefully close the display, without forcing. If it does not close easily, reinstall the top
case, checking for cable routing and clearances.
21. Turn the computer over.
22. Check that the top case flex cable is still through the slot. If not, use the round shaft of
a small Phillips screwdriver to carefully pull it through, as shown.
Important: If the cable does not fully reach the ZIF connector, the cable is trapped
under the frame. Reinstall the top case.
28 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Top Case
23. Carefully pull the locking bar of the ZIF connector out slightly. Slide the flex cable over
the locking bar and into the connector until it stops (the metal edge of the cable should
be parallel to the connector), then slide the locking bar in to secure it.
24. Check for a gap, as shown below, between the top and bottom case at the back right
side next to the hinge. This may indicate that the LVDS cable is trapped.
Top Case
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 29
25. To check this, insert the flat-blade side of a black stick between the display and top
case then push toward the bottom case to see if the gap can be closed. If so, proceed
to next step. If not, remove the top case and check the routing of the LVDS cable, then
reinstall the top case.
26. Carefully install one of the “shoulder” screws in the end screw hole on the bottom.
Important: If the screw does not go in easily do not force it or damage may result.
Check the routing of the LVDS cable and reinstall the top case.
30 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Top Case
27. Install the other “shoulder” screw in the end screw hole.
28. Install the remaining side screws.
29. Install the logic board screws.
30. Install the remaining bottom screws along the back edge.
31. Install the memory door, and screws.
32. Install the battery bay screws.
33. Visually check the flatness of the top case. If it is not flat, remove it, fix the problem,
then reinstall.
34. Replace the battery.
35. Testing the computer should include powering on, checking the keyboard and
trackpad function, and operate the computer in a dimly lit room to check that the
keyboard backlight is working.
Top Case
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 31
Keyboard
Tools
This procedure requires the following tools:
• #0 Phillips screwdriver
• Torx T8 screwdriver (or other blunt tool, 3.5mm wide or less)
• Black stick (or other nonconductive nylon or plastic flat-blade tool)
Part Location
Preliminary Steps
Before you begin, remove the following:
• Battery
• Top case
32 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Keyboard
Procedure
1. Turn the top case over, locate the keyboard flex cable and remove the Kapton tape
holding the cable.
2. Carefully release the locking bar of the cable’s ZIF connector and pull out the cable.
3. Locate and carefully peel off the insulator film over keyboard screws and reserve for
reinstallation.
Keyboard
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 33
4. Remove remaining adhesive, if any, from the top case and screw heads.
5. Remove the fourteen identical screws.
6. Start at the power button side and use a blunt tool (no wider than 3.5 mm) to carefully
push on the keyboard screw bosses through the boss holes to begin to release the
keyboard from its adhesive.
Important: To avoid damaging the screw boss threads, do not use a narrow tool that
will fit into the screw hole.
34 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Keyboard
7. Continue until the keyboard can be grasped, then carefully lift it up and guide out its
flex cable (shown below).
Keyboard
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 35
8. Carefully rub off any adhesive residue left in the keyboard well and on the fiber optics.
36 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Keyboard
Replacement Procedure
1. To install the keyboard or replacement keyboard, insert its flex cable through the slot in
the top case and rest the bottom of the keyboard evenly along the bottom edge of the
keyboard well.
2. Remove the protective cover from the adhesive strips on the keyboard. While keeping
the bottom of the keyboard flush along the bottom, lay the keyboard into place so that
the screw bosses fit into the boss holes.
3. Install the keyboard screws.
4. Replace the insulator film, avoiding wrinkles or bulges.
Important: The film must be installed and in the same location to protect against
contact and electrical shorting in certain areas and to allow contact with the EMI
spring on the logic board.
Keyboard
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 37
5. If replacing the existing keyboard, such as during a top case replacement, secure the
end of the keyboard flex cable. (The cable inserts under the ZIF connector locking
bar.)
6. If installing a replacement keyboard, first remove the cable’s adhesive protector, then
turn the cable under itself (so the adhesive is on the inside of the loop but do not
secure the adhesive).
Secure the end of the keyboard flex cable into the ZIF connector. (The cable inserts
under the ZIF connector locking bar.)
38 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Keyboard
7. Fold the cable flat and secure it’s adhesive by firmly holding the left side (to prevent
cable movement) while sliding your right hand fingers forward on the right side.
8. Use Kapton tape to secure the cable flat at the fold.
Keyboard
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 39
9. Verify that the cable is still fully inserted, straight and secure in the connector.
10. Turn over the top case and inspect the left and right sides of the keyboard. Push any
Mylar down along the sides of the keyboard.
11. Reassemble the computer.
12. Testing the computer should include powering on, checking the keyboard and
trackpad function.
In a darkened room, check for keyboard backlight function, and light leakage around
the perimeter of the keyboard, speaker grill openings and side ports.
40 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Keyboard
Hard Drive
Tools
This procedure requires the following tools:
• Torx T8 screwdriver (magnetized)
• #1 Phillips screwdriver (magnetized)
Part Location
Preliminary Steps
Before you begin, remove the following:
• Battery
• Top case
Hard Drive
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 41
Procedure
1. Use the tabs on the connectors to disconnect and remove the sound board flex cable.
Note: Remove the connector from the logic board by rocking from side to side.
2. Disconnect the hard drive flex cable.
3. Remove the four screws.
4. Lift out the hard drive (guide the flex cable under the speaker cables if necessary).
42 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Hard Drive
5. Transfer brackets, side screws, rubber shockpads and the flex cable to the
replacement hard drive.
6. Install the replacement hard drive, and reassemble the computer.
7. Testing the computer should include powering on, checking that the hard drive is
recognized, checking for sound from the speakers and that the sleep LED light works.
Hard Drive
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 43
Sound Board
Tools
This procedure requires the following tools:
• Torx T8 screwdriver (magnetized)
• Black stick (or other nonconductive nylon or plastic flat-blade tool)
Part Location
Preliminary Steps
Before you begin, remove the following:
• Battery
• Top case
• Hard drive
44 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Sound Board
Procedure
1. Disconnect the speaker wires connector and sleep LED connector.
2. Remove the two screws.
3. Pull the sound board out starting at the ports end.
Sound Board
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 45
Replacement Note: To prevent damage to the sleep LED wires during top case
reassembly, verify that the wires route over the notch in the frame (secure with Kapton
tape here and over connector) and then along the inside channel away from the front
edge.
4. Install the replacement sound board, and reassemble the computer.
5. Testing the computer should include powering on, checking for sound from the
speakers and that the sleep LED light works. The headphone and line in ports should
be checked.
46 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Sound Board
SuperDrive
Tools
This procedure requires the following tools:
• Torx T8 screwdriver (magnetized)
• #1 Phillips screwdriver (magnetized)
Part Location
Preliminary Steps
Before you begin, remove the following:
• Battery
• Top case
SuperDrive
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 47
Procedure
1. Grasp the SuperDrive flex cable connector, where shown, and rock from side to side
while pulling up, to disconnect it.
Warning: Do not pull up on the end of the flex cable connector or the cable may
separate from the connector.
2. Remove the four screws.
3. Carefully lift and guide the drive out.
Important: Avoid pulling on the backup battery flex cable.
48 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
SuperDrive
4. Transfer the flex cable, brackets and screws to the replacement SuperDrive.
5. Install the replacement SuperDrive, and reassemble the computer.
6. Testing the computer should include powering on, inserting a CD and ejecting it to
make sure the drive is aligned with the opening and functioning properly.
SuperDrive
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 49
Backup Battery Board
Tools
This procedure requires the following tools:
• Torx T8 screwdriver (magnetized)
• Black stick (or other nonconductive nylon or plastic flat-blade tool)
Part Location
Preliminary Steps
Before you begin, remove the following:
• Battery
• Top case
• SuperDrive
50 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Backup Battery Board
Procedure
1. Release the two ZIF connectors and remove the flex cable.
2. Remove the three screws.
3. Install the replacement backup battery board.
4. Reassemble the computer.
5. Testing the computer should include plugging in the power adapter and letting the
backup battery charge for half an hour. Then power on the computer and disconnect
the power adapter, set the system clock, put the computer to sleep, remove the main
battery for five seconds and reinstall. The time should not reset. Also, check the right
side USB port which is on the backup battery board.
