Apple G4 MacMini Video Problems


Artefizi To Video, Horizontal Or Vertical Stripes Indicate A Problem With The Video Card

Model Tested:

Apple G4 MacMini


M9686LL / B M9687LL / B M9971LL / B

Configuration: Mac Mini 1.25GHz Or 1.42GHz Mac Mini

Ram: Upgraded To 1GB PC2700 (333MHz) DDR SDRAM

Video Card:  ATI Radeon 9200 With 32MB Of DDR SDRAM And AGP 4X

HD:   Upgraded To 160GB

OS: MacOS Upgraded To Leopard 10.5

Apple Hooray !!

I bought a Mac Mini used on eBay, sold as not working, and I enjoyed groped a repair.

Perhaps it may be useful to those who have found it to perform the same operation.

My goal was to fix it first and then perform an upgrade.

The unit I bought is this:

Mac Mini G4 is not working

It is a model older, with G4 processor and 2 USB ports …

However this Mac with 1GB of RAM can do so much.

I first had to get me a power supply because the seller did not have availability. And there are not compatible. Crearmene wanted one … I found some patterns on the internet but I thought it was not worth the effort (time, cost, material, etc ..)

The power I had to then buy on other auction, at a price not exactly cheap (compared to the main unit that was almost a gift …), making sure to buy the right model compatible with Mac Mini G4 and Intel: the feeders of the G4 and Intel version are identical in shape and plugs .. but are definitely not compatible … and of different wattage.

This unit was previously installed MacOS Leopard on a HD just … my HD 40GB PATA on the desk, from 160 GB, it was nice, brand new and ready to be inserted in its place …

Mac .. but this was definitely not usable.

Power-in fact had suffered artefizi screen, horizontal or vertical lines or other graphics full of lines or squares.

Here’s what I could see, those rare times that screen appeared something …

Mac Mini with video card damaged

I then noticed that sometimes unplugging and plugging ‘hot’ the video cable from the unit, the mac back to work perfectly for a few seconds and everyway .. the thing that makes you angry is that the unit, except for the display defects , works perfectly … so it’s worth groped repair ‘in house’.

How To Fix Your Apple Mac Mini G4

Dispose ourselves to carry out the work. What we need first is a flexible and metal thin enough and wide by leveraging on the Click of the chassis.

I used (the idea I took from YouTube, not mine ..) a spatula as in the picture, which you can find a few euro to the hardware store:


How to open the Mac Mini

The spatula is inserted into the gaps between the aluminum of the body and the plastic below, relying on each of four sides and trying not to go too deep to avoid damaging the internal components.

Once removed, you will end up a pc concentrated as a kind of bunk bed, with top light assembly that below contains the harddisk and the fan

The first thing we need to detach are the various wires and flat, then remove the 4 screws holding the group fixed to the block below and unhook lifting it slowly.

The entire group cd-hd-fan is attached to the motherboard with a single slot that fits perfectly, then detaching it can not have any doubt or problem.

Detach this group and we come to the main board:


Motherboard Mac Mini G4

The first thing we can do is remove the heatsink, clean the CPU and change the thermal paste. Remount the sink and move to the next step and that is groped repair.

In my case I found that the defect was due to a memory of the video card. To get there was not easy as with the unit open and video cables and power supply connected, I tried to turn on the unit by pressing each time on different areas of the motherboard.

These tests I’ve done by removing the optical unit and leaving ‘loose’ only the harddisk and the fan, as shown:

Repair Mac Mini

With the Mac in these conditions, it is now possible to do some testing, turning and pressing the various components.

The result for me is that in the area of ​​the pressing ram video card, the PC seemed to leave and start without artefizi least for a few minutes.

I then took a coin 5cent and I slipped between the ram and the base metal.

The video card and memory can be found at the bottom of the motherboard:

Motherboard Mac Mini

Done this then, as you see in the picture, I added the thermal grease on the two main processors that are in contact with the base metal.

RAM MacMini

I added white thermal paste (does not conduct electricity) also above and below the currency to avoid even that may hit some component and make short circuit:

How to repair Mac Mini

Now remount the only motherboard and we tighten the 4 screws without mounting anything on the motherboard: avvitiamole loosely, then we support again only harddisk and fan.

We do our tests, we try to find the right tension on the screws so that the pressure of the currency on the motherboard is not excessive but still allowing the proper functioning of the Mac.

Once you understand how to adjust, you can put it back together as before, making a new test with the 4 screws before closing everything.

This is the result I got after surgery …


Mac Mini repaired

After several months of use I happened only a few times to review the artefizi … and it was enough to detach and reattach the pin DVI video instantly to restore the display … I can say cmq riterermi more than satisfied !!

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