iMac G5 problems

Posted by: John Rougeux

iMac G5 problems - 09/06/10 03:23 PM

My in-law's iMac G5 went belly up the other day. No immediate known cause, but when I looked at it, I knew that I couldn't fix anything on it.

Would this be the video card, motherboard, or ?

Here's the Apple on startup. Notice how it's not solid color and has like a split to it:

Click for full size

And here's the furthest it gets. It won't eject the CD I put in it. I can't boot it into anything else or off of a CD/DVD that I can tell.

Click for full size
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/06/10 03:29 PM

Connect it to another Mac via FW and boot the 2nd Mac from this Macs OS. That should let you know if it's just the vid-card or if it's more.
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/06/10 03:31 PM

What keys do you hold down to boot it?

It's firewire target disk mode, correct?
Posted by: MacBozo

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/06/10 03:36 PM

It's not the model that had the "exploding" resistors on the motherboard, is it?
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/06/10 03:40 PM

i don't know,what models were those?

And when I started it up via Firewire Target disk mode, it appears normal:

Click for full size
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/06/10 04:00 PM

Now it boots to a blue screen after I reset the PRAM.
Posted by: Jim_

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/06/10 10:38 PM

Video card probably. Can it Safe Boot? Shift key down at startup.

The video card isn't expensive but it's the last item on the take apart list.

Like Michael said, some models had the bad capacitors. Take the back off and see if any caps are bulging or leaking, but I don't think that would affect video, it just kills the machine.
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/06/10 11:54 PM

Been a little while since I did this but after you have it mounted via FW Target Disk mode go to preferences and Start Up Disks and select the one on the "bad" machine and restart.
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/07/10 04:31 AM

No, can't start up in Safe mode, I did that earlier and it only goes to the blue screen.

NG4, there is no option to go to preferences or anything in FW target disk mode. It only displayed the firewire symbol and then the HD appears on my iMac.
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/07/10 04:37 AM

Ok, I am wrong. Apparently it does boot up into Safe mode now. I'm now logged in, but the graphics are horrible.

inserted and now trying to boot off of Hardware Test mode.
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/07/10 04:54 AM

Did the Extended test and so far:
Airport passed
Logic Board Passed
Mass Storage in progress

I gotta go to work but will find out more later. Video RAM is last
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/07/10 05:18 AM

Well, it finished before I left.

Said Error Detected with Video RAM

***ERROR*CODE***ERROR*CODE***
2ATI/1/4:113-xxxxx-113

Whatever that means. At least now I know it may just be only the video card. I have an appointment tomorrow at the Apple Store
Posted by: jimbo60640

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/07/10 06:19 AM

John -

Well, you're not alone (unfortunately) and this bug is not unique. It IS the graphics board. Actually, it's probably the VRAM on the graphics board. The problem is painfully complicated by the fact that the graphics board is on a daughter board and the VRAM is soldered permanently onto it and the graphics board is ingeniously permanently soldered onto the logic board. So, yes, you have to replace the entire logic board. Clever, huh?!?

This disaster that has befallen you has a small upside: it is a well-known and documented heat-related design error and Apple knows it. Here's a picture of my screen with fried VRAM:




My old iMac 20" G5 has gone through 4 logic boards and two power supplies and during the last failure, my screen exhibited very similar anomalies to yours. These machines run hot....very hot, hot enough to burn up components, especially if you do lots of video or Photoshop-type work. Just watching stuff on YouTube or Hulu can help boil its brains.

Now for the upside: since this is a common problem linked to a widely known Apple design flaw, you may very well be able to negotiate a free repair from Apple. Apple kept replacing boards and power supplies on my machine as late as last year though it was years out of warranty. This was by no means easy as it called for literally hours on the phone with Apple CS people. The trick here lies with whom you deal. If you go through the 'normal' customer service channels, Apple's policy is to do everything it can to blow you off citing points, normally valid, such as, "...out of warranty..this is a no-longer-supported, legacy computer....why don't you think about buying a new system?...", etc.

