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shifuimam in ibookmod

Upgrading a clamshell iBook to XGA (1024x768) - Open Firmware hack

What you need for the LCD upgrade project:
This is a list of components known to work. You may try other parts if you like.

  1. LG display data cable, Apple part #922-5368. You can order one of these through your local certified Apple resale/repair shop - go to Apple.com to find one near you. This part has officially been discontinued by Apple and all remaining stock at official resale and repair locations has been discarded. You will need to look for this cable elsehwere - eBay is probably a good start. You can also solder the wires from the original cable to the pins on the Samsung LCD's display connector.

  2. 12" Samsung LCD from an Apple laptop, model number LTN121X1-L02. The Philips LG LP121X04 is also known to work. These are confirmed to be found in 12" G3 and G4 white iBooks. Nobody's pulled one from a 12" PowerBook, but we're pretty sure it's the same model.

  3. Clamshell logic board with FireWire - these are the only boards with the upgraded 8MB ATI video chip that is known to output 1024x768 (XGA) resolution. Older boards (300 and 366MHz) may or may not work. The 466Mhz boards were only in the DVD-capable graphite and key lime clamshells.

  4. Latest firmware update - this is necessary for the resolution hack to work! You should be able to download from Apple's website. Don't ask me how to update it - I don't know, since my iBook had the latest firmware when I bought it on eBay.

How to actually do the firmware edit:

Hold down Cmd+Opt+O+F and boot up your computer. This will open up the Open Firmware (OF) console.

Type in the following commands (new line means hit enter). Make certain you're typing it in correctly - a missed keystroke could render your computer unusable (maybe). Just be careful.

dev /
3 encode-int " display-family" property

Hit Ctrl+C to quit the NVRAM editor.

setenv use-nvramrc? true

You should have working XGA resolution now. If you don't, PLEASE at least take a quick look at pages 6 and 7 of this thread for possible troubleshooting tips. Still having trouble? Post as many details as you can so we can help you!

If you think you've messed up the NVRAM edits at all, hold down Cmd+Option+P+R to reset the PRAM entirely. This will remove all NVRAM edits and the code that directs Open Firmware to use the custom NVRAM file when booting.




This upgrade sounds very, very good! The screen resolution is the only bad thing with the Clamshell...

I have a key-lime SE 466 MHz and I would like to upgrade it. The description up there sounds very easy - if you get the components.
Unfortunately there is no "real" howto with pictures how to exchange the screen and plug it. Do you really only have to plug it with the right cable? And does the new screen fit in the case? ...???

Would be great if you could post more details - filtering good information out of the discussion on macnn.com is too hard...

Thank you for all your great work - make it possible that people can use it easily!

The Clamshell has a future!

Regards noahru

Re: Howto


Unfortunately, I didn't take pics when I did mine (and I don't want to rip apart the case for the umpteenth time).

It's pretty easy. You just need the right cable and the right display. You need to get an XGA display that matches the Samsung or LG part number listed in the guide - others might have the same connector but a different pinout, and you risk frying your board, cable, and/or display if you don't get the right model.

The new screen won't fit exactly. I ended up bending the original screen bracket a bit to position the screen, and I think I used some foam or something to wedge in between the screen and the case, to keep it from moving. It's certainly not an exact science - you'll just have to mess with it a bit to make it work.

I do understand about trying to filter out the useful stuff. I'll try to update this guide more as people start needing certain details. For now, I just copied it directly from the original post on the MacNN thread.

If you decide to do this mod, please take pics! I can host them for you if you need me to, on my Flickr Pro account. I might try to upres another clamshell (a 300MHz) - if I do, I'll be sure to take pics.

Sorry for the delayed response!!
Has anyone tried a screen from a Compaq Armada? I'm curious if it has the same pins (I'm pretty sure its the same lcd) The difference is they are usually quite a bit cheaper.
Compaq and HP LCDs look very similar, but there are a few pinout discrepancies that prevent them from working correctly. Your best bet is to get a 12" LCD from a PowerBook or iBook - those are confirmed to work.


Just wanted to say THANKS to all for this project. My new* Graphite 466 with it's iBook G3 700MHz XGA screen are working just fine.

