iMac G5 Meltdown


imac Friends of mine have pinged me with news that iMac G5 machines are having a meltdown. Apparently, the machines have been a hit with corporate users who are snapping up these puppies. However, most corporate employees tend to leave their computers powered up overnight. This is resulting in overheating and resulting in power supply brownouts and fan problems. Anyone else hear this news? I wonder, the popularity of everything Apple is resulting in technical problems all the time. I had the same problems with iPods in the past.


Bazza, (Australia)

On my son’s advice, I bought my first mac, a 17″ iMac G5, about 4 months ago. Just loved it until recently when it just froze up. Diagonal pattern accross screen and the roar of a hairdryer comming from inside. It is some comfort that I’m not alone in this but I am not happy that when I thought i was getting my first “apple” , I seem to have got a “lemon” ! I have been without it for 2 weeks now ans no sign of when I will get it back.

David (UK)

Just returned from one weeks Holiday and found my iMac G5 20 inch screen 250GB Drive frozen, then went all fuzzy and had rapid lines across it. Now just a blank screen when I boot up. But I have to leave my iMac on to run a dynamic IP DNS updater program. Looks like there was a problem with the earlier iMac Power Supplies, mine was one of the first to be shipped and has lasted about 7 months. I do not believe the comment that 250GB drive is causing a heat problem as Apple UK are now selling this configuration as a minimum with an option of a 400GB drive as of today. I am just glad it is a PSU problem and not a Hard drive issue as all my 5,000 photos and 4 days of music are not backed up..! 1st thing I will do when up and running again….!

Tim in Phoenix

Guys! I was able to get an Apple service supervisor on the phone today (Saturday) which was impressive, and his drift was that most of the problem iMac G5s were built in the November-January time frame, and the problem units were mostly from one of several contract manufacturers. I was able to order a spare power section for a mere US $107, as I cannot afford downtimes due to business use of my machine.


If anyone stil have doubts of being alone with their Imac G5 problems, I suggest to visit “” . Threads here are identical and more on this other website!

I was considering getting the Imac G5 and ran across great reviews on CNet. com but after reading personal experiences at and then here…..

I decided to wait it out and see what Apple will do…



I am on my second G5 – I bought the first in late December; it lasted 5 weeks until the power supply went up in smoke and took the motherboard with it (burnt plastic smell). The store where I bought it accused me of somehow having faulty power at my house, not using a good surge protector, etc. (all untrue), charged me $40 to get my inaccessible data, and traded me for a brand new one. 3.5 months later, that power supply too bit the dust; my mac has now been in the shop for 3.5 weeks with no prospect of return; they won’t answer my phone calls. I’m upset to say the least. Not just once, but twice! I did in fact contact the law firm listed in the previous post, who called me the same afternoon. I love Apple (disclaimer!) but things have gotten too sloppy for me lately.


Everybody that’s had this problem needs to write to
Girard Gibbs & De Bartolomeo LLP, the firm that won the iPod case. ( ). We paid for a defective product and Apple won’t acknowledge it!


My 20″ Imac G5 died in it’s sleep this afternoon. Opened it up and the left-most led was on when plugged in.. but it won’t start up.
Interestingly, it had lost the “gong” sound on start up several days before everything quit. It’s now at the apple store awaiting repair.

Jim in OC

Tim in Phoenix

Hello There was talk about substandard capacitors failing early inside of iMac G5s, anybody have the details on this? Some of us are technical enough to swap capacitors, a parts list would be helpful, anyone? I am pleased with my machine after three weeks and cannot afford to be down for weeks.

Tim in Phoenix

Jose Cordova


Two year ago i buy 28 emac, all of them was returned to guarrantie, some of it up to 4 times,

Now we upgrade it with imac g5 4 months ago and by today i have returned 6 machines, 1 broken down display, 1 memory fault, 4 power suplie fault.

make your conclusions

Jose Cordova

brad k

Mine is totally fried! It died so I did the wise thing, self diagnose off apples’ website wait 2 freaking weeks for the part. install it, nope still no go. so off to mac-mall. those ass-clowns have had it for two weeks, I’ve called mac now six times, this is freaking crap. A total waste of my time & money. Whats worse is I’m a web designer, have no machine, love mac and now have to defend my broken computer in front of my friends who all have dell’s.
oh well.
on the plus it has increase my spare time to drink and stare at the empty spot on my desk….

