Rebuildiing a graphite iMac DV SE/500... just because.

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schmoburger's picture
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A few days ago I procured a Summer 2000 model iMac DV SE from my younger brother, the 500mhz model with DVD and 30Gb drive in it, and in graphite... I have slotload iMacs coming out my ears of all descriptions, but this one being a DV SE/500 and more specifically Graphite in color makes it of interest to me and worth playing with. Most of my others are early DV's and low-end Summer 2001 500s that are in uninspiring Indigo.Smile

I've built a few slotload iMacs in my days of playing with Macs... the most recent being a Snow 600 known as Frank II, built from the parts of no less than 5 different units and maxed at a gig of ram and fitted with a healthy 60Gb HDD, which satisfied my longheld desire for a shiney white iMac. I know iMacs are hardly a museum piece, but theyre nonetheless an important part of Apple's history, and represent a turning point for the company, and I enjoy building them, modifying them, and just looking at em.

Anyway, I've always wanted a Graphite as well, so I had no problems with taking this example of my broithers hands, which appparently spent most of its life in a high school store room. However after I inspected it tonight, I realised that in typical DET form, when it came time to dispose of old equipment, it would appear to have been roughly handled, quite possibly dropped, meaning the internal chassis plastic is demolished. Not just cracked due to it being brittle, but completely falling to pieces in chunks... when I removed the case plastics the thing fell apart. It is also missing the hard drive which i believe is my brothers doing, but oh well.

So, cutting to the chase, I'm going to rebuild it... At this stage I'll use the existing chassis with the CRT and PSU which to my knowledge were functioning, and set about replacing the smashed structural plastic with stuff from one of my junkers, slap it back together, test it, and if all checks out then itll be time to put it back together and spice things up with one of my spare 600 logic boards, which aside from the extra 100mhz of CPU speed, have 16MB of VRAM, instead of the 8Mb on the 500 board. The only trade-down is 256k L2 cache on the 600 as compared to 512k on the DV. And yes, 120Gb HDD, 1Gb RAM, and 10.4 sounds to be a plan.

Wish me luck with FrankenMac III Laughing out loud

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Re: Rebuildiing a graphite iMac DV SE/500... just because.

Whereabouts are you from? All the G3 iMacs around here are all either indigo or snow, neither of which do I particularly favour (says he with an Indigo iMac on his desk...) It would be a dream to be able to get any other iMac, let alone something like a graphite. I too have been planning on upgrading my main machine with a 600 logic board though I have never been bothered to actually perform the swap, possibly because it was my first all in one mac, or the fact that I carried that thing damn near a kilometer to get it home in its current state.

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Re: Rebuildiing a graphite iMac DV SE/500... just because.

I'm from the south coast of NSW, Australia. I've had probably in excess of 20-30 slotloads pass through my hands in recent years as the high schools started pensioning them off at the start of the "Dell age", and yes, the majority have been original 400mhz DV's and low-spec 500's in indigo. I only acquired the snow machines fairly recently, as they were among the last of the Macs to be purchased by NSW DET.

My school only had a handful that were distributed to staff workstations and one that was dedicated to publishing the school yearbook, which i never got hold of, however I live next door to a primary school and got hold of 2 snows and another half a dozen indigos and a few faulty eMacs that were paid off out of service, all with problems of one form or another... That was where Frankenmac II was spawned from Smile

But yeh Graphites, along with Sage, Ruby, Blue Dalmation and Flower Power are fairly uncommon around here it seems by comparison, as they were colors more common in variants purchased by private consumers, rather than business or educational users... There were three Graphites and a Sage at my high school and this one is one of them. As such a lot of people want some pretty high prices for them secondhand despite the fact they are obsolete low-end tech, which I cant justify paying. So needless to say I was stoked to find a graphite of any description that I didnt have to pay a cent for, as I always wanted one, but had already gotten a G3 Powermac back when the iMacs were still around and loaded it to the hilt .

But yeh, the Worst case is that I find the analogue board or PSU to be stuffed and I simply put the Graphite plastics and internals into a fully working chassis, but I'm going to part out another dead iMac and and replace the broken bezel first, put it back together and see if it boots up. If so, we have ourselves chicken dinner... if not, no love lost, as I love building Macs Laughing out loud

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Re: Rebuildiing a graphite iMac DV SE/500... just because.

Ah ok,I'm from the Blue Mountains and some of the local schools around here haven't even had computers until recently! On the up side the school my brother's kids go to has a couple of labs of G4 'Lamp Shade' iMacs that are just about due for replacement, and seeing as my brother made the mistake of insulting them in front of me he has decided to help me to try and get a couple when they do go. Also my high school has a couple of old eMacs and possibly some other PPC machines (Beige Powermacs, PPC Xserves, G4 Quicksilvers) that I may be able to acquire in about a weeks time when students return. Unfortunately I wasn't collecting Macs when my high school was getting rid of labs of Grape, Bondi, Tangerine, and Blueberry iMacs a couple of years back.

Oh well, perhaps in a couple weeks I'll have some new flesh (metaphorically of course) to dig into. Good luck with the restore and keep us posted!

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Re: Rebuildiing a graphite iMac DV SE/500... just because.

It does seem times have very much changed no as compared to when i was in school... no effort is really made to make a return on old-tech hardware anymore. Half the time it all just seems to end up in dumpsters unless somebody knows somebody. Sad

But yes I've spent the past two days in the engine bay of a BA XR6 doing some shaving and smoothing so havent played with the iMac yet... possibly going to pull the donor one apart before I head to sleep however Smile

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Re: Rebuildiing a graphite iMac DV SE/500... just because.

