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Thread: iMac Screen 'Melt'

  1. #1

    easilyscan's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 31, 2009
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    iMac Screen 'Melt'
    Bought new, directly from Apple, in 2008.

    iMac (20-inch, Early 2008)
    Processer 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    Memory 6 GB 800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM *Upgraded from 2 GB approximately 4 years ago*
    Graphics ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT 128 MB

    Model Name: iMac
    Model Identifier: iMac8,1
    Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
    Processor Speed: 2.4 GHz
    Number of Processors: 1
    Total Number of Cores: 2
    L2 Cache: 6 MB
    Memory: 6 GB
    Bus Speed: 1.07 GHz
    Boot ROM Version: IM81.00C1.B00
    SMC Version (system): 1.29f1
    Serial Number (system):
    Hardware UUID: 115F86BC-D956-50BC-B0E7-8824DF52FF14

    OS X El Capitan
    Version 10.11.6


    I can only describe the problem as screen melt. I tried to take a screenshot when it happened, but that wasn't possible. (Hereís a picture I found on Google Image search that looks similar)

    Many times, it seems to be triggered when opening up a very large file/picture in Safari.



    For a split second, it will look like the picture above, but then recover.
    After that it affects everything including the desktop. Eventually it will just totally lock up, & I have to hold the off button on the back until it shuts down, & restart.

    In the past, for whatever reason, that would seem to cure the problem (at least for a week or 2)

    I researched & found similar problems for other Mac users. I was able to find an update/patch, but it was for an earlier OS & I wasn't able to install it. I have experienced this problem before, as far back as 2 or 3 years ago. I don't know if it was just a coincidence, or something else, but I got into the habit of clearing all history from Safari, & shutting it down overnight approximately every 5 days.

    This seemed to greatly reduce the number of times the issue occurred.

    I went to the forum that included the picture from above, & some of the possible causes were as follows.

    Video card problem: I know nothing about video cards, but one would think that if I had a bad one, it would happen all the time ?

    Heat Related ?

    Misc: Iíve never installed any additional security/virus software. The only software I've purchased recently is this https://videoconverter.wondershare.com about 1 month ago.




    Thanks in advance

  2. #2

    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    If it only happens with specific actions like loading large files and so on, it could be a partial failure of the video card or the memory associated with the video card. The one thing I would do is grab an external monitor and have that plugged in and try to load the large file on there and see if both the monitors show the problem or only the iMac's screen..
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin


  3. #3

    IWT's Avatar
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    May I congratulate easilyscan, the OP, on their brilliant post in respect of current specifications, the nature of the problem and what has been done to correct the issue.

    Clear, concise and what we try to encourage all our members to do.

    No, I don't have a solution, but I feel he/she is an example to others.

    Ian
    Ian

  4. #4

    easilyscan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IWT View Post
    May I congratulate easilyscan, the OP, on their brilliant post in respect of current specifications, the nature of the problem and what has been done to correct the issue.

    Clear, concise and what we try to encourage all our members to do.

    No, I don't have a solution, but I feel he/she is an example to others.

    Ian
    Thanks for the kind words Ian.

  5. #5

    easilyscan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raz0rEdge View Post
    If it only happens with specific actions like loading large files and so on, it could be a partial failure of the video card or the memory associated with the video card. The one thing I would do is grab an external monitor and have that plugged in and try to load the large file on there and see if both the monitors show the problem or only the iMac's screen..
    Thanks for the suggestion. I don't have an extra monitor, but If/when I find one, I'll give that a try & report back.

  6. #6

    chscag's Avatar
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    You don't need an extra monitor. Hook the iMac up to your TV set instead. As long as you have the proper adapter and cable, that will work. And start saving your pennies for a new Mac. Your iMac is going on 9 years old - definitely a good run but might be time to retire it.

  7. #7

    easilyscan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    You don't need an extra monitor. Hook the iMac up to your TV set instead. As long as you have the proper adapter and cable, that will work. And start saving your pennies for a new Mac. Your iMac is going on 9 years old - definitely a good run but might be time to retire it.
    I purchased my iMac in May 2008, so it's actually going on 10 years old!

