Question about Apple iMac G4 Desktop

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Help....imac will not start but i get beeps and flashes

I recently bought my friend a second hand imac for his birthday and he has now spilt tea on it which i think ran onto the motherboard through the rear slots...its a long story but...i got it back to have a look at at cause it now wont power up...the fan and all works and we can get 4 beeps and 1 long flash followed by 4 short flashes from the monitor led but thats it........could the motherboard be fried????or does anyone know the significance of the flashes...please help...thanks eric

ps if i leave it switched on the led flashes every so often

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  • cal8 Sep 26, 2008

    hey there, thanks for your comments....before you replied i tried various things included flashing the pram etc etc etc....we can get the computer to work but it does'nt start all the time...seems to suit its self...most times we hold doen the mouse whilst switching on and it works fine....other times this does not work....we do not have any disks as the machine was purchased recently second hand....any hints.....sorry for the bother as i dont know much about macs...cheesr for now...eric

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Hi,  The flashes are because they were activated in the Systems Preferences > Universal Access > Hearing to turn on when the computer beeps. This is to alert those Mac users who cannot hear, so that they are aware of the alert. They will be able to see the alert. It has nothing to do with the motherboard or problems with it.  :-)
As for turning it on at all - try holding down the shift key while booting the Mac. This gives it a safe boot. If it boots that way, you know it can boot. Then go to Disc Utilities and select 'repair permissions'. That might take awhile, but should help.  You might have to reinstall the OS to make all work again. That's IF the tea didn't do its thing. It's a good idea to get a skin for the keys. They can be found at most stores that carry Mac products, or online at the Apple store. Good luck. 

Posted on Sep 26, 2008

  • Shari Dyer
    Shari Dyer Sep 27, 2008

    Hi Eric,
      You shouldn't have to deal with the mouse at all to turn on the Mac. It should just turn on. If you can hear a chime when you turn it on, it's a very good sign. It means you have a happy Mac.  :-) No chime is an "uh oh". Think repair shop.


    If you can buy Tech Tool or Disc Warrior you will have excellent tools to find out what is going on. They are both excellent diagnostic/repair tools for the Mac and you will be using them, hopefully once a month or so just to keep things up and running smoothly. 


    Have you worked with Disc Utilities yet? You will find it in your Applications folder. I keep my labeled in red so that I can find it easily. Disc Utilities is always the first place to look at repairing problems. You want to run the "Repair Permissions" action. It takes awhile, but just go get yourself a cup of coffee. It will repair what it can, and that's a good thing!  Shari



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