Odd problems with an iMac G5 (iSight)

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by ShiryuX, May 27, 2012.

  1. ShiryuX, May 27, 2012
    Last edited: May 27, 2012

    ShiryuX macrumors member

    ShiryuX

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    Location:
    Belgium
    #1
    Hey all!

    A family member recently bought an iMac G5 2.1 Ghz (iSight version) for a bargain since he needed a base pc to use for basic web surfing / manage files computer (as he didn't really like surfing on a 10" Netbook). It had nothing installed other than Tiger 10.4.3 but seemed to have some weird quirks once we brought it home (didn't have time for extended testing).

    I installed Leopard 10.5.8 on it through firewire (with my MBP) but it's still having some oddball things happening, so I turn to macrumors to see if you guys could help him and I out on this issue.

    Simply put: it randomly doesn't boot with only a keyboard and mouse inserted.
    This morning it needed about 2-3 restarts before hitting the desktop. Since then, no issues in booting it other then when I have an extra USB thumb drive inserted or such (then it either hangs on boot frozen, the spinning wheel keeps spinning or it kernel panics).
    It also randomly kernel panics (often with an USB attached or such).

    I've been setting it up a bit this afternoon with all the necessary programs (Skype, Firefox/Camino, Flash, ...) and adding his music library to iTunes, i.e. basic computer usage, nothing intensive.

    I was wondering what kind of problem could be the cause here. I have tried "rember" program to see if there was an issue with the onboard RAM, and it works fine. The chime and all works so it passes the hardware test, I just have to do an AHT CD and try out if that comes up with anything.
    Considering I did a clean install of Leopard, I hardly think it could be software wise since the quirks (random freezing/KP) happened also sometimes on the Tiger installation.

    I don't know if it's an issue with the logic board as once it's booted up, it doesn't have too many issues (albeit it kernel paniced twice today; once while browsing on Firefox, another time when I was updating his music library from an USB), he doesn't mind it TOO much. I still want to know what the cause (and possible fix) might be in order to make this one run great.

    If anyone needs more info to get this problem solved, I'd be glad to give it. Hopefully someone can help us out, as we'd love to upgrade the RAM from 512MB to 2.5GB (crucial has some cheap upgrades).

    Thanks a lot for reading :D
     
  2. Hrududu macrumors 68020

    Hrududu

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    Location:
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    #2
    Only using the built in 512MB of RAM is really stretching things on that computer with Leopard. I would get that additional 2GB of RAM and see how it runs then. I would also suggest doing another fresh OS install and maybe writing all zeros to the hard drive first just to overwrite any bad blocks that may exist. If you're still having trouble, it may be worth taking it somewhere to get a full Apple Service Diagnostic run on it.
     
  3. ShiryuX thread starter macrumors member

    ShiryuX

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Belgium
    #3
    Allright, thanks for the fast reply.

    I'd like to ask something though: I was trying to use the Leopard DVD I received with my intel MBP 13" (mid-2009), but the G5 refused to read it. It does read audio CDs and other DVD-Rs, but both discs delivered with my MBP did not read (maybe because it's an intel-based OS)?

    I tried making an image out of my installation disc and booting the G5 from USB (with Open Firmware and just pressing option), but it didn't work. I also did not see my optical drive when I put the DVD in and booted my MacBook in target disk mode (through firewire connected to the G5).

    What should I do in order to have a clean install of Leopard on it now then? (The way I did it now, was just restoring an image I had of a clean install with 10.5.8 to the HDD. Not really conventional, but it did the job on another iMac G4 we had :p)
    I had also tried to just install it from the DVD having the G5 in target disk mode, but it did not want to install since it was "not partitioned in GUID". I had put the G5 HDD in Apple Partition Map for obvious reasons ;).

    Not sure if it's also worth noting, but when the G5 was in target disk mode, I did both a repair disk and repair disk permissions after the image was restored to it in Disk Utility.

