iMac G5's on ebay warning

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by MacHamster68, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    hi short story , i bought a iMac g5 of ebay , according the seller he bought it as refurbished and caps replaced ,so i cant blame him really if he really had not know , but now the iMac is freezing two weeks later
    so i opened it up and what a surprise leaking caps inside , when they did refurbishe the iMac , they just replaced some of the caps but NOT all of them

    and when i asked now as i was looking for some other iMac G5's to buy from business sellers and ebay shops i get a surprising answer
    "we cant physically open all iMac G5's we sell to look for bad capacitors , we do a apple hardwaretest and if its passes we sell them "

    but , the hardwaretest does only sometimes discover a bad cap if at all
    mine with one bad cap leaking passes the hardwaretest and benchmark tests with flying colors
    so be aware that what happend to me doesn't happen to you
    if its cheap enough ok , if you can solder ok too , but otherwise i would stay clear as if you cant solder it will cost you in the region of £170 with vat
    thats about the price you pay for a "working but unchecked iMac G5 first generation "in first place , and even the later iMac G5 are not safe as some bad caps slipped through into them too

    out of frustration i bought my first ever intel iMac from a Mac Man who does Apple repairs for a living and not on ebay , give these small businesses around the corner (drove 60 miles one way )a chance they might be a bit more expensive, but its worth that bit extra in service and you can be sure it is serviced and looked after before its sold to you
  2. Johnny7 macrumors member

    Aug 31, 2010
    Yeah, I was almost about to buy a G5 and knew about the cap problem, I emailed them about cosmetics and they got back with me in a few hours but then, when I asked them about capacitors they didn't even respond. I really love the iMac G5s and its hard to resist some of the offers that people sell them for because it could last a few weeks after the warranty and just die out of no where. That's why I got my powerbook, I think the only way I'd get a iMac was if if I knew for a fact it had no blown caps and I would no doubt mod the back casing to get better air flow. Thanks for posting this, you saved a lot of people from a major headache.

  3. MacHamster68 thread starter macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    yes they go very cheap now , for the same reason , but there are some good ones out there , normally if it was carefully repaired , means all caps replaced on time and the processors heatsink cleaned of dust sometimes and new heat compound in between the processor and heatsink a iMac G5 would certainly be worth buying , its only a matter of finding that example
    also the ones who had the logicboard exchanged by Apple during the repair scheme , as they got all new caps of a different type , so should be fine too ,
    ideally it should have the harddrive replaced because usually the harddrives in a iMac g5 first generation get damn hot over 60celsius because apple placed them in the iMac G5 direct above the exhaust duct of the processor , despite the hot air is channeled away , but still heat has a tendency to rise direct towards the harddrive , and the placement of the heat sensor doesnt really help as its at a point which never gets as hot as the harddrive , in my one the heat sensor never goes above 58 degree , but by then the smart sensor of the harddrive itself records already a alarming 65celsius , which isnt very healthy for a harddrive so they might give up soon if its a original harddrive, manufacturers of harddrives say the comfortable temp of a harddrive should be below 50celsius

    ok with the harddrive heat problem you can live , its on the early iMacs easy to replace as they open at the back and not from the front , so you dont have to take the lcd panel of like on newer 1.9 and 2.1 ghz g5 iMac's (isight) which are a pain to get to anything , and a harddrive 80gb you get for next to no money today , so its not a big concern ,if you backup regular , but the caps are a definite timebomb

    and i did write it for the kids who safe up their pocket money for the last two years to get a iMac G5 as they are affordable now and quiet fast too and good looking , to safe them from a big disappointment
  4. VanneDC macrumors 6502a


    Jun 5, 2010
    Dubai, UAE
    its wierd, i wonder how far the bad cap problem goes?

    I bought my first G5 imac 17 inch on release, and after all these years its going super duper.. (my wifes parents now have it as thier main computer and its on 24/7) never had an issue...

    ive also owned many other Imacs (all G5 and C2d) models and so far, none have been a drama here...

    maybe ive been lucky..
  5. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    Yes, we have a 17" G5 that has been running continuously since new nearly 6 years ago. Never been repaired. I do thing the button battery is dead since it won't sleep properly (it won't wake from sleep -- it just shuts off).
  6. PowerGamerX macrumors 6502a


