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M4300 black screen - is it dead?


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I have installed Mavericks on a couple of M4300s and it's always gone well.


I just installed Mavericks on a M4300 I got off eBay at a good price a few months ago. It had been running Snow Leopard and Windows 7 dual boot. No problems. Maybe a bit hot at times, but nothing crazy.


So I wiped the HD and installed Mavericks, using a USB pen with myHack 3.3 (I think) and an Extra bootpack that I had downloaded last year, which was provided by Herve. I'd used it before and it worked great.


Mavericks installed okay. I rebooted from USB, then chose HD from the chameleon screen. I set up the computer and found that it seemed to run slow. I ran MyFix Full and planned to reboot. But when I was running MyFix, I got a long series of popup windows saying that the Plugins in myHack.kext weren't installed properly and couldn't be used. Never saw that before.


So I rebooted from USB and reinstalled the Extra, ran MyFix and rebooted. Same problem.


I checked my Bios settings (A15, everything as usual) and rebooted. The system seemed to run a bit faster, though that may be my impression.


I had the idea of installing Windows 7 on a second partition, to see if the slowdown was there too. I created a DOS partition with Disk Utility and shut down.


BUT, when I tried to boot from a USB Windows installer, the boot started but the screen remained black. And it's been like that for 8 out of 10 times since. I was able to boot to Mavericks twice, but the rest of the time the screen stays black.


Is this the dreaded nVidia graphics chip problem? Anybody else had this? If so, can you replace just the video chip, or do you have to replace the whole motherboard?



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There are BIOS tests you could run, but a failed GPU usually gives some seriously distorded/corrupt display and hangs the laptop rather than a plain black screen.


If you suspect the nVidia GPU, you can always just bake the mobo into your oven. The process has been described several times on the forum before in the D6xx section. The GPU chip does not totally fail per sé, it's atually a BGA balling issue: http://www.tfixrepairs.com/services/hardware/graphic-card-repairs/


Then the LCD wire/ribbon cable is known to wear as well. This tends to give a blinking or blurred display or missing lines, sometimes a black screen. If you wobble the display panel, it may recover. I've personally experienced such a worn cable on 2 different D6xx models and had to replace the cables. It's wear and tear. These old lappies were very popular and most have endured a good and plentiful life...

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Ha ha ha. That baking information is pretty cool.


The display cable idea sounds interesting, I think I can handle the tech part without too much trouble. Found a PDF manual online for the M4300. It would make sense, too, seeing as the display worked okay, then was black, then worked again, and now is black again, i.e. not a permanent fault.


Thanks again Herve.

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