View Full Version : iMac G5 not booting or responding to disk repair!

Jun 10, 2010, 10:41 AM
Hi there!

I have an iMac G5 that I have previously had both the HDD and logic board replaced by Apple. It has been giving me a lot of spinning beach balls lately and yesterday would spin when I did anything as simple as opening Safari. I had tried to repair the disk in Disk Utility, but it failed after a few minutes.

Last night I restarted it and it got stuck on my desktop, but wasn't fully loaded. I restarted it with the Leopard disk and I tried both to "Verify" and "Repair" the disk and neither worked. This morning when I tried it again, the only option available was "Verify Disk." When I do this I get the attached message. It is an iPhone pic, so I apologize for the quality.

Any help will be greatly appreciated. I'd like to get this figured out ASAP, as we are moving out of state tomorrow!

My other thought was I could try to boot with the Leopard disk and do a Time Machine restore. I'm not sure if that would help though. I don't have anything TOO important on the internal HDD, but I would like the chance to pull it out and hook it up to another computer to sift through it. I'm afraid if I do the Time Machine restore something might happen and I won't have the chance to go through the HDD.

So, what do you think?


Jun 10, 2010, 11:50 AM
Which iMac G5 you have? Models without iSight are easy to open, but those newer are not. If you got another Mac and firewire cable, you can run iMac in target disk mode (http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1661) to access your data.

Jun 10, 2010, 12:45 PM
It is non-iSight. I am buying a MacBook Pro next week, so I will have access to another Mac then.

What should I do in the time being? Is it fixable?

I must admit, it bothers me a bit to drop $2500 on a MBP next week after having my iMac only last 5 years. I have owned PC's that lasted well over 10 years. Is a 5-year life for a Mac atypical?


Jun 10, 2010, 12:50 PM
Sounds like the drive is corrupted. I would suggest trying something like Disk Warrior to repair the drive, or erasing it completely and re-installing. If nothing else, simply replace it. SATA drives are cheap.

Jun 10, 2010, 12:55 PM
Good advice, DiskWarrior could do the job. If will not, replacing/taking out HDD in your model is quite easy. Video how to open iMac G5 non-iSight (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8dBTWHm9yk)

Jun 10, 2010, 01:29 PM
If I were to restore using a Time Machine backup is that essentially the same as erasing and starting over? Or will that just leave the "corrupt-ness" and put everything back on?


Jun 10, 2010, 01:37 PM
Try disk warrior first.

5 years these days is a long time for any computer. Trust me pc's go down just as fast.

It could be the hd at fault and not the machines problem at all.

Pop off the back cover and just for grins inspect the capacitors. Make sure they are not leaking or bulging.

Jun 10, 2010, 01:39 PM
One more thing. If I were just to order a new HDD and what I need off of this one, what would be a good choice? Will this iMac support any 3.5" SATA drive? I notice some have 16MB or 32MB cache. Will this iMac be able to utilize higher specs like these? I guess what I'm saying is that I don't want to pay for any features that won't be utilized. I'd like something in the 500GB - 1TB range if I buy something. That way I can always use it as an external drive later if need be.

I have an Amazon Prime account, so if you can recommend something from there, I can order it within the next couple of hours, and get it here tomorrow before we move!

I can't thank you all enough!


PS. Is it worth popping a new drive into this machine? I don't want to put it in and have it still not work!

Jun 10, 2010, 01:46 PM
Before you spend a DIME on this machine pop off that back cover and have a look to make sure the board is in good order first.

Jun 10, 2010, 03:01 PM
Ok, so I took the cover off to check it out and indeed, most of the capacitors are bulging and 4 of them look like they have been leaking out of the top (tan colored goo).

So, is this the actual cause of my problem mentioned in my original post or just something else waiting to let loose? What should I do? If the unit is junk, should I just pull the drive, hook it up to another computer to get the data? Is there a way to use my Time Machine backup on my external drive to hook up to my new MBP (when it comes next week) just to pull off whatever I need? If that is the case, I won't worry about trying to dig for stuff on this internal drive.

Thanks again for your help. I hate to see this computer go; it was my first Mac!


Jun 10, 2010, 03:11 PM
Ok, the logic board is toast unless you would like to buy a used one from ebay or have a repair shop replace the capacitors. I actually have a stack of 10 logic boards waiting for this very repair.

The good news is that your hard drive is good and you should be able to get the info off of it.

When you get your new mbp you can use this to go from your firewire 800 to the imac's 400.

Firewire 800 to 400 cable (http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&q=firewire+800+to+400&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=3880082069005515260&ei=V0YRTMalIZ3TlQfC2P3kCA&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CEMQ8wIwAg#)

Then you can boot up the imac into firewire target disk mode by holding T.

It may just let you transfer the data over with out locking up. Try doing small groups of files first.

Jun 10, 2010, 03:43 PM
Ok, so I took the cover off to check it out and indeed, most of the capacitors are bulging and 4 of them look like they have been leaking out of the top (tan colored goo).


As of last year, Apple still had logic boards for these iMacs. My sister's iMac was dying a slow death and I was charged with trying to revive it. After replacing the RAM (which it needed anyway), I realized that it was the capacitors on the logic board (they weren't oozing though).

My sister brought it into the Apple Store and they repaired it, even though it was well out of Applecare and past the extended repair program.

So if I were you, I'd take it into the local Apple Store and see if they can fix it out of warranty. Seeing as how this is a replacement logic board, they should have used one of the "fixed" ones.

At worst, they won't fix it. However, seeing as how you're a loyal Apple customer, you might get a free (or cheap) fix. Maybe they'll even give you a new iMac (or mini). Maybe let it "slip" that you have a MBP on order, but you still need a desktop for use at home. ;)