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1.83 GHz Core Duo or 1.83, 2, or 2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo A1208 (EMC 2104/2110/2114/2124)

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Weird issue with starting up

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I’m having an issue with this hand-me-down iMac I got a while ago. It will only start up if the screen is disconnected from the logic board and if I hold the power button down while it is starting up.

iMac starting up when screen is disconnected:

iMac starting up when the screen is connected

This completely baffles me. I have still yet to try connecting the iMac to an external display, but here is what I have tried:

  • Reseating the RAM (the RAM is known-good)
  • Replacing the PRAM battery

Does anyone have any ideas of what could be going on here? I’m leaning towards either a logic board or a display issue.

Update (01/31/2019)

Alright so I played in the guts of this iMac and snooped around looking for swollen or leaking caps. I found none that appeared to be too swollen but there were definitely some caps that were a teensy bit bigger then the rest. Have we found the root of the problem?

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Examine the capacitors on the logic board (cans). Look for leaking and/or swollen ones.

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Quick question, not trying to shoot you down here but wouldn't the capacitors be on the power supply instead of the logic board?


What are the diagnostic LEDs on the center of the logic board telling you? The reason I want you to look at the capacitors is that it is a very well known issue and i have seen a lot of these. Yes the power supplies do fail a lot on these but your symptoms indicate the caps.


Alright, thanks for the clarification. I’ll take a look at the caps on the L-board and the PSU once I get home. Are the diagnostic LEDs in the videos not the ones we are looking for?


@mayer updated answer


Your picture shows a failed or failing capacitor.


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