Sunday, February 14, 2010

Computer Fixin's

Here is a sad G5 iMac. It is so sad that it can't even make the frowny-mac face. When you try to power it up, it doesn't do anything. Careful listening reveals that it starts to power up but then powers down within 1 second.

This, of course, means it's time to take it apart. As suspected (because of its age), some of the electrolytic capacitors in the power supply section had failed. These things typically only have a 1000-2000 hour lifetime, so it's not uncommon to see failures in older electronics. A quick order to DigiKey (about $20 worth of parts), a bit of soldering to remove the old caps and install the new caps, and it was ready to put back together. The knife block in the picture was used to lean the motherboard against so I could heat the solder on one side and pull the cap off from the other side.

Yay! A happy mac! It's very satisfying to fix broken electronics.

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