Power Mac g4 black screen

storm804

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I did get at Power Mac g4 with 2 grafic cards and when i was trying to start it i did get a black screen but the computer is starting up fine but only black on the monitor screen would be greatful for help very new on Mac but i hope i will learn more
 

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Hello storm804...welcome to Mac-Forums.:)

Hopefully you know that Apple sold Powermac G4 desktop computers from 1999 thru 2004. Thus the Powermac G4 you have is anywhere between 18-23 years old (pretty old stuff).

Since this Powermac G4 came with 2 graphics cards...it is possible (but unlikely)...that both of them could be bad/failed. Just something to consider.

Can you confirm that the video cable used is good, power cable to the display is good, and that the display is working properly (can you confirm all of this on a 2nd fully operational computer).

We need to be sure these items are fully functional before assuming the issue is with the Powermac G4 itself.

Thanks,

Nick
 

Raz0rEdge

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Hopefully you got it for free and if it works with random resetting of things, great. I wouldn't advice investing money in nearly 20+ year old machine that will not run any recent version of the OS or applications.
 
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storm804

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thank you for your reply yes i did get it for free, it have been in a school and i guess it has been used for music all the cable is working with other computers and the screen also some one did say he belived it was the battery on the motherboard that was to old if i put the video cable in the first grafic card it is a lack screen and if i change to card number 2 i get a white screen
 

pigoo3

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some one did say he belived it was the battery on the motherboard that was to old...
Yes the battery on the motherboard can cause issues if the battery has no charge...but usually the issues are not display related. This is technically called the "PRAM Battery". It would probably be a good idea to replace it in any case.

The PRAM battery probably looks like this:

Screen Shot 2022-11-07 at 3.55.44 PM.png
if i put the video cable in the first grafic card it is a lack screen and if i change to card number 2 i get a white screen

If it were me...the first thing I would do is remove both video cards...then reinstall them. Just in case one or both of them are not installed/seated properly.

After doing this...if the same results are seen. If I was to guess...the video card that gives the black screen I would say might be bad...and the video card with the white screen might be good (but may not be progressing any further in the booting process...if there's no macOS installed on the hard drive).

Before we go any further...we should probably verify if the macOS is installed on the Powermac G4's internal hard drive. If it isn't...this could explain the issues.

Nick
 
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storm804

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Yes the battery on the motherboard can cause issues if the battery has no charge...but usually the issues are not display related. This is technically called the "PRAM Battery". It would probably be a good idea to replace it in any case.

The PRAM battery probably looks like this:

View attachment 37209


If it were me...the first thing I would do is remove both video cards...then reinstall them. Just in case one or both of them are not installed/seated properly.

After doing this...if the same results are seen. If I was to guess...the video card that gives the black screen I would say might be bad...and the video card with the white screen might be good (but may not be progressing any further in the booting process...if there's no macOS installed on the hard drive).

Before we go any further...we should probably verify if the macOS is installed on the Powermac G4's internal hard drive. If it isn't...this could explain the issues.

Nick
i will return after i have checked if it is a mac os installed or not i belive it is, i dont think someone at the school have cleaned it but i check to be sure and remove both videocard and replace
 
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some one did say he belived it was the battery on the motherboard that was to old

I was just about to suggest trying a new PRAM battery (1/2 AA Lithium usually) any computer shop should stock for around $10.00 as they are also used in older Windows PCs.

They are normally 3.6 Volt when new, but should still work at some reduced voltage levels.



- Patrick
=======
 

pigoo3

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i will return after i have checked if it is a mac os installed or not i believe it is, i don't think someone at the school have cleaned it but i check to be sure...
Sounds good. Verifying that a macOS is installed is very. important. If no macOS is installed...this would explain getting nothing on the display.

If we need to install the macOS...we may need to do some searching to find an installer somewhere...plus get it into a format that can be used for the install.

Either way...probably should reinstall the macOS anyway...since it may have been a VERY long time since it was installed. A fresh install of the macOS would be best...since there could be all sorts of "legacy"items (or junk) on the drive...that you don't want to deal with/could cause issues with what you want to do with the Powermac G4.

Nick
 
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Instead of resetting both video cards, why not try each one separately? One at a time?
 

pigoo3

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That's a great idea to try as well Bob.:)

Never know...Powermac G4 could have a bad video card slot...and may need to try different slots (if possible). I forget what video card slots these PowermacG4's had...and what slots the video cards went into them. I seem to remember there were at least 2 slot types (AGP...and something else). Lol

Nick
 
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storm804

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well i have replaced the pram battery today and its same black screen i have one ati on agp port and one ati on a pci slot i have tried to change to other slots and also tried another videocard also a ati agp but still black no signal it say on the screen but i still wonder over the diod that is red when the mac is on its say DS5 its located right beside the ram memory i dont know if ot suppose to be red lighted when started its not blinking or anything just steady red light when powered on
 

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