At my university, i have a student (we normally don't help the students but she has a mac). Anyway, she has an old imac 233-333 system and it isn't powering up correctly anymore.
When she leaves it plugged in, it won't turn on. But when she unplugs it for a while and plugs it back in, it will powerup for a tiny bit then shut off.
Is that the powerboard/analog board? Would it be worth repairing?
While it could be a few things, including the CRT (if it turns on but the video goes black), a circuit or capaciter in the analog board (if the whole machine powers off suddenly), or even the motherboard.
I'm sure I'll get flack in this "Mac Hacking" forum for so quickly pushing aside what might be a fun repair project, but I'm sure said student is interested in the fact that this iMac is currently dead, and one can get more work done with a working computer than a dead computer. I feel comfortable tearing apart desktops and laptops during projects that could take weeks, but for some, the policy of "I just need something that will work and need it fast" might hold more logical. Depending on your level of training/experience in the computer repair field, the option of repair can be a difficult one, and pricey too.
Don't get me wrong, I love reapiring and busting into the cases of computers, but I also realize that in some issues, it's better, more cost-effectiove, and more satisfying for the end user to simply upgrade.
That said, perhaps replacing the iMac is a smarter choice than troubleshooting it. While you could take it to a Fry's, CompUSA, or Bestbuy to have a technician look at it and diagnose the issue, the 79-129.00 charge they will incur is MORE than you could buy a new used iMac system for online! Repairing it yourself can be a pain as well. While parts are fairly cheap, so are fully-functional used machines. Heck, a beige G3 with the same CPU power can be had for 20 bucks on eBay!
On eBay, an iMac 233/266 can be had for $30-75.00 US in working condition, and having bought a couple in recent months for about 40 a pop. Blue and white G3 Towers and iMac DV 400's (both with native OSX support) can be had for $100-150.00, and a Powerbook G3 (look for 14" screen only) or iBook G3 300 can be had for $150-200.00. Between that 200.00 price point and the 499.00 cost of a Mac Mini is a HUGE assortment of iBook 500's, G4/500 Towers, Powerbook G3 500's, iMac DV 600's, EVEN the occasional Powerbook G4/400.
Browsing about for a possible replacement machine might be a less-expensive and smarter use of time than attempting a possibly expensive and ineffectual repair. You can even removed the 'dead' iMac's old hard drive and install it into any of the above desktop systems or into a firewire cage so the student does not have to wrry about any data loss.
I agree with what you are saying. Thats the issue, she just wants to get in business fastest and in a reassonable manner. Repairing the imac may not be in the best interests of the studnet who just wants to get going again.
I was more looking for how much it would cost to repair the mac if she were to bring it to a shop and thats why i was wondering what usually goes bad.
Like i said, it won't powerup at all if its been plugged in for quite a while, however if she unplugs it for a bit, then plugs it back in, it does powerup but then shuts off after a short bit, (10 seconds? 20 seconds? 5 seconds?).
So if this thing is going to cost like an upwards of 150-250 dollars, then i don't think it woudl be worth it to fix.
I was already planning on putting the hard drive into one of my other macs to recover data. I just don't know the pricing structure on repairing old imacs and if it even makes sense. The whole finite lifespan of the monitors is what makes me think its the final straw.