Water damaged iMac G4

jcswim312

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 25, 2008
65
98
Boston, Massachusetts
Hey guys,

I was getting ready to leave for vacation and took my window air conditioner out of the window.

Unfortunately it had been raining that day and my iMac was sitting below the air-conditioner and a lot of water poured directly into the top of my iMac G4 - there is a lot of holes on the top.

I'm concerned that I might have water damage on the iMac and was wondering if you have any suggestions on what I should do at this point to see if it has any water damage.

Thanks!
 

chscag

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2008
3,201
993
Fort Worth, Texas
Whatever you do, don't turn it on. Take it apart and dry everything you can manually, then leave it open and let it dry for several days or more. Hopefully no water seeped below the logic board.
 

vertical smile

macrumors 68040
Sep 23, 2014
3,947
5,145
If it wasn't turned on, you might be okay. I would take the bottom part of the case, exposing the non-user replaceable RAM and HDD, and let it air out for a few days.

I wash my Apple keyboards in my dishwasher to get them clean, and I usually let them dry for a week before I plug them back in, so you might be okay.
 

vertical smile

macrumors 68040
Sep 23, 2014
3,947
5,145
I don't think that I have the proper tools to take it apart, do you think I should take it to the Apple Store?
I wouldn't take it to an Apple Store, go to Walmart or Best Buy, or Amazon.com and buy a basic computer tool set for less than $10.
 

chscag

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2008
3,201
993
Fort Worth, Texas
I don't think that I have the proper tools to take it apart, do you think I should take it to the Apple Store?
An Apple Store genius will refuse to even look at it, so don't bother. Computer tool sets are sold on Amazon, www.macsales.com and www.ifixit.com. Not expensive. Also, the ifixit site is a great place to see the take apart instructions and inside of your G4. You can do it. :)
 
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vertical smile

macrumors 68040
Sep 23, 2014
3,947
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It has been a while since I had my G4's base off, but it isn't hard at all. Putting it back on is the hardest part, but still not really hard.

IIRC, there is a bottom plate with a few standard Philips head screws, probably #1.
Take screws off, and then the bottom plate, revealing the user-replaceable RAM and a few security screws for the base.
Take the security screws out, and carefully pull the base off.
Air it out for a few days, maybe with a small fan.
Put it back the way you took it apart, and maybe consider replacing the drive and upgrading the non-user-replaceable RAM while everything is open. Or just carefully put it back together.
Plug it in, and turn it on.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,215
5,558
iMac g4 ???

It's time "for something new" anyway.

This gives you a good excuse to go shopping.
 
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mikehalloran

macrumors 68000
Oct 14, 2018
1,600
390
The Sillie Con Valley
maybe consider replacing the drive
With what? No one has made PATA (ATA/IDE/EIDE) drives in years. I’m having trouble finding a good one for my G4 towers. At least those have a lot of room for adapters (which I’m exploring) — I don’t recall that kind of room in the base of a G4 iMac.

With the base off, replace the PRAM battery if not been done in the last 5 years.
https://www.amazon.com/SAFT-LS-14250-Lithium-Battery-ORIGINAL/dp/B01N5ORNBS/ref=sr_1_4?crid=3JNTK6OVZE4E&keywords=pram+battery+mac&qid=1562513828&s=gateway&sprefix=PRAM+battery,aps,213&sr=8-4
Write it off to experience and upgrade.
I can see having one around. I keep one dual-boot OS 9/10.4 to convert old docs and for a couple of apps that never made it past OS 9. I’ve another for spare parts. Useless for anything else anymore. Many web sites will no longer work with the available browsers.
iMac g4 ???

It's time "for something new" anyway.

This gives you a good excuse to go shopping.
Hell yes!

Worst case on a G4 iMac. If you look around and let people know you are looking, you can find one for free. If you lived near me (Silicon Valley), I’d give you a working G4 tower and a good monitor just to keep them from recycling. My wife and I have been cleaning the garage this weekend and I need the space.
 

vertical smile

macrumors 68040
Sep 23, 2014
3,947
5,145
With what? No one has made PATA (ATA/IDE/EIDE) drives in years. I’m having trouble finding a good one for my G4 towers. At least those have a lot of room for adapters (which I’m exploring) — I don’t recall that kind of room in the base of a G4 iMac.
Using mSATA SSD and a mSATA to PATA/IDE adapter should work.

I am going to be doing this with my G4 Tower, I have everything I need.

If it works okay, I will be following it up with a SSD in my iMac G4.

As for room in the G4, it is a little cramped, but if I am going to use a mSATA, it should be more than adequate for the 3.5" space.

Write it off to experience and upgrade.
iMac g4 ???

It's time "for something new" anyway.
Hell yes!
I was under the impression that this was not the OP's primary computer. If it is, then I would agree, it is probably time to upgrade.

Still, if the OP likes the iMac G4 (it is my favorite Apple product design ever), and wants to keep it around, the OP can find something newer for a primary computer, but still try to salvage this one.
 

mikehalloran

macrumors 68000
Oct 14, 2018
1,600
390
The Sillie Con Valley
Using mSATA SSD and a mSATA to PATA/IDE adapter should work.

I am going to be doing this with my G4 Tower, I have everything I need.
I have them, too but am going with a 2.5” SATA III SSD. Just looking for he time to do it. Post how it works out!
I was under the impression that this was not the OP's primary computer.
While that certainly makes sense, the OP never stated this and there is no reason to assume.
 

vertical smile

macrumors 68040
Sep 23, 2014
3,947
5,145
I have them, too but am going with a 2.5” SATA III SSD.
I might end up doing a 2.5 SATA SSD for the iMac G4, but I have a bunch of 120GB mSATA SSDs and a few mSATA to PATA/IDE adapters around, so I am going to start with them.

There are a few different ways to get an SSD in these older Macs.

Just looking for he time to do it.
Yeah, I am no rush. I might do my iBook G3 after the other two.

I am always working on something.

Right now, I am working on the GPU on a maxed out BTO Mid-2011 27" iMac with the 2GB 6970 that a someone gave me. It has the 5 pink vertical bars at start up, so I am going to bake it.

I would of had it done last night, but realized that I didn't have enough thermal paste, so I will finish it tomorrow. Hopefully it works.


While that certainly makes sense, the OP never stated this and there is no reason to assume.
Maybe I shouldn't have assumed that it wasn't his primary computer, but wouldn't it be similar to assume that the G4 was the OP's primary machine like many posts have?