eMac Imploded. Need Help.

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by neoelectronaut, Dec 27, 2008.

  1. neoelectronaut macrumors 68030


    Dec 3, 2003
    Southeastern Louisiana
    So my eMac doesn't boot anymore. I can turn the computer on, but I get the gray apple logo onscreen and it stays there. This happened a week or so ago, but I popped in the restore disk, wiped the HDD and started fresh. It worked fine for a few weeks but then suddenly locked up one day. When I restarted it I'm getting the gray apple I noted above.

    My hypothesis is that it's the hard drive failing. The computer is five years old, after all, so it wouldn't surprising if it started to fail on me.

    The problem is the complexity of the eMac case. I managed to (obviously) install RAM fine and I upgraded the Superdrive to a Dual-Layer model with ease, but looking at service manuals the hard drive is more or less the most difficult thing to get to in the machine.

    Thus, I was wondering if there are any take-apart VIDEOS online that would be easier to follow than a picture-by-picture service manual.

    Alternatively, any suggestions on what I could do maintenance-wise on the current hard drive to try to give it the defibrillator and bring it back to life? I've got Techtool Pro, and it passed all the tests with flying colors. (From what I can tell.)

    It's not a huge deal if I lose the thing completely, but in five years this is the first bit of trouble I've ever had with the thing, and I'd be sad to see it go.

  2. yamabushi macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2003
    If it truly is a failing hard drive then doing a low level format might bring it back to life - but not for much longer. Once they start to fail they will likely fail again soon regardless.

    Another possibility is the power cable or power supply. I managed to fix a similar problem with a similar model simply by swapping out the power cable. Worth a try - you might get lucky.

    Just a reminder - use extreme caution inside an eMac. Those capacitors can give a dangerous shock.
  3. ADent macrumors 6502a

    Sep 9, 2007
    I have a 800MHZ ATI eMac and it is a complete pain to swap out the drive. Not too hard, but lots of screws and stuff to remove.

    If you can live with a firewire or USB external drive speeds, you should be able to live off the external drives.

    It may be possible to replace the optical drive with a hard drive - the optical drive is pretty easy to get too.
  4. czachorski macrumors 6502a


    Sep 24, 2007
    It could also be a bad logic board. My Mac Mini exhibited similar behavior when its logic board died. You might try to install OS X on an external HD and run it that way for a while to verify the cause, before spending the time tearing the eMac apart.
  5. TDM21 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 7, 2004
    Your problem does sound like a hard drive issue (I hope). My PowerBook was experiencing the exact same problem so I installed a new hard drive into it for Christmas. I'm just waiting to see if everything works out.

    After a quick search I found reference to this website: http://home.earthlink.net/~strahm_s/manuals.html#imcs. It hosts service manuals to several different Macs. You should be able to read through it and figure out what is needed to replace your hard drive.
  6. neoelectronaut thread starter macrumors 68030


    Dec 3, 2003
    Southeastern Louisiana
    Yeah, I found the service manuals, and I actually got about halfway through the procedure one day before I got scared that I was really gonna mess something up and I put it back together.
  7. hudm macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2009

    I replaced my HD on my 1.42 Ghz emac (2005) a few days ago. Prior to that, I kept getting the white screen of death with the spinwheel, after taking it to the "genius bar" I was told it was the HD.

    Replacing the HD took a while using the eMac instruction manual (2.5 hrs) , but I did it, and I am not extremely mechanically inclined. I used an egg carton to hold the 20+ screws, with sticky notes. Going slow and following the manual, it is possible, but take your time. The computer is working now, but it is taking longer to boot up, which has me concerned.

    Good luck on your decsion.
  8. rs13 macrumors member

    Oct 28, 2008
    yeah i would take your time organize everything, if you do decide to try and replace the hdd yourself please post back and tell us how it went and maybe video the repair then there will finally be a video of how to do it out there.
    good luck!
  9. Chaos Incarnate macrumors newbie

    Chaos Incarnate

    Jan 12, 2009
    Pasco, WA
    I had the exact same problem on my eMac, and I took it to a Genuis Bar, and they diagnosed it with a dead HDD. That's what I'm working with now, actually, and the reason I came to this forum.

    Anyhow, back on topic, I found this page to be extremely helpful. I probably could have blundered my way through it on my own, but this guide helped me get it figured out. Also, once you take it apart once, it gets easier the next time. Trust me, I know.... :(
  10. neoelectronaut thread starter macrumors 68030


    Dec 3, 2003
    Southeastern Louisiana
    Well, the eMac now lives in the closet. (No, he's not gay.) I decided to just give up on the thing and I put the Windows PC back for the parents to use. I might spend the money on a hard drive and try it again but for the moment I really don't see a reason to do so when my parents are satisfied and I have my new iMac.

    Maybe a few years down the road I'll try to resurrect it so whenever I have kids of my own it can be theirs to use.

    That all being said, if someone found a super-detailed guide or video to do this, maybe I'll try it again, but at the moment, it's just a frightening endeavor to undertake.
  11. harry454 macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2007

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