10 Replies Latest reply: Mar 29, 2012 11:35 AM by Allan Jones
cloudysunday Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Last couple of days my emac monitor will just shut down and go black, just like an old TV tube packing up used to. It won't return on restart, but did return a couple of times after I took out mains lead from side of computer, let it rest, then tried again. However, today, this solution didn't work, but a tap to the side of the computer did get the screen going. I've read a number of different possible explanations for what might be the problem – everything from battery, to airport card to it's terminally ill, get a new computer, so don't really know what to do. Don't want to go and buy a new computer if all I really needed to do was change the battery. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.


emac, Mac OS X (10.4.11), powerPC G4
  • 1. Re: Emac monitor goes black – slap brings it back to life
    BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (116,475 points)

    The Battery is pretty cheap thing to try if you get it at the right place, one such place...

     

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Newer%20Technology/BAA36VPRAM/ 

     

    But the slap & unplugging from the mains sounds that it's likely dust build up inside, or Bad Capacitors.

  • 2. Re: Emac monitor goes black – slap brings it back to life
    cloudysunday Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks BDAqua. I'll go down the battery and cleaning route. Machine is very old and I've never changed the battery and I imagine dust accumulation is pretty bad, so I'll try these out.

  • 3. Re: Emac monitor goes black – slap brings it back to life
    BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (116,475 points)

    OK, do let us know, but Dust is my best gyess right now... Computers are better Air Cleaners than Air Cleaners are!

  • 4. Re: Emac monitor goes black – slap brings it back to life
    Allan Jones Level 7 Level 7 (30,435 points)

    Hi cloudy,

     

    A positive reaction to a "whack upside the head" is a fairly strong indication of a loose connection someplace. eMacs had different hardware issues depending on the variant. The first-gen 700mHz units with Nvidea video hardware had a bad IVAD cable that caused display issues; the first USB 2.0 eMacs with 1.0G and 1.25G processors had bad capacitors that basically rendered the computer unusable..

     

    Please do "About this Mac" from your Apple menu, then click the "More Info..." button in the resulting window.That launches System Profiler for you, defaulting to the "Hardware Overview" screen. Looks something like this:

     

    SysProf_main_forASC.png

     

    Note I've NOT shown the serial number. Copy/paste everything above "bus speed" into a response  and we can better address what's up with your eMac and how to deal with it.

  • 5. Re: Emac monitor goes black – slap brings it back to life
    cloudysunday Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hello Allan

    Thanks for responding.

    I went ahead with a big clean of the computer, inside and out, and changed the battery, as BDAqua suggested; and so far, so good. No problems last few hours with monitor crashing and, in fact, I can report my computer's speed has improved by 50 percent. Still, have to give it a few more days, I think, before I can give it the all clear. But, in case it is what you say, below are the details you suggested I post. I've had the emac since 2004 and have had very few problems with it and, certainly, this is the first time I've had a black screen issue. What do you reckon?

     

    Hardware Overview:

     

      Machine Name:          eMac

      Machine Model:          PowerMac6,4

      CPU Type:          PowerPC G4  (1.1)

      Number Of CPUs:          1

      CPU Speed:          1.25 GHz

      L2 Cache (per CPU):          512 KB

      Memory:          768 MB

      Bus Speed:          167 MHz

      Boot ROM Version:          4.8.2f1

  • 6. Re: Emac monitor goes black – slap brings it back to life
    Allan Jones Level 7 Level 7 (30,435 points)

    That's all good news. You have the later and better USB 2.0 eMac. However, the model is one containing groups of units affected by the logic board issues with bad capacitors. The logic board issues were most commonly associated with these serial number ranges:

     

    • G8412xxxxxx- G8520xxxxxx
    • YM412xxxxxx - YM520xxxxxx
    • VM440xxxxxx - VM516xxxxxx

    [again, don't post your serial number here]

     

    If yours is in the list, all you can do is keep an eye on it. Keeping it clean like you've done should help keep internal temps down and that may help longevity. The repair--if the shop can find an unaffected logic board---is nearly as much as a new Mac Mini.

     

    If your board goes, and you are within driving distance of Salem OR USA, there is a shop that offers a low-cost repair of bad eMac logic boards rather than a replacement; it's much less expensive IF you don't have to ship a 50-pound computer round trip.

     

    Your particular eMac can take advantage of newer, larger RAM modules that were not available when Apple engaved the specs in stone (Apple says 1GB max RAM). With the proper modules, you can increase RAM to a total of 2GB with two of these:

     

    1GB PC2700 DDR 333MHz CAS 2.5 184 Pin DIMM

     

    We have one of the above installed in my wife's USB 2.0 eMac alongside an original 256MB stick for a total of 1.25GB RAM and it's completely stable. However, you should get the RAM from the source I mentioned as they test in Macs. Similar RAM form a retail outlet may be PC-only.

  • 7. Re: Emac monitor goes black – slap brings it back to life
    cloudysunday Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    It's been a couple of days since I tried BDAqua's suggestion of battery change plus spring cleaning my emac and things have been good – like I said above, computer speed up by 50 percent and no more black screens. Problem solved – I hope! Thanks BDAqua.

  • 8. Re: Emac monitor goes black – slap brings it back to life
    cloudysunday Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Just to add that can of compressed air did the trick in terms of cleaning computer. Opened up emac – eight years worth of accumulated dust dispelled by few sprays of compressed air.

  • 9. Re: Emac monitor goes black – slap brings it back to life
    BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (116,475 points)

    Great news, wonderful to hear, thanks!

  • 10. Re: Emac monitor goes black – slap brings it back to life
    Allan Jones Level 7 Level 7 (30,435 points)

    eight years worth of accumulated dust dispelled by few sprays of compressed air.

     

    I did that with a G3 minitower. Had no idea there could be that many generations of dust bunnies inside a computer. The "my bad" part was I did the big blow-out while the computer was on the kitchen table. That got me banned from cleaning computers anywhere upstairs.