    Aug 9, 2009
    Unfortunately its just luck of the draw. 2 of my G5's that I've owned were perfect, yet a friends capacitors broke. Unfortunately, its just a hardware issue that can rear its ugly head at any time.
  7. MacHamster68 thread starter macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    i dont know how widespread the problem really is ,but all manufacurers got them, Dell did recall their Gx line back then and nearly went bankrupt because of that bad cap problem , Apple wisely avoided recalls :rolleyes:
    with all the posts over the years about bad caps in iMac g5's ,it seems to be more typical then rain in a british summer (and yes with luck you get sunny days too)
    i only discovered the bad cap by chance, when i did not like usual put it to sleep in the night (was surfing and sending emails a bit longer )suddenly the iMac froze , and when a iMac G5 is freezing its not software related in 99% of cases , its just a bad cap problem and like i said its even passing benchmark tests with flying colors , but still it could stop any day doing so ,because one cap is leaking already
  8. iCaleb macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2010
  9. MacHamster68 thread starter macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    the iMac G4's are usually well kept , but thats only because the iMac G4 is a design icon and people did care , means they did not abuse them as workhorses (ok some did)and a tiny problem and off to the apple store, because back then then even the budgets in households had been higher to really care, and not like today where budgets a tight so there is no money to get things done in time, like with cars ah 30000 miles service interval ...ah sure it doesnt matter if i stretch that a bit to 60000 ... , of course you could pick one with a problem but thats more due to age then bad quality internals ,
    i mean its still a difference if the iMac was used in a graphicsmusicdesignwhatsoever business running 24/7 at max processor load , and if there was a problem some staff tried to mend it with a hammer as that was the only tool to hand at the time and the company did't have the finances in place to afford a trained technician :eek:,
    or if it was used by a mum to surf twice a week for a hour on the internet and checked some emails and if she discovered a unusual noise or anything like that she ran in the apple store/repair centre to get it fixed

    its the same with cars if you wait until it breaks down instead of servicing it regular ,you dont have to wonder if it doesn't work proper
    means in case of a iMac G4 open it up clear all the dust out once a year , or more often depending on how dusty the environment is , reapply thermal paste then it could last forever
    my iMac G3 is as clean as a operating theatre in a hospital inside you wont find a single bit of dust inside , and thats how i got the little bugger it was cared for from new with no expense spared , and thats how i keep the little bugger ;)so i polish him more often then i polish my car , he's happy playing itunes in the background :D
  10. Dhelsdon macrumors 65816


    Feb 5, 2010
    Canadian Eh!

    Wow, Thank you so much for posting this. I had been looking into buying one on eBay just a week ago! Now, I may just save up and buy something new from the Apple store!
  11. 666sheep macrumors 68040


    Dec 7, 2009
    Traitor ;) :p :D
  12. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601


    Sep 16, 2007
    Northeastern Ohio
    Well I actually sent my iMac logic board to a person/company that had a classified ad on eBay and boy did they turn out to be deadbeats. GPU Medics were the name. Customer service was lacking in every aspect. They never call you to give updates even after saying they will. They've had my logic board since the beginning of August!

    Got tired of calling them constantly to get updates as they are very unorganized too. That was when they finally answered their phone or emails which they supposedly loose often.

    So if you want to get your iMac G5 logic board repaired, stay away from GPU Medics. They are based out of Illinois.

    I just picked up 17" iMac G5 1.8 yesterday for my cousin and there are no bad caps on that. The one I sent in for repair had all good caps, just the other known problem with this model, the GPU fails and causes lines on the screen.
  13. MacHamster68 thread starter macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    like i said if something is wrong better bring it to a local or close by certified apple technician , doesnt have to be a apple repair centre , still it might be
    a bit more expensive then a ebay deal for the repair but at least you know that he knows what he's doing , if you cant do it yourself or are not sure if you got the proper tools to do the job

    i just got another email response from a ebay shop selling iMac G5's 1.6-1.8
    their answer for my question if they would check for bad caps or even refurbish the iMac's before sale was a bummer

    "Sorry, but we can as you imaging don't open up imac g5's for physical inspection . we use the original Hardware test that comes with the install cd and if they pass we sell them , and we are not aware that there had been such thing as bad capacitors in iMac's "

    these and similar ones are appearing in my mail now daily

    i answered them :

    "hello what is that , on these early iMac G5 1.6 and 1.8 it takes 3 screws turning and the iMac opens and you can with a quick look see if caps are leaking or not and if you sell iMac's you should at least inform yourself about that model , and by doing so you would certainly tumbled over several thousand google hits about their bad cap problem , and i would expect from a shop at least that they clean the iMac inside from dust that is more then likely to be inside if the iMac is a couple years old
    For the Apple hardwaretest on dvd that comes with the iMac , my one passes too with flying colors , but has a leaking capacitor , the Apple hardwaretest will only find the fault if the part is already dead in most cases ,so the customer who does not know anything about computers gets a rough idea which part needs to be looked at , but is nowhere near a proper diagnostic software , so does say nothing about the physical condition of the iMac's inside

    surprise i did not get a answer after that

    but pointing out and naming and shaming all bad ebay shops and sellers who are just after the quick sale would just take to long , i let you know if i get from one a satisfying answer that they do check and clean before sale and even replace bad caps

