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More PowerBook display issues?

updated 08:00 pm EDT, Wed June 6, 2007

PowerBook owners unite

A new wiki site has launched with the hope that Apple will both acknowledge an alleged batch shipment of defective 17-inch 1.67GHz PowerBook G4s and that the Cupertino-based company -- which prides itself on customer service -- will initiate a display repair extension program to fix the problematic notebooks. The wiki claims that hundreds, possibly thousands of Apple customers who purchased 17-inch G4 1.67GHz PowerBooks manufactured at a factory in Shanghai (W8) around March and April of 2005 are experiencing the "Bridget Riley" vertical lines display defect. The problem manifests with one or more one-pixel wide vertical lines spanning the full depth of the display from top to bottom in a variety of colors which include magenta, cyan, yellow, and blue.

The problem predominantly shows up in PowerBook model M9689, while hardware serial numbers of afflicted systems often begin with W85, according to the site.

"Lines begin to appear by flickering, then soon after stabilise into a steady, solid, vertical line. Once one line appears, others are likely to follow at the rate of 1-5 per week. Typical first onset is 12-24 months after purchase."

Owners of suspect PowerBooks can access the hardware serial number by pulling down the Apple menu, selecting "About This Mac," clicking on the "More Info..." button, and locating the serial number in the Hardware Overview panel. PowerBook owners can discover where and when the computer was manufactured by pasting the serial number into a special online service called Chipmunk.

The wiki is aimed at organizing affected PowerBook owners with the hope that Apple will listen and investigate the claims, eventually initiating a free repair program.

A similar movement erupted in early January when numerous PowerBook owners cried out, posting to Apple's own support forums and launching a website to document each case in one centralized location.

by MacNN Staff





    Joined: Dec 1969



    Has anyone bothered to have a tech diagnose the issue? Sounds like it may even just be the cable getting pinched in the hinge. Describing the problem in such detail "Once one line appears, others are likely to follow at the rate of 1-5 per week" is completely unnecessary as it does not change what the problem was when just 1 or 2 lines were out. Their exhaustive description is used ONLY to make it sound worse in hopes to garner sympathy and attention!

  1. macnscott

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I guess these folks gambled and lost when they CHOSE to NOT buy AppleCare. Come on people, the Apple warranty expires 1 year from date of purchase unless you buy AppleCare. You don't buy the AppleCare and something goes wrong after the 1 year, guess what, you get to pay for the repair.

  1. space-e

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Lombards, too

    The second generation G3 PowerBook 333Mhz and 400Mhz 14.1" had the same display issue - I've swapped screens on at least a hundred of them...

    Good Luck - when it's out of warranty it's tough to get resolution with any company...

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