Original iMac G5 freezing constantly...

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by iMetalG5, Aug 4, 2009.

  1. iMetalG5 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2005
    #1
    So my brother's iMac G5 (the original with the obnoxious loud fan) seems to freeze up a lot.

    We're trying to figure it out.

    While messing around in Safari, iTunes, iMovie, etc... it will freeze. The only solution is to hold the power button and shut it down. Upon restarting sometimes he will just get the grey screen of death. Nothing happens. Again force shut down and restart.

    He also will get the spinning beach ball of death where he can't force quit anything.

    Boils down to a frozen system and the only way to get out of it is to force shut down.

    We have run DU and hardware test (From the DVD) and everything passes. So we reinstalled 10.4.11 hoping that would clear the issue. Nope. It still freezes up. So I'm wondering is it a hardware issue?

    HDD?

    He does have some external LACIE HDDs hooked up but not sure if that could cause any issues.

    Ideas? I assume bring it in to a store...thanks!
     
  2. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #2
    A hard drive would only be of issue if it was constantly freezing for the same amount of time (anywhere from a few seconds to a minute) and then unfreezing.
    This sounds to me like the logic board may need to be replaced.
     
  3. iMetalG5 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 13, 2005
    #3
    logic board? not good. may not even be worth it to fix. its 4yrs old but then again i would not expect a 4yr old mac to break so soon. hmmmm. i guess we'll bring it in to the store and let them have it a few days and see what they turn up.

    But the freezing does freeze for the same amount of time and then unfreezes BUT it also just stays frozen he said OR he gives up and forces it to shut down, not sure...

    i have a feeling it is hardware as we've reinstalled 10.4.11 from scratch...

    might be an excuse to finally get that 13" Macbook he is drooling over, heheheheh
     
  4. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

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    Feb 8, 2008
    #4
    So have you tried booting from a firewire drive? I wasn't sure if that is what you meant by "using an external hard drive" or not.
     
  5. Archon Gold macrumors 6502

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    Jun 7, 2009
    Location:
    Canada, Ontario
    #5
    I've seen the EXACT problem with an iMac G4 and an iMac G5 but both of their solutions was to mod the case and install external fans. This does seem like either a Faulty motherboard or faulty fans.
     
  6. iMetalG5 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 13, 2005
    #6
    no, his external drives are only for storage...

    does the store charge to just look at it? he did get applecare but i bet it has expired...not sure how that works, he bought it in 2005.
     
  7. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

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    Feb 8, 2008
    #7
    Faulty fans are at fault if the computer shuts off randomly. Computers are setup to automatically shut off if internal temperature is too high.

    If the external is HFS+, you can actually install Mac OSX into a partition without destroying data. Doing so will eliminate or point out the hard drive as the cause.
     
  8. iMetalG5 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 13, 2005
    #8
    good idea, i'll stop over tonight and help him try to set that up on his external drive and see what happens. i know its partitioned already but its worth a shot.
     
  9. MTI macrumors 65816

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    Feb 17, 2009
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    #9
    Undo the three captive fasteners on the lower edge of the case; lift and unhinge the rear panel/stand, inspect the "known to be flaky" capacitors used in the early G5 iMacs for bulging tops or leakage.
     
  10. iMetalG5 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 13, 2005
    #10
    well my brother told me he thinks its the external drive causing the grief. Not sure about that. But he claims that when he unmounts the external he no longer experiences the freezes...

    he said he then remounted the external and ran DU and did a verify disk. came back with 2 errors/fails and he did a repair on the external. he claims it hasn't froze yet...

    but i don't know, could that have been the issue???? I doubt it...
     
  11. breakdown77 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    #11
    Have you done this or seen it done?! Cause I'm in the middle of it (literally) and cant figure out how to remove the pesky heat sink metal cover!! I'm about to saw the damn thing off.
     
  12. MTI macrumors 65816

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    Feb 17, 2009
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    #12
    Have you removed the logic board from the case and removed the torx fasteners on the underside of the logic board that hold the G5 cover assmebly and heat pipes?
     
  13. indg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    #13
    this sounds similar to the problem the late 2006 intel imacs are having. it's probably the same design flaw that carried over from the g5 logic board.

    the symptoms are heat related so a temporary workaround would be to run the internal fans faster to keep the gpu from reaching its "breaking point" temp. this is the temp at which the system starts acting flaky, anywhere from 45C-60C. the temperature itself isn't unusually high, but because the logic board is faulty, it starts freezing/shutting down when it shouldn't be.

    this doesn't apply to your g5 imac, but just in case you're interested:
    http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/imacrecall
     
  14. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #14
    Sounds like a drive issue to me. If your brother says it is fine with out the external drive hooked up, that also makes sense as there could be a fault on the controller (either on the logic bored or on the drive bridge controller). Otherwise, I would try installing OSX to the external drive and booting off of that.
     
  15. iMetalG5 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 13, 2005
    #15
    nah, his issues continue. he gets the Grey Screen of Death when trying to boot up. Just a blank grey screen with nothing. Not even a clocking icon.

    so i think something is toast. HDD or board. I told him to bring over his LACIE and we'll try to install the OS on it and then see if he can boot up using the external and play around in that to see what happens.

    but he seems like he doesn't want to, he wants to bring it to the store to have them look at it. he has a ton of stuff on the external and I guess he is worried of losing it somehow.

    aw well.
     
  16. iMetalG5 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 13, 2005
    #16
    ok so he brought it to the store and they opened it up and said almost all of the capacitors bursted. so they told him to trash it and buy a new mac.

    is this normal? 5yrs and that that? the guy at the store actually said "I'm surprised it lasted this long. They normally go right at the 4th year"!?!??!?! nice.
     
  17. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #17
    Not normally on electronics, most electronic parts have a lifespan of up to 20 years when used in proper conditions. However, under high stress and when using lower quality parts, it can be much quicker. It is sad, but the iMac G5s are known for these kinds of failures which is probably why the genius was saying earlier - bad track record.
     
  18. MTI macrumors 65816

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    Scottsdale, AZ
    #18
    BTW . . . all the capacitors that "burst" will run you about $16-$20, plus the cost of having them removed and soldered back onto the logic board. Average or better soldering skill is all that is required, plus a 60W iron, silver solder and thermal grease.

    The capacitors that failed affected Dell, Sony and other makers whose suppliers used caps that were built using a formula stolen via alleged industrial espionage. Apparently, the stolen formula wasn't complete or fully tested.
     
  19. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #19
    He brings up a good point. On a quick search I actually found a site that sells the needed CAPs in a package bundle.

    CAPs: http://outwest.ecrater.com/category.php?cid=661209
    Guide: http://jimwarholic.com/2008/07/how-to-repair-apple-imac-g5.php
     
  20. MTI macrumors 65816

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    Feb 17, 2009
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    #20
    A Lot More Realistic Price

    If one's soldering skill aren't up to "average" I suggest calling around to local TV and Radio repair shops, those small joints that have all the broken sets up front . . . those guys should have the experience and tools to replace the caps in an hour or two, provided that you've removed the logic board (phillips screwdriver, Torx 6 & 8) by following the disassembly instructions available on the web.
     
  21. iMetalG5 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 13, 2005
    #21
    thanks for the info, i'll pass it on to him. but i think he's looking to buy a new mac.

    but i told him to hold onto the iMac and maybe we can get it up and running and give it to another family member... we'll see.
     

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