8 Replies Latest reply: May 29, 2013 10:17 AM by Mini Apple Genius
Mini Apple Genius Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)

Okay, so someone was throwing out a old eMac, so I asked the person if I could have it and he said yes. So I took it home and it works. However it keeps on crashing about every 30 seconds or so. I don't know what's wrong with it. Or is this a normal thing with eMacs and this was "Top Of The Line" in 2003? It's running OS X 10.3.9 if that helps. Sometimes it crashes when I'm starting it up! ( when it says welcome to Macintosh). Thank you for your help! ANY kind of help is appreciated!


Mini Apple Genuis

eMac, Mac OS X (10.3.x), USB 2.0 Model
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (121,185 points)

    Hello, the crashing isn't normal.


    One way to test is to Safe Boot from the HD, (holding Shift key down at bootup), run Disk Utility in Applications>Utilities, then highlight your drive, click on Repair Permissions, Test for problem in Safe Mode...


    PS. Safe boot may stay on the gray radian for a long time, let it go, it's trying to repair the Hard Drive


    Reboot, test again.


    If it only does it in Regular Boot, then it could be some hardware problem like Video card, (Quartz is turned off in Safe Mode), or Airport, or some USB or Firewire device, or 3rd party add-on, Check System Preferences>Accounts (Users & Groups in later OSX versions)>Login Items window to see if it or something relevant is listed.


    Check the System Preferences>Other Row, for 3rd party Pref Panes.


    Also look in these if they exist, some are invisible...











  • Allan Jones Level 7 Level 7 (33,470 points)

    Quite a few USB 2.0 eMacs with 1.0 and 1.25Ghz processors had a near-fatal logic board problem that is today probably not worth fixing. Crashing shortly after startup or as soon as you launched any program was one symptom of the bad boards.


    The ones with bad logic boards were in these serial number ranges:


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


    There was an repair extension program in place to fix these at no cost to the owner but the program expired nearly three yeas ago.


    This article shows where to find the serial number:


    How to locate the serial number and identify your model


    If the serial number starts with "R" or "RM" the computer is a factory refurb and the above list wil not help.


    You can open the RAM door on the bottom of the case to check for the problem---leaking capacitors. This image shows what "bad caps" look like:



    Note the brown goo on top of the capacitors.


    Not completely diagnostic because caps other than those visible through the RAM door could be the bad ones. Nevertheless, if you see what's in those images, I think you are done unless you can extract the logic board, desolder a bunch most of the capacitors, find new ones with the right specs, solder new ones in without frying them with the solder gun.....well, you get the picture. It's not a DIY fix.

  • Mini Apple Genius Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)

    Thanks so much! it's works, but only in safe mode. by the way, how can I fix the Video Card? And Can you also help me with these too? Thanks!


    Change Computer Name In OS X 10.3.8


    Upgrading OS X 10.3.9 To Leopard

  • Mini Apple Genius Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)

    Thanks for the info and the good pictures! It really helped me!

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (121,185 points)

    Sadly, the Video card is part of the Logic Board, & not easily fixable.


    Good idea to post the links to those other questions here, as I never visit that other area.

  • Mini Apple Genius Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)

    Thanks! I will get back to you about them in a couple of min. somone is useing the keyboard and mouse I use for my eMac. Will Get back as soon as I can.

  • Allan Jones Level 7 Level 7 (33,470 points)

    So is your computer in the affected serial number ranges, or did you see bad capacitors? That makes a huge difference in how we help you with this.

  • Mini Apple Genius Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)

    No, my eMac is not in the affected serial numbers ranges. I have not had time to open my eMac though, sorry