20” iMac went to Electronic Heaven

Discussion in 'iMac' started by RickT67, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. RickT67 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    Location:
    Maine
    #1
    Last December I purchased to 20” iMacs from Best Buy, 1 for my wife and 1 for my son.

    Saturday, my wife tells me hers is making a weird noise – so I take a look at it. It’s making a sound like a pc on a reboot cycle without any beeps, or chime. Bottom line, I unplugged it for a minute or 2 and I got it to boot and it lived for another minute or so. It was enough time for me to open my mouth wide enough to put my foot in while I was teasing my wife.
    The screen came up with some double panic message. I was worried that it wasn’t going to boot again, so I grabbed my iPhone and took a picture of the double panic error message. Tried the reboot again and I was back to square 1.

    I called Best Buy and they told me that they couldn’t help unless I had purchased their warranty, so I called an Apple store and talked with a couple of people there and they said that I would have to make an appt with the Technical Support Bar (I thought it was interesting he didn’t use the term Genius Bar). I asked if they would be able to extract the data from a dead machine and his response was that they needed a bootable machine to do that. Here’s the issue - I didn’t want to leave my wife’s broken iMac (containing all of her data, photos, etc) with the resident genius..

    So, I went to Best Buy and purchased a SATA drive enclosure for $70, brought it home and carefully removed the hard drive from my wife’s machine. I was correct in my assumption that the hard drive wasn’t fried. I hooked it up and transferred her data to another drive and I plan on wiping out her original drive in re-installing it back in the iMac. I know that there are plenty of people out there that will say that I voided any warranty, but I would have to challenge them with the fact that there weren’t any stickers, or tape broken that would indicate that the machine had been tampered with.

    With that accomplished, I feel that I am in a better position to leave the mac with them if they tell me it can be repaired (my wife’s data isn’t out there). Or if they send me home with a new iMac, I won’t have to worry about getting the data out of the old one, who is looking at it, etc..

    My point in writing this is to document my Apple experience with this issue. I am also on my 2nd iMac (I had the 24” with the screen fade). My experience with that return was quite pleasant and I hope that this return works out well too. One thing that does bug me though is that in a time span of 2 months, I bought 2 bad iMacs. Being a recent pc convert (I saw the light in spring of ’07 :)), I have been touting the great things about macs to family and friends. In the past year or so I’ve purchased the following:

    Emac – company auction purchase – brought me into the mac fold :)
    iBook – held me together while I saved for the new iMac
    iMac – 24”
    iPhone 8Gb – Sold it to a friend so I could get the 16Gb, then I gave that one to my wife so I could get the 3G :p
    iTV
    (2) iMacs 20” – One of those is the one I speak of above

    I hope that this works out and I will keep you posted!
     
  2. belunos macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    #2
    If you're going to wipe the drive anyway, I'd try a clean install of leopard.
     
  3. RickT67 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    Location:
    Maine
    #3
    I would, but the iMac will not boot at all. No startup chime, nothing. You can hear the drive spin up and the DVD drive spin a little (my install disk is stuck in there - won't come out). The machine just doesn't do anything. Elvis has left the building.:confused:
     
  4. rfruth macrumors regular

    rfruth

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #4
    You were smart, get your data b4 you leave your computer with someone !
     
  5. RickT67 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    Location:
    Maine
    #5
    Last night after work, I drove the 95 miles to my nearest Apple store with the broken iMac. The guy at the genius bar was very nice and went through all the troubleshooting that I had done at home before I brought it in. There was one thing that he tried that I hadn’t. Hooking up a 2nd LCD to verify that the video card wasn’t the issue.
    He mentioned that it could be the hard drive, which I knew wasn’t the case, but he went through his gyrations of troubleshooting and came to the same conclusion as I did (some sort of component went bad).
    He wrote it up and asked me to sign a work order and if it was ok if the hard drive needed to be replaced or erased (this is where I thought to myself I am very glad that I went to Best Buy and got the SATA enclosure and did what I did). He said that it could be a logic board and that’s a $850 fix (cha-ching$)… but since it’s less than a year old, it’s covered under the warranty.
    I thought to myself, “If the logic board is worth $850, and the total cost of the iMac is $1200; then the rest of the computer (LCD, hard drive, etc… must be worth $350?.....Hmmmm”
    While I waited for him to do the paperwork, I grabbed my iPhone and was looking on ebay to see if I could find out what a logic board would cost. At that time I could only find boards for older iMacs.
    Bottom line – it should be fixed by September 15th…. We shall see what we shall see.
     
