Friday, October 26, 2007

my G5 logic board swap adventure...

well.. as i had previously blogged about, i've been working on a pals G5 tower just recently.  he had the logic board (ie motherboard for the windows hardware geeks) go bad and found out it would prob cost about $700 to get it replaced including labor.

so he went out and got a new board and then asked me to install it.  hell, i figured it couldn't be more than an hour long swap.  boy, was i wrong.  apple hardware is probably the worst designed for the DIYers in life.  i swear apple does this purposedly so they not only make money off of hardware but also off of service.

the hardest part of the swap was finding an appropriate tool to get to the screws on the heatsinks.  basically you need a 7-8" long screwdriver and torque wrench to get to them; however finding a place that makes this tool is next to impossible.  my pal decided to fabricate two specialized tools for the job.

after making the tools and of course tweaking them to fit; we had the heatsinks off and it was downhill from there! 

here's a great tip for anyone that messes with or takes apart hardware they are unfamiliar with; take photo of it as your doing it.  it will save you hours of troubleshooting and frustrations!  after i had the board swapped out and put back together, the G5 would boot but nothing would show for video.  after reading the service manual i found for the G5, realized the problem was the DIMM configuration; basically i had to move the four sticks to the 1/2 spots for each processor.  once i did that, bam! got the OS X boot screen and finally the desktop!

below are my pics of the gutting.

Original Config


New Logic Board


Tools that were used

G5 fully in pieces

Memory and Video Card

Motherboard with CPU Heatsinks off