7 Replies Latest reply: Dec 21, 2010 5:27 AM by a brody
sammule Level 1 Level 1
I'm trying to fix an iMac ("iMac G5 ALS (17-inch)") that the missus owns. It powers up and then displays a small folder icon that flashes back and forth between the Finder logo and a question mark. I've done quite a bit of research online and everything seems to lead back to booting the System Install/Restore discs. The problem is, she doesn't have them. According to Apple's Support pages, they are also no longer available:

"This is a vintage product. Service is no longer available from Apple, unless you purchased your product in California. [URL="http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1752"]Read more about vintage and obsolete products[/URL]."

Any suggestion on where I might be able to obtain the appropriate disc(s)?

Message was edited by: sammule

iMac G5 ALS (17-inch), Mac OS X (10.4)
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10
    Sometimes you can call Apple and get replacement Discs for older models, even some they do not service anymore, for a nominal fee.

    Do you have another Mac around with Firewire?
  • sammule Level 1 Level 1
    Nope. I do have a good friend with an iMac as well though. Not sure if that may help...
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10
    If you have another Mac with Firewire & a FW cable, boot this Mac into Target mode...


    If the other Mac has 10.3.9 or greater installed, you can then try to repair the Hard drive in this one, as it'll look like an external Firewire drive.
  • sammule Level 1 Level 1
    It will probably be a couple days before I can get together with him, but I'll post back with results. Thanks.
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10
    OK, anxious to hear the outcome.
  • rccharles Level 6 Level 6
    Classic Mac OS
    Apple may still supply the original restore CDs/DVDs for a nominal fee. Have a your serial number and model information available when you call them.

    AppleCare Support Phone Number: 1-800-275-2273
    open 6am to 6pm Pacific Time

    Apple Phone Sales 1-800-692-7753

    International Technical Support Numbers
  • a brody Level 9 Level 9
    Classic Mac OS
    Your iMac G5 supports 10.5 retail installer which is available by calling the Apple Store online often. Other places which may have it, you have to make sure that you actually get the retail disc which looks like *

    and does not say upgrade, dropin, or OEM.

    The only thing about the retail installer is that it does not:

    1. Include Classic.
    2. Include Appleworks.
    3. Include the hardware test.
    4. Include the games that came with the Mac, except Chess.
    5. Include iLife, except iTunes, unless you get the Mac Box Set.

    You might be able to obtain the original discs from a user who has the same Mac model at a usergroup: http://www.apple.com/usergroups/
    being aware of the license restrictions of the software.
    Naturally you could use it to run the hardware test, or test the operating system on your Mac using the Disk Utility if it never was updated.
    Note, the Disk Utility check can also be duplicated simply by using Single User Mode:


    Using fsck if necessary

    section applies when you don't have the original discs. This doesn't do a hardware test, but does do a rudimentary directory test and repair. For more sophisticated directory repair, go and get Alsoft Disk Warrior.

    Before doing any extensive repair, be sure your data is backed up*:


    - * Links to my pages may give me compensation.

    Message was edited by: a brody