Backup Battery Board
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 51
Modem
Tools
This procedure requires the following tools:
• 4 mm socket wrench
• Needlenose pliers (helpful to reinstall hex nuts)
Part Location
Preliminary Steps
Before you begin, remove the following:
• Battery
• Top case
52 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Modem
Procedure
1. Disconnect the modem flex cable.
2. Remove the three hex nuts.
3. Lift the modem up slightly and disconnect the RJ-11 cable connector.
4. Install the replacement modem, and reassemble and test the computer.
Modem
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 53
PC Card Cage and
AirPort Extreme Assembly
Tools
This procedure requires the following tools:
• #0 Phillips screwdriver (magnetized)
• Torx T6 screwdriver (magnetized)
• Black stick (or other nonconductive nylon or plastic flat-blade tool)
Part Location
Preliminary Steps
Before you begin, remove the following:
• Battery
• Top case
• Modem
54 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
PC Card Cage and AirPort Extreme Assembly
Procedure
1. Turn the computer over and remove the rubber gasket on the AirPort Extreme flex
cable connector and reserve for reinstallation. Disconnect the connector.
2. Turn the computer over and disconnect the PC card cage and hard drive flex cables.
PC Card Cage and AirPort Extreme Assembly
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 55
3. Pull out the coupling (joining the AirPort Extreme jumper and antenna cable) from the
channel in the side of the left speaker. Grasp the coupling (not the wires) at both ends
and pull to separate it at the middle.
4. Remove two Phillips screws and two Torx T6 screws.
56 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
PC Card Cage and AirPort Extreme Assembly
5. Important: The cross piece at the front end of the PC card cage is fragile. To avoid
damage, do not touch this area while maneuvering the assembly.
Lift up on the sides of the PC card cage assembly and carefully guide the AirPort
Extreme card flex cable connector from under the logic board.
Important: To avoid damage, do not allow the pins of the AirPort Extreme card cable
connector to rub along the logic board. If the clearance is too tight, try slightly loosening a
couple of the logic board screws on this side, but do not bend the board. If this doesn’t
work, the logic board will have to be removed to continue.
6. Slide out the PC card cage eject button.
7. Turn over the PC card cage to locate the AirPort Extreme card.
8. Pull on the AirPort Extreme card flex cable to slide the card out of the PC card cage.
PC Card Cage and AirPort Extreme Assembly
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 57
Note: Wiggling the card from side to side slightly may help to release it.
9. If replacing the AirPort Extreme card, pull the antenna jumper connector straight back
to remove it. Transfer the cable extension to the replacement AirPort Extreme card.
10. Install the AirPort Extreme card onto the PC card cage to be installed and reinstall the
assembly.
58 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
PC Card Cage and AirPort Extreme Assembly
Replacement Note: Ensure that the pin on the PC card cage eject button is secured
by the hole in the cage mechanism.
11. Reassemble the computer.
12. Testing the computer should include inserting a PC card to check that it can be locked
in and that the eject button works smoothly. Use Apple System Profiler to check that
the AirPort Extreme card and modem are recognized. Test that the AirPort Extreme
card is working and that the modem can dial out.
PC Card Cage and AirPort Extreme Assembly
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 59
Bluetooth
Tools
This procedure requires the following tools:
• Torx T6 screwdriver (magnetized)
• Black stick (or other nonconductive nylon or plastic flat-blade tool)
Part Location
Preliminary Steps
Before you begin, remove the following:
• Battery
• Top case.
60 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Bluetooth
Procedure
1. Release the two ZIF connectors and move the flex cable aside.
2. Disconnect the Bluetooth antenna cable.
Replacement Note: Make sure the antenna cable is secured in the channel on the
speaker.
Bluetooth
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 61
3. Remove the screw and Bluetooth board.
4. Install the replacement Bluetooth board, and reassemble the computer.
5. Testing the computer should include using Bluetooth to connect to another computer.
Check the function of the DC-in port and the left USB port.
62 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Bluetooth
Speakers
Tools
This procedure requires the following tools:
• Torx T8 screwdriver (magnetized)
• Black stick (or other nonconductive nylon or plastic flat-blade tool)
Part Location
Preliminary Steps
Before you begin, remove the following:
• Battery
• Top case
• Bluetooth board
Speakers
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 63
Procedure
Note: Lift up any Kapton tape as necessary and reserve for replacement.
1. Pull wires out of routing channels on the left speaker.
2. Remove one screw on each speaker.
64 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Speakers
3. Lift out speakers.
4. Deroute the speaker wires along logic board.
Replacement Note: Verify proper routing of speaker cables under securing clips.
5. Disconnect the speaker wire connector from the sound board.
6. Install the replacement speakers, and reassemble the computer.
7. Testing the computer should include using the Sound system preference pane to test
the left and right speakers.
Speakers
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 65
DC-In Board
Tools
This procedure requires the following tools:
• Torx T8 screwdriver (magnetized)
• Black stick (or other nonconductive nylon or plastic flat-blade tool)
Part Location
Preliminary Steps
Before you begin, remove the following:
• Battery
• Top case
• Left speaker
66 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
DC-In Board
Procedure
1. Disconnect the RJ-11 connector to the modem.
2. Disconnect the power cable on the DC-in board.
3. Remove the two screws.
4. Insert a black stick under the DC-in board to help guide it out.
DC-In Board
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 67
Replacement Note: Make sure that the replacement DC-in board includes the RJ-11 port
and ambient light sensor cover. If not transfer them from the original board to the
replacement board.
The RJ-11 port slides off the DC-in board but may be very tight. It may be helpful to pull on
the port until it begins to move, then use a black stick to create leverage behind the port.
The ambient light sensor cover slides on and is attached with a screw from underneath the
board.
68 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
DC-In Board
5. Install the replacement DC-in board, and reassemble the computer.
Note: Insert a black stick into the USB port opening to guide the board into place.
6. Testing the computer should include using Bluetooth to connect to another computer.
Check the function of the modem port, DC-in port and the left USB port.
DC-In Board
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 69
Logic Board
Tools
This procedure requires the following tools:
• Torx T8 screwdriver (magnetized)
• X-Acto knife with a new flat-blade
• Black stick (or other nonconductive nylon or plastic flat-blade tool)
• Thermal Pad Kit (076-1033)
• T630 thermal gel (922-5929).
Note: To organize the screws you remove from the computer, use a tray with divided
compartments (such as a plastic ice cube tray).
Part Location
70 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Logic Board
Preliminary Steps
Before you begin run the computer until warm (if possible) to help soften the thermal
materials on the logic board, then shut it down and remove the following:
• Battery
• Top case
• SuperDrive
• Right speaker
Procedure
Warning: Flexing of the logic board can break solder joints to chips. To prevent
damage to the board, guard against unnecessary flexing. Do not hold the board by
the ports end or by the narrow neck at the fan cutout, as the board’s weight can flex
the board at this narrow point.
1. Turn the computer over. Disconnect the cables shown.
Logic Board
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 71
2. Turn the computer over. Disconnect the cables shown.
3. Remove the twelve screws.
72 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Logic Board
4. Lift the logic board from the left side and pivot along the port side.
Note: The thermal material on the bottom side of the board may make it difficult for
the board to release (verify that all the screws have been removed). Apply slow
constant pressure, avoid over flexing, until it releases.
Warning: Flexing the logic board can break solder joints to chips. Avoid
unnecessary flexing especially at the narrow neck of the fan cutout.
5. Carefully coax the port end of the board out of the port openings.
Note: The DVI connector may catch on the part of the frame shown here. Carefully
maneuver it until it releases.
Logic Board
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 73
Replacement Procedure
Warning: Flexing of the logic board can break solder joints to chips. To prevent
damage to the board, guard against unnecessary flexing. Do not hold the board by
the ports end or by the narrow neck at the fan cutout, as the board’s weight can flex
the board at this narrow point.
1. Verify that the replacement logic board has EMI shields attached, as shown. If not,
transfer the shields from the replaced board, or replace with a new shield kit.
74 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Logic Board
2. On the back side of the logic board, remove the existing rectangular thermal pad
covering two chips, shown below.
Important: If the pad is not on the board, check the underside of the top case and
remove.
3. From the Thermal Pad Kit (076-1033) install the rectangular shaped pad over the two
chips on the replacement logic board, where shown below.
Note: Avoid unnecessary contact with either side of the thermal pad as dirt and body
oils reduce the thermal pad's conductivity.
Logic Board
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 75
4. Use a black stick to remove all the original thermal material on the heatsink at the
locations shown below.
5. Vigorously clean remaining residue and adhesive with an alcohol pad.
Warning: Whenever the logic board is separated from the heatsink, you must
remove all existing thermal material and install new thermal material to the heatsink
at the three locations shown above. Failure to do so can cause the computer to
overheat and be damaged.
Important: If a replacement logic board comes with thermal pads installed, you will only
need to install Thermal Gel (922-5929) to the center surface of the heatsink.
76 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Logic Board
Note: Avoid unnecessary contact with thermal gel or either side of thermal pads as dirt
and body oils reduce the thermal pad's conductivity.
6. From the Thermal Pad Kit (076-1033), center and install the square thermal pads on
the heatsink as follows:
• Smaller square pad on the left most mating surface
• Larger square pad on the right most mating surface (if the kit includes two samesize pads, apply them, with the backing removed, one on top of the other as a
double layer)
Note: To install a thermal pad, remove the protective backing from one side of the
pad.
