Two iMac G4s- neither working.

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Two iMac G4s- neither working.

I have a 2002 15" iMac that is having kernal panics and a 2003 17" iMac with a burned out screen. I opened up both machines and am wondering if I can use the screen from the 15" with the board and drives from the 17". One is an 800MHz, the other (i think) a 1.0GHz. The differences I've seen thus far are a audio connector that is not on the 15" and 2 IDE connectors on the 17". I might be over my head here. Is there a simpler fix?

Dustin Grella

Eudimorphodon's picture
Last seen: 4 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Dec 21 2003 - 14:14
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Kernel Panics...

#1 source of kernel panics is bad RAM. If the 15" has an SO-DIMM in the "user accessible" memory slot take it out and see if the panics stop. (It's less likely the factory-installed RAM in the "hidden" slot would be the problem, but hypothetically you could try changing that out with a known-good SDRAM DIMM if the panics don't stop.)


coius's picture
Last seen: 10 years 1 month ago
Joined: Aug 25 2004 - 13:56
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Hidden Ram slots

The "Hidden" Service-man only ram slot is not that hard to get to. Just take it slow. And work your way down to the board. Then when you get to it, carefully remove the board and disconnect any wires. From what I recall when servicing my brother's iMac, the board should have been at the first layer when you remove the bottom panel. It's pretty easy and there aren't that many screws. The "Hidden" DIMM is a full sized DIMM. Depending on the model you have, it can either be PC-133 or PC-2100/2700/3200 (all three interchangable)

Take a dig into it and play around. FYI, the hidden slot doesn't have to have RAM to work, you can just use the bottom RAM. So if you want, you can remove the hidden ram, and just play around with the SoDIMM with different modules and see if you can get it stable. Last thing you can do, is if the RAM swap doesn't do the trick, you might want to get another harddrive. Dead clusters on a harddrive can prevent the system from being able to read essential files causing it to hang or Kernel Panic altogether.

Report back with any troubleshooting you do and let us know if it works.

tmtomh's picture
Last seen: 1 year 8 months ago
Joined: Dec 20 2003 - 10:38
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BUT BE CAREFUL with the thermal paste

The iMac G4s are fantastic machines, but if you open them up you'll find you likely have to cut through a giant white blob of stiff thermal paste to remove the logic board.

This paste is crucial to preventing the unit from overheating during normal use. So you have to clean the paste off and replace it with a similarly sized blob of the same kind of paste when you re-assemble it; and make sure the pasted is making proper contact with both sides of its "sandwich."


Bolle's picture
Last seen: 3 months 2 days ago
Joined: Apr 3 2005 - 09:17
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i opened up 3 different G4 iM

i opened up 3 different G4 iMacs now but there was no giant white blob of stiff thermal paste.
there was thermal paste on teh metal block taht gets into contect with another metal block on the other half of the case to get the heat out. when putting things back together you should check if there is enough thermal paste and/or if it may have gotten dirty while you worked on the macs internals.

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