PowerBook G4 A1104 12" - boots properly but screen alternates between grey and black

Mar 17, 2012
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Hello Mac Help forums! I'm a windows/LINUX user who has never really played around with Macs much (aside from much beloved iPhone/iPads). I recently saw a Craigslist ad offering a Power Book G4 and Power Mac G4 that wouldn't boot properly and figured I might as well try fixing them up. Long story short, I was able to fix the tower but have had trouble with the laptop, which is far neater in my opinion. I'd like to get it working and would be willing to do whatever/buy new components, barring anything really expensive.

Anyway, here's my situation and what I've tried so far. Remember, I'm a complete newbie to Apple computers, so if I don't mention some simple fix, I probably don't know about it.

The laptop in question is a PowerBook G4 Aluminum 12", model number A1104. It has a new battery which holds a charge and works well. It has 1gb of RAM in it, and an Apple Airport Extreme card. When I plug the battery charger in, the light on the charging cable turns green. When I press the power button, I hear the chime sound and the hard drive/fan turn on and the screen flashes black. It flashes a few times as it goes through the boot up cycle, and aside from having no video whatsoever it seems to be working. It ends up on a greyish white screen - again, nothing on the screen but the backlight is on. The apple on the back is alight the entire time, as well. Pressing the "eject" key also does not seem to work (there is a disk in the drive).

I've done a little bit of searching and tried a few things. I tried holding "R" during boot-up. I tried a software reset of the PMU. I tried zapping the PRAM (Though I honestly don't know what that means) by holding down Command+Option+P+R until the chime sounded 3 times. I tried holding down Command+Option+A+V during bootup, because I saw somewhere that that worked for someone, but no luck.

So any advice on what to do next? I already have a newer laptop and tablet, but I really like the form and feel of this little guy, and it'd be neat to get it to work. I was considering opening the case up and making sure all the cable connections were sound, but I'd rather rule everything else out beforehand, just in case. I'd consider taking it to an Apple store, but they probably don't support these anymore, do they?

Well, there's my wall of text. If anyone has any questions or ideas on how to fix this, let me know and I'd be very appreciative. Thanks!



Jun 13, 2007
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Re: PowerBook G4 A1104 12" - boots properly but screen alternates between grey and bl

Can you try running an external monitor just to check that the video card is ok?

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