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The eMac was an all-in-one G4-based Mac designed for the education market and released in April 2002. It was the last Mac to use a CRT display and was sold at a low price to schools and other institutions.

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eMac freezing up. Why? How to fix?

I got it back in 2004. it ran well for a long time, I used it mostly for iMovie and for watching movies and listening to music. basic computer stuff.

I think it started running hot, or the fan started to make a lot of noise (I was 14 so I don't remember very well) then I think it started taking longer to boot up, and sometimes would not boot up at all (I would get a solid-color screen the precursor to the startup sequence, but nothing more). when it did, it would last somewhere between 5 minutes and an hour before simply blinking off. So I put it away for 6 years.

Now it turns on but is often unresponsive, I believe the problem is related to the OS or the hard drive being too full (I seem to recall it telling me a few times that it didn't have enough space for x or y)

I started it up in single user mode, just to see what would happen.. or if it would do it. it does, but I have no idea what any of this stuff means.

maybe I should just reinstall the software (I lost the discs so I will have to either buy or download new ones)

any ideas?

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To get this classic back up and productive again I would open it and blow out all the dirt, this will make it run cooler. Replace the PRAM battery, be ready to max the RAM out and drop in a new hard drive.

Here's how to open it up:

You need a 3.6V Lithium, .5AA battery, about $20 at Radio Shack plus tax or from me for $12 + shipping.

RAM maxs out at 1 or 2 GB according to which machine you have, most do not require pairs. Go here and identify you machine to know what will work:

Hard drive is a IDE drive you can go up to a 128 GB without problems

You can download some free software here:

You can get system 9.2.2 software here for $29.95

Let us know if you have other questions.

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Good info +


link recommended above ramdirect etc.. does not work!


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Certain lot of eMacs defective. Try to get it to boot in target disk mode onto other working mac. You have to disable ATI Radeon.kext extensions. First two I think. It should not freeze after that - this is the solution I found to be useful.

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Disable ATI? Do you have a link supporting this? Or the defective eMacs?


Google - eMac freeze fix disable ATI - should get some hits


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If your eMac is freezing, there's a good chance that yours has the exploding capacitor syndrome. I replaced the bad ones in my own eMac in order to get it running again. It's the same exact issue that the iMac G5s (created at the same time) had. :) A quick way to find out if the caps are bad is to open the memory door on the bottom. I believe you can see a couple caps there. They should be exploded on top.

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If you do have to replace the caps, you should make sure that you get switching power supply rated caps. I've opened my eMac up recently and found that the Nichicon caps that I installed previously had exploded AGAIN! The eMac's still running, but it probably won't be long before it starts to freeze again.

I guess the caps weren't good enough for the crazy load they were getting. And Nichicon is a good brand too!


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Blaise zal eeuwig dankbaar zijn.

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