by Jay Cline

I bought a 233mhz Rev. A iMac with a blown video board. Here is the result of putting the iMac internals into a PC mini tower case. It's shown running System 10.1 on the external Apple monitor. The iBox has a 20 gig hard drive and 288 megs of RAM. The computer is used as a backup server for client computers. There are three lights on the front, red, yellow, green to go along with System 10. The idea behind this was to do it as cheaply and simply as possible. The PC case was purchased at a local Goodwill store for $1.98.


This simple case hack was done using spare parts found in my garage and by no means do I consider it to be high quality hack. I used the iMac power supply and just bolted it inside the case as shown from this top view photo. The fan shown is one of two, the other is in the front of the case. It runs 24 hours a day and the processor doesn't get as hot as it did in the iMac case.



Here's a view of the mount for the iMac logic board and external video connector. The power button on the front of the case is wired into the iMac power button and the iMac speakers are mounted to the bottom of the case. Power for the three lights on the front of the case is taken from the power connector for the hard drive.


Here's a view from the back. I consider it a crude hack but it gets the job done and allows the iMac to live again.


Here's a pix of an early prototype to see how everything would fit and to determine what I could leave out. I found a CD ribbon cable that would allow me to mount the CD drive in the front of the case. Cutting out the mount for the CD bezel was the hardest part of this simple case hack.

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Finally i've found someone who's doing the same as I... My iMac was fine for the exception of the monitor and software calibration wouldn't fix it. To fix it, I'd have to adjust the CRT while it was running which could kill me. So instead of death, I'm doing this... I know there are lots of ATX conversions out there but all the ones I've seen require the $$$ to buy a special case or hacking the ATX power supply to work with it (which requires soldering). I'm glad to see someone using the power supply from the iMac. I have some questions though, what are the parts you used to mount the motherboard, and power supply? Thanks.

westieg3's picture

ok i just got a slot loading imac from a friend that wont boot. its been taken apart and reassembled to find the problem but i think its the software. the computer boots, but shows the floppy with the blinking question mark. i have tried to insert disks to restore the software but the computer spits them right out, even if i restart and hold down the c key. any ideas on how to force feed the disk to the computer so i can fix it?

Actually, it's stupid simple to use an ATX supply for this. I did this a few years ago (for the hell of it, that's how I roll) and I decided to throw caution to the wind and cut the power connector off of the mac and just tie all the same colored wires between it and the power supply together (not even any soldering. This is also how I roll.) Power supply color codes are pretty standardized, so I felt pretty confident about the whole thing and, to only a bit of my surprise, it worked fine first time.