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Old Apr 24, 2012, 04:48 PM   #1
oldschoolripper
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G5 PowerPC iMac help needed

I just got a A1145, MA064LL/A G5 powerPC 2.1Ghz that I am trying to fix. It freezes on the light blue screen with the mouse cursor in the upper left corner. The mouse is moveable.

It will not boot from CD (same error).
It will not recognize external HD via Firewire.
It is not in the model range with bulging capacitors (and there aren't any)
I have taken out the HD and ran TechTools diagnostics on it and it passed
I tried wiping the HD
The battery on the Logic board is over 3V
I did the SMU reset
All 3 diagnostic LEDs light up on the logic board
I reseated the Memory

I weird notation to make is that the owner swears that he had Snow Leopard 10.6 installed and running on here for about a year with no problems. I read that the powerPC's can't run OSX 10.6. I have verified the serial number.

Any ideas? Thanks.
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Old Apr 24, 2012, 04:54 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by oldschoolripper View Post
I weird notation to make is that the owner swears that he had Snow Leopard 10.6 installed and running on here for about a year with no problems. I read that the powerPC's can't run OSX 10.6. I have verified the serial number.
Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard - Apple Store (U.S.)
Quote:
System Requirements
  • Mac computer with an Intel processor
  • 1GB of memory
  • 5GB of available disk space
  • DVD drive for installation
  • Some features require a compatible Internet service provider; fees may apply.
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Old Apr 24, 2012, 04:55 PM   #3
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Since it is a G5 iMac using PPC architecture, it can't run Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, since that requires an Intel processor.

Have you tried any of these steps?
Mac doesn't boot

Resolve startup issues and perform disk maintenance with Disk Utility and fsck

Troubleshooting: My computer won't turn on

A flashing question mark appears when you start your Mac
I guess you purchased the machine used. Did you verify, that the machine was running before buying it or did you buy it as kaputt?
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Old Apr 25, 2012, 01:04 PM   #4
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I'd also try resetting the power management; see:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1939?v...S&locale=en_US

I doubt that's it cuz I don't think you'd get as far as you have, but ya never know.
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Old Apr 25, 2012, 10:07 PM   #5
oldschoolripper
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Thanks for the reply's.

simsaladimbamba
I can't try booting to safe mode because I wiped the HD and can't install an OS
I have OSX 10.4,10.5 and 10.6 but all of them freeze the same way when trying to boot from CD so I can't run any built in diagnostics

I tried everything else those articles mention that I can do.

I bought the computer kaput hoping to fix it

Any other ideas?
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Old Apr 25, 2012, 10:50 PM   #6
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Are the disks retail copies of 10.4 and 10.5 that you've been trying? Or machine specific? (Mac Mini, iMac, etc.) What's it say on the disks?
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 06:53 AM   #7
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OSX 10.4 is machine specific from another machine. When I try to boot to it (holding "C" or "D" down) I get a panic error "unable to find driver for this platform "PowerPC". Then is says some more stuff and something about a "Darwin" kernal.

OSX 10.5 - I have both the purple/black with the black "X" on it and a copy of OSX 10.5 from the Mac Box Set Family pack.

OSX 10.6 - It is the light grey disc with the snow leopard on it.

Just to be clear: I do not have the original disc for this machine
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 07:10 AM   #8
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10.4 disk is likely from an Intel Mac, therefore won't work on a PowerPC Mac as it's not dual format. 10.6 will never work as it does not support PowerPC.

The Purple/Black 10.5 disk is retail, so that's your best bet.
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 07:18 AM   #9
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Does the black disc need a previous version installed on HDD to install itself? I tried to use it my macbook to try to install an OS by putting the HDD in an external enclosure, but my macbook is running 10.7 and froze up on the grey apple screen when trying to boot from the 10.5 disc.

If I can find a machine running 10.5 or 10.6 could I use the 10.5 CD in there to install onto the HDD and then put it back into the iMac? Or would that also be a machine specific installation or Intel based installation?

