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I have a broken iMac, can you recommend some Instructables that detail what I (a complete beginner) can do with it?

I have a broken iMac G4 17", the kind with the swivel neck. (when trying to reinstall OS X, hard drive cannot be found). Can you recommend some Instructables that detail what I (a complete beginner) can do with it? The fewer items I have to go out and buy the better (under $100 for extras like cases or wires). I would like to make it into a cd player, dvd player, a usb charging station, a server or a firewall but I think I need a functional hard drive for some of those ideas. I'd like ideas on what I could do with the computer (as a whole or the individual components) and I would like any other ideas that require little to no previous experience with only a few extra pieces to purchase.
Thanks so much!

EDIT: I'd like instructions on how to do what was suggested. I need either instructions on how to change the hard drive, how to hook up a mac mini too it, how to turn it into a dvd player, etc. All the suggestions so far are helpful, but I need instructions on how to accomplish them. If you have a link to how to accomplish one of them, that would be perfect.

Picture of I have a broken iMac, can you recommend some Instructables that detail what I (a complete beginner) can do with it?
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Joe Martin7 years ago
My parents run a G4 powerbook (Aluminium model) and it does everything they need a computer to do in this modern era and they love it!

Stick it on craiglist or ebay, I'm pretty sure you'd have no problem selling this as there is always people like me that buy them. There's a iMac G3 on my floor in the corner at the moment, I bought it because I always have wanted one but don't really have a use for it. That doesn't mean I'm going to get rid of it :P

http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/systems/imac_g4/imacg4_takeapart.html
mgaukrodger6 years ago
what did you do with it do you still have it?
Joe Martin7 years ago
Couldn't you just install a new hard disk and see if that gives it life?
uobinabo (author)  Joe Martin7 years ago
After I spend that money, (that I don't have), what do I do with a 2003 computer that can't run the programs I bought in 2009? I was hoping to turn it into a dvd player at least.
My parents run a G4 powerbook (Aluminium model) and it does everything they need a computer to do in this modern era and they love it!

Stick it on craiglist or ebay, I'm pretty sure you'd have no problem selling this as there is always people like me that buy them. There's a iMac G3 on my floor in the corner at the moment, I bought it because I always have wanted one but don't really have a use for it. That doesn't mean I'm going to get rid of it :P

http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/systems/imac_g4/imacg4_takeapart.html
Shoot it with a gun and buy a PC!
uobinabo (author)  LetsExplodeSomething7 years ago
I own a PC as well. Thanks for your brand loyalty!
oddysea6827 years ago
I say you should somehow install a mac mini to the monitor and cd drive and you could use it like an all in one mac mini
uobinabo (author)  oddysea6827 years ago
I need instructions on how to do that... but it sounds like a good idea.
NOI77347 years ago
Option 1- fix it!!!! Option 2- Mail it to my address and I'll fix it! don't waist a perfectly good mac just cause it has a hard drive issue, it may not even be broken, open it up and check the cables!
uobinabo (author)  NOI77347 years ago
Thanks! I checked it at the Apple Store and they confirmed it's not cables, it's the harddrive that is broken. I am looking for one but even if I fix it, I don't know what to do with it. I don't have the box, and my nieces who wanted it, don't want it. I might donate it to a church or something.