iMac G4 17' problems

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by deiklplp, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. deiklplp macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2017
    Hello guys,

    I am new here and would like to get your advice on the problems that i have with an Imac G4. A friend of mine had and old one in his house and give it to me as he havent use it for years. Its and iMac G4 17inch.
    So far so good, but here comes the problems that i have now. I dont have any original CD, keyboard or mouse. When i start the iMac, i can only hear the apple sound and than i get the grey screen with logo. Nothing more. I have tried to plug usb keyboard (the one with the numpad) but its not working on the Imac. I am pretty sure the hard disk is dead, but have now idea how to install new OS now, without CDs and other power pc macs.
    I will be very thankful if someone can advice me here, as its my child dream to have this imac in a working conditions.

  2. d-oost macrumors 6502a

    Jan 10, 2016
    You can download copies of OS X for this computer at the Macintosh Garden. Either go for Leopard or Tiger. Tiger will be a little faster for your machine, but Leopard will give you access to some more newer (but still mostly outdated) software that Tiger can't run. This all comes down to personal choice. The Tiger CDs are in .toast file format, but changing .toast to .iso and burning them with any burning utility will work. If you have an Intel Mac, I think Disk Utility (the one before the crappy El Capitan one) can burn .toast files as is. For the Leopard DVD, you need a Dual Layer DVD, or you need to USB boot your iMac, which might not work, since it can be rather picky on USB sticks. Some work, some don't. If the hard drive is broken though, it will need to be replaced. However, I'd suggest trying to install a clean operating system first, and then see if it pulls through, or if it needs to be replaced eitherway.
  3. dustinschings macrumors 6502


    Sep 3, 2015
    You said the keyboard wasn't working. Are you sure? When you turn the computer on, holding down the Option key (left Alt key if using a PC keyboard), does it take you to a boot selection screen? If so, your keyboard should be ok. If that is the case, you need to acquire install media as stated above. I would go with Tiger to start with and you can always download and upgrade to Leopard later if you want. Here is a link for Tiger images (go with the 4 CD version of Tiger instead of the DVD image, as it is a bit easier to burn (less picky):

    As long as you manage to get them burned, you should be off to the races. Once you boot from the install disc, you can click Utilities at the top of the screen and select System Profiler. You can from there view all the hardware information, including Hard Drives. If all looks good, go back to Utilities and select Disk Utility. Format the Hard drive using an Apple Partition Map scheme, and Mac OS Extended (journaled). From there you can close Disk Utility and proceed with install.

    If you find that the hard drive is indeed bad, follow the steps in the link below to replace the drive. You will need a few torx screwdrivers and a dab of thermal paste (for reassembly), and about 1 hour or so if you are good with computer, but never opened one of these before. Longer if you are completely new to computer insides, just to be safe.
    You will want to find out your CPU speed so you select the correct repair guide below, but I think either one should get you to the hard drive anyways.

    Best of luck!
  4. deiklplp thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2017
    Thank you both for your reply. I will try to install mOs this weekend, probably from USB, as i dont know how to eject the CD ROM as pressing eject key from the wired keyboard makes no effect.
    Thanks again
  5. dustinschings macrumors 6502


    Sep 3, 2015
    Use a WIRED mouse plugged direct into the iMac and boot the computer with the mouse button held down until the CDROM ejects.

    Or enter Open Firmware (hold Command+Option+O+F on boot) and type:

    eject cd

    This should also do it.

    Good luck!
  6. macmee Suspended


    Dec 13, 2008
    how is this legal?
  7. d-oost macrumors 6502a

    Jan 10, 2016
    You'd have to ask the owners of the Macintosh Garden this, not me.

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