Logic Board
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 77
Center that side over the mating surface (raised surface) and evenly apply it, without
air pockets, by lightly pressing on the protective backing of the other side.
Remove the remaining protective backing.
Important: With an X-Acto knife, trim any excess thermal pad material that extends
beyond the mating surface, if necessary, to prevent it from touching holes in the
heatsink.
78 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Logic Board
7. Apply approximately 0.3 to 0.5 cubic centimeter (cc) of T630 thermal gel (922-5929) to
the center of the center mating surface on the heatsink. (The 10 cc dispenser may be
graduated in milliliters. Note: A milliliter (ml) is the same as a cubic centimeter (cc)).
Note: To apply the thermal gel from the 10 cubic centimeter (cc) dispenser, remove
the end cap and push the plunger until the gel reaches the front opening. Note the
position of the end of the plunger in the tube. Dispense the gel until the plunger end
moves about 1/3 to 1/2 of 1 cc (ml). The plunger will move back slightly when
pressure is released, so push it slightly beyond the amount to be dispensed.
Note: After installing new thermal material, if you must briefly re-separate the logic board
from the heatsink, it is OK to retain the same, new material, as long as they are not
handled excessively.
Logic Board
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 79
8. If the logic board was removed to facilitate another procedure and will be reinstalled,
also remove all the thermal material from the corresponding chips (shown below) in
the same manner.
Important: Use extreme care not to damage the chips or logic board components.
80 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Logic Board
9. To replace the logic board, guide the port side into the port openings on the bottom
case. Align the S-video port first.
Note: Use care not to catch cables under the board as it is lowered into place.
10. Attach the screws in the order shown.
Note: The three screws replaced first have “shoulders” and use wavy washers. Make
sure that the washers do not get caught under the shoulder of the screw when
installing.
11. Reassemble and test all ports, components and functions of the computer.
Logic Board
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 81
Display Panel Assembly
Tools
This procedure requires the following tools:
• Torx T6 screwdriver (magnetized)
• Black stick (or other nonconductive nylon or plastic flat-blade tool)
• 4 mm socket wrench (to install the pop-up spring torsion bar)
Part Location
Preliminary Steps
Before you begin, remove the following:
• Battery
• Top case
82 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Display Panel Assembly
Procedure
Note: During these procedures, remove and reserve any Kapton tape for replacement, or
replace with new tape during reinstallation.
1. Carefully disconnect the cable connectors shown.
2. Pull out the coupling (joining the AirPort Extreme jumper and antenna cable) from the
channel in the side of the left speaker. Grasp the coupling (not the wires) at both ends
and pull to separate it at the middle.
Display Panel Assembly
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 83
3. Carefully disconnect the Bluetooth cable connector.
Important: During the following procedures, take care that the small parts and screws do
not fall inside the computer.
4. Remove the screws that hold the wire brackets at both sides of the clutch barrel.
84 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Display Panel Assembly
5. Move the display to a 90-degree angle and remove the two screws for the end caps of
the clutch springs on each side.
Note: A 90-degree angle on the display helps to reduce the tension on the end
pieces.
6. Remove the two clutch cleat screws on each side of the clutch barrel.
Important: Before removing the last screw, support the display so that it does not fall over.
Display Panel Assembly
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 85
7. Lift off the display panel and clutch barrel assembly.
8. Remove the clutch spring end caps from both sides.
86 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Display Panel Assembly
9. Remove the two screws and torsion bar on each side.
Display Panel Assembly
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 87
Replacement Procedure
1. To reinstall the display panel assembly, replace the end caps onto both clutch springs.
2. At the back corners of the bottom case assembly, push the pop-up spring pins all the
way back, on both sides.
88 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Display Panel Assembly
3. On the clutch, push the limit stop feet all the way back, on both sides.
4. Lower the display panel assembly straight down onto the bottom case assembly.
5. Verify that the limit stop feet, fit into the holes in front of the pop-up spring pins, on
both sides.
Display Panel Assembly
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 89
6. Install and tighten the screws for the clutch cleats, on both sides.
7. Hold the display at a 90-degree angle and install the end cap screws on both sides.
90 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Display Panel Assembly
8. To install the pop-up torsion bars, insert the bar so that the notch is behind the pop-up
spring pin and install the first screw furthest away from the pin.
9. Then, use a sturdy hex nut driver to press the torsion bar down flat (this places tension
on the pop-up spring pin) and install the second screw. Do this for both sides.
Display Panel Assembly
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 91
10. Replace the wire bracket screws on both sides.
11. The left speaker has channels for Bluetooth, AirPort Extreme, inverter and the power
cable from the DC-in board. Verify that the cables are routed and reconnected
correctly.
12. Reconnect the DC-in board and Bluetooth flex cable to the logic board.
92 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Display Panel Assembly
13. Verify that the LVDS cable’s metal bead fits into the metal channel (rounded side up
so that its teeth secure it) and that the cable is secured into the channel along the right
speaker. Then, reconnect the LVDS cable and verify that it does not go over the fan.
14. To verify that the pop-up mechanism was installed correctly, first make sure there are
no wires or parts to interfere, then carefully close the display until it latches.
Push the display latch button and the display should pop-up slightly.
Note: If not, one or both limit stop feet, next to the clutch cleats, were not inserted
correctly. Loosen the screws for the end caps and clutch cleats enough to push the
feet into place and reinstall.
Display Panel Assembly
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 93
15. Reassemble and test the computer.
16. Testing the computer should include the display panel. Use Bluetooth to connect to
another computer and verify proper AirPort Extreme function. Check the function of
the DC-in port and the left USB port.
94 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Display Panel Assembly
Heatsink and Fan Assembly
Tools
This procedure requires the following tools:
• Torx T8 screwdriver (magnetized)
Part Location
Preliminary Steps
Before you begin, remove the following:
• Battery
• Top case
• Left and right speakers
• Logic board
• Display panel assembly
Heatsink and Fan Assembly
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 95
Procedure
Note: The Heatsink and fans are one assembly part.
1. Remove the screws and lift out the heatsink and fan assembly.
Important: Do not attempt to transfer fans from one heat sink to another. This can create
acoustic issues.
Replacement Note: Make sure to clean existing thermal material from the logic board and
apply new thermal material (see Logic Board chapter).
Important: If a replacement heatsink comes with thermal pads installed, you will only
need to install Thermal Gel (922-5929) to the center mating surface of the heatsink.
2. Reassemble and test all ports, components and functions of the computer.
96 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Heatsink and Fan Assembly
Bottom Case Assembly
Part Location
Preliminary Steps
Before you begin, remove the following:
• Battery
• Top case
• Hard drive
• Sound board
• SuperDrive
• Backup battery board
• Left and right speakers
• Modem
• PC card cage & AirPort Extreme assembly
• DC-in board
• Logic board
• Display panel assembly
• Heatsink and fan assembly
Bottom Case Assembly
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart - 97
Procedure
When all preliminary steps are performed, the bottom case is the part that remains.
Verify that the following items are on the replacement bottom case, if not, transfer them
from the bottom case being replaced, or install new:
• EMI shields
• Rubber gasket
• Battery connector assembly
1. Reassemble and test all ports, components and functions of the computer, including
battery operation.
98 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Take Apart
Bottom Case Assembly
 Service Source
Troubleshooting
PowerBook G4 (17-inch)
© 2003 Apple Computer, Inc. All rights reserved.
General Information
Wire and Flex Cables
With the very thin enclosure design and dispersed circuit board, a large number of flex
cables are used in this computer. In addition, there are a variety of wire cable harnesses
as well. Many of these cables carry multiple types of signals. In the case of the DC-in
board flex cable; the cable is forked with one path going to the Bluetooth board and the
other to the DC-in board.
Here is a list of the cables and the signals that run across them. If you notice a group of
functions not working, it is likely that the cable is not properly inserted or the connector is
damaged.
