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Apple Mac Tower

By learninmypc
Jun 8, 2013
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  1. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 5,235   +232

    For the CD to format/reinstall the OS. Maybe the The Apple Disk Tools? I'm not familiar at all with this brand of computer so bear with my ignorance:oops:
  2. terry5880

    terry5880 TS Enthusiast Posts: 527

    Thats what im saying follow the steps I gave u and u dont need disc that is the built in way same as like winodws etc have built in disc I havent got a clue never neeeded to buy one
  3. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 5,235   +232

    Ok, you are aware this Mac is ancient aren't you? I'm thinking it was built in 1999-2000 according to my first post.
  4. terry5880

    terry5880 TS Enthusiast Posts: 527

    It should still work on any mac if it doesnt then yes u might need disc and that I could not help with sorry
  5. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,539   +301

    The clicks are likely a dead hard drive. The "?" screen indicates it can't find a bootable system, this will occur with a dead hard drive (there are other possible causes as well). So I think at this point, even if you had a OS CD you would still be out of luck because the hard drive sounds dead.

    To get this system running again you'll need to purchase an IDE hard drive, and obtain an OS CD. That system will run well with OS X 10.4. 10.5 will run on it (although you might have to modify the install cd if the processor is slower than 733Mhz?). I don't really recommend 10.5 unless you have a good reason for it, 10.4 should be sufficient.

    One thing that concerns me is the lack of 'bong' on power up, the bong signifies everything is ok, before it can even get the hd spun up. Without the bong, there may be other issues other than the hard drive.

    So the bad news is, it is going to take some time and money to even give it a chance of running, and at that, we still can't confirm the 'logic board' is good.

    The good news is, even dead G4 towers sell well on ebay, however, shipping them is expensive.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  6. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 5,235   +232

    terry5880, I thank you for your helpful input.
    SNGX1275, Thank you. I'll let the owner know this it'll of course be his decision.
    Learnin something new in here everyday..(y)
  7. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,539   +301

    Yeah. I have a 'PowerMac G4 Digital Audio' with a 533Mhz G4 running 10.5, so I had to change a line in some file and burn a new install disk to let it install. Apple put an artificial limitation on the hardware 10.5 could install to, probably because they just didn't want people to be disappointed in the performance of their OS on slow hardware. But I did need the networking upgrades 10.5 brought and I was just using it as a mostly headless machine anyway, not an everyday computer.

    I'm posting this just to give some perspective from someone that actually owns one of these computers.

    They are nice machines, but they certainly aren't very useful in modern times, the hardware is just too slow now. The internet has grown up a lot since these were released, and outside of 240p youtube, online video is going to be pretty miserable. Adobe always sucked at Flash on PowerPC (and on OS X in general). Another thing that really hampers their usefulness now is lack of SATA. You can buy a PCI adapter for SATA, a Sonnet card, but they are expensive. Alternative is to buy an external enclosure for a SATA drive that has a FW400 port, that way you will get USB 2.0 (or better) performance and the ability to use large hard drives.

    Ultimately, I think, for most people, a Mac of that age isn't a good buy. But, for a few of us, enthusiasts, the system is still fun to own and run. OS X 10.4 in a lot of ways is still a very modern OS, and the G4s could still boot into "Classic" which would be OS 8.5-9 (perhaps 9 only..) to run legacy apps.

    I ran my G4 as a file server, with a 2TB FW 400 connected drive and it was great. But I ultimately retired it and now accomplish the same task with a Powerbook G4 with the external hooked up through USB. Lower energy costs..

    If your friend doesn't want it, and you decide to keep it. Check out MacRumors's forums, they have a section for PowerPC Macs, there are still people that run these as everyday machines and they have some good info on what to disable, and just general information on how to get the most out of these machines. They were very expensive, pretty high end, machines when they were released. They are professional level quality as far as build and ease to access hardware.
  8. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 5,235   +232

    Thank you. I gotta admit, I like the handles on this tower.
    2013-06-09 09-42-14.845.jpg
    Easier access to the inside, also. Well, I guess I''ll just let the owner know the situation & see what he wants to do. Thanks for your input & thanks to all for your input.(y)
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,690   +884

    "Local colleges" don't sell computers with an OS installed. They have group licenses with Windows. Now, I know less than squat about Apple, I shouldn't be here, but you know I'm not going to let that stop me.

    Do these computers have a BIOS you could boot into? If so, that might give you a clue whether or not the HDD has failed. Do you hit delete for that, or is there a "Jobs" key?

    And here's the really stupid question,"could you boot the damn thing with a LInux CD"?

    But dude, once upon a time these were declared "weapons grade" by the US government!

    I think the CIA thought they could be used as missile guidance systems. Although God knows, if you put one of those clunkers in a rocket, what would you do with the warhead?

