24" iMac shuts off, will not turn on. Please advise.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by petermcphee, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. petermcphee macrumors 6502a

    petermcphee

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #1
    Hi all:

    I purchased a 2.4ghz 24" iMac from apple.com. I got a refurbished model, partly for the cost savings, and partly because I thought that a refurb would be subject to more rigorous testing and would result in a more stable machine.

    After having the iMac for 1 week, the fan in the lower left area of the screen began making a clicking noise akin to an old-timey movie projector. I thought, "perhaps I am oversensitive, but I don't think it was making that noise before." I called apple (did I mention that I bought applecare? Well, I did) and they had me restart while holding P+R+Command and various other things. I eventually was instructed to take the machine to the apple store closest to me for a genius bar appointment.

    The geniuses said that my fan was bad, and after a week, the ended up replacing the fan as well as the casing because they said that the casing was not allowing the fan to attain sufficient vacuum or something.

    Now it is two weeks since I got it back. The fans are quiet. Today, I got home from work and noticed that the machine was off. I leave it on, so I was curious. I started it back up, and on the gray start up screen, I noticed lots of distortion in the color of the screen along the right side, near the CD drive.

    The iMac started up ok, but then shut down without warning or preamble about 15 minutes later. When I tried to turn it back on, it was unresponsive. I checked the power cable in the back and tried a new outlet, but nothing worked.

    I have called the apple store again and have a genius bar appointment for tomorrow. At this point, I don't know what to do, since the machine seems to have no end of problems. I feel like this is excessive service for an iMac that I have had less than a month.

    Is it possible that Apple will replace this machine with a new one? What are others' experiences with this situation (or similar ones)?

    Many thanks
     
  2. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    #2
    If you have Apple Care - don't worry about it, take it back in and they'll help you. It's also inconvenient (and costly) for Apple to have you keep coming back, so it's not out of the realm of possibility that you'll get a new machine.
     
  3. petermcphee thread starter macrumors 6502a

    petermcphee

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #3
    Quick update:

    After letting the iMac sit for about 15 minutes, I was able to turn it back on. It ran for about 15 minutes, then just went black.

    No error messages, no nothing, it just clicks off. Sooooo frustrating. Any suggestions?

    Many thanks,
     
  4. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    #4
    If you have the Restore Disk put it in and run a hardware diagnostic test. (if you must know now)

    For poops and grins, pop off the cover to your ram, and make sure it's seated properly.

    But the 15 minute time period sounds like a thermal issue - perhaps they didn't plug in the replacement fan all the way. Or the controller for the fan has a defect.

    Make sure the power plug is firmly seated. I know some iMacs had an issue with the fit causing intermittent connection problems.
     
  5. petermcphee thread starter macrumors 6502a

    petermcphee

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #5
    I hope that's the case. As I mentioned, I have had it less than 5 weeks, so I think I am not even in the realm of applecare yet, but am still covered under warranty.

    It's a tough situation, because on one hand, I love the machine. It is simply gorgeous and quick. On the other hand, I want to be rid of it due to the drain on time and headache that it has resulted in.

    I didn't mention this, but this is my first Mac. I liked it so much that I bought an aluminum MacBook three days after I got the iMac. That machine is stable and solid, everything that I hoped it would be. This iMac is another story.
     
  6. petermcphee thread starter macrumors 6502a

    petermcphee

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #6

    As soon as I am done transferring the important data to external drives, I will give the install disc a shot. Thanks very much for your suggestions!

    UPDATE: The iMac has now been running continuously for almost an hour. I have been backing up all of the important docs to an external via firewire. I have a time machine drive, but better safe than sorry, right?

    The iStat Pro temp readings are as follows (all Fahrenheit)
    HD: 122
    CPU A: 101
    Airport Card: 146
    Ambient: 68
    GPU: 122
    GPU Diode: 124
    GPU Heatsink: 117
    HD Bay 1: 122

    I haven't yet run the hardware diagnostic, there is still data being transferred, and I don't want to tax it overmuch and have it shut down again.

    My main concern is this: I think I want them to replace this machine with a different one. Has anyone had a similar experience that resulted in replacement?

    Thanks,
     
  7. tinkertot macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    #7
    problem with overheating maybe?

    you may try safe booting it and seeing how well it runs. it may have been damaged from overheating when the fan was not working optimally.

    after my experiences with apple i would never buy one of their refurbs. i have an imace that isn't even a year old yet. brand new when i got it earlier this year. had a problem with only getting to the grey screen. it had a faulty power supply that caused overheating... the logic board, optical drive, and hardrive were all effected and replace. it ate up 2 hardrives actually. apple assured me that when the powersupply burnt out a the hardrive, logic board, and optical drive that this didnt effect the lcd screen.. the fans... or any other components for that matter.

    i'm not sure about you guys... but i consider anything inside that casing to be damaged if it were hot enough to burn out all those parts.

    they were going to continue to replace parts... they were getting ready to put a 3rd harddrive and replace the cable that ran to the hardrive.. and i put the brakes on and started to voice that i wanted no part o fthe computer back.. that i wanted a fresh system.. they would not offer that .. so i fought for a timeframe to get the 3rd hardrive in. they agreed to a timeline and then couldn't meet that timeline and now they getting me a fresh system.

    sorry for such a long story but my point is... they will very likely refurb this system that was all burnt up. they will likely go ahead and replace that cable to the hardrive and a new hardrive and i feel the the poor soul who buys that refurb.... because the life of that lcd screen had been drastically reduced not to mention the new optical drive was hooked up to the faulty power supply. who know if they will check out the optical drive.

    my advice to you is to back it up and take it in. save your system logs. i did not save my system logs.. i have not record of the optical drive failures or all the hardrive hangs without them... it the one thing i would've done different.
     