Alfredo Mori

Let me join this litany of disasters for a growing group of people worldwide. I’m typing this on my 10 th mac computer since 1986 and have NEVER owned such a poorly put together machine. Bought this 20 inch G5 1.8 GHz in February and all was fine for a month – truly whisper quiet – even took it to work in our gropup office as it didn’t disturb anyone sitting near me.
Then had the screen flicker and dim which was correctly diagnosed and repaired as a power supply problem.
The day I took it home after that repair, now 5 weeks later, the fans started loud on start up and are always blowing when the macahine is on ( which is when I like to use it otherwise a very expensive and cluncky paperweight Steve)
Apple repair store say they too have a back order – guy at the repair desk looks like he needs committing to a psych hospital because its this night mare he relives every week – another faulty mid plane or motherboard or poorly thought-constructed -and sold- on- the-cheap metal base that houses this cross between a blowdryer and model airplane.
Not fair
Not impressed
Not Apple

Kirk Seaman

I, too, had a problem with my iMac G5. It started within two hours of taking it out of the box, too. First, it crashed in the middle of installing Office. Then the fan would come on when it was just sitting there, asleep, and it sounded like a jet taking off. It would crash even when it was asleep–the light would just stay on and even when trying to do a hard re-start with the power button, it wouldn’t re-start. When I leaned over the back of it to re-start I smelled hot plastic, and when I told this to Apple TechSupport, they immediately escalated my call up the chain. “Burning smell” and “fire” seem to be the magic words when calling, BTW. The tech was excellent and ordered a new midplane, power supply, inverter, and hard drive, which arrived the next day. They were easy to replace and it’s been up and running since late March. I do have it set to go to sleep after 15 minutes of non-use.

The latest development: it makes a buzzing/alarm sound from the right speaker. It did it twice last week while I was doing a word count in MSWord, and then once when I hit “send” in the email program. Scared the crap out of me and everybody in the office. Anyone having a buzzing/alarm problem?


Just had the same problem with my iMac G5 20″. Came home and noticed a strange burning smell. Started up the computer and 2 minutes later it shut down. Tried to reboot and it kept shutting off. Brought it in to the Apple Store in Soho, NYC…they do same day repairs now. Unfortunately the logic board and power supply they need to replace is back-ordered. Still, the service was much better than when I deal with Tekserve, who I loathe.

Jim Dayton

I too have been hit with the power supply burn out.
The odd thing that happened to me is I could smell the burning, but with all the electronic equipment I have, I could not tell were it came from. My iMac continued to work for several hours after I smelled the burning. When it stopped working I took it to the apple store for repair. It has been almost two weeks and when I recently called to check on the status, I was told it could be another 4 to 6 weeks before they can get the new power supply.


iMac G5 20″ – PS flamed out. 3 weeks for a replacement PS. The Apple forums across the web are full of this problem. Way to go Apple. I’m sure a class action suit is just around the corner. The lawyers will get a bazillion dollars and the people actually harmed will get the 5% off coupon on their next Apple purchase. And you will all RUN to the Apple store to redeem it because that is what good Apple drones do.


I bought an iMac 20″ G5 1.8ghz back in October ’04. I shut it down every night. As of this week, I had to have the logic board replaced. The computer died on start up, leaving only a power light and black screen.

The interesting thing about the repair was that eventhough the the Apple Store technician couldn’t power it up to make a diagnosis when I first brought the computer in for repairs – and subsequently told me he didn’t know what the problem was – he wrote up the work order to show that it needed a logic board. (“Board, logic, 1.8GHz, w/ SuperDrive, iMac G5 20” – a $732 replacement part, covered under warrantee, for a less-than-six-month-old $2000 machine.) And yet no one seemed surprised. Hmmmm.


I am writing from Spain, so excuse my english.
I had my Imac 17´´1,6 G5 for 3 months now and I was a very happy new mac user. The problem arised when I decided to give it a clean, so I went to a computer store and bought a normal computer liquid cleaner (without alcohol or amonia), so I wet the cloth, powered down the imac and clean it. After this, turned back on and keep working, an hour latter went to the toilet and WHAAAA!!! They where there… two cracks in the front plastic case comimg from the bottom angles of the screen. This cracks are only in the transparent plastic and not on white plastic under it, also the screen works perfect, but now my imac looks like shit, and the support of apple ignored the problem, and I swear I did not knok it or anything… It looks as the plastic case that was hot (cause I never shut down my mac) reacted with the cold fluid or something. Now I just want to cry… any ideas what could be the issue here, and is it possible to replace the whole front cover without changing the LCD.


My iMac G5 at work just mysteriously powered off five times within a couple of hours today. I upgraded to Tiger yesterday (well, the gold developer seed). It’s been on all the time since Feb and in heavy use for the last couple of weeks. On the fourth boot-up, the fan came on really loud, almost like it was doing it as a safeguard. It was fine for a while until the fan died down and poof, no power. I just left it at work unplugged because I was frusterated. Hope it’s not serious. I’ll start having it sleep at night now.


