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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Trusty G4 on its death bed?

Trusty G4 on its death bed?
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sek929
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Feb 14, 2011, 09:45 AM
 
After 10 years of faithful service, it appears my Quicksilver G4 is starting to die a slow death.

My father tells me the screen has been going black at random times, sometimes flickering back on, sometimes staying off until a hard reset. In the past week it's done this several times.

I"m not very interesting in fixing the machine if the mobo or GFX card is shitting the bed, but I was wondering if there was any non-invasive problem that could be causing this. The PRAM battery is brand new and the machine has been thoroughly cleansed of dust at regular intervals. One of the internal fans was locked up last time I opened up the machine, so I thought the GFX cards simply might have been overheating. After cleaning the fan and getting it working fine again the problem still exists, which tells me that heat probably isn't the cause.

Any ideas?
     
Big Mac
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Feb 14, 2011, 09:48 AM
 
My number one suggested culprit would be the graphics card. Sorry if that's not what you want to hear.

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sek929  (op)
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Feb 14, 2011, 09:58 AM
 
I have no regrets about this machine, it's been a complete workhorse for a decade and still has its original power supply. My father is convinced we should fix it but I am of the opinion we should give it a proper retirement and look for a nice Intel refurb for him.

Is there any way to diagnose the problem further? I wouldn't mind finding a cheap Geforce2 MX and keeping the computer running, but i'd hate the problem to be in the MoBo and us wasting money and time.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Feb 14, 2011, 10:10 AM
 
A compatible graphics card should be very cheap if you can find one.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
reader50
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Feb 14, 2011, 01:23 PM
 
Graphics card or the monitor. Try with a different monitor, then try swapping the card. Pretty much has to be one or the other.
     
olePigeon
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Feb 14, 2011, 01:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Graphics card or the monitor. Try with a different monitor, then try swapping the card. Pretty much has to be one or the other.
Unless it's an ADC display, then it could be the power supply.
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sek929  (op)
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Feb 14, 2011, 05:48 PM
 
Nope, regular old CRT, in fact, I kinda feel stupid for not considering a failing monitor as the culprit.

Good stuff all around. I found a few Geforce2 MXs online for ~50 bucks. If the new LCD I hook up experinces the same problems I'll pull the trigger on a new GFX card.
     
sek929  (op)
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Feb 14, 2011, 06:04 PM
 
Simply hooking up the LCD triggered the black screen, guess it's time for a new GFX card. Might as well replaced the previously locked up fan while I'm at it.
     
King Bob On The Cob
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Feb 15, 2011, 02:37 PM
 
Someone's still doing work on a G4?!

Heck, you can pick up a used one for ~$50 if you wait a week or so and check craigslist/eBay.
     
sek929  (op)
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Feb 15, 2011, 04:07 PM
 
It was my workhorse for many years, now it does email and web duty for my father. Works very well for his purposes.
     
seanc
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Feb 15, 2011, 04:22 PM
 
     
Waragainstsleep
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Feb 15, 2011, 06:14 PM
 
I assume Bob meant $50 for a whole G4.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
seanc
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Feb 15, 2011, 06:16 PM
 
Backtrack 2 posts to sek929.
     
sek929  (op)
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Feb 15, 2011, 06:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by seanc View Post
$50 for a Geforce 2?
For a brand new one with a guarantee it's going to work. Maybe I'm overly cautious, but I don't like buying used electronics over eBay.
     
cgc
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Feb 15, 2011, 07:33 PM
 
I'm still using my 400MHz "Sawtooth" G4 as a media player w/ iTheater software. The only thing on it that's broken was that stupid hockey puck mouse...oh and a cockroach died in it when I lived in Georgia

     
sek929  (op)
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Feb 15, 2011, 10:17 PM
 
Haha, that's pretty hilarious, although your image is far to gigantic sir...
     
seanc
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Feb 16, 2011, 07:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
For a brand new one with a guarantee it's going to work. Maybe I'm overly cautious, but I don't like buying used electronics over eBay.
Yes, you're being overly cautious. If you were buying a power supply, I'd agree with you, in the case of an ancient graphics card, $50 isn't right.
     
Lateralus
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Feb 16, 2011, 10:59 AM
 
Seconded on being overly cautious. $50 for a 2MX is a total waste of money. Any part you're going to get at this point will be a working pull, regardless of what the sellers says about it.

I'd rather have the much faster 4MX for 1/5 the cost.
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sek929  (op)
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Feb 16, 2011, 02:34 PM
 
Noted and advice taken. Thanks boys.
     
imitchellg5
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Feb 16, 2011, 04:53 PM
 
The graphics card on one of my Quicksilvers just went out recently. Luckily I had a 9800 GT around the ho use.
     
Lateralus
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Feb 17, 2011, 06:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by cgc View Post
oh and a cockroach died in it when I lived in Georgia
Cockroaches (and other critters) that size are the reason I will never return to Florida. Ever.

I woke up once when I was a kid with a ginormous flying cockroach-thing staring down at me from the ceiling. From that moment the South was forever ruined for me.
I like chicken
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Please de-liv-er
     
Big Mac
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Feb 17, 2011, 06:41 AM
 
Do any species of roaches fly?

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Chongo
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Feb 17, 2011, 10:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Do any species of roaches fly?
Oh yeah. The American roach does. One sent my wife screaming. The one in the pic looks like one.
     
   
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