Asking about an eMac before buying it

KawaiiAurora

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Dec 16, 2016
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Hey,
I've spotted a deal for an eMac with the original keyboard locally for roughly $27. Seller says that it's slow (it's an ancient machine after all) but says that it still works fine. The seller doesn't know the model of the thing and I doubt he's that tech-savvy since his answers were kind of scant.

Now, I've done some research on eMacs and it seems that while the RAM is replaceable and you can install an Airport card, you can't replace the HDD without fiddling around with the CRT (which I won't do).

Does anybody know how good the CRT in these things is and if the hard drives fail?

If we say that it's the lowest end model (700MHz, Geforce 2MX), would it still be a decent acquisition for the price? I can install some more RAM into it as I have a 512MB DDR-333 stick and 2 256MB PC-133 sticks that are available which would obviously make it more useful.

I plan to use this machine for some light gaming, some web browsing and simply messing around with OS X (and hopefully Mac OS 9 if it's supported on the model I get). I have a 400MHz Sawtooth that I doubt will be a good idea to fix up since getting a graphics card to replace the defective one that's currently inside would cost more than $27 alone.

P.S: My current laptop might die at any moment (7 years old and it heats up quite a lot) so if I get the eMac, it could also end up as a daily driver for a year or two..

Thanks,
Aurora
 
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eyoungren

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Aug 31, 2011
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Hey,
I've spotted a deal for an eMac with the original keyboard locally for roughly $27. Seller says that it's slow (it's an ancient machine after all) but says that it still works fine. The seller doesn't know the model of the thing and I doubt he's that tech-savvy since his answers were kind of scant.

Now, I've done some research on eMacs and it seems that while the RAM is replaceable and you can install an Airport card, you can't replace the HDD without fiddling around with the CRT (which I won't do).

Does anybody know how good the CRT in these things is and if the hard drives fail?

If we say that it's the lowest end model (700MHz, Geforce 2MX), would it still be a decent acquisition for the price? I can install some more RAM into it as I have a 512MB DDR-333 stick and 2 256MB PC-133 sticks that are available which would obviously make it more useful.

I plan to use this machine for some light gaming, some web browsing and simply messing around with OS X (and hopefully Mac OS 9 if it's supported on the model I get). I have a 400MHz Sawtooth that I doubt will be a good idea to fix up since getting a graphics card to replace the defective one that's currently inside would cost more than $27 alone.

P.S: My current laptop might die at any moment (7 years old and it heats up quite a lot) so if I get the eMac, it could also end up as a daily driver for a year or two..

Thanks,
Aurora
Assuming you get the lowest end eMac $27 is an excellent price. Barring any issues I would buy it. The eMac is a generally reliable Mac.
 

Slix

macrumors 65816
Mar 24, 2010
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$27 sounds like a good price, assuming there aren't any major problems like the CRT going bad or the hard drive failing (since it is difficult to tear these apart and replace the drive). The CRT in eMacs are one of the best CRTs I've used, and it being a 17" is nice. The speakers are nice on these machines too. :)

If you go to meet the seller and check it out, be sure to ask if they have any additional Apple stuff, like keyboards and mice or any other computers they might throw in. You'd be surprised sometimes! If you do end up getting it, please post some pictures! :)
 

KawaiiAurora

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Dec 16, 2016
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$27 sounds like a good price, assuming there aren't any major problems like the CRT going bad or the hard drive failing (since it is difficult to tear these apart and replace the drive). The CRT in eMacs are one of the best CRTs I've used, and it being a 17" is nice. The speakers are nice on these machines too. :)

If you go to meet the seller and check it out, be sure to ask if they have any additional Apple stuff, like keyboards and mice or any other computers they might throw in. You'd be surprised sometimes! If you do end up getting it, please post some pictures! :)
Seller backed out a few hours before we were due to meet :/ Quite sad about it but oh well, got a monitor and I'm trying to get OS X Leopard work on my Sawtooth. The disk image I used restored properly but when booting it, I get a grey screen with the cursor (which sometimes becomes a beachball)
http://www91.zippyshare.com/d/mi9Vm9Hu/343003/image.jpeg
 
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dustinschings

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Sep 3, 2015
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For your future info, you don't really need to mess with the CRT to replace the HDD, I don't recall anyways. You just have to remove the plastic shell and some shroud/metal piece.
 

