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Silly John Fatty

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Nov 6, 2012
1,773
493
Hi forum members,

My eMac behaved in an unusual way the last two times I started it. I hadn't started it in a year I think, maybe even years. It's always been unplugged, unless I used it. And if it matters: The room it is stored in isn't heated in the winter, it can be freezing cold there, and I think it also may be humid sometimes, do to the lack of any heating - but I'm not sure actually. I can't tell if it is moist or not to be honest.


So basically, the following happened:

  • I plugged in the Mac and started it.

  • I signed in and started using the Mac normally.

  • I suddenly heard a very short clicking noise, similar to a light electrical shock or short circuit. Basically just a light 'click' and in the same second this happened, the screen image shook a little.

  • After being surprised, I resumed using the Mac attentively. I think a couple of minutes later it happened again, so I switched off the Mac and I unplugged it again.

I couldn't tell what it was and figured it may have to do with the fact it hadn't been started in ages and that it was stored in a place cold in the winter over all these past years.

So I tried to start it again, and it did the same thing again. A short, single clicking noise after 5 minutes of use I'd say, and in the same second the screen shook in an unusual way.


Does anyone know or suspect why it does that? What do you believe or think I shall do?

Thanks, people. :)
 

Silly John Fatty

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Nov 6, 2012
1,773
493
The flyback. Probably is starting to fail. It will get worse so better look for a replacement and get someone who is comfortable enough to work with CRT tube equipment.

Okay, that doesn’t sound good at all.

Can you tell me if using the Mac poses a risk? Can it explode or something? I’d like to copy some stuff I still have on it and eventually erase the HD.

I don’t know if this is too dangerous or not. I don’t want the thing exploding or imploding in my face.
 

philgxxd

macrumors 6502
Feb 11, 2017
414
338
Malaga, Spain
Don't worry. The worst thing that can happen is that the operating system freezes.
I would turn down brightness while you are leaving it copying data so you will minimize sparking.
 

TheShortTimer

macrumors 68030
Mar 27, 2017
2,788
4,913
London, UK
The flyback. Probably is starting to fail. It will get worse so better look for a replacement and get someone who is comfortable enough to work with CRT tube equipment.

To jump in here because I'm fearing this problem down the road, if you have an eMac or iMac with this issue, is it relatively straightforward for an electronics service engineer to correct if you explain to them that the flyback needs to be replaced? I know someone who works in this field and it would be great to provide them with this info in advance in case I need to call upon them. :)
 

philgxxd

macrumors 6502
Feb 11, 2017
414
338
Malaga, Spain
As far as the actual replacement of the flyback it's as easy as desolder the old one. Better with something like
331051014-1.jpg

But I guess it's ok to use just a simple solder iron and a simple desolder suction pump.

I had to move a component on the board otherwise the replacement flyback wouldn't have fit but I think as far as I remember it had only to be bent to a side.

What is actually more challenging is to get the iMac plastic housings off without damaging any plastic tab.
Definitely hand him over the service manual for the iMac if he isn't used to it.
 
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TheShortTimer

macrumors 68030
Mar 27, 2017
2,788
4,913
London, UK
I realised @timidpimpin, was just saying. :) It's actually a tried and trusted solution - when I've had laptops with damaged LCDs, I would run them via external monitors till I could replace the screens. I considering doing exactly what you described with my iMac G5 that has a wrecked LCD.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G5
Jul 30, 2003
13,528
4,429
Delaware
The eMac might also have failing capacitors (same kind of issue as some other Macs, when the capacitors swell, and begin leaking. You might get similar video problems with that. And, same level of electronic repair, just not on the high-voltage circuits.
You can flip the eMac upside down, open the access door on the bottom. There's a few of the affected capacitors visible in that area. If you see some (look like little silver cans, about 1cm in diameter) that look swollen, then there's likely others doing the same. I used to see eMac repair kits with a set of the correct caps, but that was probably 15 years ago.
 
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