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Tech: Optical drive on Mac - and other bits

Ross Campbell 30 May 11 - 11:58 AM
GUEST,Don Day 30 May 11 - 10:10 AM
Musket 30 May 11 - 03:30 AM
Richard Bridge 30 May 11 - 01:12 AM
Ross Campbell 29 May 11 - 08:53 PM
Richard Bridge 29 May 11 - 07:51 PM
Andrez 29 May 11 - 05:55 PM
Andrez 29 May 11 - 05:38 PM
Bo 29 May 11 - 12:13 PM
Richard Bridge 29 May 11 - 10:17 AM
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Subject: RE: Tech: Optical drive on Mac - and other bits
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 30 May 11 - 11:58 AM

The G4 iMac I have may have been altered already by fitting a CDrom drive. I inadvertently downgraded it further by installing an unidentified backup copy of the OS X (on two CDs) which took it from 10.3 to 10.2 . I don't think the DVD (official) OS X 10.4 I have would clone onto a single CD. (I haven't tried booting from an external firewire DVD reader yet, but I've got a feeling that that route is blocked by the firmware requirement I mentioned above.) The other 10.4 official two-CD versions I have are for specific machines (G4 tower, Mac Mini) and will not boot on the iMac. There is a 16-CD (sic!) version for eMacs that I haven't tried yet - I'll let you know.

There is another way of getting OS X 10.4 onto the iMac hard drive if you have another machine with the appropriate OS installed. SuperDuper or CarbonCopyCloner (and possibly the program Richard mentioned) can produce a clone of the source machine's HD. The receiving machine has to be set up in Firewire "Target" mode and is then treated as an external HD during the copying process. Both programs are available as free downloads if use is restricted to cloning. They have further backup facilities for which a contribution is requested.

Ross


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Subject: RE: Tech: Optical drive on Mac - and other bits
From: GUEST,Don Day
Date: 30 May 11 - 10:10 AM

Macs will not, and never have been, bootable from USB drives. FireWire only I'm afraid.

It's true - when you have used a Mac you will not go back to a PC. You will be amazed at the
intuitive way it operates.

To boot from a CD/DVD just start up holding down the C key.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Optical drive on Mac - and other bits
From: Musket
Date: 30 May 11 - 03:30 AM

I suppose one reason why I love Macs is that the components are well documented. Even large scale PC manufacturers use a different motherboard for two days of builds due to part availability and swap back to the other when bits are available again. Macs tend to have (though not always!) consistency of parts, hence the wealth of information concerning the unit you are refurbishing.

It also means the operating system has more of a chance of being compatible with support chips etc as one was written for the other.

I looked a few weeks ago to replace my old (2005) Mac Mini. As the Mac Mini hasn't been updated for a while, I first looked at building a Hackintosh. ie build a PC to the same spec as a Mac and install OSX Snow Leopard. In the end, yesterday I went into the Apple Store and came out with a brand spanking new iMac, quad core Sandybridge etc. Typing on it now in fact. Love the damned thing and hope it lasts the six years my Mac Mini did.

Garage Band, by the way, (bundled free with a new Mac or less than a tenner in the on line store) is excellent for music production, easy to use and ruddy powerful.

As somebody put above, once you have a Mac you don't go back. Ok, you curse the marketing philosophy, question the ethics, baulk at the up front cost and feel you are feeding mammon. But you love the things all the same.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Optical drive on Mac - and other bits
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 30 May 11 - 01:12 AM

I've been on one of those sites and it certainly sounds a lot harder to get at the CD drive in an Imac G4 than getting safely inside a PC.

