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Wow...

Since I am on a mission to repair my iMac, I called both my local Apple Store and a local authorized tech to get quotes for an optical drive repair and a possible logic board repair. The reason why the logic board may need to be replaced is because the iMac is yet again giving me FireWire trouble. I think the problem is with the controller somewhere because there does not seem to be another cause except for the recent 10.5.x updates. Like I have said in previous posts, the external drive I am using is working completely fine with my MacBook Pro no matter what connection I use, and it works over USB with the iMac.

So I called the local tech first and he said that if I got an inexpensive, new drive online, he would install it for me for a somewhat high price of $180-200 or so. But he said that he doesn't do logic board repairs. He advised getting a quote from Apple as well should they decide to charge me a flat out fee for the two possible repairs. I call the store and asked for a quote. Now I simply asked for a quote for both an optical drive repair and a logic board replacement, mind you, and so when the employee told me $500, I thought that wasn't too bad considering a new logic board could cost much more. Unfortunately, I was right. When I attempted to verify if that price was for both repairs, she said something along the lines of, "Oh, well for both you would have to pay around $1000. We recommend you getting an external drive instead."
Of course I would. This thing is five years old, and I'm looking into purchasing a brand new 24-inch iMac myself. Never would I pay the price of a new machine for two simple repairs. Outrageous. I'm going to simply fix it myself and hopefully I can get the FireWire ports to start working. The ports' work on and off at the most inconvenient of times, and I read some tips on MacFixit for solving the problem, so who knows.

I could bring it into the store and see what they would say then, but this thing isn't light at all. And, I could then look to replacing the internal memory module and maxing the machine out at 2GB. That would be good. I'll let you all know how it goes. Still, I can't fathom why they would charge $500 for a simple DVD drive replacement. And double that to add in a logic board? Insane. This G4 isn't worth that much. Why is it that Apple wants so much for their older hardware? Scarcity, low demand, or the initial cost of parts could be reasons, but I still doubt they would go that high.

-BMF

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Actually its very simple.

In reply to: Wow...

Your price was set some 5 years ago for that hardware. What I see people do is compare today's prices for a part that was made years ago and stored for later use.

Does that help you understand this?
Bob

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Figures

In reply to: Actually its very simple.

That makes sense, but you'd think that someone up top would realize that more people would bring in their older Macs if the rates were lower...
According to the iMac, there is a Pioneer DVD drive inside, but the model number does not seem to come up on the manufacturer's site... I'm not seeing it in the older models category. Strange. The iMac does not list any more info and neither does Apple's specifications on their support pages. OWC has these options available and I guess I'll have to go with that Pioneer model. Looks like a later model of the drive already inside.

Before I order anything, I think it would be best if I take the thing apart now. That way I can determine if the DVD drive is just stuck or beyond repair.
Thankfully, I got Time Machine to work again, for now. I unplugged everything from the iMac, rebooted it sometime later, and plugged in the drive. I let Time Machine backup on its regular schedule and sure enough, it started to work. Well, I'm going to take a look inside and see what the problem is.

-BMF

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It gets worse.

In reply to: Figures

I won't irritate you with comparisons to the auto repair industry but today's drives only last a few years. The good news is I pay about 29.99 for them at geeks or newegg for the common PC or externals. But then we only get 2 years and if they fail we toss and replace them. Feel free to rant about the loss of quality in these things.

As the price plummeted that old model you have in there is likely to be very tough to find info on. Look to macwherehouse and the other usual mac places for replacements.
Bob

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As for the iMac

In reply to: It gets worse.

I cracked it open and I was amazed. The previous owner, who must have been somewhat computer-savvy given the assortment of apps and utilities that he had on the iMac, had failed to take a can of compressed air or two to the internals. It was already out of warranty anyway, and it had quite a lot of dust, although it was not as much as I would have expected. So I'm looking inside and I am just staring at the drive carrier. According to some instructions and some videos I watched, I simply had to remove the cables running to it and unscrew a few things, but given the fact that I haven't really taken apart an all-in-one before, I was a bit hesitant about removing the carrier. Plus, I don't have another drive to throw in there yet.

Reattaching the base was somewhat harder than taking it off. I'm guessing that it hadn't been removed since it was made. Eventually I got the shell to stay put and I screwed everything back in. I didn't break anything, but I sure didn't fix it either. I considered ordering a drive and bringing it to the authorized tech again, but I could easily acquire some compressed air and an optical drive and do it myself on some Sunday afternoon. But now that I am taking this thing apart, I feel an urge to replace the onboard memory module with another 1GB stick as well. Apparently the G4 will accept up to 2GB, and boy, this thing could use it, I'm sure. Locating one of those 184-pin DIMMs will be somewhat harder.

-BMF

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As previously noted,

In reply to: As for the iMac

changing out the Optical drive on that G4 is quite easy.

It accepts any regular size optical drive and the ones from OWC, those Panasonic ones, are known to work well in a Mac.

Most of the work on those machines is done with it laying on its side, I fashioned a foam block to hold the screen and base (like a large foam step) in line with each other. Manuals for take apart are available on-line. It is not necessary to remove the outer top case, just the round metal plate which is held in by four torx bolts.
If you need the take apart, email my profile

P

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I only removed

In reply to: As previously noted,

the bottom enclosure, where those first four torx screws were. I have found this guide but it could be better. I could use a better one... I'll worry about it later. Happy Fourth.

-BMF

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