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Odd PowerMac G5 Issues

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by pcguru83, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. macrumors 6502a


    Hi guys.

    Being the IT guy at work, I've inherited a (currently) non-functioning Dual 2.0 GHz PowerMac G5. It' exhibiting some pretty odd symptoms. Let me explain:

    First of all, the problems started with the machine coming on (fans audible, Apple chime 'chimes'), but nothing was displayed on the screen. This led me to believe if might be a video card issue, so we ordered a replacement from OWC and no dice. After trying this, I happened to leave the machine on unintentionally for a while, and after about 5 minutes, the fans ramped up to full speed, very loudly. Since we were in a bit of a time crunch (and it was out of warranty) we gave up on it, and purchased our graphics designer a new Mac Pro.

    With a bit of googling, I determined that this sound a bit like a dead PRAM battery. So once again, off to OWC I went and purchased a replacement. I get it setup at home last night, and still no dice. If fires up just fine and chimes, but no image on the screen. And here's where it gets weird...

    I powered the machine down, and took the cover off to check the PRAM battery again, thinking I may have inadvertently put it in backwards. It looked fine (fits both ways, BTW, so I'm still not 100% sure I have it in right), so I powered the machine backup--but without putting the cover on accidentally. The red light on the mobo came on indicating the cover was off, but I figured I'd wait to see what would happen first. Still nothing on the screen, so I popped the plastic shield in and latched the side cover, and BOOM! Wouldn't you know, it displays an image! I can see a folder icon with the Finder icon on it.

    This is 100% reproducible every single time. If I turn it on with the cover ON, I can never get an image to display. However, if I remove the cover and plastic shield, fire it up, then replace the shield and cover, I always get the folder with Finder icon.

    This is quite perplexing. I should also note that I had my retail Leopard install disc in the drive the whole time, hoping to boot to the DVD if I got an image. It obviously wasn't automatically booting from the DVD, but instead would always display the Finder icon.

    Being a post-PowerPC Mac convert, I'm not really sure how to proceed. Any suggestions on what to do/try next? I'm still not really convinced that there is an underlying hardware issue still, but I suppose it's a possibility.

    What say ye? :)
  2. macrumors 6502a


    I hate to say this but it sounds like something on the logicboard as failed. Now maybe the switch that tells the mobo that the case is on has gone bad and you might be able to replace it, but I really have no idea.

    Are you able to get 10.5 installer to come up and work?

  3. macrumors 6502a


    Nope, never could get the installer up and running. And for clarification, I made an error in my summary of the problem in the OP. I've since edited, but here's what happens in a nutshell:

    If I turn it on with the cover ON, I can never get an image to display. However, if I remove the cover and plastic shield, fire it up, then replace the shield and cover, I always get the folder with Finder icon.
  4. macrumors 6502a


    Dude I have no idea, that is really confusing. I would say, boot the Mac with cover off, put the dvd in, replace the cover and see if you can get to the OS X installer. If you can, you might have a G5 that you just leave on all the time and just put to sleep alot, and if you have to reboot you know you have to remove and re-install the cover.

    That is just weird, I have never heard of that.

  5. macrumors 6502a


    Tell me about it, it's bizarre--and 100% reproducible. The thing is, even with the DVD in the drive, it won't boot from it. What's the key presses during startup I need to press to force it to boot from the optical drive?
  6. macrumors 6502a


    its either 'c' or :apple: key + 'd'
  7. macrumors 6502a


    Since it looks like I'm likely not going to get this thing going again, any idea if there is a market for PowerPC "parts"? If so, how much is a broken dual 2.0GHz PowerMac worth these days? Ebay doesn't seem to have any non-functioning PowerMacs at the momment that I can find...
  8. macrumors 6502a


    Very Very High and Top Dollar. The Two 2.0Ghz CPUs are going to be worth alot especially if it comes with the heatsinks. All the fans and the power supply are also going to be worth a good chuck of bucks. Power Mac G5 parts are highly looked for.

  9. macrumors 6502a


    Interesting. Part it out or sell it whole for parts?
  10. macrumors 6502a


    You will get more money parting it out. Also the graphics card is a nice reseller also!

  11. macrumors 6502a


    Yeah, just a quick look at Ebay after I posted showed that to be the case. I'm having trouble locating a good disassembly guide for the dual 2.0GHz G5. Anyone know of a good place to look? It doesn't look too difficult to take apart, but I have a feeling I'm going to need one of those long thin screwdrivers if I remember correctly.

    Anyone got a good resource for this info?
  12. macrumors 6502a


    If you G5 is air cooled and not liquid cooled, here is a guide you can use:


    I will keep my eye out for others!

  13. macrumors 6502a


    Oh yeah, I should have mentioned that. That's the one I keep stumbling upon, but since this one is liquid cooled, it doesn't apply unfortunately.

    Thanks though. :)
  14. macrumors 6502a


    Its a 2GHZ Dual G5 Liquid cooled? I didn't think any of the 2.0Ghz were . . . I thought only the Quad and the Dual 2.5Ghz were liquid cooled . . . hmm.

  15. macrumors 6502a


    Perhaps I'm mistaken then. Maybe it is a 2.5GHz machine. I'll have to run the serial number when I get home to double check, but for some reason 2.0Ghz stuck in my head.
  16. macrumors 6502a


    Yeah if its the 2.5Ghz, that is worth even more.


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