iMac G4 - optical drive not appearing in Finder

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by HereBeMonsters, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. HereBeMonsters macrumors 6502

    HereBeMonsters

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2012
    Location:
    Fareham, UK
    #1
    I've acquired a G4 iMac recently, and still loving the design of the thing, thought I'd try to recommission it just for a bit of web browsing, maybe watching the odd DVD or something.

    It's a 1.25GHz (which I believe is the fastest G4 iMac?) to which I've installed 2GB of RAM. It boots up quickly into 10.3 now, but I want to install 10.5. I have an original retail 10.5 disc, but the system will not boot from it.

    The DVD drive appears in the list of hardware under System Profiler, and it opens and closes OK using the keyboard button. It doesn't appear under Finder however, and does not create a desktop shortcut as it should when I put a disc in it when in the OS.

    iTunes cannot see a music CD in there, and DVD player cannot see a DVD.

    I have checked that all the boxes in Finder preferences are ticked to show CDs and DVDs in Finder. I have reset permissions in System Preferences and installed all updates to 10.3. The drive is also not listed in boot options (I only have the hard disk, or network as options there).

    I could understand if the drive was dead, but it opens and closes fine, and appears in the list of devices under System Profiler. Any ideas?
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #2
    When a CD or DVD is inside the optical disk drive (ODD), does it appear in Disk Utility? If so, is it greyed out?
     
  3. HereBeMonsters thread starter macrumors 6502

    HereBeMonsters

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    #3
    Bugger, I knew there was something else I should have checked!

    Thanks so much for the quick reply, I'll check as soon as I get home.
     
  4. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

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    Location:
    (Central) NY State of mind
    #4
    I'm not home to verify, but I thought the 10.5 disk was dual layer....maybe the optical drive in your G4 won't read DL media? Just something to check.
     
  5. HereBeMonsters thread starter macrumors 6502

    HereBeMonsters

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    Location:
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    #5
    I did think that at first, but it also won't read CDs (music or data), so I don't think that's the issue.

    Thanks though - I really enjoy fiddling around with this old kit, hope to install in the nursery in time for my 1st child being born. I figure growing up with such an icon in their room has to instill some appreciation of good design. Due 3 weeks on Friday!
     
  6. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #6
    Just because the drive door still opens and closes does not mean the optical equipment is functioning. I have a dead DVD drive in a G4 at work. Opens and closes just fine. Doesn't read or see a damn thing.

    I've had the same in a few of the PCs at work too.
     
  7. HereBeMonsters thread starter macrumors 6502

    HereBeMonsters

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Fareham, UK
    #7
    Yeah, I know. I just find it weird that it does appear in System Profiler, but no drive (even empty) appears in Finder. If it was having read problems, would the drive still not appear in Finder?

    I guess I'll see what happens in Disk Utility once I get home and can have a look at it. Thanks for all the help so far, everyone. Much appreciated.
     
  8. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #8
    The 5.25" optical drives in the G4 iMacs sometimes develop problems with reading DVDs. I think it has to do with dust build up. You could try cleaning it with a lens cleaner disc. Although I've never heard of one not being able to read a CD. Maybe it wouldn't if the lens got very dirty.
     
  9. HereBeMonsters thread starter macrumors 6502

    HereBeMonsters

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    #9
    Aha! Progress.

    Put in a lens cleaning disc, and now it can see CDs. I'm going to get the spray air and run the disc a few more times to see if that has any effect. Many thanks for the tip!

    And yes, it does show in Disk Utility now when I put a CD in, just not with a DVD (single, dual layer or a film).
     
  10. hwojtek, Feb 11, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014

    hwojtek macrumors 6502a

    hwojtek

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    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    A small rural village in western Poland
    #10
    Your laser is gone. As ATA dvd drives are about as expensive as a can of soda nowadays, you just need to swap your dead drive for anything that has "DVD" written on the front of it and an ATA (IDE) interface on the back. Just remember to remove the decorative bezel from the tray before installing. For replacement instructions it would be best if you more or less followed http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/iMac+G4+17+800+MHz+EMC+1936+Optical+Drive+Replacement/7044
     
  11. HereBeMonsters thread starter macrumors 6502

    HereBeMonsters

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    Fareham, UK
    #11
    I think you might be right. Can't get it to see a DVD in any way. It works with an external (USB 2) DVD burner, so it's not the OS. Happily, I have a spare G4 iMac with an intermittent fault in the power supply, so I'll cannabalise it for the DVD drive. It also has a better screen (this one has a couple of dead pixels) - how easy is that to swap over?
     
  12. hwojtek macrumors 6502a

    hwojtek

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    A small rural village in western Poland
    #12
    Judging by the ifixit replacement guide for the LCD it might be even easier than the DVD drive. I personally take the ifixit guides with a tiny grain of salt, but I think it is rather due to my DIY abilities, or lack thereof. That notwithstanding, I've followed numerous of their guides and ended up with a lot of upgraded Macs... eventually. I have no idea however, if the screens themselves are interchangeable 1:1 between different models.
     
  13. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Location:
    (Central) NY State of mind
    #13
    I think the screens on the same model shouldn't be too hard to replace....but I think different models had different pinouts (just going from memory)....you might try going here: www.dremeljunkie.com - he has done a lot of work modifying iMac G4s and documenting the process.
     
  14. HereBeMonsters thread starter macrumors 6502

    HereBeMonsters

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2012
    Location:
    Fareham, UK
    #14
    Thanks chaps, it is exactly the same model, so should be the same pinouts.

    Just need to decide if 5-6 dead pixels is worth the hassle, particularly as the bezel on the other monitor is more scratched.

    I was trying to get the power supply to work on the other machine so I'd have a spare to tinker with once this is put in the baby's nursery. The replacement power supply seemed to work, but two days later it won't turn on again. Might just nick all the best parts, then strip it down for spares and sell some bits on later.

    Just ordered some polywatch (should remove the scratches on the monitor bezels), some keyboard cleaner (you don't want to know how dirty this keyboard is!) and an IDE->SATA converter to make use of an old 40GB SSD I have spare.

    Bit more of a project than I was planning, but it's all great fun, and really interesting. I'm also in the middle of upgrading my Mac Mini to Mountain Lion now it has an SSD and 4GB of RAM, and then there's a G4 PowerBook to play with once all that's done!
     

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