Question about Apple iMac G4 Desktop

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IMac G4 freeze on new HDD fresh install

widescreen LCD
800MHz PowerPC G4

Original Problem:
What seems to be Kernel Panic. System Failure .... (Corrupt stack)
Machine boots up but stalls at the desktop or get that System Failure message black boxes across the screen.

I have:
-reset PRAM and NVRAM
-Command, Option, P and R
-replaced user replaceable RAM
-replaced hard drive

I have not:
-replaced battery
-replaced internal RAM
-replaced microprocessor (I hope I don't have to)
-Reset PMU (symptoms don't suggest need to)

The system board was replaced by Apple about a year after I bought the machine...that's a different post and the machine worked like a champ for a long time after that.

After installing the new hard drive I powered on the system and let it boot it came to the folder which is good because it sees no OS and it should not. I restarted the system and this time I pressed "c" and it looks like it is reading the install DVD (I had purchased Tiger Install DVD a little after the original problem started) but it gets to a gray screen with a black box in the middle of the screen. Doing some research on Mac OS, do I need to format the HDD before trying to install? The new drive is a Seagate like the one I replaced but twice the capacity.

I did Apple hardware test a while ago from my original Panther disks and it was not really helpful. I have not purchased TechTool as I have seen that accurate enough to diagnose my symptoms?

I am not worried about opening up the machine as I have already done so. I am pretty comfortable around computers.

I am exasperated. I really like this system and want to use it as my music repository, plus it still looks good.

Hopefully that is enough information to start. I have started keeping a log of everything I try, replace, test.

Thanks in advance for your input.

Posted by on

  • rydelko Jan 18, 2009

    Hello there,
    I have the exactly same computer. It had been running smoothly until few weeks ago, when it gave me a Kernel Warning Message, and after I booted it, it freezes with after the chime on the grey screen (with apple sign).
    I had installed OSX Tiger on it, however I bought the disks on ebay ("universal install disc").
    I am hoping to re-install a fresh copy of Tiger after I purchase it.
    I was wondering if my problem is just OS or it can be something else, more serious? I really like this machine and we use it as our family desktop.
    Thanks for your help!



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  • 382 Answers

Who did the installation? Seagates are highly recommended. Ive replaced countless hard drives and optical drives in those models. It appears the machine is having some sort of kernel panic, or the video card is not properly displaying graphics on the monitor. You should be getting some kind of icon on the display upon boot up. If the machine has anew drive with no OS, then you should be getting the flashing question mark/picasso face folder. You should start up from the optical or dvd, and walk through the installation process. The drive need not be formatted before you install, because you can do that from disk utility before the installation.

The most common reason this may happen with this model, is users for get to set the MASTER jumper on the drive. Seagate barracuda's are set to CABLE SELECT fresh out of the anti static bag. Ideally the machine is supposed to recognize this, but if the drive has nothing on it, or no OS, it will not take heirarchy over the optical drive. Both the hard drive and cd drive are on the same bus, this is why the IDE ribbon cable runs to both. You need to open the machine and verify that drive is set to MASTER. The diagram is on teh top of the drive, but with SEAGATE's, if your'e looking directly at the jumpers, IDE pins on lefts, molex power on right, it should be all the way to the left.

ALso, Being comfortable is good, I am myself with 98% of machintosh systems out there, but this mopdel is really compact, and you need to make sure the airport cable is not strained, the on board ram stick does not come loose, and the LVDS monitor cable does not get tugged on. Also be careful of the ground wire ands other loose cables when reassembling the unit, as not to pinch any of them.

I hope this helps, and keep me posted.

Posted on Dec 31, 2007


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SOURCE: i mac g4 kernel panic cant boot from CD to format

This message indicates that the CD you are attempting to boot from is a release of the Mac OS which is incompatible with this model of Macintosh. I would recommend a retail disk of Tiger or Panther for this vintage Mac.

Posted on Jun 18, 2010

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