iMac G4 Flat Panel Problems!

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
Hey people, I need a genius (or as many as possible) to help me fix my friends iMac that is experiencing BIG problems. It all started out when I installed 10.2 and subsequently 10.3 on her machine (it originally came with 10.1).

It is a 15 inch iMac G4 800Mhz. It is up to date in terms of software (10.3.1).

These are the problems that happen almost every day:

- The pixels on the screen begin to look weird. Parts of the screen become pixelated and as time goes by it only gets worse. As this happens there tends to be a system-wide slow down. Once the display is refreshed through the monitor preferences it resolves itself. What the heck is this?

- The second thing which is more disturbing involves the random kernel panics that occur almost everyday! Sometimes even 3 times in one day! I have run disk utility several times and restarted using the Panther Install CD to run Disk Utility on the startup volume. It seems like it goes away for a while and then comes back again!

The computer worked fine for months (she says) before I installed 10.3. I have re-installed the OS but the same problems persist. I have not installed any ram modules or anything besides what came with the machine at the time of purchase. This is very strange and it sucks for her because she is a switcher (now on the rocks)! I have a 5 year old machine and it doesn't experience these problems! She loves the machine but she doesn't know how long she can cope with it! I believe her AppleCare has expired and I don't think she would want to pay Apple a hefty repair bill as a last resort.

Can anyone help?

It's time to go to battle and excise the demons out of her machine!

As a side note: I find it weird that a lot of switchers or first time Apple customers that I know where turned away from Apple due to horrible experiences with their first macs. That sucks.


  • Reply 1 of 3
    First thing that came to my mind was the logic board. That would explain the strange behavior of the display as well as possible kernal panics. Did you run a FSCK, zap the PRAM? Try those, info can be found in the sticky in GB.

    The other thing that I think might be causing some problems would be the fact that the machine came installed with 10.1, than was upgraded to 10.2, than to 10.3. It's not a bad idea to do a clean install for each new OS that you put on your computer, and you definitely want to do it for every second upgrade. Try backing up her HD, than doing a clean install of 10.3 and see if that doesn't fix your problems.

    If it doesn't, than I'm gonna have to go with a bad logic board. Good luck!
  • Reply 2 of 3
    der kopfder kopf Posts: 2,275member
    Yes. Also, I believe there is a firmware update out there for iMac G4s. In any case, I too would strongly advise a complete erase/format/reinstall of the Panther, cuz those display problems may very well be a software issue. Also: have you tried deleting caches? And another thing: to rule out hardware failure, you might want to try and run the hardware test cd that came with the mac, if you still have that around.
  • Reply 3 of 3
    progmacprogmac Posts: 1,850member
    i'm going to second the opinion of a format/reinstall of panther. after starting up from the panther disk while holding C, choose "erase and install" from panther setup.

    at work, someone was experiencing super-wacky video problems that *looked* like a logic/video card issue, but were really a corrupt hard-drive issue.

    if for whatever reason you don't want to format, get a disk utility such as Disk Warrior and have it examine your hard drive.
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