HELP! imac G4 screen almost black..

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
Hi all,

I'm at work now but my son called me and told me, "Mom was on the computer and all of a sudden she said that the screen like died"..........

He checked it, and he said you can barely see the computer is working but the screen is not lit. He said it is so dark you sometimes lose where the mouse cursor is, and you can barely see the dock, etc.

My G4 17" imac is almost 4 years old........I really cannot afford a new one easily. The good news is that he says you can barely see everything still, so the computer itself is is a screen problem.

Here are my dumb questions........(I love my macs, but am a novice)....

1) is there a way to temporarily hook up another monitor to it, like you can with my son's powerbook? (he is away at college, so the G4 is all I have right now)

2) could this just be a software problem, or could it come back after it cools, etc?

3) Could I just buy a new LCD screen, like off ebay, either another 17" or maybe "upgrade" to a 20" ?

4) would fixing it be worth it? I would think it is just a couple of wires into that half a volleyball bottom....I hope?

Luckily, I just bought a used powerbook for this son off ebay, and it should be delivered tomorrow, so hopefully I'll have SOMETHING. Is 4 years the norm for a mac? I really like my good old g4..........

Thank you in advance for any help.....

Frank D.


  • Reply 1 of 8
    Have you checked to see if the brightness control for the monitor was accidentally changed somehow? Check that first.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    Thank you. I forgot to mention......he managed to get to that, and adjusted it, but it did not help........I wish it was that easy. I guess that would be the first thing to check, sorry I did not mention it.

    Frank D.
  • Reply 3 of 8
    I'm spent. Anyone else have some good emergency tips?
  • Reply 4 of 8
    I read somewhere that it might be a PRAM problem, or a PMU reset, but I do not know what these are or how to do them.

    I think it is a apple + p = m or something,

    then I read where when the computer is off you keep hitting the power botton while doing something....clearly I do not know enough yet to try anything.....

    Thank you all.......

    Frank D.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    I got on apples website here and learned how to try to reset pram settings.....I'll pray tonight and then try try that tomorrow........\

    I really hope it's just a software thing.................I don't want to give up on the old g4 yet...I'm attached to it.

    Frank D.
  • Reply 6 of 8
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,361moderator
    Can you plug in an external display in the G4 imac?

    This btw folks is why all-in-ones are bad and why I think Apple should stop making them. It's good for Apple of course because the displays will die eventually which means you will need a costly upgrade or repair.

    All we need is:

    Mac Mini > Mac Cube > Mac Pro
  • Reply 7 of 8
    Sounds like a dead backlite. You'll have to replace the backlite or the entire screen wich can be costly.
  • Reply 8 of 8
    Well, I stopped by the apple store today.....they thought it was a small circuit board...I forgot what they called it....(it will come to me). It costs less then $25.00, but alot of labor.

    My buddy thinks he can do it.

    They said it is probably not the backlight, since there are two of them.

    I was able to hook up an old monitor, so at least I'm using it here again.

    thanks, Frank D.
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