The G5 is Alive!

At work I’m still using a PowerMac G5, and it’s still a good machine. I mean, it’s had it’s share of problems since 2004, including having the logic board replaced after a lightning strike (and lack of proper UPS) and having the optical drive replaced, but it’s worked well over the years…

So when I came in on Tuesday and found it was not powered on, I pushed the power button. Nothing happened. I pushed it again. And Again. And 10 more times… and then plugged it into another socket, and tried a different power cord. And then got worried. I pulled out all the RAM, I crossed my fingers, tried again. Nothing… no fans, no whir, no beep… totally dead.

PowerMac G5 At this point, I pulled out my Eee PC and started doing some searches. I assumed it was the power supply, as absolutely nothing happened when the power button was pushed. I found the old G5 power supply replacement program, but the serial numbers did not match up. At this point I figured the only thing to do was to rip the thing apart, so I did.

Luckily, the Powermac G5 Take-Apart Guide was extremely useful. The model G5 did not match exactly, but it was enough to get me going. Let me tell you, getting the power supply out of a G5 is a bitch! I’ve worked on a lot of Macs, but getting the power supply out of this one was a nightmare involving two trips to the hardware store, and multiple “hold your breath” moments along the way.

In the end, I had the power supply out, and tested it for the trickle voltage and found nothing. So at this point I was reasonable sure it had to be the power supply. I called the Apple Store to ask about power supplies for a G5 and as always, they are useless for this sort of thing. I did some searching and found some on ebay for $150 or so, but needed one fast. We ended up finding one from AllMac for $199 and managed to do a little live chatting with them to confirm things, and I ordered the power supply before 3PM California time, and had it in Wisconsin the next day before noon.

By 2PM the next day I had the machine back in action. Less than 24 hours between my testing the power supply, finding it to be dead, getting a replacement ordered and shipped, and having it in place. Damn! 5 gold stars for AllMac on that one…

And while much of the world is running on Intel, the old dual-processor G5 Mac still does a decent job. (At least for now!)