Cable or Flex Cable Name
Signal(s) Running Through It
Bluetooth antenna cable (to diversity
board in display panel assembly)
Bluetooth radio signal
AirPort Extreme antenna cable (to
diversity board in display panel assembly)
AirPort radio signal
AirPort Extreme antenna jumper
AirPort radio signal
AirPort Extreme flex cable
AirPort data / control
Sound board flex cable
Sound in
Sound out
Internal speaker
Internal microphone
Sleep light
Speaker assembly cable
Left speaker
Right speaker
Internal microphone
DC-in board cable (to logic board)
Power to system and main battery
DC-in board flex cable
Bluetooth data
Left USB connector
Left ambient light sensor
Fan (left) cable (to logic board)
Power/control for left fan
General Information
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting - 1
Cable or Flex Cable Name
Signal(s) Running Through It
Fan (right) cable (to logic board)
Power/control for right fan
Hard drive flex cable (to logic board)
Hard drive control, data, and power
Inverter cable (to inverter board in display
panel assembly)
High voltage for backlight
Inverter cable (to logic board)
Display backlight control
Keyboard backlight cable (on top case)
Power to keyboard backlight LEDs
Keyboard flex cable
Keyboard data and status lines
LVDS cable (from display panel assembly)
Video data to display panel
Main battery cable
Connects main battery to logic board
Modem flex cable (to logic board)
Modem control and data
PC Card cage flex cable (to logic board)
PC card data and power
Power Button cable
Power-on signal
RJ-11 cable (to modem)
Analog phone signal
Sleep LED cable (to sound board)
Power to sleep LED
SuperDrive flex cable (to logic board)
SuperDrive data and control signals
Top case flex cable (to logic board)
Keyboard data and status
Power-on signal
Power to keyboard backlight LEDs
Trackpad data and power
Trackpad flex cable
Trackpad data and power
2 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting
General Information
Potential flex cable and connector issues.
ZIF connector locking Bar
The locking bar holds the flex cable into the connector. The connector will not work
properly if any of the following situations exist:
• The locking bar is not completely pushed into the socket on both sides.
• The locking bar is broken or missing.
Important: In this case the board must be replaced.
General Information
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting - 3
The cable is not secured straight.
Make sure that the alignment mark, if present, or metal edge of the contacts run parallel to
the connector. If the flex cable is inserted crooked, some signals may not be connected or
signals may short together.
Broken connectors on the flex cable
Some flex cables have connector plugs or sockets attached at their ends. These
connectors are fragile and their connections can easily break away from the flex cable if
the connector end is bent or too much force is used when disconnecting, making them
unusable. Some of these flex cable connectors may have a tab or pull loop to help remove
them. Those without can be removed by carefully rocking them from side to side.
Important: Do not bend the connector ends of these flex cables or pull up along the
narrow end of the connector.
Check to make sure that no part of the connector has separated from the cable.
4 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting
General Information
Cables nicked or crimped
For cables in the bottom case assembly routed along the front left edge, left side and
display clutch areas, check whether the wire insulation has been nicked (exposing bare
metal), severed or crimped. If wire insulation has been nicked but the wires are still intact,
insulate it with Kapton tape.
General Information
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting - 5
Hardware Troubleshooting Tools and Tips
Apple Hardware Test 2.0.1 (AHT)
Starting with the PowerBook G4 (17-inch), the Apple Hardware Test software will be
incorporated into the Software Install and Restore DVD. There is no separate CD for this
diagnostic.
Previously, the C key was held down to boot into the diagnostics. With the combined DVD,
this action will boot into the software restore section of the disk. In order to access the
AHT on the DVD follow these steps:
1. Insert the DVD named "PowerBook G4 17 inch Software Install and Restore" that
came with your computer.
2. Hold down the Option key and restart the computer.
3. Click Apple Hardware Test volume in the startup manager.
4. Click the arrow that points to the right.
5. Follow the on-screen instructions.
Note: Apple Hardware Test 2.0.1 is not backwards compatible with PowerBook computers
prior to the PowerBook G4 (1Ghz/867Mhz).
Apple Service Diagnostic (ASD)
MacTest Pro software does not work on this computer since the PowerBook G4 (17-inch)
is a Mac OS X only system. Apple System Diagnostic (ASD) is the replacement and can
be downloaded from Knowledge Base article 112125: Service Diagnostics Matrix.
Important: ASD is not compatible with PowerBook computers prior to the PowerBook G4
(1GHz/867MHz).
6 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting
General Information
Apple Service Diagnostic Main screen
Apple Service Diagnostic Select test tab
General Information
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting - 7
Apple Service Diagnostic Hardware info tab
Apple Service Diagnostic Test log tab
Resetting the Power Manager Unit (PMU)
The PMU reset button has been removed from the logic board. Use the following key
combination procedure or the PMU Reset pad (see PMU NMI and PMU Reset pads on
logic board, below).
1. If the computer is on, turn it off.
2. Reset the power manager by simultaneously pressing and then releasing ShiftControl-Option-power button. Do not press the fn (Function) key while using this
combination of keystrokes.
3. Wait 5 seconds.
4. Press the power button to restart the computer.
8 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting
General Information
Power-on pads on logic board
With the top case removed, the power-on button is disconnected. Instead of having to
reconnect the top case to turn on the system, there are two pads on the logic board when
shorted together (with a tool like the head of a flat blade screwdriver) is the equivalent to
pushing the power-on button.
These pads are located about 5cm left of the back left corner of the optical drive, 1-1/2cm
above the notch for the top case flex cable. It is marked POWER BUTTON. The pads are
separated with a vertical white line.
General Information
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting - 9
PMU NMI and PMU Reset pads on logic board
In addition to the power-on button pads on the logic board, there are pads for PMU NMI
and PMU reset. These buttons work when their pads are shorted together (with a tool like
the head of a flat blade screwdriver). They are marked PMU NMI and PMU RESET. The
pads are separated with a white horizontal line between the pads.
These pads are located about 1cm left of the back left corner of the optical drive.
Caps lock LED power check
There are situations when the system is giving indications that it is shut down (no hard
drive access, screen is dark, no fan, and so on). However, the logic board may still be
running. In this case, the logic board is drawing power and generating heat.
Warning: In this situation, if the computer is put in an enclosed environment like a
carrying bag, the computer can overheat.
Check this situation by pressing the caps lock key. If the LED glows, the PMU is running on
the logic board. After pressing the caps lock key and perhaps other methods of waking it
up fails, hold the power button down for six seconds to force a shut down of the computer.
Restart the system to check if it boots up normally.
10 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting
General Information
Software Troubleshooting Tips and Tools
Mac OS X only
Starting with the PowerBook G4 (17-inch), the system will no longer boot into Mac OS 9.
Mac OS 9 applications can still be used, but only in the Mac OS X classic mode.
In locations such as the Startup Disk system preference pane, a Mac OS 9 folder will not
show up as an option.
Login window and account
Mac OS X requires at least one user account to be established. This is the Administrator’s
account. By default, the Accounts system preference pane has the “Log in automatically
[Admin’s name]” check. This automatic login setting allows the system to boot into the
Finder without having a log-in prompt.
However, if this box is not checked, you will need a password to get to the Finder. In
addition, you will need to create a user account after you re-install system software.
Customer forgot password
If the customer forgot the password for the computer:
1. Insert the Software Install and Restore DVD.
2. Restart the computer while holding down the C key on the keyboard.
3. When the installer appears, chose Reset Password from the Installer menu
4. Follow the on-screen instructions.
Safe Mode
The Mac OS X that shipped with the PowerBook G4 (17-inch), has a new startup state
called Safe Mode.
Safe Mode is the state Mac OS X is in after a Safe Boot. A Safe Boot is a special way to
start Mac OS X when troubleshooting. Starting up into Safe Mode does three things to
simplify the startup and operation of your computer:
1. It forces a directory check of the startup (boot) volume. It is identical to using Disk
Utility’s Repair Disk or the fsck –fy terminal command.
2. It loads only required kernel extensions (some of the items in /System/Library/
Extensions).
3. It runs only Apple-installed startup items (some of the items in /Library/Startup Items
and /System/Library/Startup items - and different than login items).
Taken together, these changes can work around issues caused by software or directory
damage on the startup volume.
General Information
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting - 11
To start up into Safe Mode (to Safe Boot), do this:
1. Be sure the computer is shut down.
2. Press the power button.
3. Immediately after you hear the startup tone, press and hold the Shift key.
Note: The Shift key should be held as soon as possible after the startup tone but not
before.
4. Release the Shift key when you see the screen the gray Apple and progress indicator
(looks like a spinning gear).
During the startup, you will see "Safe Boot" on the Mac OS X startup screen (shown
below). To leave Safe Mode, restart the computer normally, without holding any keys
during startup.
Knowledge Base Articles
These troubleshooting articles can be searched from http://www.apple.com/support.
106692
Mac OS X: Troubleshooting Installation and Software Updates
106693
Mac OS X: Troubleshooting Installation From CD-ROM
12 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting
General Information
Hardware Symptom Charts
How to Use the Symptom Charts
The Symptom Charts included in this chapter will help you diagnose specific symptoms
related to the product.
The steps to solve a symptom are listed sequentially. You might not need to perform every
step before the symptom is solved. Start with the first step, and then test for the symptom.
If the symptom persists, replace any modules you removed, go to the next step, and test
again. Continue down the list until the symptom is solved.
