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iBook breaks off start after half a second

Hi Mac Community,

have a mayor problem with my iBook, it doesn't start anymore. When I press a the start button it wants to start as usual, but after half a second or a second it stops. The sounds are normal, but it seems as if the harddrive doesn't want to start.

I already did the reset of the power manager by disconnecting the ac adapter and with the battery removed push on the power button for at least 5 seconds then connect the ac adapter and try to boot the ibook (described here in the forum). But nothing changed.

Can anybody help with that problem, and maybe give me a description of how to fix it myself?

Thanks a lot, Anna from Berlin

Update (01/09/2011)

Hi Mayer,

yes the light in the AC adapter is working. Yesterday I took the Ibook apart, opened it on the bottom side and took out some srews of the logic board on the side where the hard drive sits. When I moved it away a little from the top and try to turn it on, it worked.

To me it seems like it has something to do with the connection of the hard drive, but honestly I dont know for sure. Hopefully the information helps you guys.

Greetings from Berlin, Anna

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Thanks for starting a new question. Are you getting a light on the AC adapter?

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It's not clear in your description if the ibook shut off completely during the start up procedure or if the screen becomes black but the machine is still showing activity.

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This is going to sound like it's from out in left field, but there is a fairly common issue where the display controller (or so people say) has cold solder joints.

Over time, the cold joints lose their conductivity and the machine will start just suddenly shutting down for no reason. Strange display issues can also show up. Shutting down before it finishes powering up also happens. Alter the stress on the logic board and it may boot again and run for a while.

You can search the web for something like "cold solder joint ibook" to get more information.

There is no easy fix for this. I've tried re-soldering mine (without proper equipment) and was able to fix it several times, but it keeps going bad.

(Dropping the thing probably didn't help. The first fix lasted for six months until I dropped it at the train station. Okay, that was a new problem, but re-soldering seemed to help again for a couple of weeks. After about the fifth repair, I tried wicking the solder off to start over, and when I powered up again, I got the blue smoke symptom from a different chip. So I'm now scavenging parts from that machine.)

Maybe I'll blog about this later. But you can find pictures of the culprit IC on the web. When you can boot the machine, try pressing on the chip to see if it suddenly dies. Or, if it isn't booting, try pressing on the chip while you push the power button, to see if it boots. That's a pretty good indication, although it is not good news.

If you are comfortable re-soldering fine-pitch surface mount parts, it's worth re-heating all the joints on that chip. Or, if you decide you have nothing to lose, that would also be a reason to try this.

Wish I could be more positive.

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