Dave LeCompte (really) (tsmaster) wrote,
Dave LeCompte (really)

LJ as alternative to paid Macintosh tech support

Ok, I know a thing or two about computers, but I'm having difficulty here.

  • short version - when I turn on my PowerMac G5, I get a black screen - no video signal. I've tried unplugging things, waiting for 5 seconds, 15 seconds, 6 hours, rebooting, no help.

  • narrative version with boring, irrelevant, details - last night, I was all the way down the hall, in the kitchen, and I realized that there was an awful lot of fan noise coming from my office. I come in, and locate the G5 as the source. It's been on all day, I think that I recently got an update of my OS, and maybe also iTunes. There's no signal on the monitor, so I try to wake it by wiggling the mouse, punching randomly at the keyboard. No joy.

    I press the power button, and the system turns off. I press it again, I get a beep that's different from the normal system beep. It's a little hazy now, so I'm not sure the sequence of the following experiences. I reboot a bunch of times:

    • sometimes, I boot to the OpenFirmware screen. I type 'boot-mac', and I get to the 'broken folder' screen.
    • sometimes, I think, I go straight to the broken folder screen.
    • mostly, though, I get no video signal
    • grasping at straws, I try booting with my Tiger disk in the drive, and 'C' pressed. Sometimes this takes me to a grey screen with an apple and a progress spinner. Never gets past the spinner.
    • I try unplugging all devices, including AC, waiting for 15 seconds, and rebooting, no benefit.
    • I try booting with command-option-P-R pressed. No benefit.
    • I try booting with command-option-O-F pressed. No benefit.
    • I try opening up the case to look at diagnostic LEDs - none lit, if I'm even looking in the right place.
    • I remove the metal door, the plastic airguard, the fans, and locate the PMU reset button (you didn't want me to kick it accidentally, did you? Thanks!) I pressed it and rebooted, no benefit.
    • I tried swapping out monitors - at one point, I manage to get to one of the screens (broken folder? apple with spinner? I forget), so I doubt that the video card is completely dead.

    Now, I haven't been replacing RAM or trying to install Windows XP on my (non-Intel) machine or anything else "high-risk". It was up and running as recently as yesterday afternoon - the first symptom of something weird was that it woke up from being asleep at one point yesterday afternoon. Maybe I bumped the mouse. Then it went back to screensaver mode, and at 10 or 11 at night, I noticed the fans going much louder than I've ever heard before.

I've already made myself an appointment with a "Genius" for 3 1/2 hours from now, so your window to fix this problem's somewhat tight.

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