Hardware Symptom Charts
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting - 13
Power Adapter Note
The system was designed to use the Apple 65-Watt Portable Power Adapter that came
with your computer. The previous 45-Watt Apple power adapter for PowerBooks is plug
compatible, but it may not provide sufficient power during some activities and power may
be drawn temporarily from the battery. You can identify the Apple 65W Power Adapter by
its markings (see photo).
Under low battery or no battery situations, the 45 watt power adapter may not be able to
provide enough power to properly support the system.
Although you may have used the 45 watt adapter with a PowerBook G4 (1Ghz/867Mhz)
without trouble, the peak power requirements of the PowerBook G4 (17-inch) is much
higher and will have a higher chance of encounter compatibility issues.
14 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting
Hardware Symptom Charts
Startup
The computer will not power on (no fan movement, hard drive spin up and
display is not lit)
1. Remove any connected peripherals and eject any PC card.
2. Check that the battery has enough charge to start the computer by pressing the button
next to the LEDs on the battery. At least one LED must light solid (not flashing).
3. Connect a known-good Apple 65W Portable Power Adapter (661-1798) and power
cord or plug to a known-good power outlet; make sure the DC plug is firmly inserted.
The DC plug should light up, if not, replace DC-in board.
Important: The Apple 65W Portable Power Adapter is highly recommended to be
used with the PowerBook G4 (17-inch) computer. The adapters can be identified by
65W in the name and markings, and the metal securing-stud on the plug connector.
Although previous 45W power adapters (see Knowledge Base article 88231
PowerBook and iBook: Apple Power Adapter) are plug compatible with the
PowerBook G4 (17-inch), it may not provide sufficient power during some activities
and power may be drawn temporarily from the battery.
4. Try powering up without the battery installed (only works with 65W power adapter).
5. Perform the keyboard PMU reset procedure described in the Troubleshooting Aid
section.
Warning: Resetting the power manager will permanently remove a RAM disk, if
present, and all of its contents. You will also need to reset the date and time
(using the Date & Time system preference pane).
6. Press Caps Lock key to see if key light comes on. If it does, hold power button down
for six seconds to shut down the computer and restart.
7. If it still doesn’t start, verify power button cable is connected properly to top case flex
cable assembly and that the flex cable is connected correctly to the logic board, if
power button is not functioning correctly or damaged, replace the top case.
8. Disconnect keyboard completely. Inspect connectors. Restart with keyboard
disconnected.
9. Remove any additional RAM.
10. Remove AirPort Extreme Card.
11. Verify DC-in board cable is securely connected.
12. Try known-good DC-in board.
13. Replace logic board.
Hardware Symptom Charts
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting - 15
Memory error message “The built-in memory test has detected an error”
appears on the screen
1. Run Apple Service Diagnostic Test. Note: If the failure is intermittent, run Apple
Service Diagnostic Test in loop mode (check looping options under Test Controls tab
and select only the RAM test under the Select Tests tab) for an extended time to test
the memory.
2. If the test can’t find the memory or finds bad memory, inspect the bad DIMM. Verify
proper memory is being used. The PowerBook G4 (17-inch) uses PC2700 (also called
DDR333) DDR SDRAM SO-DIMMs with a maximum height of 1.25-inch (30 mm). If
improper memory is being used replace it. Otherwise, try reseating the DIMM and
retest. If still reported as bad, replace it.
3. Check the memory connector for damage (retention arms broken, connectors bent or
missing, connector lifted from logic board). If damage is detected replace the logic
board.
16 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting
Hardware Symptom Charts
Blue screen appears (a spinning disc cursor may also be visible),
Prohibitory Sign appears,
Restart dialog box appears (Mac OS X 10.2 kernel panic window), or
Gray screen during startup
Prohibitory Sign
Kernel Panic dialog box
1. Make sure all external devices are disconnected and any PC card ejected. If kernel
panic goes away, troubleshoot the external device by reconnecting each device until
the panic occurs.
2. If there are two RAM cards installed in the expansion slots, remove the top card and
restart.
• If symptom repeats, replace bottom card with known-good RAM card.
• If symptom does not repeat, replace top RAM card with known-good RAM card and
restart.
For assistance in software troubleshooting, go to Knowledge Base article 106464: Mac
OS X: Troubleshooting a Startup Issue.
Hardware Symptom Charts
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting - 17
Flashing question mark appears on the screen
Note: This system will only boot the Mac OS X system that shipped with this computer or
later. It does not support booting into Mac OS 9.
1. Start up from the software install and restore DVD that came with the computer (hold
down the "C" key during restart).
2. When the Installer opens, from the Installer menu, select Open Disk Utility.
3. When the Disk Utility opens, on the left hand side, all disk and volumes are listed. If
you don’t see the internal hard drive, the system is not recognizing it. Skip to step 4.
Otherwise, select the First Aid tab and follow the instructions to verify the hard disk,
and repair if needed. Restart the computer.
4. If the hard drive is not recognized, check the hard drive flex cable for damaged
connectors, and if bad replace the hard drive flex cable.
5. Reseat the hard drive flex cable. If still not recognized, replace the hard drive.
Important: If the computer is under warranty and data recovery is required, refer to
Knowledge Base article 31077: DriveSavers: Hard Drive Data Recovery & Warranty
Implications, for important information.
6. Reinstall system software using the software install and restore disc.
Note: Don’t forget to install both the Mac OS X and Applications and Classic
software. This operation is completed with two separate installs. Restore disc images
are available at http://service.info.apple.com. Select “Disc Images.”
Computer begins to power up, the fan and hard drive are spinning, pressing
caps lock key and LED turns on, but there is no startup chime or video
1. Reset the power manager by using the keyboard sequence. Wait five seconds before
continuing. Press the power button to start the computer.
Warning: Resetting the power manager will permanently remove a RAM disk, if
present, and all of its contents. You will also need to reset the date and time
(using the Date & Time system preferences pane).
2. Replace the logic board.
18 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting
Hardware Symptom Charts
System shuts down intermittently
Important: This issue can be a result of not using the 65W power adapter with the
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) computers. Confirm with the customer which adapter they were
using when having this problem. The adapter can be identified by 65W in the name and
markings, and the metal securing-stud on the plug connector.
1. Disconnect all external peripherals and eject any PC card.
2. Make sure a known good fully charged battery is fully inserted. Check both battery
latches are fully engaged and are not broken or getting caught before fully catching.
Check battery connection to logic board.
3. Make a visual inspection of the battery connector in the battery bay. Make sure all
blades are visible and not bend. If damaged replace the battery connector.
4. Make sure system is not over heating, the air vents are clear and unit was not used on
a soft surface.
5. Check that the fan cables are connected and the fans are operational.
6. Make sure all feet are still on the system bottom.
7. Check that the thermal material between the heat exchanger and logic board is in
contact with both by unscrewing the logic board screws and gently pulling up on the
left side of the board to verify resistance caused by adhesion from the thermal
material. If not, new thermal materials for the processor, control ASIC, and video chip
must be reinstalled (see Logic Board Take Apart chapter).
8. Remove the battery and connect known-good 65W power adapter (661-1798) and
power cord or plug to a known-good power outlet; make sure the DC plug is firmly
inserted. The DC plug should light up, if not, replace DC-in board.
9. Verify DC-in board cable is securely connected and cable shows no signs of wear.
10. Try known-good DC-in board.
11. Replace the logic board.
System shuts down almost immediately after startup
1. Disconnect all external peripherals and eject any PC card.
2. Make sure a known good battery is fully inserted and is charged.
3. Check battery connection to logic board.
4. Replace the logic board.
Hardware Symptom Charts
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting - 19
Application Quits, Kernel panic or other booting problems
1. If a specific application quits, replace the application. Verify the application is
compatible with OS X.
2. Clear parameter RAM. Hold down Command-Option-P-R during startup until you hear
a second startup chime.
3. Run Disk Utility from the Software Install and Restore DVD.
4. Perform a clean install of system software with the software install and restore disc
that came with the computer.
Note: Restore disc images are available at http://service.info.apple.com. Select “Disc
Images.”
5. Reboot system.
6. Run Apple Service Diagnostic in loop mode (Control-L) for an extended time to test
the memory. If the test finds bad memory, replace the DIMMs one at a time and test
until all bad DIMMs are replaced with known-good modules.
7. Replace the logic board.
Error Beeps
The computer automatically performs a power-on self test when it is turned on after being
fully shut down (not a restart). This section describes what to do if beeps are heard during
the startup.
Note: The PowerBook G4 (17-inch) uses PC2700 (also called DDR333) DDR SDRAM
SO-DIMMs with a maximum height of 1.25-inch (30 mm). Refer to Memory Card Take
Apart chapter for removal and installation.
Computer beeps once at startup
1. One beep means that no RAM is detected.
Note: There is no RAM on the logic board itself, so the computer will beep if no
memory is installed in at least one of the RAM slots.