    Thanks for the input

  8. #8

    badshoehabit's Avatar
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    Looks like mine 2011 did when the graphics card failed. New logic board, but is it worth repairing at that age?
    Sue

    If the shoe fits, buy it in every colour.

  9. #9

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by easilyscan View Post
    I purchased my iMac in May 2008, so it's actually going on 10 years old!
    When it gets this old...it really doesn't matter! Lol

    9 years old or 10 years old...very old for a computer.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  10. #10

    easilyscan's Avatar
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    It happened again today, but this time I decided to grab my trusty old Panasonic camcorder & document it.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOSH5TW_dW4

    In the video, I mentioned that this happens 3 or 4 times a year, it's actually more like 2.
    I'm not posting this to get troubleshooting tips, because just like all the other times, all I did was shut it down for about an hour, & it works flawlessly again. (at least for 3 or 4 months

    I’m just posting it because it could possibly help someone @ the forum who’s having the same problems, but doesn't have a video to show people exactly what's happening.

  11. #11

    pm-r's Avatar
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    In the video, I mentioned that this happens 3 or 4 times a year, it's actually more like 2.

    I don't know if there would be any correlation, but do you have or use any temperature display utility to see what the Mac's inner temperature is when it goes goofy.

    Sometimes heat affects the chips and the Mac's vents or innards may be partially clogged with dust.

    Just thinking and a suggestion…

    Or maybe it just doesn't like the job you're doing and are they similar perhaps when it acts up???




    - Patrick
    ======

  12. #12

    chscag's Avatar
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    It happened again today, but this time I decided to grab my trusty old Panasonic camcorder & document it.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOSH5TW_dW4
    It's definitely something to do with the graphics. Could be like Patrick says above or it could just be intermittent with a long delay between occurrences. Keep on trucking until it gives out.

  13. #13

    badshoehabit's Avatar
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    Agree. Same visuals as I experienced but hey, you’ve had your money’s worth in 10 years of use.
    Sue

    If the shoe fits, buy it in every colour.

  14. #14

    dtravis7's Avatar
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    I am quite sure it's the Video card. In that 2008 20" the card is on a separate board but a pain to replace. I had that happen and it only happened when I pushed things and I watched the temps of the Video chip rise then it would do that. I have seen some replacement cards for that 2008 iMac on Ebay in the past for not very much $$$.

    Like others have said it's an old machine but I still use mine and it's fine for basic use like browsing, music, Youtube and documents.

    If you are interested I can try and find you a Video Card on ebay but again I state, not an easy repair. You have to take a lot of it apart to change that card.

    https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/iMac+In...placement/1014

    Not easy.

    Here is one for $28.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-iMac-...8AAOSwCcZaJze~
    Last edited by dtravis7; 02-14-2018 at 05:16 AM.
    ...Dennis

  15. #15

    easilyscan's Avatar
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    ATTN pm-r: I don't have any temperature display utility, but I may look into that. It always seems to start when I'm web browsing using Safari. So I'm almost certain that it's not a certain job I'm doing on the computer that causes it to act up.

    The only software I've added recently is TurboTax deluxe, but I installed that a good 7 or 8 days before I ran into this. I'll look into cleaning it out on the inside. When I upgraded my memory some years ago (which is the only time I had it open) I seem to recall quite a bit of dust.

    ATTN chscag: I definitely plan to keep on trucking! Aside from this little problem, the thing still works great. When it's time, there’s no doubt what I'll buy, a new Mac. I don't know if this is something I came up with on my own, & I have no idea if it has anything to do with why I've had such good luck with it, but one thing I've done religiously since I bought it, is delete all history/cache from Safari & shut it down overnight, about every 10 days.


    ATTN badshoehabit: Got my moneys worth, & more


    ATTN dtravis7: A sincere thanks for all you offered, but for now I'm just going to leave it as is. If it starts to do this more frequently, then I’d look into changing the card. I'll bookmark this thread in case I go that way.

    Thanks all !!

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