G4 (?) imac won't work

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Sabrina2000, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    #1
    sorry for the rather lame title....we have bought an second hand old imac...the one with the round base and flexi screen and suddenly it freezes on start up - you can enter the password but then it freezes up and has to be switched off at the base, and then the same thing happens again on start up. Don't think we have any cds with it. It was running slow and today we downloaded a cache cleaner ( cache out or something like that). Problem has started since then. Not sure though if that is the cause. It does have a lot of applications on it - would the number of applications slow it down?

    For now of course - main issue is to how to get it going again. Thanks.
     
  2. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    #2
    just confirmed - it is a G4....it gets as far as the log in screen then when you enter log in name it freezes and the little rainbow swirly twirls endlessly.

    Tried the command prompt but when you click on HD nothing happens.

    No disks. Think its Tiger OS.

    Do have an imac snow leopard with disks - don't know if those could be used, and if so, how? Also have a macbook with disks - also snow leopard.

    Even if we can use disks, how do we insert disks when everything is frozen?
     
  3. macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #3
    Try this:

    :apple: Resetting your Mac's PRAM and NVRAM

    You can't install Snow Leopard on a G4 iMac as it's a PowerPC Mac and Snow Leopard will only run on Intel Macs.

    You can't install the OS (gray discs) that came with any Mac on any other Mac, they are Mac specific. If you have a copy of Mac OS X that's a full retail version (usually black discs) and equal to or newer than what originally shipped with that iMac it would probably work.
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    adcx64

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Cudi Zone
    #4
    sounds like a hard drive issue to me.
     
  5. macrumors 65816

    CubeHacker

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    #5
    Sounds like a problem with the OS install, or the hard drive itself. Its impossible to tell without doing some work, and both would more or less involve installing the OS from scratch - which you can't do without Tiger or Leopard discs.

    You cannot use Snow Leopard (10.6) on a G4 mac, so you will have to hunt down 10.4 or 10.5 discs.
     
  6. macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #6
  7. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    #7
    tried resetting PRAM with command/option/P/R but all that happens is it keeps trying to boot - makes the boot sound, but then gets stuck after password is entered - it jumps from the "universal" screensaver image to the large pebbles image which someone must have set and gets stuck there with the rainbow twirl.

    Tried the sbin/fsck -fy in single user mode - that was interesting ! It identified some problems in volume 33 ( I think) repaired them...I got message "file system was modified"....repeated the step again and got "volume ok"....then rebooted from there - but the same thing happened .....got to log in screen, entered passoword, and the rainbow twirl gets stuck

    Thinking of buying a cd on e bay - there's nothing we have to save off there so presumably I could just reinstal the OS.....but not sure which cd to buy. All we know is that the OS is OS.X os10......so what would be the best cd to buy for it ( I can get a 10.0.4 on e bay) ? I think it was Tiger...not sure.

    Thank you.
     
  8. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #8
    The best OS to buy for that machine, unless you know its a later model, is Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, which should let you boot the machine and use it just fine. (Mac OS X 10.0.4 will not work, neither will 10.1 or possibly 10.2 depending on which iMac G4 it is)
     
  9. macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #9
  10. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    #10
    would I be able to sort this out - somehow(?) - through a firewire? I do have a fairly new IMAC running snow leopard - is it possible somehow to sort this porblem out by accessing it through the new IMAC? if yes, what sort of wire would I need? is it somehting that sells as "standard"?

    have just looked for the disks on e bay - 10.4 Tiger is considerably more expensive than I thought it'd be....
     
  11. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #11
    10.4 is expensive because it is desirable (It has just about the widest range of compatibility: G3s, G4s and G5 Macs can all run Tiger in various incarnations). 10.3 Panther will also run just fine on that iMac, however it has a lot less software support including a non-current web-browser. If you wanted to hook the Macs up, we need to know which iMac you have, as youll either need a FireWire 800-400 (9-pin to 6-pin) or a Firewire 400-400 (6pin to 6pin) cable - Both are relatively standard.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    #12
    amazingly - it's started up ! We held shift key down on stara up but it was taking forever and ever to load up - in the end we gave up on it and it looked like it had frozen but just when we were about to power off we hit the keyboard, password log in screen came up, and we logged in !!!

    However, it is really slow on start up - which was the problem before and it sometimes freezes up. What could we do to speed it up?

    It has tons of applications on it - came pre-loaded ( bought second hand/no disks) -we're worried about deleting them in case they happen to be stuff that would cost money to buy if we ever needed them !

    If it crashes again, now we've resolved the disk issues, what would fire wire actually accomplish? The imac is a large 21" screen ( probably doesn't matter), osx (snow leopard) 10.6.4....I can check further specs and post if needed. It was bought new from apple dealer last year.

    Thanks for help.
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    #13
    You have an Intel imac

    If your imac has Snow Leopard installed, then you have an Intel mac, not a G4. 10.6 is the only OS that will work with your imac, if it's only a year old.