2. Put the original RAM that came with the computer back in, or put in known-good and
compatible RAM and restart.
• If symptom does not repeat, replace RAM card(s).
• If symptom repeats, replace logic board.
20 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting
Hardware Symptom Charts
Computer beeps twice at startup
1. Two beeps means that EDO memory is installed in the RAM expansion slot. The
PowerBook does not accept EDO memory.
2. Replace RAM card(s) with known-good and compatible RAM and restart.
• If symptom repeats, replace logic board.
Computer beeps three times at startup
1. Three beeps means that no RAM banks passed memory testing.
2. If a RAM card is installed in the upper expansion slot (if not, skip to next step), remove
it and restart.
• If symptom does not repeat, replace RAM card.
• If symptom repeats, replace RAM in lower RAM slot with known-good and
compatible RAM card and restart. If symptom repeats, replace logic board.
3. If a RAM card is not installed in the upper expansion slot, replace RAM in lower RAM
slot with known-good and compatible RAM card and restart.
• If symptom repeats, replace logic board.
Computer beeps four times at startup
1. Four beeps indicates a bad checksum for the remainder of the boot ROM. The ROM
(which is located on the logic board) is bad.
2. Replace RAM card(s) with known-good and compatible RAM and restart.
• If symptom repeats, replace logic board.
Related Knowledge Base articles:
58442: Power On Self-Test Beep Definition - Part 2
95132: PowerBook G4: Installing or Replacing Memory
Hardware Symptom Charts
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting - 21
AirPort Extreme Card
AirPort Extreme Card not recognized
1. In Mac OS X, use Software Update in system preferences or see the Apple Software
Updates web page to make sure the latest version of AirPort Extreme software is
installed.
2. Restart the computer.
3. Open AirPort in system preferences and make sure AirPort is on and Base Station is
selected.
4. Check the AirPort Extreme Card flex cable connection to the logic board.
5. Remove and reinstall the AirPort Extreme software.
6. Replace with known-good AirPort Extreme Card.
7. Replace logic board.
AirPort connection is slow
1. Move computer closer to AirPort Base Station or other AirPort device.
2. Too many users are accessing network at the same time causing heavy network
traffic. To improve network connection speed, add additional AirPort Base Stations.
3. Check for other changes in the environment that may cause interference with the
AirPort signal.
4. Use Software Update in system preferences or see the Apple Software Updates web
page to make sure the latest version of AirPort Extreme software is installed.
5. Restart the computer.
6. Check the AirPort Extreme Card flex cable connection to the logic board.
7. Check the connection on both ends of the AirPort Extreme Card antenna jumper
cable, if loose, reconnect and test again.
8. Check the AirPort Extreme Card antenna jumper cable for damaged insulation or a
crimped cable. If bad, replace antenna jumper cable.
9. Replace with known-good AirPort Extreme Card.
10. Check AirPort Extreme antenna wire coming from display panel for nicked insulator or
crimped wire. If bad, replace display panel assembly.
11. Replace logic board.
22 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting
Hardware Symptom Charts
Battery
Battery will not eject
1. Flip over the unit and slide both battery latches towards the back of the system,
exposing two orange labels. The latches should stay in an open state.
2. If the battery does not pop up, use a small plastic flat-blade tool to pry up the battery
around the battery latch.
3. Verify proper latch operation, by exercising the latch. If it does not move smoothly or
evenly, replace the bottom case.
4. If the latch does exercise correctly, verify that the customer is not installing the battery
with excessive force or the body of the battery has not been deformed around its
perimeter.
Note: The aluminum plate on the battery is a cosmetic cover. The battery is
contained within the plastic housing to which the plate is attached. If the battery is
dropped the plate can deform, especially around the edge near the metal plate. If the
metal plate is bent, use non-marring pliers to bend it back flat.
Warning: If the battery plastic housing has been damaged, or the two halves of the
plastic housing have separated, the battery is unsafe for use.
5. Try a new battery.
6. Replace bottom case.
The battery won't charge
1. Remove any externally connected peripherals.
2. Try known-good power outlet.
3. Connect known-good 65W power adapter (661-1798) and power cord or plug; make
sure the DC plug is firmly inserted. The DC plug should light up, if not, replace DC-in
board.
If the power adapter light is green, turn over the computer and press the battery
button. The battery lights should glow green and stay on if the power adapter is
operating correctly.
Important: The Apple 65W Power Adapter is highly recommended be used with the
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) computer. The adapters can be identified by 65W in the
name and markings, and the metal securing-stud on the plug connector. Although
previous 45W power adapters (see Knowledge Base article 88231 PowerBook and
iBook: Apple Power Adapter) are plug compatible with the PowerBook G4 (17-inch),
it may not provide sufficient power to operate the system during some activities and
may draw power from the battery.
Hardware Symptom Charts
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting - 23
4. Try known-good battery. If it charges, replace the battery. If doesn’t charge, check the
battery connector and its connection to the logic board.
5. Replace the battery connector assembly (requires removing the logic board).
6. Turn off the computer. Perform the keyboard PMU reset procedure described in the
Hardware Troubleshooting Tools and Tips section. Wait five seconds before
continuing. Press the power button to start the computer.
Warning: Resetting the power manager will permanently remove a RAM disk, if
present, and all of its contents. You will also need to reset the date and time
(using the Date & Time system preference pane).
7. Make sure the DC-in cable is firmly connected. Look for damaged insulation or wires.
8. Replace DC-in cable.
9. Replace DC-in board.
10. Replace logic board.
Bluetooth
Bluetooth system preferences does not show up under Hardware system
preferences
1. Check the DC-in flex cable’s connection to the Bluetooth card and logic board. Make
sure the flex cable is not damaged, is inserted straight and is completely locked down
by the locking bar.
2. Replace Bluetooth card.
3. Replace the logic board.
Bluetooth Card not recognized by other devices
1. Open Bluetooth in system preferences and make sure under the Settings tab that
Discoverable is checked.
2. Check the Bluetooth antenna is connected to Bluetooth card.
3. Replace with known-good Bluetooth card.
4. Replace display panel assembly.
5. Replace logic board.
24 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting
Hardware Symptom Charts
Display
Display latch not working
Note: When the display is being closed, hooks in the top of the display housing should be
magnetically pulled down to the latch. When the latch button is pushed, the hook should
release and retract into the display housing.
1. Verify hook operation by using a small low-power magnet to exercise the latch
mechanism. Make sure hooks are not bent.
2. If the hook does not operate properly, replace the display panel assembly.
3. If the latch or latch button does not operate properly, replace the top case assembly.
When displaying a single color over the screen area, the LCD panel shows one
or more pixels that are not properly lit
To determine whether or not the display has an acceptable number of pixel anomalies,
follow the steps below:
1. Set the display image to one of the following colors: all-white display, all-red display,
all-green display, or all-blue display. Knowledge Base article 112125: Service
Diagnostics Matrix, has the LCD Tester Diagnostic Utility that will generate these
patterns on the screen.
2. Using a jeweler’s loupe, pocket microscope, or other magnifying device, identify and
count each pixel anomaly:
• Bright subpixel anomaly = subpixel that is always on
• Dark subpixel anomaly = subpixel that is always off
3. The number of acceptable pixel anomalies for this system is:
Acceptable Number of Subpixel Anomalies
Bright
Up to 4
Dark
Up to 6
Combination
Up to 8
4. If the number of subpixel anomalies exceeds the acceptable number listed in the
above chart, replace the display panel assembly.
Replace
Bright
5 or more
Dark
7 or more
Combination
9 or more
Hardware Symptom Charts
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting - 25
5. If the number of subpixel anomalies is acceptable, explain to the customer that the
pixel anomalies are within specifications, and no repair is necessary.
Important: Do not release the specifications to customers. Instead, inform them that a
certain number of subpixel anomalies are considered acceptable, and these factors apply
to all manufacturers using LCD technology—not just Apple products.
When speaking with customers, please use the following explanation:
Active-matrix LCD technology uses rows and columns of addressable locations (pixels)
that render text and images on screen. Each pixel location has three separate subpixels
(red, green, and blue) that allow the image to be rendered in full color. Each subpixel has a
corresponding transistor responsible for turning the subpixel on or off.
There are typically millions of these subpixels on an LCD display. For example, the LCD
panel used in the Apple Cinema HD display is made up of 2.3 million pixels and 6.9 million
red, green, and blue subpixels. Occasionally, a transistor does not work perfectly, which
may result in the affected subpixel being turned on (bright) or turned off (dark). With the
millions of subpixels on a display, it is quite possible to have a low number of faulty
transistors on an LCD. Therefore, a certain number of subpixel anomalies are considered
acceptable. Rejecting all but perfect LCD panels would significantly increase the retail
price for products using LCD displays. These factors apply to all manufacturers using LCD
technology—not just Apple products.
