5461 Views 12 Replies Latest reply: Aug 5, 2010 5:59 AM by RubenSchouten
Most of the logic board problems in the iMac G5’s appear to be capacitor issues. Here’s a site that will help you id the culprit(s) and DIY instructions: http://jimwarholic.com/2008/07/how-to-repair-apple-imac-g5.php
If the capacitors are the issue, Apple will just replace the logic board/midplane assembly, and that is not an inexpensive fix. Replacing bad capacitors yourself (if that's the issue) is an option, but it requires knowledge and experience in soldering electronic components. If your iMac is not working, I suppose you have nothing to lose, but just realize that if this is your first time tackling such a project, your chances of success are at best, equal to your chances of failure.
If your determined to save this Mac, I'd try to find an authorized repair shop willing to try to help you out. Some shops will just follow Apples procedures, and tell you to replace the logic board, or whatever part contains the bad capacitors, assuming that is the problem. Some shops may be willing to try to fix the capacitors. It really comes down to what you're willing to do to try and save an old Mac.
Replacing the logicboard is fairly doable, provided you can find the part.
Take a look at the great links already provided, and look at the prices for replacements on ebay (or anywhere else the links or Google may take you) and decide what you're willing to spend to try to fix your Mac.
Thanks again for the responses everyone!
Jeff - it would be my first experience soldering electronic components, so it's a bit daunting. Just reading posts and surfing online, I feel that the replacement would be as much or close to buying a new system.
The most important thing for me is if I can somehow retrieve the files that were on my hard drive. Unfortunately, I haven't backed up most of my files. I now know to never make that mistake again. A friend suggested making the internal hard drive into an external. Is that even possible? And have any of you done something similar to this?
So everyone has given you very good diagnosis and repair paths. If you look at Jim Warholics site and determine that you have bad capacitors. (Be aware that just a tiny bit of doming will indicate a bad capacitor.)
So if after you survey all the capacitors in your iMac you find that you have just a few bad ones you can buy the kit from Jim and attempt your own repair.
Read this thread first:
Now I recently got 2 iMac G5 20" 2.0 GHz machines donated that both had the capacitor problem. They both had the RAM maxed out at 2 GBs so I was licking my chops as they were sorely needed at the school for a video GarageBand class.
I took both of the backs off and surveyed the capacitors. One had two bad ones but the other had 12! I actually had a bad 2.0 GHz 20" iMac w/ a bad power supply sitting in my "to be repaired" area. It also only had two bad caps on the logic board.
In starting the removal of the two bad caps I was reminded how difficult this process was so I just heated the through board leads until I could move the leads up to that I had about 1/4 inch of a gap between the bottom of the cap and the logic board. I then cut the leads off as close to the bottom of the cap as possible and tacked soldered the new caps on. I used a Xacto knife to do the cutting. Be very careful of fingers and don't cut the logic board (Did that on an old G3 iMac and it was very dead afterwords) or damage any of those tiny SMT parts.
Here's some pictures:
Turned out these caps had to lay down since they were in the area where the spring loaded box where the foot attaches.
Those two iMacs are now back in action and ready for the summer camp video students.
The one with the 12 bad caps is now at the back of my "to be repaired" area waiting for a day when I'm really bored with nothing to do.
Message was edited by: spudnuty
Message was edited by: spudnuty
Making the hard drive an external is quite simple - buy a case from [Macsales.com], they will sell the the proper tools as well and all you need do is remove the drive from the iMac and put it in the new enclosure. Make sure that you have both firewire and USB, and if you are getting a new iMac, firewire 800 and USB2. You can also get a bare drive dock, but I prefer enclosures, they protect the drive better. Once you have transferred your data, you can use the new external as a backup drive, with SuperDuper!, which can schedule backups for you. In any case, it is,as you have now found out, imperative to have a backup/clone.
Let us know how you do,
So I have an update, after inspecting the logic board I didn't find any bulging or leaking capacitors at all. So I decided to dig a bit deeper and open up the PSU. And I found a few bulging and leaking capacitors, and the shell that covered them had a black residue (similar to when you place a piece of metal over a candle). Here's an image of the capacitors in the PSU: http://img143.imageshack.us/img143/6923/201006051821522.jpg
Hoping that the problem is only the PSU, I ordered a replacement on eBay ($98). Although it would be cheaper to replace the capacitors myself, I don't think I would be successful at soldering. I'll post another update to let you all know if this fixes my iMac problem.
And thanks again to all who posted! Your replies were very helpful and informative and I appreciate it!
Update: I received the PSU in the mail today and replaced the busted one. But unfortunately that still didn't help. The same problem persists. So it's definitely the logic board or the hard drive. However, I didn't see any bulging or leaking capacitors like I did with the PSU.
Is there a way to find out if it's the hard drive that's causing the problem?