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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Oct 30, 2008
    HELP! G4 and Ethernet to USB Conversion
    Sorry for the long post but I need some help!

    So my iMac G4's network port appeared to be nonfunctional, and the Apple store techs confirmed this saying I had to replace the entire logicboard to repair it- $700: no, thank you.

    So I hooked it up to my Linksys cable modem, which has a USB output port, directly from the USB port to the G4's USB. Begrudgingly, it eventually accepted a signal through the USB, labeled it as Ethernet Adapter, and was able to connect the internet just fine. It was a tenuous connection as shutting the computer down eliminated the Ethernet Adapter from the Network Configurations, causing the recognition process to start all over again. But basically, I could get a normal internet connection directly from the modem's USB output.

    So I thought I might as well try to send the USB to the G4 and the ethernet to my G5 in another room, but as I suspected, the modem could not supply a connection to both machines at the same time. It was worth trying, but I had to go get a router anyway.

    I could not find a router that had both USB and ethernet outputs, but I heard about these ethernet to USB adapters. I got a Linksys router and Apple's USB to ethernet adapter (which states Only for Airbook Pro, or something) and thought I'd try it. Of course the G5 took to the router immediately but the G4 had no interest in taking the USB from ethernet connection.

    Seeing that Apple's converter had stated it was for a specific use, I went and ordered a converter built by StarTech from I tried this one and got the same nonresponse. The specific symptom it had with both converters is that it would seem to recognize the "Ethernet Adapter" in the Network Port Configurations, but it was grayed out and seemingly unusable.

    So it is confusing why the G4 will accept an internet signal directly from the modem's USB port, but not through two different USB to ethernet adapters from the router, which works fine with my G5 through the normal ethernet connection.

    -Am I beating a dead Mac by trying to force a USB internet connection on it, or am I missing something?

    -Is it possible to repair the network port on the G4 or is this a lost cause for such an old machine?

    (Yes I know I could just put an airport card in the G4 but I have no interest in pumping such radio waves through the house 24/7.)

    Thank you for your time!


  2. #2

    Member Since
    Oct 30, 2008
    Any Guesses?

  3. #3

    ADKhikerVW's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 18, 2007
    Wilmington, NY
    15" Unibody MBP (2009), White MB (2009), iMac G4
    You are surrounded by radio waves and all other types of waves on a daily basis anyway, so it wouldn't be changing much to use a wireless network.

    It sounds like there may be a driver issue at work. Try this site, it may have what you need.

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