Hard Drive
Internal hard drive will not initialize:
1. Start up from the software install and restore disc that came with the computer (hold
down the "C" key during restart).
2. When the Installer opens, from the Installer menu, select Open Disk Utility.
3. If the hard drive is recognized, format it under the Erase tab.
4. If the hard drive is not recognized, reseat the hard drive flex cable, or replace if
needed.
5. If still not recognized, replace the hard drive.
6. Reinstall system software using the software install and restore disc.
Important: If the computer is under warranty and data recovery is required, refer to
Knowledge Base article 31077: DriveSavers: Hard Drive Data Recovery & Warranty
Implications, for important information.
26 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting
Hardware Symptom Charts
Keyboard
No response from any key on keyboard
1. Remove any connected peripherals and eject any PC card.
2. Attach an external USB keyboard, if it doesn’t work, go to step 7.
3. Turn off the computer. Check the top case flex cable connection to the logic board
(under the lower RAM, if installed).
4. Inspect the top case and keyboard flex cable connectors and cables. If the top case
flex cable looks bad, replace top case.
5. Start up from the software install and restore disc that came with the computer (hold
down the "C" key during restart, if possible) to verify that it is not a software problem.
6. Replace keyboard.
7. Replace logic board.
No keyboard illumination
1. Go to Keyboard system preference pane and make sure the “Illuminate keyboard in
low light conditions” check box is checked. Try using system in a dimly lit environment.
Note: The keyboard illumination is not bright enough to be seen in most well lit spaces. In
order to view the key being illuminated, the ambient light needs to be dim.
Hardware Symptom Charts
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting - 27
2. Check the keyboard backlight cable connection to the top case flex cable and the top
case flex cable connection to the logic board. If the connections look good, change the
top case.
3. Replace logic board.
Half keyboard is illuminated.
1. Check the keyboard backlight cable connection to the top case flex cable and the top
case flex cable connection to the logic board. If the connections look good, change the
top case.
Microphone
The microphone is not working
1. Check the Sound system preference pane and verify the selection under the Input tab
is for the built-in microphone.
2. Check the signal level and level meter and adjust the gain.
3. Reset PRAM (Press the power button, then hold down the Option-Command-P-R
keys until you hear the startup chime at least one additional time after the initial
startup chime).
Warning: Resetting the PRAM will permanently remove a RAM disk, if present
and all of its contents. You will also need to reset the date and time (using the
Date & Time system preference pane).
4. If there is no sound output from the internal speaker as well as the microphone not
working, verify cable connections.
5. Replace sound board flex cable.
6. Replace the sound board.
7. Replace the speaker assembly.
8. Replace the logic board.
28 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting
Hardware Symptom Charts
Modem
No modem dial tone
1. Check that the correct modem is selected in the Network Port Configuration section of
the Network system preferences.
2. Verify known-good analog (not digital) telephone line.
3. Verify known-good RJ-11 telephone cable.
4. Verify RJ-11 cable is not plugged into Ethernet port.
5. Inspect RJ-11 connector and modem port for pin damage.
6. Verify RJ-11 telephone cable is firmly installed in the modem port.
7. If using Apple Remote Access, select Ignore Dial Tone in the Modem control panel. If
the modem connects with this settings selected, try another phone line. If using a
terminal or communications program, enter atx1 to disable tone detection. To reset the
modem back to the factory settings, enter atz.
8. Check RJ-11 wires to DC-in board. Replace if bad.
9. Verify RJ-11 wire’s 2-pin connectors are plugged into correctly.
10. Check modem flex cable is properly installed. Replace cable if needed.
11. Replace modem.
12. Replace logic board.
Modem does not respond (can hear dial tone)
1. Check that the correct modem is selected in the Network Port Configuration section of
the Network system preferences.
2. Check modem application is properly configured.
3. Check modem flex cable is properly installed. Replace cable if needed.
4. Replace modem.
5. Replace logic board.
Hardware Symptom Charts
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting - 29
Optical Drive
The optical drive does not accept CD or DVD disc (mechanical failure)
1. Verify disc is not warped and is a 12 cm circular disc.
2. Check that a small disc is not stuck inside, or other foreign objects. Remove drive from
system to extract disc.
3. Verify disc is pushed almost all the way into the slot.
4. Check the optical drive flex cable.
5. Replace optical drive.
The disc icon does not show up on desktop, or a dialog box appears to
initialize disc, when inserting a read-only disc
1. Verify the correct type of disc is being used.
2. Use Software Update system preference pane to check if there is updated firmware.
3. Try cleaning the disc. If it is dirty or scratched, it may not mount.
4. Try a different disc.
5. Replace optical drive cable.
6. Replace optical drive.
Difficulty writing to optical media
1. Verify the correct type of disc is being used.
2. Try a different brand or speed of CD-R disc.
Note: Some brands of 24x or 32x CD-R media may not work with the SuperDrive.
Note: There are two factors in the ability for the optical drive to write to media. First, there
are varying qualities of blank optical media. Some media are made to such low
specifications that the ability for the drive to write to it is marginal.
There are variations in optical media even under the same brand. Some brands source
their optical media from a variety of manufacturers, so there may be variations in the
quality.
Second, an optical drive that supports writing to a CD-R/RW or DVD-R/RW disc requires a
special writing algorithm for discs from different disc manufacturers. There are hundreds of
disc manufacturers, it is impossible to implement writing algorithms for each disc
manufacturer. Usually, drive manufacturers implement special writing algorithms for discs
from major disc manufacturers. For discs that are not supported by the drive with special
writing algorithms, the drive will use a generic writing algorithm to write the disc. In this
case, the writability and readability may not be optimal.
3. Replace optical drive flex cable.
4. Replace optical drive.
30 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting
Hardware Symptom Charts
PC Card
PC Card will not insert into the PC Card slot
1. Make sure the PC Card eject button is in, before attempting to insert a PC Card.
2. Make sure the PC Card is right side up (cards are keyed and cannot be inserted
upside down).
3. Verify the PC Card is not warped or damaged in any way; if so replace the card.
4. Try a different PC Card.
5. Carefully raise the PC Card slot cover and check for a foreign object inside the slot.
6. Check to see if the AirPort Extreme Card antenna wire is protruding up into the PC
Card slot opening from below. If so, open the computer to gain access to the AirPort
Extreme Card location and reposition the antenna cable so that it does not protrude
into the PC Card slot area (see AirPort Extreme Card Take Apart chapter).
7. If the slot cover is preventing the card from being inserted, replace the top case.
8. Replace PC Card Cage.
PC Card does not mount to the desktop
1. Make sure the PC Card has its drivers installed.
2. Check if a known good PC card works in this slot. The PC card may be bad.
3. Check the PC card cage flex cable connection to the logic board.
4. Replace the PC card cage.
5. Replace the logic board.
Hardware Symptom Charts
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting - 31
Ports
A USB port is not recognizing devices
1. Completely shut down, then press the power button to start the computer.
2. Use Software Update system preferences to verify that the latest software is installed.
3. For USB, test ports with an Apple keyboard or mouse. If the left port is not recognized
check the DC-in flex cable’s condition and connection. If the right port is not
recognized check the backup battery flex cable’s condition and connection.
4. If the USB flex cables are fine, replace the DC-in board for the left USB port or the
backup battery board for the right port.
5. Use Apple System Profiler to verify that the computer is recognizing the bus. If not
replace the logic board.
A USB device not recognized by computer
Note: If you are trying to use a serial device with a USB/Serial adapter, check with the
manufacturer of the adapter for compatibility.
1. Completely shut down, then press the power button to start the computer.
2. Verify current driver for the device is installed.
3. If a camera, turn on camera after initiating download with camera application.
4. Try the other USB port.
5. Try different USB device on same port.
6. Eliminate chain by plugging in only one peripheral.
7. Try known-good Apple USB keyboard or mouse to verify the port is working properly. If
the left port is bad, check the DC-in board flex cable and connections. If the right port
is bad, check the backup battery flex cable and connections.
8. If the USB flex cables are fine, replace the DC-in board for the left USB port or the
backup battery board for the right port.
9. Replace logic board.
A FireWire port is not recognizing devices
1. Test the FireWire 400 and FireWire 800 ports by connecting to another computer
using FireWire Target Disk Mode.
Refer to Knowledge Base article 58583: How to Use FireWire Target Disk Mode.
Important: When in FireWire Target Disk Mode, use only one FireWire port at a time.
Otherwise you risk corrupting the internal hard drive volume.
2. Verify that drivers are installed properly for third party, if needed.
32 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting
Hardware Symptom Charts
3. Make sure the cables are firmly attached.
4. Try a different cable.
5. If self powered make sure that the power supply is connected and device's LED
indicates that it is getting power.
