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britchenn
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imac G5 won't start up properly

Greetings,

I am trying to troubleshoot a problem for a friend of mine who owns an iMac G5 currently running OS X v 10.4.4. The trouble started after a scanner was installed. It would boot normally until the screen turned light blue. Instead of displaying the login dialog box, it would go almost black (it was still slightly backlit). It would sit there without doing anything, and the fan would eventually rev up. I can get it to boot in safe boot mode, without any trouble, but booting normally fails every time.

Here's what I've tried:
-I immediately disconnected the scanner and moved all of the files associated with it to the trash.
-I have reset the PRAM several times
-I opened it up and verified that the LEDs on the logic board lit up as they should (The first 3 eventually light up green)
-I have disabled all login items
-I have done the PMU reset procedure several times.
-I have reformatted the drive and reinstalled the OS a couple of times (and after doing so, the screen won't go dark anymore- but it just stays light blue and doesn't display the login box)
-I have repaired the drive and the user permissions a few times

I read somewhere online where I should be able to boot into Apple Hardware Test by holding D at startup with the disc in the drive, but this doesn't seem to work.

The friend doesn't have Apple Care and the machine is, of course, out of warranty. Could this be hardware related? I am banging my head against the wall.

I appreciate any help anyone can offer...

Regards,
britchenn
Apple OSApple Hardware

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britchenn

8/22/2022 - Mon
strung

How to invoke the hardware test varies from one Mac to the next. See:

http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/aht.html
strung

britchenn

ASKER
Strung,

Firstly, thank you for responding.

Secondly, I booted into startup manager as the article suggested, but I only have the hard drive and the DVD volumes show-- there isn't an "Apple Hardware Test" volume. I also successfully safe booted and checked the login items, but none were in the list.

I just don't get it because it works perfectly in safe boot mode... Even after reformats and reinstalls, it still does the same thing. As I'm primarily a PC user, this is a real challenge for me...
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strung

Are there any non-Apple externals attached? If so, disconnect them.
strung

It is possible that the hardware test is on a separate CD, perhaps a TechTool Deluxe CD.
strung

Try starting in safe mode, then deleting the contents of:

/Library/Startup Items

and

/Home/Library/Startup Items
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mccrick

Any chance that you could try installing 10.5? If you have done everything that you say, correctly, then that points to a hardware failure. It would be nice if it were just the memory, because that would be the easiest to handle. The logic board could have taken a hit from the scanner. There is some chance of bad HD which is an easy fix in that machine.

When you do the OS reinstalls are you using the migration assistant to bring the User's data back or are you trying it with a brand new User. From everything you described, I'm guessing you were clever enough not to add the old User back right away. So you've already eliminated the User as the problem.

I would definitely try booting from an external drive. If that fails you could have bad memory or logic board. It could be that the failure has nothing to do with the scanner.
britchenn

ASKER
@strung: There are no peripherals connected other than the keyboard and mouse that came with it. I will have to look into the tech tools CD... I don't currently have one.

@mccrick: I did a clean install and didn't import any user data at all. I don't have a 10.5 disc, but do have a 10.6 install disc, but it (snow leopard) only works for intel-based macs, right?

What does starting in safe boot leave out as opposed to normal boot... It just blows my mind that it works perfectly in safe boot mode, but just not regular.

ASKER CERTIFIED SOLUTION
strung

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britchenn

ASKER
Apologies, I neglected to mention about the startup items. There was nothing in "/Library/Startupitems", and I couldn't find (or didn't realize) where the /home directory was.

I am downloading the 10.4.11 update now. I'll let you know if it has any effect.
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strung

The home directory is the directory associated with your user account, the same directory that you will find your Documents and Pictures folders.  The Home directory has a Home icon under Places in the sidebar of any finder window.

It can also be found at /Users/UserName
mccrick

One more thing I just remembered about the iMac G5. Some of them had a very high rate of failure on the logic board and with the power supply. This does not present as power supply, obviously, however there is something to visually look at on the logic board. If you pop the back cover off there are capacitor bottom, center. Those capacitors would start to bulge instead of being perfectly flat. 4 minutes to check this.

If by any chance you have two memory modules you might pull each one out one at a time. It may take a while to boot this way, but it might get you past your blue death screen.
britchenn

ASKER
Thank you both- strung and mccrick- for your quick responses. After trying everything suggested, I can come to the conclusion that something hardware-related is at fault. I checked the capacitors, but they all looked flat. I don't have any other hardware to swap things out with. I agree, though, that it's probably something with the power unit or logic board. Either way, I am not equipped to take care of it, so I'm advising my friend to take it to the pros.

Again thank you!

Regards,
Britchenn
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