G4 MDD will not start with replacement video card

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by toomanyG5andG4, Oct 17, 2017.

  1. toomanyG5andG4 macrumors newbie

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    Oct 17, 2017
    #1
    I have a G4 MDD that I use fairly regularly. I have software on it that I can't update and works for me right now. The screen has been getting a bit wonky over the last few months until it just would flicker on start up (still showing Apple icon) and then - multi-color snow. I realized the video card had gone. I pulled the card from the machine and noticed that 2 - 3 capacitor tops looked swollen. I found a replacement unit (Apple ATI Radeon 9600 pro 128mb 630-6630) on ebay and received it yesterday. I installed the card this morning and when I tried to boot the computer, I got nothing; no light, no tone, nothing.

    I was stunned but since I'd replaced the PSU (power supply unit) once already, I thought it had gone out while the machine was off waiting for the replacement video card. I checked the power cord, checked the battery and reset the PMU. All did nothing to help. Then out of curiosity, I removed the "new to me" video card, and put the old one back in. The computer fired right up with the lighted button and the chime. I didn't have a monitor connected, but I'm pretty sure the card was still faulty, however it did turn on.

    Has anyone had a video card impact start-up like this? What is causing the problem? Is the video card defective?
     
  2. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #2
    I suspect you may have ended up with a G5 Radeon 9600 Pro. Is the card blue?

    If so you got one of those.

    You'll need to tape pins 3 and 11 (Google it).
     
  3. toomanyG5andG4 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 17, 2017
    #3
    Thanks for your response eyoungren. It is indeed a Radeon 9600 Pro for the G5, and it is blue. However the card that I put in the G4 a few years ago and just had fail is the same model card, the 9600 Pro. Even though the video output is bad, the computer boots up and chimes perfectly. I put in the "newer" card and I get nothing. I will Google taping the pins. I'd hate to have to send this one back to the seller and then find a different card. I really need to use this computer along with my G5's.

    I appreciate your help.
     
  4. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #4
    If the failing card is also a G5 version it may be that either it's traces have been cut or it was pretaped for you or perhaps you have forgotten that you taped the pins?

    In any case, taping the pins should solve the problem. Just some scotch tape and an X-Acto or a sharp knife.
     
  5. toomanyG5andG4 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    You're right. I googled the taping fix and there is a lot of info on it as you mentioned. Then I finally put the two cards side by side and looked carefully at the back side of the cards (non heatsink side). The older card had the #3 and #11 tracings scraped off. It's not a tape job - the tracings have been removed. That jogged my memory and I remember when I purchased it, it was advertised that it was modded for the G4. The phenolic "hook," or mounting tang at the inboard corner was also removed. Now I have to decide how to handle the newer version. I'm not sure my old eyes and hands can handle either the taping or the trace removal, especially with the odd shape of the tracing! Did you have any trouble with it? It appears that there is no need to tape our remove the pins on the heatsink side, correct?

    Once again, thanks for the help.
     
  6. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #6
    The only G4 I have owned has been the Quicksilver and the only card I've needed to tape was a FireGL X3. Unfortunately, this particular card has a 50/50 success rate at working in a Quicksilver. ALL the other models and it would have worked.

    But I got the exact same issue you did - which is why I recognized it.

    A friend here however, donated a card that had it's traces cut and DOES work in a Quicksilver so that worked out.

    I have not done this in some time so I don't recall if it needs to be done on both sides but I don't believe so.

    You may find an easier time of it in cutting the traces, but the danger in that is ruining the card.

    You might want to return it and see if you can find one advertised for the G4 or see if someone can tape it for you.
     
  7. toomanyG5andG4 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    This morning I got some weak reading glasses, a strong light, some tape and a not-really sharp X-acto knife together and took a stab at taping the #3 & #11 pins. Took awhile and I'm now cross-eyed, but I managed to get it done. Put the card back in the MDD, plugged it in and it booted. That was good news.

    I then secured it, took the MDD back in the office and hooked it up to the monitor, keyboard and other peripherals. I booted it up and when the monitor came alive I had the same problem with the screen that I thought was caused by a bad card. That's bad news. It now looks like I have two good ATI Radeon 9600 Pro video cards and an unknown problem with the computer, or monitor. The screen comes up flickering with the Apple icon in the center and then deteriorates into just horizontal lines throughout the screen. I'll try to check the monitor to determine if that's the problem. What other issues with the computer could be causing this? Any ideas?

    Sincere thanks for the help.
     
  8. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #8
    That's your display. Probably time to replace it.
     
  9. toomanyG5andG4 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    eyoungren - That's what it was. I should know better than to jump to conclusions. Since I had another work computer with a bad video card exhibit the same issues, I figured it was the card. So - an unnecessary purchase and video card mod only to discover the problem was the display. I hooked the G4 up to one of my other displays and it was just fine. Fortunately, I remembered I had a spare small cinema display available before I made another purchase! I think I'll hang on to the video card.

    Thanks for all your help.
     
  10. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #10
    Well, you could sell the new one and ask for a little more since you taped the pins. Or just keep it as a spare.

    Glad you got it all figured out though.
     

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9 October 17, 2017