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Dead iMac - transfer options?

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Hello... My aged iMac G5 iSight won't boot. The screen stays black and I've tried all the usual things. cmd-option-PR, cmd-option-OF. For a while it would stay silent and then the fans would come up full. Then that stopped after multiple tries and the light on the front just goes out. I tried booting via the startup disks.. but the internal DVD drive had stopped accepting disks a while ago - I couldn't get it to boot via the external optical drive I've been using.


Anyway I got curious and pulled the hard drive out and connected it to a Lion machine via an external HD adaptor. Everything looks normal on the drive. But I'm curious about transfer options - especially for iTunes, iPhoto etc...

I also have full Time Machine backups - but I've never really understood about a transfer from Leopard to Lion. Is that possible?


The other question is migration assistant. If I buy another iMac would there be a fairly easy option to just transfer from the drive connected to Lion or via something else?

Also - can I create a bootable Carbon Copy Clone of the drive via Lion and then boot from there?


I'd appreciate any advice!

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My guess is the logic board went out on your G5. I had 3 different G5s where it happened. IMHO, Apple never really solved the heat problem with the G5. I have 4 old G4 iMacs still running just fine.


Can you use the external HD adapter on the drive with any machine, or only the Lion machine?


If you can use it with any drive, you can use Migration Assistant to put your User on a new machine. I just did that in moving from a Leopard to Snow Leopard machine and the Applications which weren't Snow Leopard compatible just didn't come over. Fairly seamless transition.


I can't tell you about Time Machine because I don't use it.


Oh, if you couldn't boot from an external optical drive, I think it's unlikely it would be able to boot from a Carbon Copy Clone.

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I probably should have mentioned this G5 already had a logic board replaced early on. Except there I was convinced it was bad power that took it out. I put a UPS behind it and it worked great for 4 more years. Oh... and my previous G3 is still running here! But I digress.


I would have thought a bad logic board would have allowed the screen to at least turn grey and show a spinning thing, no? It never gets beyond black - totally black. My theory after poking around inside the iMac is the power supply (PS) that the monitor plugs into is down. I peeled some black plastic wrap stuff off it and carefully looked at the caps (yes I see those HighVoltage warnings)... I see no bulging. Whatever that other PS is that sits near the HD - that didn't have any bulging caps either.


About the migration - it was scary, but I did use Migration Assistant from the Time machine volume ... it forced me to pick a new user name, but my iTunes is up and running on my Mini with Lion.


Uh.. I don't have anything running SnowLeopard any more... I would think the HD adaptor could allow me to hook it in anywhere. For now I copied the files I wanted off the drive, and I put it back inside the iMac for some more tries at booting. If I can whittle down the two users that MA created, I'll be ready to migrate over to another machine (once I feel rich enough to buy it 8-)


Thanks for writing!

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You're obviously willing to open up the machine. Here's an article on how to distinguish between the power supply out and the logic board.


iMac G5: Troubleshooting when your computer won't turn on


Maybe you'll get lucky and resetting the SMU will do it.

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capacitors can be bad without looking bad. just because they aren't bulging doesn't mean they are good. for about $20 you can get replacements. it takes about an hour to unsolder and replace all 25 capacitors.


and the power supply? that's like a 5 minute swap after you get the case open. you can find a replacment in lots of places but eBay is the first place I would look.

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