“Try that on your Windows PC! Unless all you do is let it sit there, it wont happen because PC’s suffer from Memory loss. ”

Oh, please. My scratch-built XP Pro machine (specifically built for video editing, so this thing gets hammered) has been running continuously since an ice-storm power outage in January 2004. Get over yourselves


I feel all of your pains, My 17-inch Imac G5 Power supply just crashed yesterday. What sucks more is that I was working on a very important project in Final Cut Pro. I’m a very careful and very timid user of the Imac G5 and i have to say that i keep my updates up to date. This is very peculiar and strange for Macintosh to be doing this without disclosing it to it’s customers. I don’t believe I have a first generation Imac g5 I recently got mine about 4 months ago. Yeah well anyway this sux and It hurts me to know that Steve Jobs hurts me :(


my two month old i mac g5 20″ died on me yesterday.i started it but the fan went off…i didnt know what had happened till the time i took it to the store and they told me it had heated i went on this site and checked out the reviews and was amazed to find out that this perfect looking machine is not really that perfect.ive been told it’ll take up from 10 to 12 days for it to be fixed….lets hope it does.


thanks for the advice. hopefully we can get everything fixed!

Om Malik

emilee.. these are early signs. quickly call apple and ask them what is going on and try and get the situation fixed. sorry you have to experience this kind of problems


are there any “symptoms” to this problem before the computers just die? my imac G5 is starting to freeze up for a few seconds at a time when i am in photoshop or my husband is using sibelius. my husband says that the back feels really hot when it starts doing this. is this a precursor to my computer dying?


Mine went up in smoke, as well. A distinct POP and a weird smell. The local Apple distributor (I’m in Latin America) says he’ll need at least 22 days to get a replacement power supply. Several Apple stores in the US have the part in stock, but are unwilling to sell it to me. Several calls to Apple corporate, including the so-called “executive relations department” yielded no significant help. I’ve stressed repeatedly that I would pay whatever was necessary to have the part sent to me via DHL. All I got was an astonishingly frequent use of the words “can’t” and “impossible.”

I was just about to purchase a small fleet of iMacs for my office. Now, seeing the frequency of this problem and Apple’s inability and unwillingness to supply parts, I’ve reconsidered.

The idea that people should turn their computers off at night just makes very little sense in a corporate environment. Some of us need the computers running 24/7. Particularly those who are making use of Apple’s much ballyhooed cluster processing arrangements.


I just had my 20in imac power supply burn out on me. Aparently this has been happening quite a bit lately. Not only do I know this because the power supply’s are backordered for the 20in iMac, but also because the guy on the support line said these calls have been coming in a lot. That burning smell Rick is the freaking plastic in the power supply melting. The only problem on the system should be the power supply though. It usually takes a lot to fry the logic boards on these things.


just came home with a 17inch imac for my girlfriend, got about 3 pages into start up and ‘blip’ she turned off good. think i smelt some burning ruuber too.
we were happy once


Hey i got my mac fixed a couple of weeks ago ( notice my post on Marh 23) I was sent a new mid-plane assembly after being diagnosed over the phone by an apple product specialist. The board came the very next day and i have to say it wasnt very difficult to install it. However as i was fixing it i noticed the power supply unit had burn marks on it and also the old mid plane assembly did as well. I called apple and they said they would send me a new power supply. Well after what was said to be an overnight delivery, i found out the product was back ordered. As i use my Mac for work I needed the part ASAP and couldnt wait. Apple put in a world wide search for the part and i had it in about 3 days, instead of what was said to be a 2 week back order. The old power supply units seem to be the problem, not the mid plane assembly. So in short my Imac G5 is back in action and everything works fine, the olny thing i had to do was re-install the blutooth software which required picking up a wired mouse, as i only had wireless. I went to the Apple store in NYC and saw this huge line waiting for the “genius bar,” I guess we arent the only ones.


My iMac G5 came with the 250GB hard drive upgrade, which I think makes the problem worse. I saw this post on’s forums:

“The head technician fro [sic] my dealer (large company in Germany) confirms the problem to the 250 GB HDs, They stop selling this configuration and will not give me a machine with 250 GB. We are now talking about a Samsung 160 GB Disk. Hope this helps. The larger disks do become too hot and heat up the complete system. Seems as if Apple needs a better HD-Cooling for this drives. — Joachim”

I installed Hardware Monitor ( and found, just by turning on my iMac, the temperature my hard drive slowly climbs up to 70C — almost 160F — and just stays there! The fans can’t keep up.

When ripping music with iTunes, my CPU temperature rises to & stays at about 72C (162F). Is does come back down when I’m done ripping — no reboots so far.

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