CooperBox

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Nov 28, 2010
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For your future info, you don't really need to mess with the CRT to replace the HDD, I don't recall anyways. You just have to remove the plastic shell and some shroud/metal piece.
I had to stifle an evil smile on reading, "You JUST have to remove the plastic shell and some shroud/metal piece."

I recently picked up an eMac at a Thrift store. It was working, but CD tray wasn't ejecting so I thought I'd "have a go myself." My first experience with an eMac. NEVER again!
The refurbishment may make an interesting tale, so I'll post again in a day or two.
(The cut fingers have yet to heal).........
 

KawaiiAurora

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Dec 16, 2016
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I had to stifle an evil smile on reading, "You JUST have to remove the plastic shell and some shroud/metal piece."

I recently picked up an eMac at a Thrift store. It was working, but CD tray wasn't ejecting so I thought I'd "have a go myself." My first experience with an eMac. NEVER again!
The refurbishment may make an interesting tale, so I'll post again in a day or two.
(The cut fingers have yet to heal).........
Yeah.. Be careful with that CRT and make sure to discharge it before attempting any repairs.

I hope your fingers heal quickly!
 
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dustinschings

macrumors 6502
Sep 3, 2015
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Oh my, sorry to hear that CooperBox. Perhaps its just that I've done a "few" in my day, its no harder than an iMac G4 to me. Hope the fingers heal up nicely!
 

amagichnich

macrumors 6502
Feb 3, 2017
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Stuttgart, Germany
In the end eMacs are not that complicated as long as you do not gamble around with the power supply and crt.
Accessing the HDD seems to be a hard thing but after taking the whole thing apart two or three times it's easy.
At least if you are a bit technically savvy (is that correct english? o_O)

So don't hesitate to try taking the baby apart - Skill comes with practice ;)
 

CooperBox

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Nov 28, 2010
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At the risk of being chastised by a member for resurrecting an 'old'? (Dec 2016) thread, I thought the following may be of interest to some who may ever plan to pull apart an eMac.
As mentioned previously, mine was picked up at a Thrift store with a non-ejecting CD tray. IFixit is often helpful, but I always take photos during disassembly which have proved invaluable to re-check on cable-runs, Kapton tape and electrical connector locations etc which are not always too clear in all the iFixit instructions.

Pic 1. Bottom-up - awaiting piles of surgery........:rolleyes:

eMac-Refurb1a.jpg


2. Outer case removed: (note the frayed black power lead, just below centre left). All the edges of that perforated metal shield are razor sharp, and unless one wears gloves, can easily end up with skin resembling that power lead sheathing.

eMac-Refurb2.jpg


3,4,5. Indicates just how dust/dirt accumulates over time, especially around fan area, and lower vent location(5).

eMac-Refurb3.jpg eMac-Refurb4.jpg
eMac-Refurb5.jpg

6. Detail of the electrical lead to the power switch - chafing and deterioration of the outer sheathing.

eMac-Refurb6.jpg

7. This was easily remedied by adding a length of shrink-sleeving.

eMac-Refurb7.jpg


The above action appeared a good idea at the time, but I would find out later that the lack of flexibility on this lead made reconnection to the power switch difficult (within the constraints with outer cover repositioned).

The optical drive & HD are attached to the mother board carrier assy which needs removing to gain further access. This necessitates the disconnection of numerous electrical connectors.
Caution!! The CRT MUST be discharged, otherwise a potentially lethal electrical shock will at the very least make your hair stand on end! DONT risk it!

8, 9, 10. Motherboard carrier Assy removed with optical drive & HD still attached.

eMac-Refurb8.jpg eMac-Refurb9.jpg

eMac-Refurb10.jpg

Above: original Maxtor HD was retained. The defective Hitachi-LG optical drive (model GCE-8240B) was replaced by model GCA-H11N.
 

