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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jul 24, 2013
    Posts
    2
    Unhappy dark screen/external monitor
    Ok, I am a long time user of computers but tech stuff no. I do not know the technical language to use for troubleshooting. I have been a long time user of iMac G4 Dome that has run perfect for years. I have a Toshiba lap top also. I guess it is time for a new mac when $ comes available but for now here is the problem.
    The Mac screen went almost black. I can see the desk top slightly but cannot make out words or titles at all. I make out the mouse arrow just enough (takes awhile) to shut it down.
    To fix it is probably not worth it but I have two years of valuable pictures and banking on it and must back them up before this computer is dead. (yes I know should have done it before) I was reading about running an external monitor but all the examples are two working computers not one with a black screen. Is this possible? Any suggestions on what to do? I am not afraid of wiring and hook ups. I have connected tvs, game systems, memory etc. so if I knew how to do it I could. I have looked into a wide spread area and no one works on iMacs. Apple care ran out years ago. Anyones help would be so appreciated.

  2. #2

    Slydude's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location
    North Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    9,939
    Specs:
    2.8 GHz MacBook Pro 10.11, 8 GB mem, iPhone 6+
    Others will chime in with ideas I'm sure but here's my take on the matter. It seems like at the very least the screen is starting to give up the ghost. In order to get you data off the machine before things go completely awry the easiest way is probably to connect an external monitor.

    If I'm right that model supports video miroring where the screen appears on an external monitor. You would need a Mini VGA to VGA adapter and a VGA monitor. When you connect everything and boot the machine your desktop should appear on the external screen allowing you to see things and copy your data. If the graphics chip isn't failing it could run like that indefinitely.

    The alternative is to remove the hard drive but that is something I'll leave to others to discuss.
    Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Jul 24, 2013
    Posts
    2
    Thank you so much for your fast response. This sounds great but on my vga port on my laptop, the port does not fit that big end with the two screws like I see. Is there a adapter that has just the vga plug in without that big end..(there is the three rows of 5.

  4. #4

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    48,479
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    You can't use the Toshiba as a monitor for the G4 anyway as the Toshiba supports video out only. You need to do what Slydude suggested and that is a combo of mini VGA out to an adapter which matches the external monitor or TV that you choose.

    I can't help you with removing the hard drive from that machine but I'm sure there are others in our forums that are more familiar with how to do it.

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2010
    Location
    Victoria, BC
    Posts
    20,911
    Specs:
    Mid-2012 MBP (16GB, 1TB HD), Monoprice 24-inch second monitor, iPhone 5s 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB
    It sounds to me like the iMac G4 is actually working fine, the problem you seem to have is that the backlight for the screen has died.

    Among the other solutions that should work:

    1. Plug in an external monitor using the proper adapter
    2. Do a Firewire transfer to another Mac that has firewire of the data you want to preserve
    3. Get a flashlight to shine on the screen and copy the relevant data to a USB thumb drive

  6. #6

    Slydude's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location
    North Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    9,939
    Specs:
    2.8 GHz MacBook Pro 10.11, 8 GB mem, iPhone 6+
    Quote Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
    3. Get a flashlight to shine on the screen and copy the relevant data to a USB thumb drive
    How come I never remember that as an option?
    Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

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