However, surely the Imac G4 had a combo drive that was a DVD reader from early days, didn't it? Another way to get a later OS in would be to use a PC and a program like Driveclone to copy the Tiger DVD onto a CD (if it will fit and it sounds from you as if it would) or, subject to bootability, a USB drive.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Optical drive on Mac - and other bits
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 29 May 11 - 08:53 PM

I have just been investigating this subject today. I have a G4 iMac with a cd-rom drive which I want to upgrade to Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. I have DVD versions of this but the CD versions are like hen's teeth, and cost about £50 from US eBay sites, so a possible cheaper option would be to install a combo or superdrive.

This site http://www.macupgrades.co.uk/store/machine.php?name=imac-g4 advises against DIY unless you are confident of your technical abilities (sounds like you'd be OK).

This one http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/systems/imac_g4/imacg4_takeapart.html has a detailed description of the process with pictures of the critical steps.

There are other forums worth looking at where people describe the hitches they've come across (and whether or not they've managed to overcome them). One limitation is that an Apple original drive may be required, I seem to remember there is a firmware requirement which allows the machine to boot from a CD/DVD in the drive.

Haven't tried any of this yet, so can't comment on the adequacy or otherwise of the advice to be found above, but I have found both sites to be accurate in other respects.

Good luck!

Ross


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Subject: RE: Tech: Optical drive on Mac - and other bits
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 29 May 11 - 07:51 PM

I built my current quad core PC. But they are pretty much like meccano.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Optical drive on Mac - and other bits
From: Andrez
Date: 29 May 11 - 05:55 PM

Sorry for adding to the list of stuff that may or may not be useful but here is a link to another site with a pile of technical manuals and other repairing resources.

http://www.ifixit.com/Browse/Mac

As I said before, good luck with your repairs, mind you from the description unless you have a techie type of background it might be simpler and quicker to take your iMac along to a service centre and let them deal with your computer problems.

Cheers,

Andrez


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Subject: RE: Tech: Optical drive on Mac - and other bits
From: Andrez
Date: 29 May 11 - 05:38 PM

Hi Richard, this link might give you some useful info re your iMac repairs:

Daryl's Mac Manuals & Take Apart Guides

Failing that, googling on the phrase "old Mac Service manuals" should give you other options. Good Luck.

Cheers,

Andrez


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Subject: RE: Tech: Optical drive on Mac - and other bits
From: Bo
Date: 29 May 11 - 12:13 PM

Good luck Richard, but a warning ... once you've tasted a Mac you might never want anything else.
I've not got one of these models but all the others I've worked on have been very easily servicable. The Mac web site has been useful to me previously and you might like to look at a site called Low End Mac. They specialise in all manner of the slightly older and ancient models. Lots of technical info, photos and tech details, and a place to ask questions.
Good Luck, see you in October !
Bo


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Subject: Tech: Optical drive on Mac - and other bits
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 29 May 11 - 10:17 AM

I don't do Macs - but I might be being pressed to fix an Imac G4 (the one that looks a bit like a table lamp). A princely 700 MHz!

It has a special "Duke of York" (this is an English Joke, it's not really called that) CD/DVD drive - it's neither in nor out but halfway, and resistant to firm pressure. I believe they are a readily obtainable Pioneer drive - if I can get at the thing. Can anyone advise me?

Also, the funny powered speaker socket that only MAC use has part of itself missing and probably has part of a plug that should fit it stuck inside and broken off. Sure, normal speakers on the headphone out would work - but can that socket be changed or bypassed?

Next is the keyboard - F14 key is missing. The button down the hole works. I think it's called the "Pro" keyboard. I may be able to get a key but should there also be a spring or something and do they just clip together?

Finally the "Pro" speakers. I think the drive units work but the wire to them is internally open circuit. One speaker is already in pieces - is there some sort of locating gasket that ought to put it back together? As for the one that is not in pieces, how do I get it to pieces? Leverage with a small screwdriver achieves nothing other than that "Something is about to break" feeling. I could cut the flaming thing in half with a hacksaw and glue it back later I suppose...

Irritatingly, apart from these hardware faults everything else is fine and the software runs perfectly so throwing it away would be wasteful.


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