    P.S.: Is making an image out of the current install (using disk utility/carbon clone copier/superduper, all of which I haven't tried yet), doing a full zero out format with DU and restoring image a possibility or not?

    P.P.S.: Still did not get around doing the AHT test, will post back with results once I have but did not think I'd receive a reply this fast :p.
    Any and all help is appreciated. This G5 is our first experience with an iMac (we only had Apple notebooks) and it's pretty awesome!
     
  4. Nameci macrumors 68000

    Nameci

    Joined:
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    Location:
    The Philippines...
    #4
    First if the install dvd is for your intel mac, it will not install on your imac. It is machine specific gray disc. You need the retail disc of leopard to install it on the iMac.
     
  5. California macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #5

    Firewire your iMac G5 to your MBP in target disk mode. USB is a bad way to try to boot PPC macs, I don't think you can even do it.

    Insert the leopard discs from your MBP into the MBP.

    Start up installation.

    Your iMac G5's hard drive should show up on install screen. Install Leopard on to the iMac G5.

    You're done.

    UNless I totally lost my mind here, which I don't think I have, this works.

    I know because I did this with the Leopard Applications disc from an 09 Mac Mini to a G4 Powerbook.

    I also was able to boot the Leopard Powerbook hard drive as a start up disc for the Mini.

    Some apple tech guy could not believe it did it but I used that set up for a couple of years.

    I am only 99 percent sure this will work, but give it a try, pretty sure you can install Leopard from your MBP boot disc if the iMac is target disc moded into the intel machine and treated as an install disc.

    Just make darn sure your Imac hard drive remains in Apple Partition mode not GUID in disk utility.
     
  6. ShiryuX, May 28, 2012
    Last edited: May 28, 2012

    ShiryuX thread starter macrumors member

    ShiryuX

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    Location:
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    #6
    I'll ask a friend to get his Leopard DVD, since the only one I have to use today is a Tiger Installation Disk (which for some reason doesn't want to boot on my intel MBP).

    Last time I tried the method described above, it gave me the error that the partition map has to be GUID before it could get installed, so I figure that's because my Leopard installation DVD is that of a Macbook Pro 13" (and hardware IDs collide or something along those lines, like Nameci said).

    I tried putting the Tiger DVD in all sorts of ways but it did not work for now.
    - Booting with C on iMac G5 = disc gets ejected after a while, boots from HDD.
    - Booting with option on iMac G5 = disc reads after 3-4 minutes in the option screen, starts to have apple logo + spinning wheel followed by the stop sign.
    - Booting with MBP in target disk mode with either Leopard or Tiger installation discs = sometimes it sees the disc connected through firewire, but it just leaves me at the blue screen on the G5.

    I'm at a loss here on what I should do, especially since I don't know which kind of hardware (or software) issue I'm having on the G5. This morning it refused to boot up completely (kernel panic or hang at blue screen before the OS) for about 10 times, the 11th time it worked and I could use it again.
    Kind of driving me insane, but I'm up for a challenge to get this G5 fixed/revived! ;)

    Having issues using the AHT CD since I tried writing it on a DVD+RW to no avail.

    EDIT: I figured it might be the fact that I have a 10.4 Tiger DVD, which apparently might not boot on an iMac G5 iSight?
     
  7. jbarley macrumors 68030

    jbarley

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    #7
    on the rare occasion when your G5 is up and running, try downloading and reinstalling the 10.5.8 Combo updater.
    This just might correct your problems by refreshing any corrupted system files.
     
  8. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502

    Bug-Creator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Location:
    Germany
    #8
    That Tiger-Disc might be PPC-only (if it's an retail version or came with any PPC-Mac).

    The grey discs that come with any Mac are allways very specific. Not only do they support only 1 architecture (PPC or Intel) but will also only boot on 1 kind of device.

    The 2009 iMac version won't boot on an 2010 iMac and vice versa. None of both will boot on a MacMini or MacBook regardless of year of production....

