Dismantling the G5

Sometime in mid-2009, the smoke came out of the wires of Gavin’s G5. Something exploded, something corroded, and the entire mess was beyond repair. If you’re really curious, Gavin can explain it better.* Long story short, I mentioned I liked the case and suggested it could be repurposed as a planter.

Gavin has been slowly dismantling the innards. This afternoon, while P napped, Oliver and I helped him dissemble it a little further. It still has a ways to go before it houses perennials, but here are some of the highlights:

I’m going to turn some of the components into ornaments for our tree. The four heat-sinks are going to look fabulous next to the hard drive components!

Oliver insisted that he “help” Daddy with the project. In retrospect we’re not sure it was such a good idea that he got to watch Daddy wedge apart aluminum casing, unscrew delicate components and generally dismantle a computer.

Gavin has posted more photos in his album: G5 Autopsy.

*Update: Gavin explains what happened:

So a while back the G5 let out of a puff of smoke and blew out the surge protector and the tripped the circuit breaker. Doing anything with it would tend to trip whatever circuit it was on or more smoke. After some phone calls to Apple and other repair shops the price ($1000+) for fixing it seemed pointless. Perhaps it could become a nice planter. Some disassembly began but the G5 is not a normal computer. Taking it apart ended up needing a wide range of tools. The final bits which got done today required an impact driver to remove some of the fasteners. Today was the first time I got far enough down to see the damage that had been done. In retrospect it seems we were mostly lucky there wasn’t a fire. At least 2 or 3 of the capacitors in the power supply failed. There is a large amount of corrosion damage to the power supply which seems likely to have happened after the capacitors failed. A number of solder points have blackened, at least one shorted past the plastic covering the base of power supply. Other damage can be seen on the one of the two water (well, oil) blocks for the CPUs. It seems one of the seals had started to fail.


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