QSDP-User

macrumors regular
Jan 13, 2015
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California, USA
Pic 1. Bottom-up - awaiting piles of surgery........:rolleyes:

2. Outer case removed: (note the frayed black power lead, just below centre left). All the edges of that perforated metal shield are razor sharp, and unless one wears gloves, can easily end up with skin resembling that power lead sheathing.
Interesting view of the eMac's inner components placement (Jonny Ive, I presume?).
And the Covered to Uncovered is like a transformation from Stars Wars into Lost In Space.
 

CooperBox

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Nov 28, 2010
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A few months before attacking this eMac, I'd seen a couple of IDE HD's at 1€ each (just over $1), so I bought both. They had been checked out as ok, so I had nothing to loose. (The other is now in an iMac G4).

eMac-Refurb11.jpg

The next photo carries on from (10) above, and shows the HD removed. Initially I hadn't planned to go any further.

eMac-Refurb12.jpg

Below - detail of the heat-sink.

eMac-Refurb13.jpg

And what's below it.......
Having gone this far, I thought it had to make sense to rejuvenate this old girl even further with a clean-up and re-paste.

eMac-Refurb14.jpg


Below - Heat sink and processor cleaned up ready for re-paste.

eMac-Refurb15.jpg eMac-Refurb16.jpg

And everything eventually back together, and fired-up:-

eMacLBC1.jpg

With a hundred+ 360P videos installed onto the HD, this eMac makes for an enjoyable media-player.

eMacLBC2.jpg


Well worth the effort, but certainly not one of my favourite Macs to work on. Would I want to do another? No. Give me half a dozen iMac G4's though and I'll jump at the opportunity........
 

Nice

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Mar 17, 2010
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Well worth the effort, but certainly not one of my favourite Macs to work on. Would I want to do another? No. Give me half a dozen iMac G4's though and I'll jump at the opportunity........
Just like me.. I also managed to disassemble mine to change the capacitors - 8 of them were bulging (this is a very common problem with this model!!), but they are relatively easy to solder out, if you don't mind disassembling the machine.

How would I put this, hmm.. using this mac is not a pleasure, it's just "meh". Playing with it is like playing with a Mac Mini G4 - also nothing fancy. There are other Macs that are really fun to use, like the iMac G3 with it's harman-kardon speakers and fancy colors, or the iMac G4 with it's gorgeous design, or any of the Powermacs. After repair, I never used mine again. Nevertheless, for that money it is a great piece of collectors item.
 
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CooperBox

macrumors 65816
Nov 28, 2010
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This photo is great, as it shows the solder pads for a cache chip, thus a potential cache upgrade. @LightBulbFun is specifically interested in that.
If it's of any help to anyone, below is that same photo prior to cropping and in original higher resolution.

P1110451.JPG

Also here's me playing 'Silly B' Storm Trooper. If you ever recognise me whilst you're out, please give me a wave..........;)

StormTroopMorph2.jpg
 

philgxxd

macrumors regular
Feb 11, 2017
164
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Malaga, Spain
I gave away my eMac because I had to decide between my iMac G3 and a G4 MDD tower because of my wife putting pressure on me...
While it's true that there isn't anything fancy about using one in comparison to other models the 17" screen feels big and while I was cleaning it and had it laying upside down on the bed i always thought that it has a sexy bottom design. Looks really great on shop desks for the clients looking at it.
 

amagichnich

macrumors 6502
Feb 3, 2017
465
272
Stuttgart, Germany
At the risk of being chastised by a member for resurrecting an 'old'? (Dec 2016) thread, I thought the following may be of interest to some who may ever plan to pull apart an eMac.
As mentioned previously, mine was picked up at a Thrift store with a non-ejecting CD tray. IFixit is often helpful, but I always take photos during disassembly which have proved invaluable to re-check on cable-runs, Kapton tape and electrical connector locations etc which are not always too clear in all the iFixit instructions.
Wich model is that eMac? Neither of mine has that perforated metal shielding that really looks great! I'm kinda jealous that mine aren't that sexy inside :D