    So you either need the Tiger install discs that belong to the 2.1 GHz G5 iMac or a retail version of Leopard (purple/black instead of grey).

    If your MBP dates later than the initial release of Leopard (read if it came with Leo or Snow-Leo as default) you might even have problems installing via Target-mode from the MBP as the discs may lack drivers needed to start on the MBP.
     
  9. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

    Joined:
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    Location:
    In the core of a black hole.
    #9
    Try reseating the RAM, it's quik and easy and just might solve the boot ups and kernel panic's.

    I could point you to a clean 10.5.8 download but it's against the rules.
     
  10. ShiryuX, May 28, 2012
    Last edited: May 28, 2012

    ShiryuX thread starter macrumors member

    ShiryuX

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    Location:
    Belgium
    #10
    Wow, I can't believe I hadn't thought of that, thanks for the tip! I'll try it out once I get my G5 booted (having alot more troubles getting it started than yesterday).

    That makes sense, my MBP is mid-2009 and was delivered with a 10.5.7 OSX Install DVD, so it does cause some problems to get Tiger installed onto the G5 with TDM.

    Thanks for the tip, I have tried this numerous times but this hasn't fixed any problems. :/
    I assume you mean resetting the PRAM a few times until I hear the chime 3x by pressing CMD+Opt+P+R.

    A clean 10.5.8 install is my next bet if all this doesn't work. I might lend a retail DVD from a friend in order to try this tomorrow. Too bad sometimes the DVD reader doesn't want to budge. I've yet to make a DVD-DL read on it (don't have many of them around, but the ones that I do get ejected after a while). I really hope that a retail DVD would not give me the error of GUID partition table so that when the G5 is in TDM and I launch the OSX Leopard retail DVD, it can install onto an Apple Partition Table hard drive.

    EDIT: Also throwing it out there, but if it IS a hardware related issue, how could I pinpoint what it is? The RAM doesn't seem faulty and if it still boots and works from time to time, I doubt the Logic Board is fried or faulty? :/ (I have yet to try the zeroing out format, will do so once I get my hands on a working installation DVD of OSX, be it Tiger or Leopard)

    Also, if it could help anyone in diagnosing/fixing the problems I'm having, I could post some of the reports I'm getting with the Kernel Panics (from the G5).
     
  11. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

    Joined:
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    Location:
    In the core of a black hole.
    #11
    No, I meant getting the RAM out of it's socket and then put it in again, that's reseating the RAM.


    On iFixit it shows you how to do it.
    http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Installing-iMac-G5-20-Inch-Model-A1145-RAM/1135/1#.T8OZt91wB9A

    And now that I think of it, didn't some G5 iMacs have problems with bad caps, bad capacitors!!!
     
  12. ShiryuX thread starter macrumors member

    ShiryuX

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    Location:
    Belgium
    #12
    What would that mean then? How could I check if it has bad caps/bad capacitors? I haven't opened up and am not really sure that's a good idea (afraid of doing worse than better ^^''), but if it's the only way of knowing I'm stuck because of that, I could give it a shot.

    Also about reseating the RAM, I don't have any additional RAM installed. I believe the 512MB RAM is onboard (would require me to open up the G5) and it only has an expansion slot on the bottom. In any case, could it be that then?
     
  13. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

    Joined:
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    #13
    Regarding bad Capacitors, I think you don't have to worry, I just checked Mactracker App and the iMac you have there is from October 2005 and should have newer/better Caps.

    As for the RAM, you don't have to open the iMac, lay it on it's back and you will see an Acces door, remove two philips screws and pul the levers.

    [​IMG]

    http://guide-images.ifixit.net/igi/BVXsVxCTfBfWsE15.medium

    Insert your fingers into the two RAM arms and pull both arms toward yourself to eject the RAM chip.

    [​IMG]

    Slide the RAM chip straight out of its socket.
    Make sure both RAM arms are fully rotated outward before reinstalling your RAM chip.
     
