Bought another iMac G4

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by zackkmac, Aug 21, 2014.

  1. zackkmac macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    My last one didn't end up doing so well. It kernel panicked constantly, the screen bezel was broken off to begin with, and I could not for the life of me ever get the bottom housing to connect correctly with the dome. I ended up selling it on eBay as is and vowed to never buy another one - only because I'm a tinkerer and I was afraid I'd lose more money by messing up another one.

    However, I felt brave recently and scoured eBay...I got a decent deal on a 17" 1.25 for $65 shipped. Only thing wrong with it was a defective optical drive, which I had 2 spares to choose from. It looks amazing, the condition is 8/10.

    It wouldn't load OS X in its current state, instead it would KP. I think it was the RAM, because I cracked it open and installed a 1GB PC3200 stick, new PRAM battery, Airport Extreme card, replacement DL-SD, cleaned the dust out and applied new thermal paste. Now it loads OS X just fine.

    Here's my only issue so far - when I first got it running, before applying any software updates, my About This Mac showed the correct specs - 1.25GHz G4, 1.25GB RAM (1GB inside, 256MB near Airport card). However, after the updates (and thus a reboot), the RAM shows up as 768MB total. I checked into it and my 1GB stick now shows up as 512MB.

    I've read where high density RAM can show up as half of its real value if installed in a Mac, but running the model numbers show this RAM to be low density (which I made sure of before purchasing). Also, I would think if the issue was the RAM being high density, it wouldn't have shown up as 1GB at first and then 512MB later.

    This same RAM did this in my PMG5, but because that thing is dead because of faulty memory slots, I figured it was the slots and not the computer.

    Any ideas? My educated guess is just faulty RAM...but I have 8 of these sticks to go through and see what happens. Which brings me to my other question - do I have to reapply new thermal paste each and every time I open it? I just put fresh Arctic Silver 5 in there yesterday, and if I open it today I would prefer to not have to clean it all off and redo it. But some of the posts I've read online make it sound like I have to redo the thermal paste every time it's opened, regardless of the age of the new paste.

    Your help is much appreciated. :)
  2. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    It does sound like the ram is faulty. When I open G4 iMacs, I don't replace the thermal paste everytime, only if the paste is less than one month old, is dirty, or is dried out.
  3. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004
    Might be time to run an exhaustive mem test from the ASD disc for your iMac just to see whether the issue is the RAM, although it sounds the most likely culprit.
  4. zackkmac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    Thanks! I went ahead and replaced the RAM with another stick and it shows 1.25GB...for now. We'll see how long that lasts.

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