    And shoulder fire? I think it goes without saying, that's completely off the table.:p
  10. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 5,235   +232

    Thank you for your humorous input.:D
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,690   +884

    You're welcome!

    Now, I'm going to show you what the G-4's handles are for:


    Or maybe: [​IMG]
     
  12. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 5,235   +232

    You're a funny guy. Thanks for the laughs. I'll hold on TIGHT!!:D
  13. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 5,235   +232

    Ok, firstly as I've said, there is no white screen, nor a gong,just numerous clicks. I power it on, the screen goes gray, then black & then back to gray with the ?mark/face icon. The owner told me its not worth (him) fixing so I figured I'd mess with it so for the past 4 plus hours I've been trying to do as you suggested.
    Since there are no light on the Mac KB, I can't tell if it has a connection or not. The optical light on the HP mouse shows a connection but not continuous so that tells me it could be a bad USB port. IF a Windows KB could be substituted, fine, otherwise I'm about to put this apple in a garbage can. Both Mac KB & the HP mouse work fine on my W7.
  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,690   +884

    What a shame to throw away one of the most stylish cases of all time. Couldn't you just put a Mac Mini inside it, along with a couple of cold cathode strip lights?

    BTW, no keyboard lights could also mean a bad PSU, as in no 5 volt +.

    I don't know how compliant Apple was with board size factor &mounting bolt location. But if the case is really nice shape, and you can't get it up and running, I'd build the cheapest PC I could in it, and keep it as a conversation piece.

    Think Matx and a dual core Celeron, which would probably chew up and spit out the the Mac innards for breakfast anyway.

    The only problem in keeping it authentic might be the optical drive faceplates.
  15. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 5,235   +232

    A lack of $$$$ won't allow a Mini mac or anything else with the exception of my very first non rotting apple door stop.LOL. Unless of course you or somebody would like to donate the parts/$$$$ to do such. :D
    captaincranky, I appreciate your humor, but I'm hoping this computer might be able to be fixed, thank you.
  16. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 5,235   +232

    The owner has shown up & is going to be recycling it appropriately. I thank everybody that tried to help with this Apple.:) (y)
  17. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,690   +884

    I still think you ought to keep the case.
  18. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 5,235   +232

    I might, thank you, but its not my choice. :)
  19. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,539   +301

    Bummer. Like I said above, even dead ones are worth some money. Craigslist would have been a better option and it would have still been 'recycled'.
  20. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 5,235   +232

    Since the last post, the friend that bought it , contacted the school I mentioned in post #6 & we had a conference call & after telling the individual at the school ALL the numbers on it, they told us we could remove the stickers & enjoy it since they returned to the Windows OS.
    It is still sitting here in my home. Its the first apple I've ever had that won't rot,lol. You know, go bad? Spoil:D
    He took the Mac KB & HP mouse to see if his wife could use it on her ipad. I might try talking him into buying a harddrive & OS so I can get it running. We'll see what happens.
    Might try Craigslist. Its still his decision. Thanks. :)
  21. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,539   +301

    If you have it, and he doesn't want it anymore.. I would talk to people and try to get an old IDE HD, almost anyone that has more than a couple computers has an old tower or something that they just keep around for no good reason other than disposing of them is a hassle. They likely have a good hard drive still. Despite the G4s shipping with Maxtor (and maybe other brands) that had an Apple Logo on them, there is no difference, any IDE HD will work (ok not really, they have size limitations, don't go over 120 GB if that is a Digital Audio or prior G4). But this is something I think you can accomplish in a reasonable amount of time for free.

    After that, you just need an OS. I don't know the legality issues here, but you may be able to buy the 'restore' cds or dvd for cheap or even request them on craigslist and see how that works out.

    Honestly, if you can get a free hd, and obtain the OS disks. You'd have a system that you can sell for, well whatever ebay is showing, but I'd guess around $80 (rough guess since I have no idea what G4 Tower that is and there is a big range). Or you could just keep it for yourself, and everything outside of video should still work really well on it. They had Gigabit ethernet on the very first G4s even. OS X 10.4/5 is still modern enough that you coudl play around on it and probably learn enough to do basic troubleshooting here in the Alt OS forum :)
  22. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 5,235   +232

    I appreciate the ideas, but $$$$ is a major problem. If I knew my harddrive from my XP Pro would work in it, I might try it but I doubt it would.
  23. Cobalt006

    Cobalt006 TS Maniac Posts: 1,825   +181

    Your hard drive from your old computer may very well work. If it is IDE drive. Your problem then would be finding a Os for it. Beings it is apple. I doubt win Xp will work. But a may be wrong. Never tried to switch a Apple computer over to a windows OS.
  24. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 5,235   +232

    Hmmm, sounds interesting. :)
  25. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,539   +301

    It is a PPC Mac, the only non-Apple OS you can get on it is some ppc variations of linux. They don't run very well compared to actual OS X, so it isn't worth it unless you just are a huge linux fan.


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