Jul 04

If you’ve got an Aluminium Powerbook, (either the last of the G4 models or the new intel mac pro models) they are a great machine (the 15 inch is my favourite) but after a few years the hinge can get loose. Thankfully this is not like the old Titanium powerbooks where the hinge was broken, it is just a matter of a few screws that need to be tightened! Here’s how to do it.

1. First of course is power it down and remove the battery. Then you need to find two screws like this, one each side, and undo them with a torx size 6 screwdriver.
2. Now carefully prise the back of the lid apart like this. Be VERY CAREFULL when prising the back off the screen not to damage the plastic, or apply too much pressure, or force anything. There are little lugs, and you need to prise the plastic over those lugs and back to get it off. The plastic comes off the back with the case that has the apple logo on it, so you pry between the plastic and the aluminium surrounding the LCD screen like this.

When you have worked your way up the sites, and over the top, the lid will pretty much fall off like this.
These are the screws you need to tighten, there are 4, and the ones on the left are covered by a little piece of yellow sticky tape you need to remove and then replace after you are finished.

pbreadytogo.jpg left-screws.jpg pbrightscrews.jpg

The tightening!


That’s it, now carefully put the sticky tape and lid back together, and replace the two screws. It should take about 1/2 hr to an hour.

28 Responses to “How to fix a loose hinge on an Aluminium Powerbook”

  1. Adonis says:

    As someone else noted (if I read it correctly) there’s ANOTHER kind of “loose screen problem” that’s not fixed by the above method. This my case: the screws on the body of the laptop are super-tight, the screws that this article shows are also super-tight, yet there’s still “play” when you touch the screen. The problem is a set of screws (from what I can see 3 or 4) per side (left/right) that are inside the U-shaped bottom of the screen that has the inverter inside. I haven’t figured out how to get to them yet, but those tighten the axial connector/pipe/metal thing which is what pivots the screen.

  2. Phil says:

    Wow, what a great tip. It took me all of 15 minutes to complete. It’s like new, I guess I don’t need to upgrade just yet. I used a spurge tool to open the seam enough to slide a credit card in.

    Thanks so much.

  3. Edub says:

    Great post, took me about 15 minutes as well, the torx screws were not very tight on the lid so it was easy to loosen them to get the cover off. I figured if I can get a few more years out of my PowerBook I will.


  4. This a very nice guide. To those who wanted to fix their powerbook on their own, this is the guide for you.

  5. Alex says:

    Thanks for the nice and accurate guide. Fixed my moms old mac…

  6. Lopaka Schultz says:

    The procedures were flawless – and it even solved an intermittent video problem when the screen was moved.
    Probably had to do with the stresses put on the ribbon cable. Mahalo!

  7. John says:

    This does not fix the moving display ????

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