My computer just died...


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 5, 2004
Yesterday was not a good day. Without warning, my Powermac G4 (Quicksilver, 867mhz) started having kernal panics every 10 minutes or so, and refused to open half of my apps. So, I made backups of all of my stuff and proceeded to zero-out the boot drive and re-install OS X. Well, even after reformatting the boot drive, OS X refuses to install. Once it's about 75% complete, It gives me an error message simply saying there were errors installing OS X, and makes me reboot.

Now, I tried installing OS X on each of my 3 internal hard drives, as well as with 3 different OS X install discs (including the Software Restore disk that came with the computer), and got the same error every time. Then I ran DiskWarrior on the boot drive. There were no problems de-fragmenting the drive, but it did not help my situation. According to DiskWarrior's hardware test, all 3 drives S.M.A.R.T. status is fine. So the drives aren't the problem.

So, now I ran Apple's Hardware Test cd. Soon after it starts testing the Logic Board, the computer freezes and the Open Firmware dialogue appears on the screen. When I type "mac-boot" It attempts to boot, but goes nowhere since I don't have a system installed.

Did my Logic Board die? I'm assuming thats what happened, but I'm open to other suggestions. I also assume if that is the case, that on a computer this old it's not worth the price to fix it. The only problem is that I wanted to wait until the next G5 revision before I upgrade, and who knows how far away that will be :(

Does anyone have any other ideas I could try to revive the computer, or am I out of luck?

(sorry for the long post)


macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
I'm sorry to hear about your situation cwright. From your description it doesn't at all sound good. My wife keeps telling me that my Power Mac could die at any time. Imagine that you are also without AppleCare. If you live near an Apple Store, I would recommend taking it there. Then according to the cost of repair you would be in a better position to make a decision. If the cost is prohibitive and you want a Power Mac G5, the next upgrade could occur anytime between now and WWDC. More likely March. If you are in need of a Mac now, you might consider a Mac mini for the interim. It would make a great backup.


macrumors G4
Aug 24, 2003
check your ram take out half and then the other half if the problem persists


macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2005
Apple Computer
Died on Feb. 3, 2005
"Its better to burn out than to fade away..."
Remove everything connected to it and any extra cards you have inside. Pull all your RAM and then put 1 stick back in. See if your battery is still good. If you can, replace your internal drive with a different one and start it up. When you have removed all the other possible agents of conflict, the only one you have left will be the troublemaker if this keeps happening.

Sorry. - j


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 5, 2004
Well I havent taken the computer to the Apple store just yet, but i'm sure its the logic board. I stripped it down to only the original parts (took out all extra RAM, hard drives, etc) and I still could not get the computer to boot. Now It goes straight into open firmware and won't even let me open the CD tray to put in an OS X install CD.

But... the good news is, I'm spoiled. My dad gave me my graduation present early: a dual 2ghz G5 with 2GB RAM :D

Anyway, I still need to get the old computer to work if at all possible. If I had access to an old Sawtooth G4, would it be possible to swap the Logic board out and use it? If not, how much do you think Apple would charge to fix it?


macrumors member
Dec 8, 2004
Western Massachusetts
The sawtooth will not work. The other item you should try is an external firewire Optical (CD/DVD etc) drive. I have seen this in the past and sometimes the internal Optical can cause LB and RAM type sysmptoms.

PS- if it wont let you put in a CD- try holdoing down the Mouse at start up. that should do the trick. as for Apple s Repairs cost on that unit...Depending on which board and revision I would guestimate the board will cost between $350 and $450 Plus installation.

do yourself a favor, if you bring it to an Apple Store or AASP, dont tell them that you been fishing around in there, it could cost you more if you know what i mean:0

BTW- If your wondering how I know what the board will cost...Im an AASP I am privy that info:0


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 5, 2004
Thats what I figured... I'll take it up to the Apple store next week.

Also, I had already tried holding the mouse button down on start-up, and it doesnt work. It goes straight to open firmware, and apparently the CD wont open until the computer starts to boot a system.

I'll try an external optical drive if I can get my hands on one.



macrumors 6502
Sep 8, 2004
Salt Lake City, Utah
Have you checked for overheating? Maybe they processor doesnt have a great contact with the heatsink, and possibly same with the video card processor, check that. That had happened to my g4 Digital Audio 733mhz... it would run for a while.. then kernel panic... over and over again.. no matter what.. then when i went to open an application that requires a bit of processor usage... boom kernel panic.. checked the heatsink and seen one of the clamps came off of the heatsink, so eyah, check that out..


macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
Computers never die, they just become obsolete. I think the problem you are experiencing is definitely bad RAM. If it's not that, then try replacing the mobo battery, resetting the mobo, and try again. If this doesn't work, then its likely your motherboard is fried.


macrumors 603
Jun 25, 2002
LaLaLand, CA
My sister's dual 867 had some issues. I told her to get AppleCare, but she didn't, Sure enough, a little after a year, it stopped working. Apple wanted to charge a ton of money for a replacement, so she bought a logic board with CPUs off of eBay. Works great now. I love Apples, but electronics fail. I hope you bought AppleCare for your new G5. ;)
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