View Full Version : Help with an iMac

01-26-2006, 12:12 AM
My cousin, about 6 years ago received a used, out-of-box blue iMAC for a from his girlfriend who had just graduated from college and didn't need it anymore. It worked well for a while, then about 3 years ago he called me because I am pretty good with computers. At the time, I was living in Chicago and he in the Philly area, so he described the problem to me and I tried to see what I could do. But, since he is not to good with computers he didn't describe it too well and I couldn't find anything. He ended up getting a new computer and he put the iMAC in the storage closet.

A couple of months ago, my mother asked my family if they had any old computers to donate to some kids at the local high school and my cousin reminded us of the old iMAC and said he would donate it but it needed to be fixed. Since I had finally moved to the Philly area I thought I could get a better look at the computer. I am good with computers using Windows 9x/Me/NT/2000/XP/etc but the MAC was a totally different story. Anyway the story goes as follows:

I turned on the iMAC and it acted like it was going to load up and a little folder icon with a blinking smiley face and a question mark showed up. I didn't know what that meant (but it was totally different than the problem my cousin described when I was in chicago). I search countless hours over the internet and the same general thing came up saying this meant that it couldn't find the mac folder. OK! That is understandable, but they all gave several different fixes including, zapping some things by holding down a combo of buttons, etc... And I tried the mac website and it said that I should try that and then use the OS disc.

I call my cousin up and ask him if he has the OS disc, he says he never got an OS disc, just the computer. Now Im in a jam. I don't have an OS disc, he doesn't have one, and I don't have a pot to piss in let alone money to buy another one or any fix discs available. I call Mac help line and they tell me it is going to cost me $49 to get extended help on this old computer. I hung up screaming that the computer wasn't worth $49.

Anyway, my question is: I don't have an OS/setup/fix disc or the money to buy one(especially since the computer is 7 years old) and this blinking icon is showing up, and I want to donate this computer to a student who needs it. How can I fix it without taking to a service shop. I've worked in shops and I've seen people do 2 seconds of work and charge people $700, and if I get charged over $10 - well, I'm not paying that...

01-29-2006, 01:52 AM
I had a similar problem a few months ago and ended up installing UBUNTU linux for power pc instead of osx and it works just fine, comes with lots of software like firefox, open office, gimp, bit torrent, etc. I used the install disc but you can download it for free.


01-29-2006, 06:04 AM
Thanks. I will try it out. Oe more thing though, I am a PC user. Although I would love to have a Mac, I only have a PC. How would I go about installing the program on the iMac? I would be downloading everything using my computer? Would I just proceed as usual? Donwload, burn, etc or would I need to do all of this on another Mac?

01-30-2006, 06:49 PM
If you're talking about installing the OS, you just download it on your PC and burn it to CD. Then put that in the icrap and install it. Linux would be your best bet considering your mac is pretty old and inefficient. And probably wouldn't support the latest osx or run it very poorly. Of course running poorly and macs usually go hand in hand. I have to use G5's at school. At least they have deep freeze installed so they don't get mucked up.

02-02-2006, 12:20 PM
I installed Ubuntu, and it loaded up quite well. But, it brings me to login screen, I login and then it does nothing. It just has the mouse.

02-02-2006, 06:23 PM
Although I'm not a Linux user, I have had to make some references in the past. Wiki has lots of good stuff on pretty much anything. Try this (http://easylinux.info/wiki/Ubuntu).

02-02-2006, 10:13 PM
Thank you, I will see what info they have. I love the response time on these forums. Most forums, people usually respond about 5 weeks after the fact, but here i usually get a response the same day, if not within an hour or two which allows me to relax a bit while I wait.

02-07-2006, 05:03 PM
I hope you can sort it out. The one time I tried it, everything worked.

02-08-2006, 09:35 AM
I think it maybe the disc, because now that I think of it, I'm having a problem with all of the RW discs that came in the pack. I'd take it back, but I bought it in July. All of the RW discs are going bad. And also, my connection cut off while it was downloading but I quickly cut it back on and it supposedly continued. So, I'm going to download it again and burn it to a new CD-R that I just purchased.