  6. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #6
    the cost of replacing the parts separately always adds up to many times the cost of the computer. The reasons are that the cost of labor and (maybe?) that the replacement parts are not bought in the same kind of bulk that the original parts are. It's the difference between the price of something coming off an assembly line and something done individually. Thank god for Henry Ford, eh? ;)
     
  7. arjen92 macrumors 65816

    arjen92

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Location:
    Below sea level
    #7
    erase it with 30 zero's

    If I were you, I would make sure you erase the harddisk 30 time's with zero's. If the information on you disk is that precious, you should make sure it's properly erased. If you just say: make it writeable for other data, you can very easily get the information back. But with 30 times a zero written on the disk, you hardly can't get the information.
     
  8. RickT67 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    Location:
    Maine
    #8
    Yes.. the drive was wiped clean before I brought it in. I'm hoping that I'll be able to pick it up Monday night. I definitely feel better about leaving it with them with a clean drive. It's not that my wife's machine has anything super secret on it, but you just never know who is looking at what OR making a copy of anyhting on it.
     
  9. RickT67 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    Location:
    Maine
    #9
    UPDATE: When we brought the iMac in for service on 9/10, the genius said that we should have it back by Sunday 9/14 -and then he corrected himself and said "Just to be safe, make it Monday 9/15." So, here we are on 9/17 and no word from Apple on the status of the iMac. We've called and looked at the support site and all it tells us is that it's being worked on.
    Granted, I know that if needed some part that they had to have mailed, etc.. that it would take more time, but come on, I feel like the genius gave us an estimation to placate us and send us on our way. Did I mention that the store is 2 hours (95 miles) from my house? It's not like we can just show up on a whim.
    Is this typical Apple repair service? Am I being too critical? My biggest gripe is that if it wasn't going to be ready by the time that they said - call and explain - period.
    I'm hoping that Murphy's Law kicks in - and as soon as I post this - we get the notification that it's fixed. I'm really curious to know what the freakin' problem was with a 9 month old machine.
     
  10. RickT67 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    Location:
    Maine
    #10
    UPDATE Part 2:
    Ok.. so I guess Murphy and his law kicked in. A few hours after my last update, I got the web notification that the iMac was ready to go.. Last night, the Mrs and I made the trek to the Apple store. The problem was the logic board - go figure.
    I am typing this on the repaired machine - things are good!

    Quick question - maybe someone could help. I copied my wife's Application folder over to an external hard drive, and now I am trying to get her "old" emails back. Does anyone know how to do this? I have her email setup on the repaired machine and the mail has come in from her MobileMe account - but what I would like to do is retrieve what was already in her mailbox when the machine originally went down.
    Any help is appreciated :)
     
  11. Detektiv-Pinky macrumors 6502a

    Detektiv-Pinky

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    #11
    I did it as described in this apple document and it worked also under OSX 10.5:
    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=301239

    I found also some other stuff here:
    http://www.procata.com/blog/archive...-mac-os-x-application-data-between-computers/
     
  12. RickT67 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    Location:
    Maine
    #12
    Thanks! As usual, my "pc troubleshooting skills" were kicking in and I was making more of the email issue than it was. I've been on the Mac bandwagon for 18 months, and I still get impressed with how easy it is to do things!
     
  13. mastershakess macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Location:
    Bel Air, MD
    #13
    Glad to hear you got your machine back in working order!

    From my experience though, Apple Service takes longer than they quote everytime :(
     

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