Help me salvage a hard drive from a busted iMac
December 10, 2007 2:24 PM   Subscribe

Help me figure out how to salvage my hard drive!

I have an iMac G5, 17-inch, that has been spontaneously rebooting for about a week. It is not among the serial numbers covered by Apple's extended logic board replacement program. Today, after I tried to re-set the SMU, it has decided not to power up anymore at all. I opened it up and checked the inner LEDs, according to instructions on the Apple site, and they apparently say that my logic board needs to be replaced. This computer is, of course, out of warranty.

So, please advise me! Luckily I have a PowerBook G4 that is functional, so all is not lost.

1. Most importantly, I need to use what is on the G5's hard drive, ASAP. How do I make the internal hard drive an external hard drive?

2. Should I contact AppleCare about this, even though my computer's serial number is not included in the extended warranty program?

3. Is it worth replacing the logic board on this computer if I have to pay out of pocket, given that I could just by a new iMac with an educational discount?

4. Is there any kind of buyer's market for a G5 with a broken logic board and no hard drive? I.e. what do I do with this thing if it's not going to be repaired?

Thanks, thanks, thanks!
posted by agent99 to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The hard drive can be put into an external enclosure or used with a usb-ide/sata cable like this one.

That will let you connect it to another PC through the USB port and copy the data off.
posted by bitmage at 2:32 PM on December 10, 2007

You'll need a hard drive enclosure which will allow you to use the iMac's SATA hard drive. Something like this probably
though it isn't exactly clear whether that has an SATA connector on its inside. If you have a local "apple specialist" they might carry something like that. An actual Apple Store probably won't.

Contacting Applecare might make you feel better, but they won't do anything about it.

Logic boards are pricey - probably $500 or so.

Ebay would be the best market for the broken machine, it might be worth a couple hundred dollars in its condition.
posted by seiryuu at 2:38 PM on December 10, 2007

2nd the usb enclosure.

@3&4, if you're looking for an excuse to upgrade, dump the old one on ebay with several pictures and a description of the problem. Be sure to throw the words "AS-IS / NO refunds / bid accordingly" in there somewhere.

Doing a quick ebay search for an imac using the words Broken, Damaged, or For Parts or Repair should give you an idea of what it's worth.
posted by itheearl at 2:41 PM on December 10, 2007

damn. beat to the punch
posted by itheearl at 2:42 PM on December 10, 2007

a case like this is a more permanent solution to the cable mentioned first and definitely has a SATA connector in it. (it's USB 2 only - having FireWire's better, but those cases tend to be a lot more costly. the only real drawback to not having FireWire is you won't be able to boot a non-Intel Mac off of that drive in that case.)

the screen/case is probably still good - I'd imagine someone's got one out there with a cracked screen and a good motherboard, or has got a munged up case in it (you might hit up iFixit to separate those parts and sell them that way).
posted by mrg at 3:16 PM on December 10, 2007

If you put the drive in a USB enclosure, you can use Migration Assistant to update your new Mac to your old Mac's settings. I did it only last week.
posted by Grangousier at 3:47 PM on December 10, 2007

For an enclosure, I would recommend this one. It has both USB and Firewire. I think it's worth the extra cost. It also has a fan built-in.
posted by GS1977 at 10:05 PM on December 10, 2007

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