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Thread: iMac trouble

  1. #1

    iMac trouble

    I'm embarassed to admit this, but I now own a Mac. A guy I do programming work for sent me his G3 iMac to play with. Needless to say, the user friendly iMac has been annoying thus far as it was damaged in shipping. Maybe somebody here can offer some assistance?

    Here's the scenario:

    I got the machine [with OS/X, FWIW], set it up and cut it on. The screen was massively blurry, so I went to Apple->System Preferences->Display and adjusted the contrast and everything was fine. I then rebooted and the monitor had a red-haze of sorts that couldn't be removed. Reading some support sites, a suggestion was to reset the PRAM and NVRAM. Going with that advice, the OS no longer loads.

    You cut the power on, hear the Mac sound, the monitor stays black for about five more seconds and then shuts itself off.

    Any suggestions? They would truly be appreciated.


  2. #2

    If it was damage during shipping then maybe it is a hardware problem.


  3. #3
    was the shipping insured?

  4. #4
    Steven, I would suggest the following approach.

    1. See if you can find the original CD that contains the OSX installer for the iMax and boot the computer off the CD. The way that you do this on a Mac is to hold the C key down when booting, forcing it to boot from the CD drive.

    2. If the computer fails to boot on the CD, this suggests that there is something seriously wrong, possibly with the logic board or the CD drive. You say that you hear the Mac sound. Do you hear the C-chord? That indicates that the self-check of the logic board was okay. If it is another sound, it means that the hardware is not working properly.

    3. If the computer boots on the OSX CD, I would suggest that you use two programs on the CD to check out the computer (I think that both of these programs are on the installation CD, if not, there is another utilities CD that has the two programs). Please note that there are equivalent programs on the OS9 CD as well, if you don't have OSX.
    • Disk Utility (also called Disk First Aid on OS9). This should show your disk and you should use it to verify and repair the disk.
    • Apple System Profiler (this shows the hardware and software on the computer).

    4. If Disk Utility is unable to fix the disk, as it sometimes cannot, you have two options:
    • Erase the disk and reformat it, reinstall the software.
    • Use a program called Disk Warrior 2.1 to repair the directory on the disk. This may be the reason why the computer will not boot off the hard disk.

    It sounds as if the computer has a either a problem with its display or disk or both. When you say that the computer sounds the Mac sound but the monitor stays black for five more seconds and then shuts itself off, how do you know that the computer shut itself off? It is because you initially heard disk sounds and then they stopped? Did you reset the PRAM with the Command+Option+P+R key press? Did you reset the NVRAM the same way?

    Did you try resetting the Open Firmware: restart or power up the Mac and hold down the Command-Option-O-F keys. When the Open Firmware screen appears, enter the following lines one at a time, pressing return after each line:


    I hope that this helps.


    [This message was edited by Wise Young on 07-29-03 at 11:51 PM.]

  5. #5
    Thanks for the suggestions, Wise.

    I put in a Linux boot CD but didn't know you had to hold 'c', so I'll try that later. Should I wait for the Mac sound before holding in C?

    The Mac sound sounds like the normal one, nothing crazy there.

    I know that the computer shuts off because the power indicator goes from green to nothing. I did do the Command+Option+P+R thing to reset the P and NVRAM. I'll try the O+F one as well.

    Scott, it was insured, but I'm hoping it's just an easy fix. I'm an eternal optimist.


  6. #6
    Originally posted by Steven Edwards:

    I put in a Linux boot CD but didn't know you had to hold 'c', so I'll try that later. Should I wait for the Mac sound before holding in C?
    It won't boot from a Linux CD. Do you have the OS X or OS 9 install CD's? If so start it up and hold down the C key and see if it boots from the CD. If it won't boot, then you may have a hardware problem.

  7. #7
    Brad, the Gentoo PPC distro claims to boot from their LiveCD. And wouldn't you know it, it says to hold down C at bootup. I just assumed it worked like a PC with the BIOS setup to try booting from the CD drive first.

    For more info, check out:

    Oh yeah, is there a way to eject the CD without being able to bootup?


  8. #8
    If you're having trouble with your iMac I would strongly recomend using the OS X or OS 9 CD. Do you have these CD's? Mac's aren't the same as PC's with a bios to be configured. There really isn't any sort of bios that can be accessed at startup.

    If Mac OS X is installed on the computer, try these steps.

    1. Restart the computer. If necessary, use the reset/interrupt button.
    2. Immediately after the system startup tone, press and hold the "X" key. Continue to hold the key until the computer is finished starting up.
    3. Open iTunes or DVD Player (both located in the Applications folder).
    4. Click the Eject button in either of these applications.


    1. Restart the computer. If necessary, use the reset/interrupt button.
    2. Immediately after the system startup tone, press and hold the Command-Option-O-F key combination. The computer starts up to a text-only screen, indicating that you are in Open Firmware.
    3. At the prompt, type: eject cd
    4. Press Return.
    5. Type: mac-boot
    6. Press Return

  9. #9
    I like Brad's suggestion. The X key tells the computer to boot into OSX. This may be your problem after you reset the pram of the iMac. This is a G3 iMac which was originally designed before OSX. Your iMac may not have a bootable version of OS9 on its disk. Therefore, it may have decided that there is no bootable disk and therefore shut down. Wise.

  10. #10
    Thanks Brad and Wise. I don't have an OS X or 9 cd, so I guess I'm pretty mch SOL. I tried Brad's suggestions and nothing worked; the monitor just stayed black and then the computer shut off.

    The computer had clean installs of 9.2 and X when it was shipped, so who knows?


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