imac cd drive fix

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westieg3's picture
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Joined: Apr 4 2004
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i just thought about this the other day since i have my imac (came out just before the dv edition did) sitting downstairs and being of no use at all. i might be able to get a bigger hard drive for it since the 6gb one has some information that i'd like to store somewhere safe. however, my issue with installing a new hard drive is installing a system. the cd drive is apparently dead (and i've mentioned this on here before). it takes a cd, sits a few seconds, and then immediately spits it out. from what i've found, that means it's dead. i do have several laptop drives sitting around and i wondered if there was some way to get that to successfully work. i tried before with no success, and it is a little screwy since the micro-50 port is on the opposite side of the drive, but can i make it work? or is there some other way of forcing it to work? i was considering installing os 9 and then using xpostfacto to get 10.3 running.

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cwsmith's picture
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A few questions, and some pointers:

• I presume this iMac is a slot-loading machine. Does it have FireWire? (The very first Blueberry slotloaders didn't.) You could boot to an external FireWire CD or DVD drive to do the install. Lacies work very well for this very purpose.

• I suppose one could fashion a cable to flip the CD connector the other way, but it would be a genuine pain in the neck. You might instead check eBay or the 'Fritter for someone who has a CD or DVD drive for this vintage iMac. A lot fewer headaches.

• You don't need XPostFacto to run 10.3 on *any* of the CRT iMacs. It'll run on anything from a Bondi to a Blue Dalmatian, with no third-party support.

• However, you *will* need to update the iMac's firmware in Mac OS 9 (or at least ensure that it has been done) *BEFORE* booting to an OS X CD. Otherwise, you'll get the Black Screen of Death -- no video. This can be fixed, but it takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears (and jumping through a few flaming hoops) to get it done. For the record, I've been able to pick up a couple of "dead" iMacs, do the secret firmware incantation, and have a perfectly good iMac to give to a niece or mother-in-law.

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Dozens of Macs; a handful of PCs; Apple ][e, ][c and ][gs; a few iPods; lots of parts
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westieg3's picture
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as far as i can tell, the com

as far as i can tell, the computer does have the firmware update. no idea if it would need to be installed on a new hard drive as well (i doubt it, but i'd do it just in case). as i said, my imac is from just before the dv generation, so while it is slot load, it doesn't have firewire. any possibility of network boot? or maybe before i go through the headache of setting up that, could the drive need to be cleaned somehow?

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cwsmith's picture
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Re: as far as i can tell, the com

westieg3 wrote:

as far as i can tell, the computer does have the firmware update. no idea if it would need to be installed on a new hard drive as well

The firmware update is stored on the logic board, so that will remain even after the HD is swapped out. I'm just a bit paranoid about it, so I make sure & do the OS 9 side first and run the FW update before I boot to X.

westieg3 wrote:

... it doesn't have firewire. any possibility of network boot?

A netboot would work fine to reformat the drive, but not so much for the install.

You could, though, take the hard drive out and (a) put it in an external FireWire enclosure or (b) mount it in a G3 or G4 tower. You could do your install from another 9/X capable machine (vintage 1998-2002) and then drop it back in the iMac.

westieg3 wrote:

... or maybe before i go through the headache of setting up that, could the drive need to be cleaned somehow?

Errm, ... cleaned? Do you mean reformatted? You could do that from a netboot or by attaching it to another machine as I described above.

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Dozens of Macs; a handful of PCs; Apple ][e, ][c and ][gs; a few iPods; lots of parts
17 guitars, 2 baritone guitars, alto guitar, 6 bass guitars, bajo sexto, 3 ukuleles, mandolin, banjo, sitar
3/4 scale upright bass, 4pc drum kit, congas, travel congas, bongos, cajon, cabasa, 12 harmonicas
http://www.cwsmith.fmhttp://www.facebook.com/cwsmith2620

MaxTek's picture
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Are you in the USA? I could s

Are you in the USA? I could send you one for the cost of shipping. Probably 4-5 dollars. I recently acquired 8 blueberry 350mhz iMacs for a school. A couple have bad video so they will be used for parts, i.e. a cd drive.

Dankephoto can vouch for me. Let me know.

westieg3's picture
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still considering looking for

still considering looking for a new drive. i'd like to exhaust all other means first. sadly, the only other mac desktop in the house other than the imac is an emac, but that's the network admin machine and print server. i do wish i had an old tower. maybe i can contact my old school since they'll be throwing out their macs next year, and another old school with many macs closed recently. perhaps they could be of help.

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MaxTek's picture
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A B/W 350mhz came along with

A B/W 350mhz came along with the imacs mentioned above. Looks and works good. $20 plus shipping if you want that instead.

But the price of shipping only for my drive is hard to beat.

westieg3's picture
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:D does it have a vga port? m

Laughing out loud does it have a vga port? might be nice piece to add to the collection along with fixing the imac. i'll pm you after i think about it.

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MaxTek's picture
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yes it does

yes it does