Technical expertise needed- rev A iMac G5

Discussion in 'iMac' started by DJinTX, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. DJinTX macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2010
    So I want to see if I can figure out what is wrong with my original iMac G5, and if fixable, finding a new use for it other than sitting in a box in my closet. I hope someone here can help.

    So I was one of the early adopters and picked up a rev A iMac G5 back in 2004. Within 6 months I regretted the purchase, but tried to make the best of it. I had the noisy fan issue, which after 3 attempts at repair through Apple I gave up. They kept telling me they did certain things and after repair it was within spec. After the last repair, the fans did seem to run less frequently, but we are talking a change from 97% of the time, to maybe 80%.

    So, in 2007 I gave up on it completely, and gave it to my in-laws. They were PC people and so the fans being on alot was normal to them. Well after they had it for about 6 months more issues started. It wouldn't go into sleep, if you tried to sleep it it would just turn it off, like a forced shutdown. So they started just leaving it up and running all the time. A few times when I would visit I would do some resets (NVRAM, PRAM) and boot to single user mode to run FSCK. The weird thing was in single user mode the fans would be automatically ramped up to full blast. It sounded like a jet was taking off. This would continue until after fsck completed and the machine rebooted. The it devolved into sometimes the computer not even wanting to turn on at all. At that point they decided to get a new Mac Mini, and we were able to transfer data. I then took the iMac home with the intention of erasing the hard drive and then recycling the computer, but I never got it booted again. When I plug it in I can hear a very faint ticking (electrical noise). This starts as soon as i plug it into the power outlet, and stops when I unplug it. Trying to power it up it does absolutely nothing.

    So this is the state of my old iMac. I now Apple had a repair extension program for these units for sleep and power issues, and likely this is what is going on, but the program was only for units within 2 years of purchase. Does anyone have any thoughts on what might be wrong and how much it might take to get it fixed out of warranty?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. tears2040 macrumors 6502

    Aug 27, 2010
    2004? It's 2010.... How about you just throw that computer in a lake or something and buy a new one! I upgrade my computers every 3 maximum 4 years, you really can't expect much from such an old computer, it's not like it's a used car or something.
  3. meli macrumors member

    Jun 3, 2004
    I have the same model. My power supply died about a year ago; that model had problems with power supplies and "bulging capacitors". I think the replacement part was less than $100. The good thing about the Rev. A model is that many of the parts, including the power supply, are easily replaced by the user. Apple even provides instructions and it didn't void the warranty.

    Of course, it would be a drag if you bought a new power supply and the problem turned out to be something else.
  4. CubeHacker macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2003
    Its certainly one (or more) of the caps in the PSU that have gone bad. The ticking you hear is the capacitor unable to hold a charge and constantly decharging/recharging.

    Please note that all iMac G5's are known to have bad caps - both in the motherboard and in the PSU. I would take the cover off the back and visually inspect the caps on the motherboard for leakage.

    You can find more info if you search google for 'imac g5 capacitor'.
  5. DJinTX thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2010

    I appreciate your comment, but I think maybe I didn't explain well enough. I am not trying to turn this iMac into my primary computer. In fact I don't even know if it is salvageable. I was thinking that if it could be fixed fairly easily and for not much money, then maybe I could think of a creative use for it. It has a 250GB hard drive that is likely still good, and so maybe there is some sort of cool case mod that could be done to turn it into some sort of storage unit. Or better yet, maybe there would be a way to put it in a smaller case to use it in the living room as though it were a mac mini.

    Of course if it requires intensive surgery to fix it and a couple hundred dollars in parts, then I'm not interested. I just don't know where is currently stands. On a sidenote, there is data on the hard drive that if nothing else, needs to be deleted. I was thinking about getting one of those SATA hard drive docking stations to be able to zero the drive or use it for storage. I'm just not sure what all my options are.

    If I can get the hardware issues fixed pretty easily, does anyone have any modification ideas?
  6. meli macrumors member

    Jun 3, 2004
    I'm a supporter (at least for computers) of the Trickle-Down Theory, so I'd just give it to someone. Maybe sell it for $200. It's still a good computer for someone who just wants to surf the web, use e-mail, iTunes and iPhoto. Maybe install ClickToFlash.
  7. aliensporebomb macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2005
    Minneapolis, MN, USA, Urth

    My sister in law had one of those iMac G5s and she went thru two motherboards before she got tired of the expensive and tossed it in a lake and got a new 24" iMac a couple of years ago.

    When that's done, she'll probably throw that one in a lake too.

    So remember, somewhere there is a lake with a bunch of old Macs in it!
  8. DJinTX thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2010
    I agree, and I already let it trickle down to my in-laws once, but of course as I mentioned it is no longer working. So I'm just trying to find out if there is an inexpensive fix. If there is then I would probably want to make sure I couldn't mod it into something useful before I give it away.
  9. DJinTX thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2010
    I meant ot follow-up on this much sooner, but have been swamped at work. I know that on at least one of my trips to the Apple store for repair they inspected the motherboard for bloated resistor caps, and they didn't find any. Of course, maybe they have since ruptured causing the issue. I'll have to open it up this weekend and check.

    Assuming this is what is going on, would it cost a lot at the Apple store to get it fixed seeing as I am way beyond warranty? How much would you expect it to cost?
  10. CubeHacker macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2003
    Since the PSU is encased in both the original and ALS models of the iMac G5, simply opening the back and looking at the capacitors on the motherboard might not reveal the problem you are seeing. Though its certainly a good idea to visually inspect the motherboard capacitors too, to get to the PSU capacitors you will have to disassemble the power supply. Doing so can be dangerous if you don't know what you are doing, so search around online before diving in.

    You can also purchase "new" power supplys for the iMac online. They usually run for around $100 or less.
  11. DJinTX thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2010
    Thanks for the info. I will likely abandon this project to avoid electrocuting myself ;)
    Although, I may still remove the HD so I can make sure it is properly erased. i don't want my father-in-law's info to get into the wrong hands.
  12. jtown92 macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2010
    Sorry if I'm bringing this back from an eternity ago! Brand new, first post! What did you end up doing with this? I like to repair, maybe if you're interested in selling it rather than throwing it in a lake we could arrange something?

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