Well, I knuckled down and got stuck into this a few nights ago and documented the rebuild on another page already over multiple posts on the fly as i went... for the sake of being easy to follow i shall post the progress and pictures across multiple posts here as they were before. Smile

Here goes:

AFter spending 3 days in the engine bay of a car doing some custom shaving and smoothing, I'm now knuckling down back into the Graphite again... I started dismantling as mentioned before the other night.

Here it is as it sits now... I threw the case back on to keep things from falling in it... as you can see, the inside bezel is an unsalvagable mess...

And heres the donor Indigo iMac that I'm about to start taking apart... formerly a DV 400 I used as a jukebox until a housemate i suspect spilled alcohol in it. Ah well... no huge loss.

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Re: Rebuildiing a graphite iMac DV SE/500... just because.

8 screws later and the Graphite now looks like this...

Now to start disassembling the Indigo donor... luckily for me the logic board, speakers and drive carrier were already removed so its just a case of taking off case plastics with minimal fuss Smile

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Re: Rebuildiing a graphite iMac DV SE/500... just because.

Whilst I had the two bezels detached, I thought I'd take a picture of them together to illustrate the difference between the early and late model items...

The complete bezel is from the donor machine, a very early iMac DV (yellow power button) that was running almost permanantlly its entire life in a school computer lab, the broken one being from the later iMac DV SE that hardly saw any use. They appear to be two entirely different plastic compounds... the later one being far more brittle and prone to breakage and fatigue and subject to very noticable deterioration. When taking the screw caps out of the late bezel, it is quite common for them to crumble or snap, and its also enevitable that the clips for the removable bottom tray will snap when it is removed after some use. The earlier one however, is a far more durable and flexible plastic that seems to deteriorate very little if at all with age, doesnt yellow over time, and most importantly, resists breakage during removal of case plastics or as a result of less than couth handling, or even just general movement.

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Re: Rebuildiing a graphite iMac DV SE/500... just because.

Replacement bezel now in place. Ive included a couple of photos of the screws that need to be removed to take the bezel off as well. Whilst it seems straightforward, be prepared for these screws to give you some headaches...

Top CRT/bezel screws... The bezel screw is in line with the ounded notch in the plastic, the CRT one is the big washered one at the top. Sorry about the crap iPhone 3gs camera...

And here's the bottom screws... Again, apologies for the bad picture...

And now it's time to put the case plastics back on then take it for a test drive to see if it powers up and boot into OF to suss out the firmware revision before I put a drive in it. Smile

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Re: Rebuildiing a graphite iMac DV SE/500... just because.

First the top cover goes back into place, despite all indications to the contrary, with the screws shown below in case anybody wanted to know. Two down each side, two at the top covered by a plastic cap, and one in the rear behind the back of the CRT with a plastic spacer permanently attached.

And then after that, the front outer bezel clips into place and a pair of screews at the bottom hold it in place and get hidden by more plastic caps. Smile

Then on goes the bottom tray... self-explanatory that one... and it's a complete non-smashed iMac again...

Now for the moment of truth... RAM it up, grab a keyboard and a powercord, and see if the gamble paid off and if I got it all right...

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Re: Rebuildiing a graphite iMac DV SE/500... just because.

After a dodgy start caused by a shonky stick of RAM, chicken dinner is SERVED!! Laughing out loud

Now that I know it powers up, time to get onto the winner and put in the 600 logic board... altho I am almost tempted to do some testing to get a comparison of performance between the two systems with the only variables being CPU speed, L2 cache, and onboard video controller speed and VRAM. hmmmmm....

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Re: Rebuildiing a graphite iMac DV SE/500... just because.

So anyway, having booted it up, got a flashing folder to my delight, I rebooted to OF and found 4.1.7 to be installed, so I threw in my OS9 test/firmware update drive, booted fine into OS9 and successfully updated to 4.1.9 so it is now OSX-capable without suffering video issues.

I have however come across a couple of issues... the first and most troublesome being that the display raster is rotated clockwise to quite an extent. Before I decide to cut my losses and reshell and reboard another chassis, I will attempt to rectify it by adjusting the yoke on the CRT in case it was dislodged when the machine was mishandled in the past. Geometrically the screen appears fine, just tilted out of square with the viewing area.. This would seem a half decent indication that the problem is an a knocked out mechanical adjustment on the CRT rather than a failing analogue video board component. I'd like it if it was. Smile

The second issue, and one which I'm sure most slotload iMac owners are by now familiar with, is that the fibre surrounds in the Harman Kardon internal speakers have deteriorated to the point that the first time I cranked up Regurgitator's "Unit" album, it blew the surrounds to bits as I half expected meaning the entire motot units of both speakers are just chilling out now. I am considering cuttng down a pair of eMac speakers I have here to replace them. Whilst they dont sound anywhere near as good as the HK's did when they were brand new, they are at least durable. Smile

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Re: Rebuildiing a graphite iMac DV SE/500... just because.

Frankenmac III is now fully functioning... simple (and ever so careful so as not to die) adjustment of the deflection yoke more or less cured the display misallignment, with only a couple of minor H,V and R adjustments from the control panel needed to get it squared up and centered where I wanted it. Next time i have the plastics off i will probably make a couple more yoke adjustments and see if i cant get it squared right up without any adjustment from the control panel needed at all. Smile

So here it is currently still running the OS9 test drive.... no more twisted picture.

Now that it works properly, next job will be to order a full compliment of RAM for it and throw in a nice big hard drive to load up OSX onto... thus far I'm undecided as to whether it will be running Panther or Tiger. Also have to make a decision as to whether I keep it partly original with the 500mhz logic board, or take it up a notch and stick in the 600 board. Smile

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