    a mate from germany told me he even bought one there from a ebay shop who did put cold metal on top of the bad caps to stop them from leaking
    but i am not sure if he is making that up as that sounds shocking and would be more then cheeky
  14. drewdle macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2010
    Nanaimo, BC
    Way to stick it to them, MacHamster! :) I agree; if you're a seller there is no excuse for not making sure your equipment is in a certain condition before selling it. Anyone who says "we're too busy to test these" is obviously trying to unload broken units under false pretenses. Ebay is pretty bad for that. I had a great experience with my iBook, but the seller wasn't a company, just a collector and refurbisher of older Macs. Six months later, iBook is still running great. So no complaints there.

    On a semi-related note, there are all kinds of scams out there. I was trying to buy a pack of Kodak Portra film, emailed the seller, only to be told they were going to charge me $25 more than the Buy It Now price due to "the value of their stock going up".

    I can't post my response here; suffice it to say they'll never hear from me again. :)
  15. MacHamster68 thread starter macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    yes there are some really nice and caring ebayers out there , i for example point out things on the listing , ok i dont get that many watchers then as i am sometimes a bit to honest , but for example if i dont have the equipment to test i mention that as not tested and dont make things up , but at least the buyer knows that before he bids and doesn't have to find out afterwards

    i just sold a tv and i even mentioned that the original speakers are not really powerful , but i rather make abit less money then having to deal with unsatisfied buyers , as i still believe in that the buyer should not only read the positives but has the right to read the negatives too
  16. MacHamster68 thread starter macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    the funny thing is some who sell the first generation iMac's who pretend
    "never had heard of a bad capacitor problem" :confused:
    sell capacitor repair kits for first generation iMac's too :eek:
    ..i mean why would they if like they say they never heard of bad caps in iMac's

    watch out the little bit under the picture where it says either "used" or "seller refurbished"
    the later is the important bit as some understand under refurbished
    taking a damp cloth or some polishing spray and wipe the iMac clean for the picture
    so dont feel afraid of asking what he has done , a honest ebayer will tell you exactly
    what has been done to classify it as refurbished !!
    and just ignore shops who say they cant answer all emails because they are to busy ...
    they want to sell. they want your hard earned cash ,answering a email is customer service and included in the price

    my understanding of the ideal case as "refurbished" would be the answer

    "we are qualified Apple repair technicians ,take the iMacs complete apart,
    clean all the fans , air ducts from dust
    refit the processor with new heat compound and replace the original capacitors
    and fit a new harddrive and we test the iMacs with the original Apple diagnostic software afterwards "

    that would be a proper refurbishment , and would be worth to pay a bit more money ,
    ok its never bullet proof,as even brandnew harddrives can break but would give you a bit of confidence

    and another thing if possible ask previous buyers ,how satisfied they are after they used the Mac for
    a couple weeks /month as some seam to sell as spares and repairs
    Mac's they just bought a short time ago...which gives you a hint
  17. MacHamster68 thread starter macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    so maybe after this little thread here some eBay shops get less sales
    and reconsider their practice of selling and refurbishment of iMac G5's
    as if more and more people ask for what refurbishment means
    some of them might get the idea and think :
    "Maybe we should open the imac again and take out the leaking caps and replace
    them with new ones and when we have all parts out already ,
    maybe we should clean out the 2 kilo dust too .... we can then charge £100 more for it "

    because :
    a fully refurbished iMac G5 is still a very capable computer today and good for
    many more years and worth a bit more then one who might not work any more in 2 weeks time

    but at the moment its more a case of better getting one with the known problems
    for about half the price and getting it refurbished/repaired ,
    rather then buying one of these used and good condition ones ,
    only to face a repair bill a couple weeks later
  18. MacHamster68 thread starter macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    i sold my iMac G5 for £100 (bad caps , sometimes freezing ) now ,
    the buyer relisted it straight away for £250 on the day i sold it to him before i even had time to get it delivered to him and sold it as working without changing caps , so the one who bought it payed more then i initially bought it for and received the same broken(still bad caps inside ) iMac G5 and surprisingly listed it for sale again after couple weeks (i guess after he found out whats wrong with it ) for 210

    so read all old listings and feedbacks from the seller you buy from , because its tempting for a seller to make real big money with a G5 (buying for 100 , selling for 250)
    i could have sold mine too for more if i would not be to honest , after all it was still working with one blown capacitor , only occasional freezing , so with luck the buyer would have dicovered the problem after he could file a case via ebay , so lot of people take the chance as you can easy double your money if you sell a broken but still just working iMac G5 as long as it boots you can always sell as untested but booting fine

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