Old iMac going dead but starting again after cooling - failing power supply?

Discussion in 'Apple' started by super70s, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. super70s

    super70s Guest

    Hi, I'm on an old G3 iMac Snow SE DV (Summer 2000 subfamily) that I
    bought used on eBay in 2006. I never had a problem with it until March
    14, when it suddenly went dead on me and wouldn't start up.

    I took it to a local PC shop that claimed to know something about Macs,
    and they called a couple of days later and said it was working okay and
    it didn't appear to be the power supply. I don't think they did a damn
    thing but update some Java software and other things from Apple (it's
    running Tiger 10.4.11) and charged me $67. I'm not even sure if they
    even opened it up and looked at the power supply.

    Turns out the computer will start back up after it cools down for about
    an hour. I thought it might have been a one time thing but it did the
    same thing today. Right now I have a small portable fan blowing into the
    top of it in hopes this will help if it's an overheating problem (hey
    you do what you gotta do).

    On Monday I ordered a used G4 1.25 DP MDD (Silver door subfamily) on
    eBay as a replacement and it should get here early next week. This was
    one of the last G4 models produced and I thought it would be a good fit
    because it can run Tiger (I really need to run some old Classic apps).
    It's running 10.5.8 now (the latest system a G4 can run). What I was
    thinking about doing was cloning that drive to an external drive I have,
    then cloning a Tiger system on the external to the G4 and using that as
    the main system.

    But the thing with the iMac -- does that sound like a failing power
    supply to you guys? It's running 500 mhz, has 512 MB of ram, and can
    read DVD's, so it's still a useable computer even as old as it is. It's
    okay for light work but I'm looking forward to the "new" G4!
    super70s, Mar 22, 2013
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  2. super70s

    Guest Guest

    they probably didn't do a thing.
    that sounds like a power supply problem.
    that might buy you some time, but that's about it.
    that will be a nice step up :)
    it certainly sounds like the power supply, which was a common failure
    mode for those macs.
    Guest, Mar 22, 2013
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  3. super70s

    super70s Guest

    Live and learn I guess, in the future I'll put that $67 toward a new
    computer and not even fool with those crooks!

    I just freaked and thought it had gone dead for good and I wouldn't even
    have a way to get on the net and order a new one, unless I went to the
    local library or something.
    Yeah and it was only $100 + $20 shipping which I thought was quite
    reasonable. I had to buy a used Apple ADC display for it too though from
    another seller, I didn't have one.

    BTW, can those Apple Pro Clear Speakers M6531 plug right into the G4? I
    probably need to order a set of those as well, there's a bunch of them
    for sale on eBay.
    Prolly a miracle it lasted this long! :)
    super70s, Mar 22, 2013
  4. super70s

    Guest Guest

    not sure, but look for its special port. based on this thread, it
    should work:

    or just get normal speakers, which are likely much cheaper and will
    work on any system.
    13 years is a very, very long time for a computer.
    Guest, Mar 22, 2013
  5. super70s

    Lewis Guest

    Power Supply, CPU, or motherboard. The only thing you know is that it is
    heat related.
    Lewis, Mar 22, 2013
  6. super70s

    super70s Guest

    not sure, but look for its special port. based on this thread, it
    should work:

    or just get normal speakers, which are likely much cheaper and will
    work on any system.[/QUOTE]

    I think I'd just go with the Apple M6531 speakers (supposedly designed
    by Harmon Kardon) if they're plug and play. The going price for them on
    eBay seems to be around $15 and I can handle that.
    Well this G4 1.25 DP MDD I'm getting is no spring chicken either, it's
    from Aug. 2002. I don't think I'd have to worry about overheating with
    it though, because I understand it's sometimes jokingly referred to as
    the "wind tunnel" by those who own one because of the sound it makes due
    to its many ventilation holes!

    This will be the first tower style Mac I've ever owned, before the iMac
    Snow I had a PowerMac 5400, before that a IIsi, and before that an LC. I
    guess towers are a lot hardier than the self-contained units.
    super70s, Mar 22, 2013
  7. super70s

    super70s Guest

    Yeah there's no telling what it is. It certainly wouldn't be worth
    replacing all three of those components as old as it is. I'm going to
    stick it in a spare bedroom and use it as a backup in case the G4 I'm
    getting ever goes bad for some reason. I think it will always hold up
    long enough to get on the net and order a replacement computer.

    I was even able to get on with that old PowerMac 5400 I still own up
    until about a year ago when its OS 9 FreePPP software just became too
    super70s, Mar 22, 2013
  8. super70s

    Guest Guest

    $15 is cheap but you can get normal speakers for less, which will work
    on any computer, not just certain macs. not that you need speakers for
    it, since there's a reasonably good speaker built in.
    it's referred to 'wind tunnel' because the fans are very, very loud, as
    if you were in an actual wind tunnel.
    Guest, Mar 22, 2013
  9. super70s

    John Albert Guest

    Those are sturdy machines, I bought one in April of 2004 and
    only retired it about a month ago.

    One thing you'd better be aware of, however -- they are
    NOISY. You may be able to get used to that, but you may not.

    They didn't call them "the wind tunnel Macs" for nuthin' ... !
    John Albert, Mar 22, 2013
  10. super70s

    super70s Guest

    Yeah I knew there was a built-in speaker but I thought the stereo effect
    would be nice to have.
    Oh well, maybe I can get used to it. The guy at the PC shop said the
    hard drive in my old iMac (probably the original) "sounds like it's
    getting ready to take off." lol
    super70s, Mar 22, 2013
  11. The surface mount components on the motherboard eventually crack from
    thermal stress. The PowerPC models were especially prone to it because
    they rapidly heated and cooled with normal use. Symptoms are a computer
    that crashes at a certain temperature, or becomes more or less reliable
    after getting a whack from a hard object.
    Kevin McMurtrie, Mar 23, 2013
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