1 2 3 Previous Next 30 Replies Latest reply: Dec 18, 2012 11:10 PM by Glen Doggett
slstaer Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

The power button lights up once when we try to turn it on (only after the power cord has been unpugged and plugged back in).  We tried to reset the CUDA and that didn't work.  Ultimately we want the computer to work again, but we need to get some financial files off of the hard drive.  Please help!!


PowerMac, Mac OS 9.0.x
  • 1. Re: We have a PowerMac G4 that won't turn on.
    Jacumba Level 4 Level 4 (2,325 points)

    The first thing you may want to look into is the battery on the logic/motherboard. You can have it tested for free at Radio Shack. If it test bad that would at least tell you the battery may be the cause. This is what the battery looks like.

     

    http://www.newertech.com/products/pram_3_6v.php

  • 2. Re: We have a PowerMac G4 that won't turn on.
    Glen Doggett Level 4 Level 4 (1,795 points)

    if the hard drive is still functional, and as long as you don't have File Vault or some other file encryption on the drive, you could just remove it from the machine and access the files on another computer using an external cable adapter like this:

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Newer%20Technology/U3NVSPATA/

     

    to see how you can open up the machine and remove a hard drive: here are some videos on how to install a hard drive in various Mac models:

    http://eshop.macsales.com/installvideos/

  • 3. Re: We have a PowerMac G4 that won't turn on.
    slstaer Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    We had the battery tested and it is working. 

  • 4. Re: We have a PowerMac G4 that won't turn on.
    slstaer Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Can we use the external adapter with the G4 hard drive in a newer computer with a newer operating system? 

  • 5. Re: We have a PowerMac G4 that won't turn on.
    Glen Doggett Level 4 Level 4 (1,795 points)

    You can access the files on the drive from a newer computer and OS, but the problem with using a newer OS is that some files can only be opened by a particular version of the application that only runs under an older OS version.  For example, say you have tax-prep files from year 1998 in OS 9 and those can not be opened by current tax software 2012 under OS X.  You can usually import or translate files from one year's version to the next years, but over many years you have lost any backwards compatibility.  If you have Excel spreadsheets from version 1998 you may be able to open them with 2010 version of Excel, but maybe not with 100% translation of all features or formatting, hypothetically.

     

    If your G4 was running OS 9 and the files you need can only be opened by running the original version of the software under OS 9, then your best bet would be to search your favorite local classified ads for a similar vintage computer that is in working condition, and use the external hard drive with that computer.  If you consider the worst-case that the G4 requires some major repair like a motherboard or power supply.  Grab a used working model similar to yours and get back in business, that may be cheaper and faster than trying to figure out what is wrong with this one and fixing it, if you are facing some kind of fiscal-cliff or deadline for accessing your data files.

  • 6. Re: We have a PowerMac G4 that won't turn on.
    slstaer Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    We found a vintage machine Power Mac G4 running OS X tiger and we put our hard drive In it and started it and it started running.  It did the start up screen for OS 9.2 which is what we were running. It started initializing and icons came up on the bottom and then the screen went blank.  The tower continued to run but the screen would not turn on. Any ideas?

  • 7. Re: We have a PowerMac G4 that won't turn on.
    slstaer Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Or can we replace our power supply (400w) with the power supply from the other one (230w)?

  • 8. Re: We have a PowerMac G4 that won't turn on.
    Jacumba Level 4 Level 4 (2,325 points)

    OK the battery tested and is good. Next thing are the fans working, cpu fan and power supply fan when you power on? If so are you just getting a black screen? If you are we could try taking a look at the ram or hard drive.

  • 9. Re: We have a PowerMac G4 that won't turn on.
    slstaer Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    One of the fans did one quick turn one of the times we tried to turn iron. It will turn on very briefly after the power cord is unplugged then plugged back in. Other than that no fans and no screen. Just a quick blip of light after the power cord is unplugged, then plugged back in.

  • 10. Re: We have a PowerMac G4 that won't turn on.
    Jacumba Level 4 Level 4 (2,325 points)

    You just posted as I did. It's not the power supply in the vintage G4 you picked up, monitors don't draw power from the computer power supply. They plug into a separate outlet on there own. The first thought right now is a hard drive failure. Is the hard drive making any unusual sounds? You'll have to open the case and listen to it, it should have a smooth running spinning sound.

  • 11. Re: We have a PowerMac G4 that won't turn on.
    Glen Doggett Level 4 Level 4 (1,795 points)

    Jacumba wrote:

     

    ...monitors don't draw power from the computer power supply. They plug into a separate outlet on there own....

    except for the Apple ADC monitors which have one cable for power, USB, and video signal.

  • 12. Re: We have a PowerMac G4 that won't turn on.
    Jacumba Level 4 Level 4 (2,325 points)

    If you're referring to the first G4 with no fans working? Than that would sound like a bad power supply. So I would try putting the power supply from the vintage G4 you picked up. Into the other one. If the connector plug is the same.

  • 13. Re: We have a PowerMac G4 that won't turn on.
    Glen Doggett Level 4 Level 4 (1,795 points)

    bummer, I was hoping that you could get another machine in working condition, rather than have two machines to troubleshoot.  Did the new machine even boot up under it's original OS?

     

    First thing, is make sure the machine you picked up is working as-is, or send it back, if you still can.  You could boot into that drive's OS X, and use your old drive OS 9 System Folder for Classic, try launching your old OS 9 apps under classic.  Classic under OS X might not fully support your software, some old software may require booting into OS 9.

  • 14. Re: We have a PowerMac G4 that won't turn on.
    Jacumba Level 4 Level 4 (2,325 points)

    Good post on monitors, Glen!

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