    If your imac was bought last year, it might be covered with Applecare. Call Apple, and they will be able to tell you if you are covered, with your serial number.
     
  14. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    #14
    No, you're misunderstanding what she said previously. She just bought this used iMac G4 Flat Panel, and she already has a newer Intel-based iMac with Snow Leopard installed.

    The number of applications on the G4 iMac has no bearing on it starting up, but other problems on the disk, missing components from the OS, or hardware issues could be the cause of it not starting up properly and/or being very slow.

    You can try reinstalling Mac OS X 10.4, but you must use a Retail (boxed) version; any other version of 10.4 will not work. You can also try buying some utilities such as DiskWarrior, and/or TechTool Pro to find problems in the disk directory and fix them, and diagnose hardware problems, respectively.
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    CubeHacker

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    #15
    I wouldn't bother spending money on any 3rd party disk applications at this point. Format the hard drive and reinstall OSX from scratch - be it 10.4 or 10.5 (I would recommend 10.5 if its a 1.25ghz model).

    If the problem still persists after the format, then the hard drive is bad, and will need replacing.
     
  16. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    #16
    Thanks for clarifying that on my behalf wiseman - yes, that's right....I didn't explain very well :

    I have an old imac (bought second hand/no disks/now running slow on start up) which is mac osx:
    10.5.8
    powermac 6,1
    powerpc G4 (3.3)
    processor 1 GHz
    memory 1.5 GB DDR SD RAM
    cpu's 1
    version 4
    Boot rom
    version 4.5.9f1


    Inititially the problem was that it was freezing on log in/ apparently crashed.
    But after trying some of the steps recommended here, it started up, but remains extremely slow on log in.

    So my issue now is how to resolve the slow start up, and also to clarify which OS disk to buy in case its ever needed ( 10.4 it seems reading back through the advice given).....will also consdier getting Disk warrier.

    I do also have, in addition, a new imac OSx snow leopard .....and was wondering if I could use firewire between the 2, and if so, which wire to buy, but also wanted to understand what I could expect to achieve with fire wire.....will it help if the system crashes for example?

    thank you again.
     
  17. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    #17
    If it were me, I'd stick with 10.4. Apple removed or broke many features in 10.5 that worked perfectly well in 10.4, without disclosing them to the public before or after purchase. And they've never fixed them.

    Firewire would only be useful to you for booting in Target Disk Mode, which would be used to install on OS on a machine with no working CD/DVD drive, or to install the OS on a machine that otherwise wouldn't accept it via the normal method. The iMac Flat Panel you just got has Firewire 400, while the iMac running Snow Leopard has Firewire 800, so if you actually had to use Target Disk Mode, you'd want to get a Firewire 400 to 800 cable, which can be had for as little as $5 online, but it depends on where you get it.
     
  18. macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #18
    One thing you could try concerning discs is contacting Apple to get replacement discs for those that originally shipped with your iMac, which I believe is OS X 10.2.3 Jaguar, usually at a nominal cost.

    As far as it being slow, have you looked at System Preferences/Accounts/Login Items to see if there are unwanted or unneeded programs listed there that are starting up at boot, if so you could remove them (removing them from Login Items doesn't remove the program from your Mac just stops it from automatically starting up). Also, you could download OnyX (a free utility) that you can use to clear caches, etc., that can help to speed up a Mac.
     
  19. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #19
    I doubt Apple will still supply you with the original install disks as the iMac G4 in question is out of support completely, including parts AFAIK. Its more likely that getting them off eBay is the only option.
     
  20. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    #20
    Thanks.....this discussion has been really helpful.....

    the G4 powermac is back up and running as a result of advice given here, though it remains slow for now

    Intending to get hold of either Diskwarrier or Techtool pro

    will also keep an eye out for boxed retial version of 10.4 tiger in case ever needed.


    I'm just a little bit wary of installing ony x to clean out the cache because the "crash" occurred last time after downloading and running cache out x - followed a link to it from a mac forum somewhere....it seemed to download and run fine and we were able to use the comp initially with no problems, but after shutting down and restarting the system froze - or maybe it was just coincidence and nothing at all to do with cache out x....but having said that the mac seems to have wiped it off the system anyway as its no longer there. Will try checking log in items on start up as suggested as well.
     
  21. macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #21
    One thing that you could probably do instead of using OnyX, etc. is to manually run the OS X Maintenance Scripts manually via Terminal. Here's how to do it, just be very careful not to make any typos:

    Maintenance Scripts
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    #22
    This was last updated in 2008, and they only mention 10.4. Will it work with 10.5 and 10.6?
     
  23. macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #23
    Yep.
     
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    #24
    OK thanks, my macs are always snoozing
     
  25. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    #25
    If I were you, I'd get a retail version of Tiger ASAP. The supply is constantly dwindling, and that just increases the price. You can get it from Amazon.com for $149, with free shipping:

    http://www.amazon.com/Mac-v10-4-3-Tiger-DVD-Version/dp/B000C7259K
     

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