I also wanted to say this is the second time I tried doing this as I absolutely love the clamshell. About 5 years ago but I wasn't "lucky" enough to have the correct cable. I say lucky enough because I'm certainly not smart enough to have figured all this out on my own.

Now I've got to grab another cable for my wife's Key Lime 466... already bought the XGA LCD.


Take some pics if you do the mod! I'd love to have some to post here.

clamshell iBook G3 optical drive bezel cd/dvd burner mod

This takes a good pair of glasses and quite alot of time. Here it is matched with a samsung sn-S084H dl dvd burner, but should work with any modern drive.

Which XGA screen is this? (from a 900mhz iBook G3)

First of all, I am sure some smarta** has found the holy grail; Please help us old dumbsh*ts out.
Now that I got that off my chest, This screen works a little differently.
Pictures of all identifying labels:
This screen will not boot into 600 X 800 at all.
Installation results in a very dark blue screen. So I took it out and tried one from iBook 500mhz G3 - LTN12X1-L02 and found myself in the same situation as the rest of you. I ran the OF trick successfully; But the screen has a permanent vertical line just left of center as it did in the iBook. Then I put the unknown screen above back in and it works. It stays dark blue until the starting os X screen, skipping the flashing finder and the spinning wheel.
All boot shortcuts have no monitor support and leave you with dark blue screen. You can edit the firmware, but blindfolded only.
This really shouldn't be so hard. Many people must be familiar with the boot var options. The powerBook G3 firewire firmware 4.1.8 should provide the grail; Supports 1024x768. But it will not install on a iBook - anyone know a workaround? Or perhaps something as simple as "setenv boot-device ud:3,\:tbxi" might work - afraid to try. I don't know, but something similar, I am sure, will work.
Can someone out there help point me in the right direction - PLEASE.

No, I can't watch dvds - At first I could listen to them but no video, now, I get an unsupported file error from dvd player. I believe this problem will disappear when we get the right info for the monitor into the firmware.
Any movement on this front?

Further, I like to point out that if you remove the second frame from you original screen - the one with the "ears", it will fit your 1024 screen perfectly. But you still need to modify/file the mounting points in order to mount the screen about 3/16" toward the upper left.


Re: Which XGA screen is this? (from a 900mhz iBook G3)

concerning the pictures of the unknown LCD; this is an IBM LCD, that I ve once noticed when I took a iBook Dual USB apart.

And concerning the DVD issue I hope there will be a progess, too, in near future. Thats the most unsatisfying issue.


how about making my own cable?

Hi, please excuse my english, im spanish.
I live abroad (Argentina), so it is pretty hard in here to find the proper cable. Nevertheless, i saw the pics, and i want to know if it is possible to make another cable work by plugin the Motherboard end, and soldering the display end.
I have a guy at work that makes IC soldering of SMD ICs by hand (using a big magnifing glass and lots of patience). He is pretty good, and i guess if i can get the pinout to make it work.

I will Appretiate any hints

Re: how about making my own cable?

Here's a photo set of how one person did it:


I'd recommend doing something like this, so that you can preserve the original cable and not damage it.

Edited at 2009-10-01 01:52 pm (UTC)


Clamshell with macbook guts?

Hey, is there a way to mod a clamshell with a Macbook's guts Or a G4's guts. I know i'll have trouble with the macbook, but the 12" G4 seems feasible. Is it possible?

Re: Clamshell with macbook guts?

There have been discussions about this before. It would require a lot of effort with the keyboard and trackpad, but everything else would likely be doable.

You might want to head over to the MacNN forums and check out the posts there from others who have thought about doing this.


Help with XGA upgrade

Was reading the info on your info here but CTRL+C doesn't get me out of NVEDIT in the OF.


Re: Help with XGA upgrade

Seems like the CTRL key on my clamshell doesn't work.

Had to use an external usb keyboard.

Got XGA now but no control on brightness.


any WXGA 1152x768 screens compatible with the clamshell?

Noticed you can get 1152x768 by changing to display-family 2. Are there any compatible screens available?

Are there any uses the same date-display connector as on the 1024x768 model?
iBook Mod

April 2013



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