Resurrecting a Dead G4

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Joined: May 30 2005
Posts: 284

I recently came across a couple of G4s that had dead logicboards. As I strip these computers and sell the parts, These were slated for the same fate. They would turn on but no video, no chimes the drives would not run. I took one just for fun and pulled the hard drive out of it and powered it up. I chimed the video came on and it went looking for the OS. I thought what a deal it just needs a hard drive. So I installed a known working hard drive and it went back to being hammer dead, unplug the drive and it would boot from the CD.

After a little checking I found the primary IDE connector to be bad. Well that either called for a add on ATA card or would it work if I connected the drive up with the Cd-Rom cable. What I wound up doing was setting the hard drive as a slave leaving the CD-rom master and inserting the hard drive in the carrier below the CD-Rom drive. The existing cables will work to hook up the drives and when you power up the G4 it will look for a boot drive via the CD-Rom then it will find the hard drive on the same bus and boot from it.

I set the CD-rom as the primary boot drive so that in case the Hard Drive failed I could still boot from the CD-Rom although I have found that you can set the Hard Drive as master and the CD-Rom as slave and it will still boot to the Cd-Rom drive if there is no OS on the hard drive. I have done this to two G4s one a G4 350Mhz and a G4 AGP 450 machine. Both are working with no problems. I am watching the Day after Tommorow on the G4 350 and as for dollars spent $10.00 for both G4s when I bought them at the yard sale.

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The Czar's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 287
Does it still have those prob

Does it still have those problems with a CD-ROM attached to the IDE chain?

Are the drives properly jumpered (Master/Slave)?

Is your IDE cable good? No shorts / cuts / damage?

Does the original dead drive from the G4 work in any other computers?

Will the machine boot from a Hard Drive attached via USB/FireWire/PCI IDE card?

Cheers,

The Czar

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Joined: May 30 2005
Posts: 284
G4

The only thing wrong with the G4 is the IDE connector for the hard drive. The hard drive that was in was checked and had to be reformatted but still had a problem (clunking noise). It also took to long to boot after the OS was reinstalled OS 9.1. and still made the clunking noise.

A known to be good hard drive was installed on the CD-Rom IDE cable and set as slave. The machine was powered up and I got the flashing ? with the folder. Then the computer detected the hard drive and booted from it (OS X 10.2.Cool. I then went to preferences and selected the hard drive as the startup disk.

The computer goes right to it at every bootup. I did disconnect the power connector to see if it would boot from the CD-rom drive and if the computer cannot find an OS or hard drive it will boot from the Cd-rom drive. Doing a little testing later on I changed the jumper setting making the hard drive master and the CD -Rom drive slave. The computer will boot from the hard drive and if no hard drive is detected or no OS it will boot from the CD-Rom drive.

There were no cut cables or burned spots. The cables worked on another computer with out a hich. As to booting from a firewire hard drive I do not know as I don't own one. I believe a PCI ATA card would have worked instead of what I did and probubaly a lot easyser and quicker. however this was something I wanted to try and see if it would work and no it does not have any of the same problems it had before.

You can't ever tell it may happen to you and you may not have a ATA card to install in that PCI slot on your computer and this could be a fix that gets you running again instead of being down for a day or two.

I did check to primary IDE connector to see if may there was a bent or broken pin. all looked good. My Wife uses one of the computers I did this fix to and the machine works flawlessly. no overheat problems with the hard drive. She can listen to music Cds while surfing the net and it runs 24/7 no crashes, no errors. It does like a Mac should. It Works like its supposed to

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Joined: Jan 19 2006
Posts: 6
g4's

Did you ever get those things running?

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Joined: May 30 2005
Posts: 284
Dead G4s

Yes they are both working just fine. My Wife uses hers and I installed a G4 533CPU and it works great. Spects are, G4 AGP, 533CPU, 256 ram, 18Gig HD, CD-Rom. ATI 16meg Video, running OS X 10.3. Her computer runs nearly 24/7 and has never given a minutes trouble.

The PCI G4 is going to come out of the closet and have a new HD installed and be set up as the Network server. It currently is a G4 350CPU, 256 Ram, 6Gig HD, DVD-Ram, ATI 16Meg video and OS X 10.2.

This machine has run flawlessly evertime it is powered up and it has the same dead IDE connector on the logicboard as the AGP G4 that my wife uses. So the hard drive will be setup the same as the current one is (thru the secondary IDE Channel).

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