My iMac shuts off by itself...

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by renavoo, Aug 3, 2004.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Hi. I'm rather new to macs so I may be overrreacting but here goes... Within the last couple of weeks, my imac (flat panal 800 mhz g4 768 mb; Panther) has "crashed twice". Meaning, I do something, come back and the computer turned off by itself and I have no idea why. I then keep trying to press the on button and it doesn't work for about a minute and then it turns on. It just happened about 2 hours ago. I know I accidently bumped into the desk prior to this happening but otherwise, I have no idea why this would happen. Does this happen to other people or is this something I should be very worried about? Any ideas what is wrong?
    Thank you!
  2. macrumors member

    Hmmmmm :rolleyes: to Macs ;) .....WELCOME ABOARD :p

    My guess is that you're running on the "Default" settings. :eek:

    Click on the Apple icon in the upper left hand corner of the Finder, scroll down to System Preferences and click on "Energy Saver" ;) !

    Check those settings out and change them to whatever works for
    you! :rolleyes:

    If you leave them at their Default settings, the computer goes to "sleep" in a relatively short time. To wake it up, press the "Space" bar or click/move the mouse. (I think :confused: ) Wait a moment until it wakes up. The screen should come on within 30 seconds or so, maybe less.

    Try not to hit the Power Button when this happens unless you intend to Shutdown/Restart. If you hold it for a few second, you will force a shutdown and that could cause other problems. screwing up file/directory structures. You won't notice it right away, but down the road it may start doing weird things. However, it may not be that big of a deal under "Panther" as it may be under earlier versions of "X".
  3. macrumors 68020


    It is possible to schedule the computer to start up or shut down at specified times, but it sounds like yours is just going to sleep. As suggested before, click the mouse or hit a key on the keyboard and it should come back in a second or two.

    Change your settings in System Preferences > Energy Saver to something more suitable.

    EDIT: Just to be sure, next time it "crashes" check and see if the power button is pulsing on and off. If it is then it's definitely just sleeping.
  4. macrumors newbie

    Thank you both for your advice! I really appreciate it! I thought that maybe it was only asleep as well but the problem is that everything is off. The computer doesn't respond to clicks from the mouse (multiple clicks for at least 20 seconds...then I start pressing the off button in the back-do you think I'm being too impatient?), the optical mouse doesn't light up, and the little light on the bottom right corner of the screen is off. It is almost never off, including those times it goes to sleep by itself and the times i put the computer to sleep. Also, in this case, by doing something else, I mean I was looking at something below my desk (took literally 10 seconds), during which time I bumped into my desk (I'm clumsy to boot). What do you think? Thanks again! And thanks for the welcome...I LOVE Macs; they are so much better than the PCs. :D
  5. macrumors member

    This is probably really :eek: stupid !!!! :eek: .................but; check all of your connections; power cord includes. Make sure everything is firmly seated and then see what happens.

    .......else..I think I know what you need to do next after you post.....or not!
  6. macrumors newbie

    Haha just simply because I have actually had instances where I've forgotten to actually plug things in :rolleyes: I did check my connections. And they were all ok. (I tried this step sometime between me frantically pressing the mouse and keyboard and pressing the on/off button.) Also, it works perfectly the large majority of times...this has literally only happened twice. Otherwise it functions so smoothly! :confused: Next suggestions? Thanks!
  7. macrumors 68030


    can you reproduce the problem?

    did the other suggestions work?

    if not contact Apple.
  8. macrumors newbie

    Hi! I can't reproduce the problem. I tried "bumping" the table a couple of times and it didn't shut off again but then again, I really just don't know what's causing this issue.
  9. jsw
    Moderator emeritus


    Do you have AppleCare still? If so, definitely call them. You want this on record, just in case. Be sure to get a case number/tracking number/whatever it is they call them (I forget) so that subsequent calls wil be recognized as a continuation of the first one.

