Will I kill my iMac if I take it apart?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Qoxiivi, May 15, 2009.

  1. Qoxiivi macrumors regular

    Qoxiivi

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #1
    My iMac (in signature) is, I'm pretty sure, clogged up with dust causing it to overheat and go 'to sleep' in, well, in about 10 minutes. This, as you can imagine, makes working on it pretty much impossible.

    I've noticed some screws at the bottom of it where the air intakes are and, basically, I'm wondering if it'd be ok, or really really unwise to unscrew it and attempt to give it a clean?

    I'm intelligent, sensible and not completely hardware illiterate but am certainly nowhere near being even a competent technician with regards to these things. I'd be fine with a PC (taking casing off and having a go etc) but am really unsure about Macs as I've been told they're a nightmare when it comes to this kind of thing.

    What should I do?

    Thanks in advance :)

    PS: I'm really skint at the moment and don't think I can stretch to paying for this (warranty ran out last year) but, if I do come into some money, does anyone have any idea how much it might cost to get an Apple-approved professional to look at/fix this?
     
  2. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #2
    I have an iMac, very much like yours... and I've heard that the model we both have is a royal pain to disassemble. I've never tried to dismantle it for this very reason.
     
  3. Rhalliwell1 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    #3
    You can buy canisters of compressed air from most hardware stores. They're only cheap. Get one of these and spray into the vents. Dust should come flying out. If this doesn’t help then you can take it apart and all should be ok provided you are careful. Make sure you are grounded.
     
  4. keysersoze macrumors 68000

    keysersoze

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    NH
    #4
    No, they are fine and easy to open up. Just make sure you do it properly. Unplug it and lie it face down on a soft cloth. Make sure you have no static build up. Loosen the three screws and remove the back panel. I'd suggest cleaning it with compressed air as the above poster di, but also, here's where you can find owner manuals, so you know what you are looking at and dealing with:

    http://support.apple.com/manuals/#imac

    Pay close attention to cleaning out the fans.

    EDIT: I now disagree with my statement. The later iMac G5's with iSight are apparently tough to crack.
     
  5. Willis macrumors 68020

    Willis

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    What feels like the middle of nowhere
    #5
    If its the G5 without the iSight, then the case is actually really straight forward to take off. I believe Apple even have instructions in the support section.

    Then once it's off, use a can of compressed air as suggested and clear the puppy out. There isn't really much chance of causing damage so long as you're carefully and don't poke your hands in anywhere you shouldn't!

    Good luck!

    EDIT: keysersoze beat me to it! But yeah, follow that and you'll be fine
     
  6. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #6
    I would suggest using extreme caution using cans of compressed air. If you happen to turn them just the slightest bit at the wrong angle while spraying you run a serious risk of shooting liquid propellant into your iMac and that would be potentially catastrophic.

    You can vacuum the vents with no problem. I've actually heard that only the latest model of G5 iMacs were difficult to open up. I'm not sure which yours is.
     
  7. Qoxiivi thread starter macrumors regular

    Qoxiivi

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #7
    Cheers guys - really really helpful info. Am still undecided at the moment as (and this is going to sound awful) my CD drive's playing up and isn't writing to any formats (CD/DVD) so my stuff isn't backed up. If I **** this up I'm screwed.

    For more info, my iMac is an iSight one and was bought about a month before the new Intels came out - so I guess it's as recent as the G5s come...
     
  8. keysersoze macrumors 68000

    keysersoze

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    NH
    #8
    OK, now I am not so sure that it's all that easy. I've read that the iSight (later) versions of the iMac G5 are sealed up pretty good, although there is some way to open it with a plastic card.
     
  9. MTI macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    #9
    The G5 iMac is easy to open and clean. Even the screws on the bottom of the case are "captured" so that they don't fall out and roll under the desk.

    While you're inside, have a good look at the logic board capacitors and check for any bulging or leaking tops, which could also be an explanation for your reliability issues.
     
  10. Qoxiivi thread starter macrumors regular

    Qoxiivi

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #11
    Hmm, am fairly confused now. Went to the Apply store in Bluewater yesterday and the guy there said that the G5 iSight iMac would be a problem to take apart - to the extent that if it was an older one they'd happily do it for free as it's a quick job but with this it's a different story.

    Need to get something done at some point though as it's pretty much unusable now. This did happen a while ago and they reeplaced the mother board I think. I wonder if this will need to be done again and, if so, how much that'll cost. I'm thinking not less than £150. Hmm.
     
  11. MTI macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    #12
    I understand what they're saying. The later model G5 is more akin to the Intel iMacs . . . the logic board is accessed from under the LCD, not from the rear like the early G5.

    Still, it's a do-able DIY, you just have to peel some RFI shielding.
     

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