iMac G5 will not Boot! Please help. Please.

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by igucl, Oct 28, 2006.

  1. macrumors 6502a


    Well, I've spent the last few hours searching Apple's support pages and Macrumors, and I haven't even found this problem described, let alone a solution to it.

    I restarted my iMac G5 1.8 GHz (no iSight), and shortly after it came to the grey Apple screen, a darker grey screen came down with a black box in the middle of it, which contained the following message:

    "You need to restart your computer. Hold down the Power button for several seconds or press the reset button."

    Which I have done now many, many times. I have reset the PRAM, the NVRAM, and the SMU. I have run the Apple Hardware Test, which said all was OK. Also, I have run Disk Utility, both repairing permissions and the disk itself.

    Nothing has fixed the problem. The computer refuses to do anything except tell me that I need to restart it.

    The reason I wanted to restart it in the first place, the cause of all this trouble, was that my AirPort was not connecting to the network. I verified that the problem was with the iMac, and not with the network, by checking another computer's ability to connect. So, I don't know if the whole root of the problem is somewhere in the AirPort hardware, or if that was only an indication of a bigger problem. Again, the Hardware test did not return any negative report for the AirPort, or anything else.

    I'm at the end of my knowledge here. I was just now one click away from reinstalling the OS, but I am still really hesitant to do that yet. I would much rather find a better solution. Plus, I don't even know if that will solve the issue.

    Please help if you know of something that I haven't tried yet. Has anyone experienced this with their own iMac G5 before? I would be deeply indebted to anyone who can help. You guys have helped me many times before, for which I am very grateful, and that's why I keep coming back to the best forum on the web.

    Anyway, as you might imagine, this has done quite a number on my weekend plans.

    Thank you in advance for any help that you offer and any of your time that you give to this. Because I am :confused:

  2. macrumors Penryn


  3. macrumors 6502a


    I actually do not know how to tell. I purchased it in September of last year, I believe.

    Edit: But actually, I do have video, and I do have power, or so it seems to me. It just won't boot. It goes immediately to the "You need to restart" message right after the Apple screen.
  4. Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    You seem to be getting kernel panics at startup, which is totally uncool. You've tried a lot of good basic techniques, well done. Have you unplugged all hardware except your keyboard and mouse? Have you tried removing a stick of RAM at a time to see if that could be the problem? The Hardware Test isn't brilliant and will often overlook problems in devices/hardware. :(
  5. macrumors Penryn


    If it was purchased new in September it was a Rev. B Ambient Light Sensor iMac G5.
  6. Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    How to identify your iMac.
  7. macrumors 6502a


    OK I just checked, and the serial number does not fall within the range of those listed for the repair program. :(
  8. macrumors 68020


    re seat your ram.. that can help.
  9. macrumors 6502a


    Yes, I really didn't have anything attached except speakers, but I unplugged those. I guess I will now try removing the I Gig stick of RAM I put in about a year ago. Could that have gone bad after not giving me any trouble for this long?

    Also, thank you all so much for the quick, helpful responses.
  10. Moderator emeritus

    mad jew


    Unfortunately, yes. RAM can go bad at pretty much any stage of its life. Small system updates have been known to cause a RAM stick that was previously okay to deteriorate and crash. :(

    The good news is that if the problem is RAM-related, removing the stick brings everything back to normal. Good luck. :)
  11. macrumors 6502a


    OK, I just removed the 1 gig stick, and no change in behavior. I guess I will now try to swap out the 512 stick.
  12. macrumors 6502a


    Well, it's the same way with the 512 stick out. Either both sticks of RAM went bad at the same time, or something else is wrong. :confused:
  13. Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Are you well backed up? Do you have another Mac? If so, connect the two Macs with a firewire cable and use Target Disk Mode to get your data backed up. Then, I'd start the iMac from the OSX discs, reformat the drive with Disk Utility and then reinstall the OS. If it kernel panics throughout any part of this process then I'd probably take it back to Apple. Good luck. :eek:
  14. macrumors 6502a


    Thank you for all your help, mad jew.

    No, I'm not backed up. Will be from now on, though. I guess I will have to try that. I do have a G4 tower here that I'm using.

    I had not a hint of trouble from this machine over the past year, and now it decides to quit. Soon after the warranty was up, too. :(
  15. Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Yeah, that sucks. At least the G4 tower should help get your data back though. Good luck. :)
  16. macrumors 6502a


    Here's an update for those interested:

    I took the iMac to my local Apple store, and they diagnosed it as a hard drive failure. Of course, they offered to fix it for approximately $360. Right now I am waiting to receive the 160 GB Seagate drive I ordered from Best Buy for about $70. I was surprised at how easy it is to switch out the old drive, and I am beyond shocked that Apple dares to rob people out of nearly four hundred dollars for such a simple repair.

    Furthermore, the drive that failed was a Western Digital, and the Best Buy guy told me that they are known to fail more often than Seagates. If I had Apple do the repair, they would have charged me $275 just for the part, which probably would have been another Western Digital. As it is, I am getting what I perceive to be a better drive, and one that comes with a 5-year warranty, for a quarter of the price. :eek:
  17. macrumors Penryn


    Yeah, the repair is a do it yourself too.
  18. macrumors 6502a


    Awesome you figured it out! When you put in the new hard drive, it won't have any system information - can you simply put in the tiger disc and install OS X? Or do you have to put some info on the drive first?
  19. macrumors Penryn


    You can format it using Disk Utility while booted off of your OS X DVD.
  20. macrumors 68000


    the guy who sold you a drive, told you his drive was better. wow, what a shock!?!

    pick the drive with the best warranty. brands are nothing more than personal preference. they all fail. every brand. all the time. and back up often.

    best of luck.
  21. macrumors 6502a


    Hey, JNA, I wasn't born yesterday. Best Buy has a variety of brands, and Seagate was not the highest priced. The sales representative shared from his experience, both as a Mac user and as an employee of Best Buy who gets daily experience with computer failures. He actually encouraged me to go complain to Apple first, and see if they would help me out, even though the warranty was up. The store did not have the Seagate I needed in stock, and he said I should get the Western Digital only if I needed it right then. In his experience, Seagate makes the better drive, and yes, his opinion held some sway for me, because, obviously, he wasn't looking for a sale.

    In the end, I did purchase the drive from Best Buy, but I had to go to the online store to get what I needed. It arrived today, and I will find out tonight if the "genius" at the Apple store was correct.

    Yes, all brands fail. Most everyone is aware of that. But it is also true that every company has a bad run of product once in a while, and I believe that is what the Best Buy rep has found in the case of Western Digital. I can see how my previous post could be perceived as naive, but I didn't want to go into all of this explanation, which would have been necessary to change its characteristic.

    So, I hope that's all cleared up for everyone.
  22. Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    And you'll probably find that the Seagate has the best warranty...most of theirs have five-year warranties, best in the industry. Great drives...the Best Buy rep didn't steer you wrong.
  23. macrumors 6502a


    Yes, it does have a five-year warranty. Funny, isn't it? My whole computer came with only a one-year. :rolleyes:

    Thanks, WildCowboy.
  24. macrumors 6502a


    Well, folks, I don't know what to do now.

    I installed the new drive, ran the restore DVD, rebooted, and ...

    Kernel Panic!

  25. macrumors 6502a


    Here is a thread on Apple's support page that describes the exact same problem that I'm having. It is recent, too. Maybe this is something that will start to happen to a lot of iMac G5's that are this age.

    Well, the OP in this thread found a solution: loose AirPort wire. I will check this on mine later, but I'm worried that I won't be able to do anything with it because the Rev. B AirPorts aren't very user-accessible.

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