  14. Nameci macrumors 68000

    Nameci

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Location:
    The Philippines...
    #14
    This is the specs for the iMac.

    http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/imac/specs/imac_g5_2.1_20.html

    To add more memory you need a 2 GB PC2 4200 memory module such as this;

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/4200DDR2M2GB/

    Open the iMac first, who knows there might dust all over the place. First thing I do when I receive old macs is to open it up and dust it off so that it could breath.

    Bulging capacitors are an indication of bad capacitors. Some examples;

    http://s807.photobucket.com/albums/yy352/budm/I%20MAC/iMAC%20G5/?action=view&current=DSCF2017.jpg&sort=ascending
     
  15. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

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    #15
    And it's not too hard to do, if you are a bit handy it's not that hard and how to do it you'll find it on ifixit.com

    http://www.ifixit.com/Device/iMac_G5_20%22_Model_A1145
     
  16. Hrududu macrumors 68020

    Hrududu

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Central US
    #16
    The iSight G5's didn't have the capacitor issue the older ALS and original G5's had. They had were more prone to failing HDDs and video chips (this one sounds like its okay though). As far as opening it up to clean it, these models are just like the white Intel iMacs. Apple decided that it was time to make getting at the internal parts a bitch.
     
  17. CubeHacker macrumors 65816

    CubeHacker

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    #17
    You better believe that they DO have the capacitor issue. Both on the motherboard and in the power supply. I've seen several with leaking caps. Your description sounds exactly like the failures i've seen in the past due to capacitors - failure to boot up, locking up midway, random restarts, fans running full blast, etc. I would honestly return the iMac immediately if still possible.
     
  18. Hrududu macrumors 68020

    Hrududu

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    Central US
    #18
    I've serviced a bunch of these and NO, they don't have the same capacitor issue. Show me the caps?
     

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  19. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

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    #19
    I am not going to argue with the both of you, I myself came up with the bad caps problem and I myself also said it's probably only the first generation which had the bad caps problem but the problems He has can point towards bad caps.
    It is not that hard to see for someone which is familiar in electronics and it is fairly easy to replace them with new ones, and the caps are cheap.

    Cubehacker, return the iMac, He got it cheap so no reason to.

    I am dutch Myself and into electronics, could have helped him out but I don't live nearby now though, about 16.000 Km too far.:eek:
     
  20. justperry, May 28, 2012
    Last edited: May 28, 2012

    justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

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    #20
    Just found this,

    Powers on then off immediately, bad PSU?

    So while not exactly the same it points out that it IS possible there are bad caps.

    Oh, and desoldering seems to be more difficult than I thought, it's soldered with leadfree tin that needs higher temperature to desolder.
    Another thing to consider is that these caps needs to have it's polarity(+ and -) rightly fitted on the mainboard otherwise they "explode".
     
  21. ShiryuX, May 29, 2012
    Last edited: May 29, 2012

    ShiryuX thread starter macrumors member

    ShiryuX

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Belgium
    #21
    Hey guys, quick update on what I've tried with no luck:

    - Combo Update 10.5.8: while it seemed better, after a few restarts it started showing quirks again.
    - Automation with OnyX: completely made the boot disk unusable, keeps kernel panic'ing on "launchd" so I erased the HDD since I will install retail Leopard this evening.

    Personally, I'm really hoping it's not the capacitors. Having little to no experience with soldering I wonder if we'd be able to pull it off (and opening up the iMac G5 iSight isn't THAT easy as the older G5s, but doable).

    I don't think the hard drive failed but I can't be certain: I tried booting an image off of my old 4G iPod through firewire and it froze after a while, same thing when I tried using my 4G iPod to boot as a retail Leopard installation.

    I'm going to try installing leopard clean retail first. If it still gives me KPs, I will open it up and post some pictures here when I get them. Maybe this would clear up more info on what's going on with the G5.
    If it is the capacitors, do you guys recommend us to attempt fixing them (we see this as a challenge, but if it's deemed to hard for electronics newbies... ^^'')?

