iMac G4 questions

zackkmac

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 7, 2008
741
40
Tulsa
Hello everyone. I have always wanted a G4 iMac and just purchased one off eBay for a really great price because the internal speaker is dead and it includes no accessories. I went ahead and purchased a new speaker, power cord, 2GB RAM, an IDE to SATA converter (so I can install a 320GB SATA hard drive I already have), Apple Bluetooth card, and an Airport Extreme card. I did a lot of reading here in this forum and watched many YouTube videos over the disassembly of this computer and it doesn't seem above my experience level.

My first question is where exactly do I apply the thermal paste? I saw all kinds of warnings about making sure to apply some but never really saw where. I've never applied thermal paste before.

Also, how hard is it to install the Apple Bluetooth card? I found the type that fits this iMac, and I see that it screws onto the bottom of the logic board. Should I expect my iMac to come with the antenna cable for the Bluetooth card pre-installed?

Your help is greatly appreciated. I'm so excited. :D
 

92jlee

macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2009
277
0
Cardiff, Wales, UK
Hi, Congrats on your purchase! The iMac G4s are amazing machines!

One problem you may have with the hard drive is that the OSx install disk may not be able to see the drive - one way round that is to carbon clone copy an install on a smaller IDE drive and copy it to the sata drive.

With the thermal paste, its fairly obvious when you open the computer - there are two (well in my 20" 1.25Ghz) areas that the top and bottom part touch - they will have this black stuff over it - you will need to get this off.. I used a cpu cleaner and a screw driver to scratch it off. Just apply enough silver paste to cover it and you will be fine.

I wouldn't be too concerned if you get it wrong - the computer will just crash, it wont burn its self out.

I also wouldnt bother with internal BT, I bought a dongle from ebay for less than £5 and it works perfectly on one of the keyboards USBs.

You may need to add wireless networking though, but its very easy, you just unscrew the metal bottom and theres a slot for it - dont need to open the whole computer!

Keep us updated with the iMac! Glad to see some people keeping them alive.
 

surroundfan

macrumors 6502
Nov 22, 2005
306
9
Melbourne, Australia
Well done.

While there should be an antenna for the Bluetooth, installation is very difficult because you must also replace the logic board's thermal pads at the same time (in addition to the thermal paste on the heat pipes). Just get a USB dongle to add Bluetooth...
 

666sheep

macrumors 68040
Dec 7, 2009
3,623
219
Poland
Well done.

While there should be an antenna for the Bluetooth, installation is very difficult because you must also replace the logic board's thermal pads at the same time (in addition to the thermal paste on the heat pipes). Just get a USB dongle to add Bluetooth...
From what I understand, OP has already bought BT board and APE card.
Installing BT could be difficult for one but quite easy for other, it depends...
IMO it isn't that difficult if you have proper tools, info, supplies and some practical experience with hardware. Replacing thermal pads should improve cooling a bit. Stock ones certainly aren't that efficient after all these years.

OP, get yourself a Service Manual (google it) and you'll find all needed answers and tips there.
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,883
373
Inside
You'll also need the Bluetooth extension cable that goes from the card to the antenna near the drive caddy.
 

666sheep

macrumors 68040
Dec 7, 2009
3,623
219
Poland
You'll also need the Bluetooth extension cable that goes from the card to the antenna near the drive caddy.
Exactly, I forgot about it. Part number 922-5808. BT board should work without antenna but it could be limited in range.
 

zackkmac

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 7, 2008
741
40
Tulsa
I bought the internal Bluetooth before the thought of a USB dongle came to mind. I bought the antenna as well. When the iMac auction ended I went and bought everything I planned on upgrading so I'd only have to open it once, at least for a good while. Unfortunately everything is coming from different sellers but I will just install parts as they arrive.

Didn't know about the thermal pads though, I guess I will be able to see where they're at once I get inside the computer. I am still unable to locate the service manuals though but I'll keep looking.

Thanks for the excellent help, everyone. I am happy to be keeping this machine alive and running at its best. After a while I may sell it and start this project over with a 20-inch. I'm majoring in computer science so this is a lot of fun to me!
 

zackkmac

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 7, 2008
741
40
Tulsa
Just got back from a long vacation and opened up the iMac. It wasn't much of a success though, to be honest. The SATA/IDE converter I bought was too big to fit and it broke. I forgot to bring the new PRAM battery with me, and a few upgrades still have not come in yet.

Basically all I did was clean out the huge amount of dust and upgraded the internal RAM to 1GB. I reapplied thermal paste and closed it back up, added the Airport Extreme card and 1GB of other RAM, and upgraded the computer to Leopard.

Once the rest of the parts arrive I'll install the PRAM battery, Bluetooth module, and a new IDE drive. But on a side note, even after replacing the internal speaker, there is no sound output aside from using external speakers. I guess the current internal one wasn't broken, but now I have no idea what could be wrong. :(
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,883
373
Inside
Have you tried resetting the PRAM? That usually fixes sound related problems on PPC Macs.
 

zackkmac

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 7, 2008
741
40
Tulsa
That I have not. I will definitely give it a shot once I swap out the PRAM battery and all. Thanks for the tip!
 

666sheep

macrumors 68040
Dec 7, 2009
3,623
219
Poland
Look for such adapter, it will fit perfectly. I use 4world one and it uses Marvell controller. There are others based on JMicron and these are much worse in performance.
 

zackkmac

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 7, 2008
741
40
Tulsa
Awesome, thanks! I'll look for it and order it. The one I originally bought looked like that (except green), maybe a bit bigger though, but once I tried putting the hard drive/optical drive assembly back into place, the SATA connector snapped off. And bent the connector on my hard drive.
 

zackkmac

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 7, 2008
741
40
Tulsa
So it turns out that the iMac had a defective minijack port for the Apple Pro speakers. Once I plugged them in, only the left speaker produced audio, and the right side was silent. After unplugging them, the internal speaker began working. Just thought I'd mention that in case anyone else had a problem with their G4 internal speaker. I think the port had something broke inside of it, convincing the iMac that it had Pro speakers plugged in 24/7, thus the no-audio problem.

However, because of this defect, the seller is allowing me to exchange the iMac for a Core 2 Duo 17" polycarbonate model. I am very excited because although the G4 was a beautiful machine, this is a very nice offer being that I only paid $99 for the G4 initially. In prep for the Intel iMac, I have installed Lion on a 2TB hard drive and have extra PC2-5300 RAM laying around to bump it to 4GB (even though it'll only recognize 3GB).

Should be a great machine. :)
 

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