Dead G4: Motherboard or Power Supply?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Moof1904, Aug 15, 2006.

  1. Moof1904 macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2004
    A G4 tower (gigabit ethernet dual 500MHz) landed in my hands the other day from a friend who discarded it because it had died. I'm trying to decide if it's worth the trouble and expense to resurrect it for use as a home server.

    She reports that she was using it and "it just turned off" and when she pressed the power button, the computer produced only a soft clicking sound, but nothing else.

    Now, when I press the power button, the power button illuminates for only as long as I'm pressing it, then the illumination fades. It may be too much ambient noise where I am, but I don't even hear the soft clicking sound she was reporting.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on where to begin in diagnosing this? I'm willing to spend some $$$ to get it working again, but I don't want to blindly through money at it.
  2. kalisphoenix macrumors 65816


    Jul 26, 2005
    It's not worth it. Send it to me for the cost of shipping :)

    Seriously, though, I've had about forty-five computers in my life, most of which I had to do deep surgery on at one point or another. One thing I've learned is that the power system sucks to work with. Your problem could be a snapped power switch, for instance, which would be about $20 with shipping and fifteen minutes of work (conservative on the high side). Or it could be the power supply ($35-60), or it could be some component in the logic board, in which case you'd practically have to buy a whole new computer.

    It sounds to me like it's definitely a potential money pit. I'd bet it's the switch, but it could just be my childlike (but devastatingly sexy) optimism. My honest advice, having wasted lots of money on dead machines (I'll never forgive SUN), is to sell the thing to some idiot like me who thinks the problem might be a power switch, and take that money and a bit more and buy a working machine with the same specs.

    Nah, seriously: buy a switch and try it. If it doesn't work, you're out $20, so sell the machine for parts and recoup the loss. If it does work, you have a nice machine.
  3. Moof1904 thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2004
    More info

    Thanks for the response! I was able to get another tidbit of information from the original owner. This G4 "just stopped working" when her young son plugged something into the USB port on the back. This USB port, apparently, was already bad and wasn't being used for anything. I'm not certain what he plugged into the USB port. It may have been a USB device or it may not have been. He may have plugged the plug in correctly or not. I dunno.

    Looking at the USB port in question on the back it looks like the entire center post is missing now and it's just a rectangular hole.

    I wonder if during his plugging attempt he caused some kind of short that fried components on the motherboard.

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