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Serviceman's Log

Despite doing my best to avoid computers, I recently became involved with a couple of Apple iMacs. The first was a friend's iMac G5 which had quite a nasty accident, apparently due to his impatient clumsiness.

Items Covered This Month

  • iMac G5 MA200LL EMC2105 M9845X/A computer
  • iMac G3 M5521 CRT computer
  • Philips 26PF9956/75 LCD TV set (LC 4.2A chassis)
  • LG Flatron LCD TV (Model L173SAB)
  • Philips 29PT2162/79R TV (L01.1A chassis)
  • TCL Electronic Icemaker TIF-15S.
  • Menumaster UC14E industrial microwave oven

    A friend of mine had a "little" accident with his newish 20-inch iMac G5. As well as the G5, his computer room had a 20-inch Sony monitor precariously propped up on his desk and while he was reaching over and plugging in a lead at the back, it slowly tumbled forward. As it did so, it nudged the iMac G5 so that, like a chain of dominos, it too tumbled over onto its front. It came to rest with its LCD screen hitting the edge of the keyboard and the heavy Sony monitor then landing on top of it.

    The Sony monitor then continued on its way, all the way to the floor. By all accounts, my friend’s initial reaction was a stunned silence. The rest is best left to your imagination. Let’s just say that those in the immediate vicinity were made well aware of his profound unhappiness.

    The iMac was off at the time and an initial quick survey of the damage revealed nothing wrong. Unfortunately, it was quite a different story when it booted up, the LCD screen displaying a conglomeration of crazy lines and black blobs from where the crystalline structure had broken underneath.

    Click for larger image
    Fig.1: despite the fall, the computer inside the damaged iMac G5 still worked normally, as this video grab of the signal going to the LCD panel reveals.
    Click for larger image
    Fig.2: it was a different matter with the LCD panel itself, though. This picture, taken with a digital camera, clearly shows the cracks in the panel's crystalline structure.

    Well, there was nothing for it – the LCD panel was beyond repair and so it had to be replaced. However, my friend didn’t want to spend the necessary money (about $1000 plus fitting) at an accredited Mac Service Centre and so I was asked to investigate to see what could be done.

    The first thing I had to do was find out what the part number was for this panel but first I had to establish which iMac G5 we had here. There are heaps of numbers all over the base of the computer and in the "About This Computer" box. In fact, there are about seven 20-inch iMac G5 models but with the aid of the serial number, I determined from the internet that this was a fourth generation "early 2006 2.0GHz Intel Core Duo with iSight", Model No. MA200LL EMC2105 M9845X/
    A A1174.

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