I am thinking that if I get an OS installed at least I can try to boot in safe mode to see what happens.
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 07:47 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by oldschoolripper View Post
Does the black disc need a previous version installed on HDD to install itself? I tried to use it my macbook to try to install an OS by putting the HDD in an external enclosure, but my macbook is running 10.7 and froze up on the grey apple screen when trying to boot from the 10.5 disc.
No, it should allow you to install 10.5 from that disk. Have you tried booting from it?
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 09:09 AM   #11
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Yes, I tried booting from all my disks. I get the same error: it seems to be working then freezes when the screen transitions from dark blue to light blue. The mouse still moves around but that's it.
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 02:16 PM   #12
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Yes, I tried booting from all my disks. I get the same error: it seems to be working then freezes when the screen transitions from dark blue to light blue. The mouse still moves around but that's it.
Your video card is dead or the capacitors are blown. common imac g5 problem. Google it
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 09:29 PM   #13
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As I stated before:

"It is not in the model range with bulging capacitors (and there aren't any)"

As far as the video card. Does this sound likely to anyone else? Is there a way to determine if that is the cause? I think that Safe boot is a way to trouble shoot that, but as I stated before, I can't Safe Boot because there is no OS installed.
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Old Apr 27, 2012, 12:34 AM   #14
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Yes, I tried booting from all my disks. I get the same error: it seems to be working then freezes when the screen transitions from dark blue to light blue. The mouse still moves around but that's it.
I had similar problems when using the wrong installation discs. I was using an intel install disc in a PowerPC iMac.

From what you've said, the 10.5 should work for PowerPC or Intel.

Do you have another Mac available that you could use for troubleshooting?
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Old Apr 27, 2012, 06:25 AM   #15
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Yes
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Old Apr 27, 2012, 06:28 AM   #16
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Yes
Tried Target Disk Mode with the G5 yet?
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Old Apr 27, 2012, 01:54 PM   #17
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I'd suggest Target Disk Mode on the G5 and use the other mac to do the installation.

Or use the other mac to format the hard drive, install the OS, and then put the drive in the G5.

Did the machine ever boot in the time you've owned it?
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Old Apr 28, 2012, 12:19 AM   #18
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A W.A.G here..

While I give kuddos to all the advice given so far, and I indeed would look at firewire disk mode as an option, have you pulled the optical drive? Give it a good going over. Clean it, clear it, check the connections and slap it back in.

It could be as simple as a dodgy drive on it's way out the trash bin in the sky.

~Drake
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Old Apr 30, 2012, 09:23 PM   #19
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Thanks for the advice guys. I had to order a firewire 800->400 adapter. So I hooked up the Macbook to the iMac in Target mode. In finder on the macbook I see the dvd drive from the iMac but no HDD. It doesn't show up in disk utility either. By the way, the fans are running like crazy when I do this.

When I tried installing the OS on an external drive. I partitioned the drive as "Apple Partition Map" so the the PPC G5 can read it but it won't let me install from a "guid" to "apple partition".

I have also tried booting by firewire from a PowerPC created by TechTool ProToGo but it doesn't see in when I option start.

What now?
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Old Apr 30, 2012, 09:45 PM   #20
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Try reseating the RAM, I had an issue like this on a iMac G4, would not boot from anything including my Tech Tool Protogo drive. The service manual suggested bad HD but that was fine when I pulled it out and tested it on another computer. reseated the ram and stuck everything back together, booted from my Protogo drive but could not see the CD drive. Took apart again and installed a new CD drive. Re booted and put on a fresh image of 10.5 from my Protogo drive.
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Old Apr 30, 2012, 09:52 PM   #21
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Try reseating the RAM, I had an issue like this on a iMac G4, would not boot from anything including my Tech Tool Protogo drive. The service manual suggested bad HD but that was fine when I pulled it out and tested it on another computer. reseated the ram and stuck everything back together, booted from my Protogo drive but could not see the CD drive. Took apart again and installed a new CD drive. Re booted and put on a fresh image of 10.5 from my Protogo drive.
Thanks, but I tried that already
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Old May 1, 2012, 09:27 PM   #22
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Another thing I tried: I was able to install OSX 10.5 on 2 different HDD's. One formatted with apple partition map the other with Guid partition map. They both boot as an external drive from my Macbook just fine. Neither one is recognized by the iMac. When connected internally, it just boots up to the folder with the question mark. When I try to boot from Firewire it just doesn't show up at all when I option boot.

I'm feeling stuck here. Any ideas?
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Old May 1, 2012, 10:57 PM   #23
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Try booting your Macbook in target disk mode, plug it into the iMac via firewire, and use the Macbook optical drive to install the OS on the iMac.
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Old May 2, 2012, 08:45 AM   #24
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Try booting your Macbook in target disk mode, plug it into the iMac via firewire, and use the Macbook optical drive to install the OS on the iMac.
I am able to access the DVD from the Macbook and attempt to boot from it, but it still freezes at the same place.
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Old May 2, 2012, 07:02 PM   #25
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I am able to access the DVD from the Macbook and attempt to boot from it, but it still freezes at the same place.
If I recall correctly, these units have 512MB of memory built into the logic board. Try pulling the stick that is installed and see if it will boot from the internal memory?

I guess my next step would be to try booting from a PPC linux distro. Just to see if you have the same problems.
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