Crashing iMac 24" - how to diagnose

Discussion in 'iMac' started by tenjin, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2007

    I have an iMac 24" 3.06Ghz, about six months old.

    I have started experiencing random but frequent complete system freezes.

    This is what typically happens over a period of 5 minutes:

    1. I get the odd app crash (often Thunderbird, but possibly only because that is always running; sometimes crashes, something Open Office etc. No pattern to it).

    2. The fans start thrashing although iStat doesn't record a higher temperature than normal. That said, the top bar hangs early on in this process so I guess the temp could be spiking. The box does not feel overly hot though (for an iMac). Normal temp about 39 degrees C.

    3. All app windows freeze, and I get the beach ball. Mouse still works

    4. dock freezes. Mouse still works.

    5. keyboard freezes. Only mouse working now.

    6. have to power off

    I also have a very annoying ghosting problem on the screen that has only just started happening.

    I am a relatively recent switcher to Mac, and have a lot of experience administering / developing on Windows XP.

    I'm happy to trawl through the logs, so could anyone give me any suggestions about what to look for, what could be wrong etc.


  2. macrumors regular

    Sep 1, 2007
    Yurigaoka, Japan
    Speak to Apple.
  3. macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    If you want to poke around, launch which you'll find in your Utilities folder.
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2007

    Anything particular to look for, or any particular log to focus on?

    I'm happy to use, but there is a lot of text in there. As a relative newb on the Mac I'm not sure what is a normal message, and what would be indicative of an error.

    If, for example, my problems are indicative of a HDD problem what should I look for, and in what log?

    If bad memory is the culprit, where would I look specifically, and for what?


  5. macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2004
  6. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2007

    Thanks for your messages.

    I'm exploring the possibility that it is iTunes 8.0.1 as there is a lot of web traffic about iTunes causing problems very similar to mine when downloading podcasts.

    I've been trying to pull down some large Mac Developer podcasts recently...


  7. macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    This sounds like it's a hardware problem. If I had to bet, I'd guess and intermittent RAM failure. But I'm pretty sure it's hardware.

    I think the reason yuo see it while downloading is only because downloads are a long running process. If a bit "flips" for in the kernel the machine would likley crash.

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