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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

Think my 1st gen G5 iMac is dead

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Member Since: Dec 30, 2009
Location: Evansville, IN
Posts: 4
Art4Life is on a distinguished road

Art4Life is offline
Hello. Im a newbie here, but Ive been on a Mac since frosh yr college 01. Am hoping to see if anyone has had this same problem or knows of a fix. Hope this forum is appropriate.

1st gen G5 iMac- OSX 10.4.8 i think (bought in 04-05?)

I got the 'Black screen of Death' yesterday. I've had this happen before on other Macs at work, but never on my home computer. What follows is wierd & Ive never seen.

Upon restart, I got my normal grey screen wit the apple logo on it & the spinning dial, but the screen appeard pixelated. Magenta pixels (1 pixel wide) were all around the Apple logo graphic & the spinning dial. Green & Magenta Pixels were apparent around the edges of my monitor as well. As the loading wheel spun, I started getting pixelated lines running horizontally up my screen, ( like a crappy signal on an old TV) it did this for a short while. Then my screen popped up a bunch of staggered black lines wit hte black background & froze. (the apple logo & pinwheel were no t there anymore) Then the balck screen of death again (which 2 was very low-res & pixelated looking.)

After letting it sit a while, I restarted. Went thru the grey loading screen then to the blue screen wit the Mac face logo & blue laoding bar. All appeared fine. My desktop background popped up, and I thought all was good. As I waited for my Hard Drive icon & files on desktop to top up, back came the pixels. My desktop background image ( the preloaded B&W image of sand dunes & a dock) had tall these 1 pixel wide pixels arounf the edges of this graphic. It sat forever like this. Finally turned it off & called a buddy for some ideas.

I zapped the P Ram upon startup. Didnt work. After friends research, he said Apple had bought faulty logic boards for 1st gen iMacs and this could be a problem. Also, at first glance it could sound like a monitor problem, but why wernt my hard drive & apps poppin up?

Sorry for the book here, just tryin to be thurough. I dumped a load of money into this machine durin last year of college & am severly freakin out right now. My portfolio, every photo Ive taken & every piece of music I have are on here, most not backed up;( I know a very lil about Target Disc Mode to retrieve these items, but that doesnt salvage my Mac.

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Member Since: May 18, 2008
Location: Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
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Mac Specs: MacMini 2.4, 8 Gb, OS 10.10 and 10.6; MacBook 2.4, 4 Gb, OS 10.6.8

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Do you have the original disks (dvds) that came with the iMac; or a retail version of Tiger? If so, boot, or at least try to boot, from Disk 1. If the iMac *will* start from the disk, you can perform hardware analysis, repair and maintenance from it, using Disk Utilities. Post back on that issue.

Next thing to try would be Disk Warrior. From your post, I gather you're not rolling in $$ (welcome to the club!), and DW is expensive. My choice would be to take the iMac to a service tech who has DW to use. DW will let you get at your data, or at least part of it.

Try starting in Safe Mode - hold Shift down immediately AFTER the startup chime. Safe Mode also will allow you to get at your data, as long as it isn't OS-dependent.

Fourth option, if the above simply don't work, is to get the hard drive out of the iMac to recover data. There are plenty of How To video clips on YouTube. Again, let us know how things go.
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Member Since: Dec 30, 2009
Location: Evansville, IN
Posts: 4
Art4Life is on a distinguished road

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Thanks a bunch Hugh! Im going to try this at home this evening. I'll post any results
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Member Since: Jul 14, 2008
Location: Scotland, UK
Posts: 675
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martyp is offline
Sounds a bit like a graphics card issue to me, seen that problem many a time and that was the cause...

Maybe run the hardware diagnostics (if possible) from the original DVDs too after doing what Hugh suggested.
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Member Since: Jan 17, 2010
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Hi I was wondering if this was resolved as i am having a similar problem. A few weeks ago, Apple replaced my logic board. Now, on the phone they are sounding iffy as to whether the warranty will cover this problem. In otehr words, they will only cover issues that are related to the logic board they replaced. So...I am curious to know if the problem did lie with the logic board or do I have some unrelated issue. I have a screen full of mellions of pixels all different colors. It came back for a few days but now it's gone again.
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Member Since: Dec 30, 2009
Location: Evansville, IN
Posts: 4
Art4Life is on a distinguished road

Art4Life is offline

Sorry. Probably waaay to late for your answer.

I took it to a local Apple Certified store, they ran a diagonitic. It ended up being my graphics card, but they came away telling me I would have to replace the whole logic board since the graphics card was built into it?

Did run Target Disc Mode on it hooking it up to my work computer, so all my Music, Design Portfolio, Photos were salvaged. Was told the new gen iMacs cant run TDM.

Hope that helps, 3 months late.
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