    If you don't have AppleCare, then well, my first suggestion would be to back everything up - always a good idea anyway - then unplug the iMac, take off the bottom plate (very easy) and make sure anything you can see there - which, at most, is a RAM stick and an Airport card - is properly seated. Put the bottom back on, make sure the plug is in firmly (and into power strip/UPS/etc. firmly). Hope for the best. Stay away from under the desk. ;)
  10. macrumors 65816


    Where I work, we recently found out that those walkie talkie things by Midland can turn your mac off and on Depending on which frequency your using. If your using those nearby, that could be causing it.
  11. macrumors 68020


    Whent the computer turns back on is it restarting with the apple icon and log in screen, etc like when you power up the computer when you have shut it down? or is it just as you left it with all the same windows open, etc. that would tell us alot and forgive me if I missed this in your post or someone else asking the question but I don't think anyone has mentioned it.

    I would say it still might be a power issue either with the outlet in the wall not having a good connection maybe, or the powercord. Usually when you are under the computer desk and you have a power issue it would lead me to think it is still a power cord, outlet issue.
  12. macrumors newbie

    Hi, thanks for all the help! When the computer finally turns on, the boot screen shows. I'll check the power supply when I get home today but I know I checked it while panicking and thought it was stable. :eek: Thank you!
  13. macrumors 68020


    You made me think of something else. Maybe it is the internal power supply? If you bumped the table it could I guess bump a connection inside. Good luck
  14. macrumors newbie

    oh gosh, is that fixable? But then would it turn on afterwards? Because it works really well except for these two episodes. Can I just look into the base and see if there is something loose? (or have someone do that more likely) Thanks!
  15. macrumors 68020


    I guess it wouldn't turn itself back on from what I know. Maybe it isn't the issue...sorry to lead you astray. When you get home try a different outlet if you can with the power cord. My neighbor had a similar issue but then again I don't think the comptuer would restart. Crap. I don't know. give it your best shot and then call apple if it is still under warrenty. I will think on it some more.

    Keep us updated.

    Did you check to see if it is set to shut down and or restart itself in the software preferences like someone suggested earlier I think?
  16. jsw
    Moderator emeritus


    It does seem like a power cord issue. Occams' Razor: simplest explanation is usually the best. Among other things, you might want to seriously consider investing in a relatively cheap (~$100) UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) and plug that into your wall outlet, and your Mac into the UPS. That way, a bad wall outlet would be seen by the UPS (beeping when power was cut out), not by your Mac. Plus, a UPS is always a good idea for delicate electronic equipment. One just probably saved my G5 when it detected 150V in my power due to a faulty substation regulator - a surge protector won't notice "small" hikes like that, esp. if they don't come as spikes but instead ramp up, nor will a surge protecter protect you from or warn you about brownouts - voltage sags.

    Of course, you might very well know all of this and already have it plugged into a UPS.

    Still, I'd recommend, as above, checking the bottom of it (minus the plate) to ensure RAM and/or Airport are secure (mainly RAM). Probably won't help, but can't hurt - just ground yourself first (electrically, not philosophically). Then snugly plug it in. Good luck - and, as others have said, keep us up to date!

    Edit: changed my mind. Loose Airport won't cause a shutdown, nor will loose RAM. Checking it might risk damaging it, and probably won't help. Again, if you have AppleCare, you might want to call Apple Support. Otherwise. I'd check the power cord. Besides a loose plug, it's possible there's a short in the cord. Look for cord damage....
  17. macrumors newbie

    I'll definitely go and check out the powercord and get a better surge protector (I definitely don't have the UPS, i have a dinkier one). Question, do you guys think I should (and forgive me for quoting this wrong) reset the PRAM? I'm being told that that might help but I have no idea what that is and how to do that even. :( I also did download Oynx and use that and repair permissions (I don't have any idea what any of that stuff means but I was reading that I should do that). Do you think that would have helped? Thanks again! Oh, what would cord damage look like? I know literally nothing about this! thanks!
  18. jsw
    Moderator emeritus


    Powercord damage is probably going to be self-evident - tears in the plastic liner, rough edges underneath it, etc. It's probably fine, and any (unlikely) damage is probably going to be obvious. OnyX is a good thing to run, but won't likely fix any power-off issue. Resetting the PRAM might help fix any damage from a previous power-off situation. One of the places you can find out how to do so is here (I'm sure there are others).

    Best of luck - let us know if you find anything!

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