    Can't wait to clear up this uncertainty on whether we'll be able to get this G5 running again smoothly or not :D.


    Again, thanks to all of you for your continuous help!! We really appreciate it.

    P.S.: My brother asked if it's normal for when the G5 is booting, the screen stays black a while, then it chimes, followed by a white screen from top to bottom and again (whiter) with the Apple logo. Is this normal/not an issue?
     
  22. Nameci macrumors 68000

    Nameci

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    The Philippines...
    #22
    That is normal when a mac is booting.
     
  23. CubeHacker macrumors 65816

    CubeHacker

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    #23
    I personally would not recommend it for a newbie. As mentioned above, the lead free solder makes it very difficult to remove the caps without damaging other things on the motherboard if you don't have the right gun. The isight models are also a lot more difficult to disassemble.
     
  24. ShiryuX, May 30, 2012
    Last edited: May 30, 2012

    ShiryuX thread starter macrumors member

    ShiryuX

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    Location:
    Belgium
    #24
    Talking about it to my brother, he is also not too keen on replacing caps if it is the problem (watching some videos though, I've yet to see the location of the caps on an iSight model).

    Today I tried to boot from the retail OSX DVD through various means: FW'd macbook optical drive, macbook itself booting with dvd (to no avail, as 10.5 is too "old" for my unibody macbook.

    I had a "crazy" idea to test out partitioning the HDD of the G5 to two partitions. One of 10GB and the rest (240GB). Followed by restoring through firewire the DVD of Leopard to that 10GB partition.

    It was sort of succesful in restoring, and the G5 recognizes the partition as "Mac OS X Install DVD" yet every time I boot it either hangs on the apple, spinning wheel or somewhere during the installation.

    This leads to me thinking it's either the HDD failing or something on the logic board, and rules out Leopard being somewhat incompatible with the G5 in current state maybe? I still could try restoring a Tiger DVD and installing that, but I'm not sure if that is worth trying at this point.

    Last thing we're going to try is booting an external FW drive. If this is also unsuccessful (as it would prove that the internal HDD is fine, working by elimination), we might just resell the G5 in its current state :(.

    Opening it up seems like a bigger challenge than we initially thought, and since we aren't up to the task of replacing caps, we wonder if it is actually worth doing for some reason (other than "cleaning" but I believe we're past the point that some dust could be causing all this).

    Would be a bit of a disappointment that we did not get this baby running, but we'd have tried pretty much everything in the process to make it work again.
     
  25. ShiryuX thread starter macrumors member

    ShiryuX

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    Location:
    Belgium
    #25
    Double post but this might be quite interesting to know if anyone could figure this out.

    As justperry stated, the G5s come with leadfree soldering.
    Apparently there's a fix floating around using a hair dryer to "heat up" contacts and make it work again.

    Since lately the G5 did not want to boot up AT ALL, I decided to restore the image of a 10.5.8 installation which worked (the only thing I actually got to boot) through firewire. It kept kernel panicing before I even got to the welcome screen of the setup assistant.

    Enter the hairdryer. We opened up the bottom part of the G5 (to the RAM slots) and used a hairdryer on max heat for about 5 minutes. After which we booted the system up again and behold...it worked! Surfed on the web, did the whole set up assistant without any KP or freeze. Even rebooted the system 4 times in a row with no issues.

    Then, we left it off for an hour and came back. It booted up to the system and followed with a Kernel Panic. We did the reheating AGAIN and it fixed the problem it seems...

    Now this leads me to think the issue might not be the caps after all, but something about the contacts or whatnot being affected. Is there a permanent fix because I don't believe anyone deems a computer usable if you have to heat it up 5 minutes everytime they feel like using it :p?

    Also tried an Apple Service Disc linked to me by a friend, but it does not seem to do anything (or I can't figure out for the life on how it works, it only sent me to a terminal screen). I tried a few loops of "Rember" and that said after 3 loops that everything was OK.

    At least we seem to be heading a step into the right direction... :cool:
     

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