It's always the last one that galls me. However, since this is a design flaw you have an advantage. Firstly, you should Google around about the problem - you'll find lots of examples. This will help in your negotiations. Secondly, you MUST speak with Customer Relations. These are the only folks empowered to help you out with a remedy that doesn't involve the purchase of a new machine or a huge repair bill. These people are like gods on Olympus; if they want to they can heal the deepest wounds, making your wildest dreams come true. If you should offend them, well, woe unto you for they have hellish powers to turn you into a cow or a fruit bat, so treat them very gingerly, show proper obeisance and humility! Worship them, mortal!

Seriously, be firm but very calm and polite when you speak with them (you may have to go through several levels before you get resolution).

Here's a recent number, however it may be out of date as they seem to change numbers with uncanny frequency: (800) 409-5381. If this number doesn't work, just go through customer service and firmly insist on speaking with someone in Customer Relations. Good luck! All Power To The Peephole!
Posted by: MacBozo

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/07/10 06:24 AM

This is probably the reason Apple made the switch to Intel processors.
Posted by: Jim_

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/07/10 07:15 AM

Originally Posted By: MacBozo
This is probably the reason Apple made the switch to Intel processors.
Unfortunately I've seen a few Intel iMacs with the same problems in the last year, the problem is still there.
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/07/10 07:23 AM

Wow..thanks! I'll do some research now and hopefully get things resolved. I appreciate your input. That screenshot is dead-on to what it looks like.
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/07/10 01:01 PM

As far as getting Apple to replace it out of warranty..... if you don't get the answer you are looking for, say Thank You, hang up and call back later. I have received much better service with another call and another rep sometimes.


Also, I was saying to boot the iMac from the suspect drive while in FW target disk mode. Your healthy Mac can see the problem Macs OS and boot from it. If it boots fine then you KNOW it's a video problem. Which we already know now... but in the future, that's a great way to narrow it down.

Oh yeah... look for a thread by me recently where I got my logic and vid boards replaced for free out of warranty due to a well known and documented problem.
Alec/Mississauga too.
Posted by: carp

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/07/10 01:23 PM

Right David

I always try the call back a hour later thingy and hope to get a different person. Worked for me most of the time.
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/07/10 02:32 PM

Originally Posted By: jimbo60640

Here's a recent number, however it may be out of date as they seem to change numbers with uncanny frequency: (800) 409-5381. If this number doesn't work, just go through customer service and firmly insist on speaking with someone in Customer Relations. Good luck! All Power To The Peephole!


This number asks for an extension number...so I'm having to go through regular Apple customer service
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/07/10 03:01 PM

Well...didn't get anywhere with the guy on customer service.

He says that Apple has no known issues with the ATI Radeon X600 pro video card. It was the Nvidia one apparently.

So he said if I could find refuting evidence then to call back.

Any help?
Posted by: jimbo60640

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/07/10 03:26 PM

Nooooo, no, no. Don't harp on the graphics board thing....keep screaming "HEAT-RELATED, DESIGN-FAILURE-INDUCED, MELTDOWN"! It's the heat that causes all kinds of failures, including, but not limited to the graphics board.

And, yes, that board has a history of failure due to the heat problem. And keep insisting on speaking with Customer Relations. They may make you try all kinds of goofy over-the-phone remedies before they let you anywhere near Cust Rel. So, start by asking for a Product Specialist. That might speed things along.

Don't let 'em push you around, kid. They ain't dealin' with no chimp, after all! Sic 'em....
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/07/10 05:01 PM

OK. So, you're not like some regular lurker who been skulking these boards and just now decided to start posting.
Where ya been?... and why now?

Welcome to AppleCentral.
Posted by: carp

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/07/10 05:35 PM

I like to know where this guy was when I was harping on my iMac heat issue - Nooo but everyone said it was normal and I have an imagination and have no proof that heat kills.

Thanks, Jimbo and welcome aboard.
Posted by: jimbo60640

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/08/10 03:57 AM

Thanks for the welcoming words everyone. It's good to be among friends. Anything I can do to help.....

Fight the future!

P.S.: And remember, John Rougeux, it's the VRAM, the VRAM that got fried because these friggin' machines run too hot and nothing else. Stay focused, stay alert, sleep kills. They could be anywhere. Don't let them confuse you by blowing in your ear.
Posted by: Jim_

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/08/10 05:00 AM

Welcome Jimbo, sit a spell, hope you're not just passin' through. smirk
Posted by: jimbo60640

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/08/10 08:38 PM

Ha! Good one.....
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/09/10 05:23 AM

Quote:
I was born at an early age to parents of opposite sexes. I enjoy long walks by the beach, soft kittens, and I'm looking for a woman who can throw a pitchfork with decent accuracy.


