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  1. #1
    dead video card on G4 and switching to G5
    My parents live 2.5 hrs away. They are your worst nightmare for tech support. They don't listen, follow instructions, remember, hate change, hate learning, nor remember things either for the last 35 years of owning Macs, so I drive there when I must.

    They have a PowerMac G4 that I've determined the video card or port has failed as after it boots up it shows on the monitor a message displaying there is no video signal.

    I've made sure all the cables are properly plugged in. Rebooted more than once.

    They have a G5 in another room on MacOS 10.11.6 El Capitan.

    I sent them a pic of a Firewire port & they believe both Macs have them.

    Here's my problem: The G4 has pre-2007 Quicken software on it and they do not have the CD/Disk it came on. I do not even know if that software would be compatible on the G5 regardless. She wants a solution to continue keeping track of her finances and refuses to do ANYTHING ONLINE as she fears it will empty all bank accounts of funds. She is deathly afraid of the internet. They both can barely figure out email after 20 years.

    I told her I may be able to get a Firewire cable with 2 male ends and run the crippled Mac in Target Disk Mode in order to get the files from it onto the G5 as well as possibly dragging the Word & Quicken apps onto the G5.

    I haven't used a Mac in 20 years, but am familiar with iOS on my iPad.

    Assuming the software IS compatible is it as simple as target disk mode and dragging and dropping the apps from the G4 to the G5 to install them?

    Otherwise, I told her I will either get Buddi finance software free, or Checkbook from the app store for $15 if their G5 is compatible with them, or buy Quicken 2007 for $33 since that has no annual fee & I'm frugal.

    I'm going to bring my iPad, a male/male Firewire cable, and a few Cat5 ethernet cables in case firewire doesn't work. I do not know if the crippled G4 has Sharing turned on.

    They live in the middle of nowhere, but do have limited 1gig per month of 4G wifi.

    Am I missing anything or do you have any alternate suggestions?

  2. #2
    dead video card on G4 and switching to G5
    ferrarr's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 21, 2012
    Pawtucket, RI, US
    Your Mac's Specs
    L2014 Mac mini macOS 15, iPhone 8+ iOS 13, 12.9" iPad Pro 1 iPadOS 13,  Pencil 1
    Rep Power
    No possible way any PPC Mac can run OS X El Capitan. So, it's not a G5. PPC Macs can not run intel versions of Mac OS X/OS X, which El Capitan (OS X 10.11) is.

    Are these iMacs you're taking about? You are going to need to get the exact specs of both Macs, before we can proceed any further.
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  3. #3
    dead video card on G4 and switching to G5
    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Keller, Texas
    Your Mac's Specs
    2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 7+, iPhone 8, Numerous iPods, Catalina
    Rep Power
    Might be an older Mac Pro which folks often confuse with the Powermac G5.

  4. #4
    My bad, it's been several years since I've purchased the G4 & iMac from ebay. The newer iMac has an Intel Celeron Core 2 Duo chip. Both have Firewire ports. I found a CD with MS Office for OS X as well, so I'm hoping that will install on 10.11.6. Not sure why I didn't install it when I gave her the mac, but I may have not found the CD at that time years ago.

    Since the G4 is OS 9.2.2 and the iMac is OS 10.11.6 are they compatible to still connect via Firewire in Target Disk Mode?

    I've since found based upon the sound ports are vertical that the G4 seems to be an AGP graphics card and it runs OS 9.2.2 which means I can't drag n drop apps from it to the OS X machine due to different OS.

    What USB and Firewire ports do the Power Mac G4 have? Upgrade to USB 2.0 and Firewire 800? Gigabit? Identifying PCI vs. AGP?:

    Power Mac G4: How to Differentiate Between Models - Apple Support

    Power Macintosh G4 400 (AGP) Specs (Power Mac G4 - AGP, M7824LL/A*, PowerMac3,1, M5183, 1810/1843*):

    The only thing I've ever upgraded in any computer over 35 years is RAM several times & I thought I wouldn't mess with replacing the video card, but it appears with a youtube tutorial that it's quite easy on a G4. She really hates change and if I can avoid having to learn new bookkeeping software to teach her myself or buy Quicken 2007 for $33 that'll also be a little different on her "internet surfing" computer that she fears her finances will be available to the world to steal, that I may buy one and bring with me.

    From this it seems it is possible to transfer via target disk mode the files from os 9 to os x though:

    How do I find the FireWire Target Disk Mo… - Apple Community

    I'm just glad I got her to cut down from 4 macs to 2 over the last 30 years that I have to maintain. 1 for games (solitaire), 1 for typing letters (printed and email), 1 for bookkeeping, 1 for "internetting".
    Last edited by brettotte1; 09-02-2019 at 05:54 PM.

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