  8. petermcphee thread starter macrumors 6502a

    petermcphee

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #8
    Saving the logs is an excellent suggestion. As a Mac n00b, I am not sure how to go about doing that. Any advice on resources that could explain this process to me?

    Thanks for your suggestions and sharing your experience.
     
  9. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    #9
    Tinkertot - I think in your case - the power supply didn't "burn" physically - more likely the voltage regulation failed, and it gave too much voltage to certain components - causing them to fail. It CAN affect some components, and not others - as the power supply actually consists of several separate supplies. (different voltages, currents and isolation for different applications) So it's entirely possible it affected your HD, but left your LCD, ect untouched. (also, the LCD has its own power supply)
     
  10. tinkertot macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    #10
    ...

    nope.. it burned. the warranty tech said there were a few spots that became warped and browned on a part some chip board. it was that hot.
     
  11. tinkertot macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    #11
    ...

    when you view your logs just copy and past if you have to... i forget how to get to them without my mac in front of me.. it is some app in the utilities area.
     
  12. petermcphee thread starter macrumors 6502a

    petermcphee

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #12
    Well, I ran the quick hardware test. Nothing abnormal was detected. I tried running the more thorough hardware test, but the machine shut down when it was mostly completed.

    It's as though someone has pulled the plug out. It's fine one minute and stone dead the next.

    I have a genius bar appointment tomorrow. I plan on asking them to either return my money or replace the machine with a new one. At this point, I do not think that this is unreasonable.

    Wish me luck, and thanks for all of your help thus far.
     
  13. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    #13
    That sounds like a thermal problem.

    I'd give them until the 3rd time before demanding a replacement.

    They will take care of you. Just don't forget you catch more flies with honey...
     
  14. petermcphee thread starter macrumors 6502a

    petermcphee

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #14
    Thank you for the gentle reminder. I subscribe to this philosophy too, and will do my level best to remember that tomorrow.
     
  15. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    #15
    If they don't take care of you after the 3rd attempt. By all means, make a scene. That WILL do the trick. ;)

    Side note - you posted your temps - what about fan speeds - were all 3 running?
     
  16. petermcphee thread starter macrumors 6502a

    petermcphee

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #16
    Yes, all three were running. I remember that they all had read outs, but I can't recall what the RPMs were right now. I seem to remember that two of them were in the 1100 range and one was around 800, but those are the estimates of a feeble mind.

    So, no scenes tomorrow. Just patience, politeness, and firmness. But no scenes.:D
     
  17. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    #17
    If it's anything like mine - under moderate load. 1000, 1100, 600. (that is uptime of 11 days - folding the whole time)

    So those seem normal.

    Curious to know what the problem is - please keep us in the loop once you find out. (it could help someone else down the road)

    These are pretty reliable machines - obviously on here you see all the problem cases - because people don't complain about things that work just fine.

    Anyhow, good luck!
     
  18. petermcphee thread starter macrumors 6502a

    petermcphee

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #18
    I will dutifully report everything that they do or say. Part of the frustration with this process (and dealings I have had thus far with the Genius Bar) is the lack of information. I plan on updating this thread as the problem is (hopefully) resolved.

    Thanks again for your help.
     
  19. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #19
    This iMac most definitely has a serious hardware fault of some kind. Apple should certainly replace it for you. IMO, you should insist on a replacement, and not try to diagnose or fix the problem any further -- you've been through enough already.

    You didn't need AppleCare for this, BTW -- all new and refurb Macs are covered by the same one year warranty.
     
  20. petermcphee thread starter macrumors 6502a

    petermcphee

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #20
    UPDATE 2:

    I went to my Genius bar appointment today and had the luck of dropping my machine off with the same person who took it in for the first repair. I explained the issue. He said that it could be repaired, and that the likely malfunctions were caused by a faulty power supply and/or logic board. He then said, "We should be able to have it back to you within 10 days."

    At this point, I explained that I had picked it up from the previous repair only nine days ago, and that, in an ideal world created to make me happy, they would offer me my choice of a refund or replacement model.

    He told me that since I was outside of the 14 day period, neither would be possible. I told him that I had owned the machine for 7 days before the first repair, and nine days after the first repair, and that I did not feel that either option was outside of the realm of reasonable. He told me that I should contact Apple Customer Service.

    I called ACS while he waited. I explained my frustration to the representative (politely, TDI-Guy, I promise!). The representative said that they would email me a shipping label for Fed-Ex service back to Apple, and would ship me a replacement.

    Problem somewhat solved.

    Thanks again to all on this thread for their kind suggestions and support.
     
  21. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #21
    You had a very good argument for a replacement Mac, and you got one. I'm happy to hear that your perseverance paid off.
     

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