OK.. you're a funny guy. laugh
Posted by: jimbo60640

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/10/10 12:20 PM

So, a bunch o' detectives, eh? Bet you don't know what I'm wearing!?!
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/10/10 02:16 PM

An iSight?
Posted by: jimbo60640

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/10/10 03:15 PM

No.

SOCKS!

Hah!
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/10/10 06:11 PM

Teh boys gone daft, I say, Daft!!
Posted by: jimbo60640

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/12/10 01:35 PM

Ach, ye shoood na wurrrrrry. 'Tis but a 'passin fancy'.
Posted by: Jim_

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/12/10 08:22 PM

Originally Posted By: jimbo60640
'Tis but a 'passin fancy'.
grin Touché.
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/13/10 04:20 AM

Uh...I"m lost. You guys know him?

As for the iMac, it's a no go. Took it into the Apple Store on Saturday and they said that the heat affected ones were the ones prior to the iSight being added.
Posted by: Jim_

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/13/10 05:53 AM

No, but he seems to fit right in.
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/13/10 07:29 AM

oh, and repairs would cost $1100

Now my inlaws will probably get a PC.
Posted by: MacBozo

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/13/10 07:33 AM

Sorry for them, then.

Go shopping with them and show them all of the extra stuff they will need just to make it functional, too.
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/13/10 07:36 AM

Well, they got that iMac based upon my recommendations. They had been using a PC for years and the one prior to the iMac had lasted them a long time. They aren't gamers or use any big programs..they email, surf the web and odds and ends type of stuff.

So now they get an iMac that only lasted them 4 and a half years. Hard to talk them into a new mac.
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/13/10 07:41 AM

They know what they need, which isn't much. They are on dialup and really don't get online all that much. They just need something to use occasionally.

I would have recommended the mac mini, but it has integrated graphics too. Yeah, I'm sure that it won't have the same problem as the imac, but I never thought the iMac would have that problem in the first place.
Posted by: MacBozo

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/13/10 10:38 AM

I have two Minis here without problems. They barely get warm to the touch.
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/13/10 10:39 AM

yeah, and my sister has the same iMac as my inlaws....no problems. But try telling them that.
Posted by: jimbo60640

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/13/10 03:15 PM

Whaaaa?!? It's a problem only on prior Macs?? A travesty! An outrage! This can not stand, man (to quote The Dude). Did you try CUSTOMER RELATIONS?

Verily, I say unto you: get thee to Customer Relations. And as for your in-laws, have them call me! Better yet, what's their address. I'll go over there and have a talk with them.

But seriously John, try Customer Relations one last time(I hate to see another man throw down his hand in the Holy Game of Poker). That Apple guy is a lying, duplicitous, self-agrandizing, obfuscating evil cult member!

Shhhhh.....they might be listening.....

Fight the future!

P.S.: On second thought, screw it; just git 'em a net book at Best Buy. Principle be damned. It's sooooo much work!
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/13/10 06:05 PM

I even heard from Steve Jobs!

Click for full size
Posted by: jimbo60640

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/13/10 09:55 PM

Jeesh! That sucks! It's really not a question of longevity, but rather a DESIGN FLAW as Stephanus Jobus Maximus Rex knows. Besides, what electronic 'appliance', like a computer, clock radio, TV, etc., should be expected to last no longer than 4-5 years?!? My wife is happily using my ancient G3 iMac I gave her that harkens back to the time dinosaurs ruled and pterodactyls darkened the skies and it's working just fine!

All I can tell you is Apple, after relentless hassle, has fixed my poor old iMac G5 several times, at their expense, replacing logic boards and power supplies. Now, you know they didn't do this out of any sense of altruism or because they love me so very much.

WTF!?! Fight the future!
Posted by: jimbo60640

Re: iMac G5 problems - 09/14/10 12:00 AM

As for my G5, I gave that to my sister-in-law and she's as happy as a pleistocene clam.

Me? Well, I'm trying to eek by with my 27" quad core i7 iMac. Somebody has to do it.....