iMac G4 17" 1.25

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by ra88wfo, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. ra88wfo macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2013
    I have never tore a computer open, but I just bought an iMac G4 17" 1.25 and I would like to upgrade it to 2GB of RAM and maybe upgrade the hard drive. I have watched a bunch of the videos on YouTube, still no expert. I am wondering if anyone could give me some pointers. Maybe a link or two to the RAM and/or hard drive that I would need to buy.
  2. jrsx macrumors 65816


    Nov 2, 2013
    Tacoma, Washington
    iMac G4s can only be upgraded to a max of 1 GB of RAM, some of the latest can unofficially be upgraded to 2 GBs, although I am unsure if all 2 GBs will be used or seen by the computer. iMac G4s have unusual memory slots, too, (168-pin DIMM, 144-pin SO-DIMM) so be aware when you are buying.
  3. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    You might want to take a look at Very clear instructions with step by step procedures and pictures.

    I use iFixit whenever I am unfamiliar with a certain model of Mac.
  4. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    1Ghz and 1.25Ghz G4 iMacs can be upgraded to 2GB of ram without any problems. Make sure when closing it back up again you reapply the thermal paste to the contact points.
  5. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    I notice the "1.25" in your description, which would indicate a 1.25 GHz iMac, correct?
    That model will certainly upgrade to 2GB RAM, 2 x 1GB, and each 1GB is a different type. PC-2700 DDR SDRAM. There's a SO-DIMM slot under the metal bottom plate. The second slot is a full-size SDRAM (PC-2700 DDR again), and you have to take off the bottom case to get to that one. AND, the heat sink has to be cleaned and new compound spread when re-assembling the case. The take-apart vids should take you through that very nicely.

    While you have the bottom off - that's your opportunity to replace the hard drive, too. Those iFixit vids should show you how to do that, too. Correct tools are important on that iMac. Makes the job go a lot easier.
    Takes a PATA hard drive, which is getting harder to find.
    There MIGHT be room for an SATA drive, with an SATA-to-IDE adapter, but I've never tried that one, it's a pretty close fit for the hard drive. SATA would make finding a hard drive a lot easier.
    The G4 iMac is still my favorite.
  6. gooser macrumors 6502a

    Jul 4, 2013
    be sure and replace the pram battery while you're in there.

    EDIT: those are very good machines. i bought two of them, same specs as yours this summer.
  7. jrsx macrumors 65816


    Nov 2, 2013
    Tacoma, Washington
  8. fhall1 macrumors 68040


    Dec 18, 2007
    (Central) NY State of mind
    I received a used 1.25GHz 17" (1GB RAM, orig 80GB HD) for Christmas this year - it's in great cosmetic shape and I always wanted one - the wife found it locally on Craigslist.

    I ordered all the upgrade parts and did the upgrades yesterday.

    What I ordered:
    1GB SO-DIMM (the "user-replaceable" stick)
    1GB DIMM (the "non-user-replaceable stick)
    PRAM Battery
    120GB SSD
    SATA to IDE adapter
    (already had Arctic Silver heat paste, correct Torx drivers, SATA USB dock, and some velcro tape)

    1. Use the ifixit guide - it has pics of this specific model, the xceler8yourmac guide is the 800MHz model (heat pipes and location of drive bay screws are different)
    2. I had everything installed (OS X 10.5.8 and apps) the way I wanted it and made sure it ran with the stock configuration. I then installed Carbon Copy Cloner and cloned the internal HD to the SSD using a SATA USB dock.
    3. While you have the unit totally open and drive bay removed, vacuum/blow out the years of accumulated dust. Use a pencil to hold the fan stationary so the air blower doesn't over-spin it.
    4. Replace the PRAM battery while you have it open.
    5. The SSD is way smaller (physically) than the original HD. I used velcro to mount it to the DVD drive enclosure and ensure the SATA/IDE adapter pins lined up the same as the original drives connector's did.
    6. Use a single sided razor blade to remove the old heat transfer compound and isopropyl alcohol to clean the heat pipe surfaces once you've "shaved" the old stuff off.
    7. Make sure not to apply too much new heat paste.
    8. Take your time buttoning it back up - ensure no pinched cables and that all the screw holes line up.

    Crossed my fingers - hooked up everything and hit the power. Booted up first try and running pretty snappy (for a decade old machine).

    Good luck.
  9. jrsx macrumors 65816


    Nov 2, 2013
    Tacoma, Washington
    Sounds like you had fun yesterday! Gotta love iMac G4s!

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