7 Replies Latest reply: Oct 28, 2012 5:18 PM by tassia2
tassia2 Level 1 (0 points)

We have a 20" 2004 iMac, it was a gift from the original owner and it worked fine for a couple of years but now it won't start. The LED diagnostic tests show that the PSU is okay, but it does have a bad capacitor (at least one that is visibly bulged and leaking). 


This was my 90-yr-old father's computer, with which he was fond of spamming the family with his "latest".


I don't have the money to get this fixed (looks like around $300 is lowest I can find, and not sure of reliablity of repair anyway). 


In trying to figure out what to do, I am contemplating buying something else used, but there is a hitch.  I hesitate to open this can of worms here, but I am "electrosensitive," and, while I have successfully co-existed with wifi at the level of old iMacs' Airport Extreme 802.11g working with the several-years-old AT&T 2Wire wifi router that I am clinging to, I have experienced terrible problems with other wireless equipment.  A wireless card I installed in an old PC made life unbearable until I removed it, for one example -- I wish I knew what that card's specs were now. I avoid experimenting as much as possible, trying to stick with what I know I am okay with.


So, if you will bear with me and tolerate the concept of electrosensitivity, my question is "what Macs are compatible with an Airport Extreme 802.11g card?" (I assume that newer Macs are not). 


And alternatively, do newer Macs have built-in wireless, and therefore limiting them to 802.11g by switching a card or something would not be possible?


Thanks for any ideas.

G5, Mac OS X (10.4.3)
  • Rambling Joe Level 2 (280 points)

    The G5 iMac, Ambient Light Sensor model # A1076, had built in Airport Extreme 802.11b/g.


    You need to go to the Intel-based (Late 2006) iMac, model # iMac5,1, to get a built in AirPort Extreme 802.11a/b/g/n.


    I'm not sure if this is a concern, but you have an iPhone 5 (and maybe any iPhone upgraded to iOS 6), you need iTunes 10.7, which is only available to Intel-based Macs.


    I hope this helps.


    Good luck.

  • tassia2 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you Rambling Joe.



    I am not seeking built-in wireless.  I only want 802.11g, not 802.11n.


    But what you said does raise the question of


    (1) whether all Intel-baed iMacs have built-in wireless, and


    (2) when did they go to the "n" spec (which I do NOT want!), and


    (3) whether it is possible to disable built-in wireless and add a card to substitute the "g" spec. (I doubt that is possible, but I'm sure somebody here knows the answer.)


    This is the key question: "what Macs are compatible with an Airport Extreme 802.11g card?"

  • a brody Level 9 (65,731 points)

    The 'n' spec was added with the Late 2006 iMac with an $1 upgrade software from Apple.


    This looks like your iMac:


    If the specs look right going by the info in the System Profiler in Apple menu -> About This Mac, you may or may not have an Airport Extreme card installed.  You can use these instructions to determine that:


    If it isn't there, you can purchase the card from:


    If it is there, and won't contact your 2Wire Router, make sure you temporarily open its network, and add it to the allowed clients on your 2Wire router.  2Wire should give you instructions on how to do it.  You can find your MAC Network address in Apple menu -> About this Mac -> System Information or More info under the Airport or WiFi section.

  • tassia2 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes, that looks like our iMac, too bad it won't start.  I wish I could find some kind soul who does this capacitor repair and would give us a break and just solder in the ONE bad capacitor that obviously needs replacing.  This might fix everything, and we just can't afford the full replacement.


    That is great information you sent.  Thank you so much for those links!

  • tassia2 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have learned that it makes no sense to wish to replace one capacitor, as the logic board, which is very difficult to get out, must be removed first. so might as well remove and replace all the potentially bad caps with good ones. 


    So, will have to put off fixing it indefinitely.

  • a brody Level 9 (65,731 points)

    You can see if the repair here is worth it for you:  http://www.dttservice.com/imac.html

  • tassia2 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks, those are good prices.