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Thread: iMac Woes

  1. #1

    baggss's Avatar
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    iMac Woes
    Intel iMac, C2D, 2Ghz, 1Gb RAM, OSX 10.4.10 and all the latest updates.

    So over the last few weeks my wife's iMac has started to lock up on her. It started by the system just freezing, then moved to when she would minimize windows to the dock. It's progressively gotten worse over the past few days. Here is what I have done so far:

    -Disc Utility: Permissions and Dic repair, no problems found.
    -Run Cocktail and the Cron Scripts.
    -Removed 3rd party RAM.
    -Archive and Install.
    -Logged in as root, and it locked up on me.
    -Created a second account, logged into it and it locked up.

    I initially thought her profile might just be corrupt, but now I am don't think so, especially after the root and secondary accounts had issues.

    Several times when logging into her account an odd line would appear across the desktop and twice the screen switched to a red and grey horizontal pinstripe pattern and the iMac locked up. I can't seem to nail it down to any specific action of function, except changing the resolution, that causes a reproducible issue.

    At this point I think it is the Video chip-set. The machine seems to be running fairly smooth right now (knock on wood) so I am playing the wait and see game. I changed the resolution from Millions to Thousands of colors so we'll see if that seems to make any difference (it locked up on me twice when I changed it back to Millions). If it continues I'll end up taking it to a genius at my semi-local Apple store over the weekend.

    Can anyone think of anything I have missed or anything else I can try? Her software discs don't include a Hardware Checkup/test disc, unless it's just on DVD 2 (I have not looked).

    Any suggestions will be appreciated.


  2. #2

    Joe Redifer's Avatar
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    Do you have anything new or funky plugged in to any of the USB ports? I have a Dazzle universal card reader that would cause my G4 to not go to sleep and I would have to force it to power down as it froze when sleep was attempted.

  3. #3

    dtravis7's Avatar
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    That really does sound video related but again am guessing based especially on that Pin Stripe thing then locking. Keep us posted if you do take it in.

  4. #4

    baggss's Avatar
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    No, she's not added any new hardware or software as of late, at least not that I am aware of.


  5. #5

    fleurya's Avatar
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    That's too bad, Baggss. Is it still covered under Apple Care? I was having some powerdown issues with my MBP and decided to let the experts handle it. I guess they didn't feel like messing with it too much either and just installed a new MLB. Maybe if you take it in and explain, they'll just install a new video chip set.
    "Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others"

  6. #6

    baggss's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure it is still under it's 1 year warranty, but we'll see. Since I finished with it last night is has not crashed, but it's still sitting in Thousands vice Millions of Colors.


  7. #7

    baggss's Avatar
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    Took it to the Genius bar today. The Genius agreed with me that is was the Video Chipset, especially after after he reproduced the freezing problem and saw some of the weirdness.

    Good news is, they have the parts in stock and we'll have it back by Wednesday.

    The bad news is it is one month out of warranty and will cost ~$900 or so to fix.

    Ah well...


  8. #8

    cjay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by baggss View Post
    The bad news is it is one month out of warranty and will cost ~$900 or so to fix.

    Ah well...
    Sweet Mary...

    They're not shy of the ch-ching.

    At least you've found the problem.

  9. #9

    dtravis7's Avatar
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    You going to get it fixed? IT would wait till the warranty is gone! I hate when that happens!

  10. #10


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by baggss View Post
    ...
    The bad news is it is one month out of warranty and will cost ~$900 or so to fix.

    Ah well...
    Ouch, ouch, ouch.

    Instead, I'd try to find someplace that's clearing out stock of the previous-generation iMacs. CompUSA was selling the 17" 2GHz models for $999...with a new warranty in stores.

  11. #11


    Member Since
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    For jesus himself said "Go get some applecare protection plan, cause otherwise sh1t happens...."

  12. #12

    baggss's Avatar
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    My pain threshold was $1000. If it was that or more, we would have walked out with a new 20 inch iMac for only $300 more. Ya gotta set the bar somewhere.

    I've owned 8 Macs in my life, well 8 that I have bought myself. 2 of them, both iBooks, had screen issues within 30 days and were fixed free of charge. Other than that, this is the only time I've had any issues with a Mac, and the first time it has cost me money out of pocket at all.

    All that being said, when I upgrade to a MacBook from my iBook, I'm buying AppleCare.


  13. #13

    baggss's Avatar
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    Just a follow up. We got the iMac back yesterday, $920 with Tax for the Motherboard and labor. Machine works great though.

    Interesting thing is, it used to have trouble with Firewire drives. When it would boot with the drives connected, it would take forever and drives wouldn't always mount. Now it boots just fine with the drives connected and they mount every time. I always suspected this was the FW chip set on the board (my Quad has the same problem) and now I think so even more.


  14. #14

    bryphotoguy's Avatar
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    Glad to hear it's working again.
    Personally, I would have gotten a new Mac. You could have sold the defective Mac for the difference in cost $300 and would have gotten a new warranty. Does the new logic board come with any warranty?
    Bryan

    January 2008 Member of the Month

  15. #15

    baggss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bryphotoguy View Post
    Glad to hear it's working again.
    Personally, I would have gotten a new Mac. You could have sold the defective Mac for the difference in cost $300 and would have gotten a new warranty. Does the new logic board come with any warranty?
    Bryan
    Ya, a 90 day parts an labor warranty only.

    We looked at new iMacs, but in the end my wife decided to stick with what she had. We could have afforded the new one and I probably could have found an iMac MB on e-bay and got it up and running myself, but....

    I don't think she liked the new iMacs the store had and the tech said they had sold the last old one they had in stock a few hours before (of course).


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