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Cannot boot iMac G5. Freezes on startup.

995 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Feb 9, 2013 9:00 AM by MlchaelLAX RSS Branched to a new discussion.
Lillian1810 Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Feb 5, 2013 4:59 AM

Hi! I'm having a huge problem with my iMac G5 powerPC.

I've bought it secondhand about two years ago. Upon checking the serial code I found out my computer was produced mid- 2005. The previous owner installed a newer OS X version, which I assume was Leopard.

 

About a week ago my computer started shutting down at random. After startup it would work for about 5 - 15 minutes before losing power again. It wouldn't feel hot and I could power it up again right away.

 

This went on for about two days, and now I'm completely stuck. When I press the powerbutton now, it usually freezes at the white Apple logo with the spinning gear underneath it. Unlike the many posts I've read about this, my spinning gear doesn't freeze, but just keeps on spinning forever... The longest I've let it sit like that is for about an hour. However, sometimes it passes this stage and freezes on a blue screen with the cursor in the left top-corner.

 

I've started it in single-user mode and used fsck. It made a lot of noise and displayed "***** FILE SYSTEM WAS MODIFIED *****", but right after that it shuts down again... I've tried this three times now.

 

Resetting NVRAM / PRAM didn't fix it. Resetting open firmware didn't fix it.

It won't start in safe mode either.

I doubt it's the powersupply, since it can run for hours if I don't touch it, and I've tried multiple outlets.

 

I've heard of reinstalling OS X while keeping my data, but I suppose that's impossible for me for I didn't get an install disk when I bought it.

 

I'm at loss! Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas?

Thanks in advance!

 

Lillian

iMac, iOS 5.0.1
  • MlchaelLAX Level 4 Level 4 (1,550 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 5, 2013 11:19 AM (in response to Lillian1810)

    Unfortunately, it sounds like you have one of the iMac G5's that suffered from the installation of capacitors that went bad before they should.

     

    I purchased many of these used from a company that was shutting down its American office and almost all of them failed eventually from this problem. 

     

    Apple initially extended their warranty for this problem and in my case, my local Genius bar got mine fixed for free even after the extended period expired.  However, I doubt that Apple even carries these motherboards anymore.

     

    You could bring it into your local Apple Store, if you have one, and it is an easy visual check by the Genius Bar to confirm that it is bad capacitors.

     

    Eventually my last iMac G5 required a power supply replacement in 2010 and then the HD went bad in 2011, so I replaced the complete unit with a 2011 Mac Mini -- it was time for me and now probably time for you, too!

     

    Hopefully you have a Time Machine or other backup.

     

    Be aware that a modern new Mac will not have Rosetta in Mountain Lion and any older PowerPC applications will not run.

     

    There are separate threads here on this forum that discuss both of these issues.

  • rccharles Level 5 Level 5 (5,150 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 5, 2013 11:27 AM (in response to Lillian1810)

    I've started it in single-user mode and used fsck. It made a lot of noise and displayed "***** FILE SYSTEM WAS MODIFIED *****", but right after that it shuts down again... I've tried this three times now.

    Could be a bad harddrive. Replaceable. or get an external drive.

     

    There have been a lot of hardware problem with early iMag G5's. Capacitor problems.  Power supply.

     

    You may be able to get a restore cd from apple. ask for leopard.

     

    10.4 & 10.5 available from Apple by calling 800-767-2775 on January 20, 2013.

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4720126?tstart=0

     

    I'd start by getting a dvd from apple.

     

     

    ---------------------------------------

     

    You need an external Firewire drive to boot a PowerPC Mac computer.

     

    I recommend you do a google search on any external harddrive you are looking at.

     

    I bought a low cost external drive enclosure. When I started having trouble with it, I did a google search and found a lot of complaints about the drive enclosure. I ended up buying a new drive enclosure. On my second go around, I decided to buy a drive enclosure with a good history of working with Macs. The chip set seems to be the key ingredient. The Oxford line of chips seems to be good. I got the Oxford 911.

     

     

    Has everything interface:

    FireWire 800/400 + USB2, + eSATA 'Quad Interface'

    &

    save a little money interface:

    FireWire 400 + USB 2.0

    This web page lists both external harddrive types. You may need to scroll to the right to see both.

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/firewire/1394/USB/EliteAL/eSATA_FW800_FW400_USB

  • MlchaelLAX Level 4 Level 4 (1,550 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 5, 2013 11:39 AM (in response to rccharles)

    rccharles wrote:

     

    You may be able to get a restore cd from apple. ask for leopard.

     

    10.4 & 10.5 available from Apple by calling 800-767-2775 on January 20, 2013.

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4720126?tstart=0

     

    I'd start by getting a dvd from apple.

     

    The linked post is a bit confusing in its discussion, but Apple will only provide the $17 + shipping replacement of the flavor of OS X that originally came with the specific iMac G5, based upon its serial number; for example, Tiger OR Leopard. They will not ship both.

  • MlchaelLAX Level 4 Level 4 (1,550 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 9, 2013 9:00 AM (in response to Lillian1810)

    Apple never fixed "parts."  They always only did board replacements; in this case the motherboard.

     

    Here in Los Angeles there are independent shops that will do component level repairs, but you already see the expense issue that you noted.

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