Can't power on early 2006 intel iMac, bad power supply or inverter?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by asterjj, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. asterjj macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2013
    Hi all,

    After a power outage my 20" intel imac early 2006 model (EMC 2105) refused to turn back on. Twice previously when this has happened I could do an SMC reset by unplugging the imac, holding down the power button for a few seconds, let go and plug it back in.

    That did not work this time. The machine was totally unresponsive. I opened the machine up to find the diagnostic LEDs but this model is an early model without any LEDs. I did a continuity check across the wire going to the power button as a sanity check and it responded fine when pressing it. I removed the display and hard drive to examine the PSU (model 614-0363) and it appeared physically fine.

    I unplugged the PSU from the logic board and used my multimeter and measured 12v on the PSU between the black and the grey wires. The brown wire had like 0.8v on it but from my research online the function of the brown wire is to shutdown the PSU in the case of overvoltage and it does not play a role in turning the PSU on. The PSU just always outputs 12v to the motherboard.

    At this point I tried to turn the machine back on and it worked surprisingly! It had a solid LED and played the startup chime. This was with the HD and display still disconnected. I connected the HD and was still able to start it up.
    However, once I reconnected the display it refused to start up. As far as I know there are two possibilities for this:

    1) The PSU, although it shows 12v from grey to black, can't provide enough power to startup the entire machine and is too weak.

    2) The voltage inverter which provides AC power to drive the flourescent blacklight of the display is defective.

    How can I tell which problem I have?
  2. burnout8488 macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2011
    Endwell, NY
    Check the battery. Replace with a known good and see what happens. This provides a very small amount of power for certain things involved in the startup operation.... which I've all forgotten :D
  3. asterjj thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2013
    Put in a brand new 2032 and no effect :(
    I really think it's the power supply but I don't want to buy a brand new one only to find out it was the inverter... can anyone think of a good test to confirm one or the other?

    I was thnking of splicing in power from an ATX power supply to test but I'm not sure if that is all that safe.
  4. asterjj thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2013
    I nervously hooked up the +12v/ground leads from an old ATX power supply with some speaker wire

    I guess the power supply really was too weak to startup the machine fully.
  5. fhall1 macrumors 68040


    Dec 18, 2007
    (Central) NY State of mind
  6. asterjj thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2013
    I didn't see any capacitor bulging / weak contacts but I'm sure something there is weak. I'm just going to get a new power supply from ebay and will use this ATX power supply in the meanwhile. I was able to feed the wiring out the back through the air vent slot so I can close the case and set up the ATX PS behind the stand. It looks kinda ridiculous but it will work until I get a real replacement :D
  7. michelangelog macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2015
    Hi Asterjj,

    it has been a long while ago that you post in here but I am experiencing the same issue and I wanna do a test like yours.
    Can you please let me know the pinout of that 8 pins connector of the PSU unit. I cannot figure our how to "hookup the +12V/ground" of an ATX power supply.

    Hope to hear form you soon.
    Cheers and thanks a lot in advance,



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