6. Replace logic board.
Sound
No sound heard and the Speakers section of the Sound system preference
pane indicates that an external device is plugged in (to the headphone jack or
USB ports)
1. If there is nothing plugged into the headphone jack or USB ports, under the Output tab
of the Sound system preference pane should be set to the internal speakers.
2. If not, and if nothing is plugged in, try plugging in headphones or external speakers.
Restart the computer. Remove the device.
3. Reset PRAM (Press the power button, then hold down the Option-Command-P-R
keys until you hear the startup chime at least one additional time after the initial
startup chime).
Warning: Resetting the PRAM will permanently remove a RAM disk, if present,
and all of its contents. You will also need to reset the date and time (using the
Date & Time system preferences pane).
4. Check the sound board flex cable to see if the cable is properly seated, the connection
is good, and there is no cable damage.
5. Replace sound board.
6. Replace logic board.
No sound from speaker(s)
1. Use the Software Update system preference pane to verify that the latest audio
update has been installed.
2. Press the F3 key (with the fn key pressed and not pressed) to verify that mute mode is
not enabled.
3. Press the F4 or F5 key (with the fn key pressed and not pressed) to check the volume
setting.
4. Verify no external speakers or headphones are plugged in.
5. Check the speakers tab on the Sound control panel to confirm that the software is
correctly seeing that there are no external speakers or headphones connected.
6. Shutdown computer and restart.
Hardware Symptom Charts
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting - 33
7. Reset PRAM (Press the power button, then hold down the Option-Command-P-R
keys until you hear the startup chime at least one additional time after the initial
startup chime).
Warning: Resetting the PRAM will permanently remove a RAM disk, if present,
and all of its contents. You will also need to reset the date and time (using the
Date & Time system preference pane).
8. Verify that the speaker cable is connected properly to sound board.
9. Check speaker cable. Verify left and right cable connections.
10. Check with headphones or external speaker, if audio is heard, replace speaker
assembly.
11. Replace sound board flex cable.
12. Replace sound board.
13. Replace the logic board.
Distorted sound from speakers
1. Verify sound is correct with external speakers/headphones. If sound is correct, check
speaker wire and connections.
2. In Sound system preference pane, check balance.
3. Compare same sound with two different units to make sure that sound is actually
distorted.
4. Check speaker wire. If damaged, replace speaker assembly.
5. Replace sound board.
6. Replace sound board flex cable.
7. Replace logic board.
34 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting
Hardware Symptom Charts
Trackpad
The cursor does not move when you are using trackpad
1. Verify that no USB device is connected.
2. Boot from the Software Install and Restore DVD to verify that it is not a software
problem.
3. Reset the power manager by pressing the key combination Control-Option-Shift
Power.
Note: Make sure you do not hold down the "fn" key when resetting the power
manager.
4. Check top case flex cable connection to the logic board (under the lower RAM, if
installed).
5. Check trackpad cable and connection to the top case.
6. Replace top case.
7. Replace logic board.
The cursor intermittently does not move or moves erratically
Note: User must touch with the surface of only one finger at a time and point directly down
on the trackpad surface.
1. Clean trackpad surface (with computer off, using a non-static-inducing material).
2. Completely shut down, then press the power button to start the computer.
3. Reset the power manager by pressing the key combination Control-Option-Shiftpower.
Note: Make sure you do not hold down the "fn" key when resetting the power
manager.
4. Try unit on battery power. If problem goes away, replace power adapter.
5. Place the Software Install and Restore DVD in the optical disc drive, press the start
button and hold down the "C" key. Check the cursor movement, to see if the problem is
software.
6. Check top case flex cable connection to the logic board (under the lower RAM, if
installed).
7. Check trackpad cable and connection to the top case.
8. Replace top case.
9. Replace logic board.
Hardware Symptom Charts
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting - 35
Video
No display, or dim display, but computer appears to operate correctly
1. Remove any connected peripherals.
2. Make sure F1 key is not stuck down.
3. Press the F2 key (with the fn key pressed and not pressed) to increase the screen
brightness settings.
4. Reboot the computer—hold down the Control and Command keys and press the
Power button to restart the computer. Or, press and hold the Power button for 5 to 10
seconds to shut down the computer, then press the Power button to restart.
5. Important: The Apple 65W Power Adapter is highly recommended be used with the
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) computer. The adapters can be identified by 65W in the
name and markings, and the metal securing-stud on the plug connector. Although
previous 45W power adapters (see Knowledge Base article 88231 PowerBook and
iBook: Apple Power Adapter) are plug compatible with the PowerBook G4 (17-inch), it
may not have sufficient power to operate the system during some activities and may
draw power from the battery.
6. Verify inverter cable and LVDS cable connections are seated properly and that the
cables are not damaged.
7. Replace display panel assembly.
8. Replace logic board.
Computer appears to work, but no video on external device connected to the
TV out port (S-video out port)
1. The device must be connected to the S-video port while the PowerBook is sleeping or
off for the device to be recognized.
2. Verify monitor that is used in testing is known-good and is supported by this computer.
3. Try different cable(s).
4. Replace logic board.
No video on an external VGA device connected to the external monitor (DVI)
port
1. Verify monitor that is used in testing is known-good and is supported by this computer.
2. Try another DVI-to-VGA adapter cable.
3. Restart the computer and test again.
4. Replace logic board.
36 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting
Hardware Symptom Charts
Misc. Symptoms
The Date and Time settings reset all the time
Note: Resetting the power manager or PRAM resets the date and time.
1. Do a backup battery test:
• Set the date and time.
• Perform a Shut Down from the Apple menu.
• Remove the main battery and disconnect the power adapter for 10 minutes.
• Connect the power adapter, insert the battery, and power on the computer.
• If the date and time were lost the backup battery may be dead or discharged.
• Remove the main battery from the unit and leave the PowerBook plugged in for at
least 5 hours.
Note: If a discharged main battery is installed in the computer, recharging the backup
battery may take up to 48 hours to completely charge. It is okay to use it while it is
charging.
• If the date and time still reset, replace the backup battery flex cable.
2. Replace backup battery board.
3. Replace the logic board.
Note: For main and backup battery part numbers, refer to Knowledge Base article 11751:
Macintosh Family: Batteries and Part Numbers.
Feet came off the bottom case
1. Replace the bottom case.
Sleep LED does not come on when lid is closed
1. Put the computer to sleep using the menu option. If the sleep LED goes on, there is a
problem with lid sensing. If not skip to step 3.
2. Put a small low-power magnet over the trackpad and move it around. If the unit sleeps,
replace the top case. If not replace the display panel assembly.
3. Check that the sleep LED is plugged into the sound board.
4. Connect a USB mouse. Short the power on pads on the logic board to boot the
system and use the mouse to sleep from the menu. Measure the voltage at the LED
connector. If power is present, replace bottom case.
5. Shut down system.
6. Check the sound board flex cable is properly connected to the sound and logic
boards. Make sure the connectors on the flex cable are not damaged. Check the sleep
LED.
7. Replace the sound board flex cable.
Hardware Symptom Charts
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting - 37
8. Shut down system.
9. Replace sound board.
10. Replace logic board.
38 - PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Troubleshooting
Hardware Symptom Charts
 Service Source
Views
PowerBook G4 (17-inch)
© 2003 Apple Computer, Inc. All rights reserved.
Clutch Spring End Cap Kit
(Left & Right) 076-1029
Display Panel Assembly
661-2824
Keyboard 922-5776
Top Case Assembly 922-5778
DC-in/Bluetooth/USB Flex Cable
922-5771
DC-in Board Cable 922-5777
RJ-11 Port Assembly 922-5775
DC-in Board 922-5769
Bluetooth Board 922-5833
Ambient Light Sensor
Dust Covers (Left & Right)
076-1008
Speaker Assembly 922-5773
Modem Flex Cable 922-5774
Modem 661-2843
PC Card Cage Assembly 922-5825
AirPort Extreme Antenna Jumpber
922-5783
AirPort Extreme Card Assembly
661-2765
Sound Board Flex Cable 922-5770
Sound Board 922-5768
Hard Drive Flex Cable 922-5765
Logic Board 661-2823
Thermal Pads 076-1033
Thermal Gel 922-5929
Torsion Bars 076-1028
Heatsink Assembly 922-5787
Hard Drive 661-2827
Hard Drive Bracket Kit 076-0988
Memory Card 661-2821
Optical Flex Cable 922-5766
DVD-R/CD-RW (Apple SuperDrive)
661-2828
Battery Connector Cable 922-5784
Optical Drive Bracket Kit
076-0989
Backup Battery Flex Cable
922-5772
Backup Battery Assembly
922-5767
Bottom Case Assembly 922-5780
Memory Door 922-5779
Battery 661-2822
PowerBook G4 (17-inch) Exploded View - 1