Caution If You're Thinking of Buying a New 24" iMac! - 24" iMac Screen Issues

Discussion in 'iMac' started by oranges, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. oranges macrumors member

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    Tucson, AZ
    #1
    Note: This thread has been updated to recap all of the events that have happened within the thread, so newcomers don't have to read the entire thread.

    The Story

    On the day the latest iMacs were announced (the early 2008 ones), I went ahead and bought one. A 3.06 GHz, 1TB HD, and 4GBs of RAM model. Fully loaded. I believe I spent $2600 on it.

    A little less than two months later, it developed black horizontal lines near the top of the screen. These lines were probably 1-2 pixels wide. (I used to think they were 3-4 pixels wide, but they're actually not. Still enough to bother me and several other people.)

    The computer was taken to the Apple Store at La Encantada (Tucson, Arizona), twice. The first time, the logic board was replaced, which did not work. The second time, the LCD was replaced, which actually fixed it. Except that it came back with the microphone broken, and since I use iChat screen sharing a lot, this really mattered to me. Not wanting to take my less-than-two-month-old machine in for a 3rd time, I called customer relations who replaced it for me.

    So, they replaced it, and everything was fine. Note that I said was. :) A little less than two months later, same issue.

    The computer was taken to Simutek, a local AASP, because of their better turnaround. They replaced the logic board. I certainly can't blame Apple for that one - it wasn't their repair, although aren't Apple technicians trained by Apple? Not too sure if they are or not so I'm just going to say it was Simutek's fault (as they're the ones that did the repair). This logic board repair did not work.

    At the advice of Daniel in executive relations (the people you get when you write to Steve Jobs, not the customer relations people I had previously talked to regarding this issue), I took it in to the same Apple Store. LCD was replaced, after the song and dance of not being able to find the issue with their stress testing software. They claimed it was LCD burn in, but I don't believe it is because:

    1) It only happens when the computer is heated up.

    2) The lines run across the entire screen. I multitask. I don't use any of my apps full screen. Typically I have one or two apps running along with iChat on the right side. If this were burn-in, then there should be a part where the line doesn't appear, but there isn't.

    3) If you look at the lines, they're in the area that's white in my most-used applications.

    The issue was fixed, and now a few weeks later, the computer shows the same symptoms. And I'd like a refund, as this is Apple's second attempt at providing a working computer, and it will be their 2nd attempt at repairing this same computer. (All in all, Apple has tried 4 times to repair both of these machines - the original one and the replaced one - and failed.) But Apple just wants to play the whole "take it in" game.

    What should I do?

    Other People's Story

    Some time after I posted my story, G-Force came and posted his. Same issue, same lines, same iMac (with the same configuration).

    Also, Teq was nice enough to point me to a thread in the Apple discussion forums that deals with the same issue. And while some there think it's burn-in-related, many also think it's heat related (which I also believe).

    If You're Thinking of Buying a 24" iMac...

    Don't! Not unless you want to deal with trouble, repairs that weren't done properly, and taking your computer in a lot.

    I'm not going to recommend another brand of computer - in fact, I haven't made up my own mind as to which brand of computer I want; but I'm not too sure that it's going to be an Apple after the way they've treated me. Unless they decide to make it right...
     
  2. Quocy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2008
    #2
    you seriously wrote to steve jobs?

    i know you might be pissed off a bit...

    i would if my iMac has all those problem, and the amount of time spent taking back and forth to apple. to be honest you probably got a bad iMac, not all iMac's have this problem! i have a perfect iMac listed with the same spec as yours, touch wood it has not given me any troubles. i think you should get apple to exchange you another one, and see how that goes!

    stay with mac! please don't go to windows!
    hope this helps :)
     
  3. bc008 macrumors 68000

    bc008

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan
    #3
    ^^ why were you so surprised for emailing steve?

    i did after my recently repaired MBP started having issues about 3 weeks after repairing, and i eventually got it replaced with the 24" iMac in my sig.

    if i were you I would just keep on pushing.
    you paid for something great, and it should be great.
     
  4. oranges thread starter macrumors member

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    May 11, 2008
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    #4
    How long have you had your iMac? More than two months? It only seemed to happen at the two month (well, around there - not EXACTLY 2 months) mark.

    I've ruled out power, since it's connected to a UPS (APC) and all equipment connected to that UPS has not shown any trouble at all. And that's the only thing that I could really control.

    It's stayed in the same location for the past several months, so it's not that either.

    I just have no idea what it is.

    And yes, I wrote to Steve Jobs. They've given me 2 iMacs, both of which had the same problem. Don't you think I'm justified in writing to Steve Jobs, after customer relations can't help me?
     
  5. rfruth macrumors regular

    rfruth

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #5
    who found out that the logic board wasn't the problem, you or them ? - I'd e-mail Steve & everyone else I could think of (entire board of directors) hopefully some one will make something happen :eek:
     
  6. oranges thread starter macrumors member

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    #6
    Me, after it didn't fix the issue (twice).
     
  7. PaulexPC macrumors member

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    Jun 4, 2008
    #7
    Be patient. Steve is in Brussels today. I bet his inbox is kindof full.
     
  8. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    #8
    How much airspace is available where you keep your imac? (is it pressed right up against a wall or in an enclosed space?) You mentioned that it got hot -- mine never gets hot - granted, i have the previous-gen 24" - and the C2Ds in these supposedly run hotter. Even with 24x7 folding, desktop screen-savers, it never gets beyond 120F anywhere outside. (hottest temp internal is 178F @ the power supply)

    Running any software that might be interfering with your cooling system operation? (like SMC Fan control or what not?)
     
  9. oranges thread starter macrumors member

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    #9
    Hmm, I've been able to get mine up to 199*F as reported by SMC Fan Control. I don't normally run SMC though... only that one time I wanted to see how hot it got.

    It's in an open area.
     
  10. oranges thread starter macrumors member

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    #10
    Please excuse the poor quality of the picture. I took it with my iPhone.

    If you see it full-size, the lines are clearly visible.
     

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  11. oranges thread starter macrumors member

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    #11
    Well, Apple executive relation's response? Repair.

    Simply unacceptable. What should I do? I've got an appointment but I may not attend and may call the guy and just tell him I want a refund immediately.

    They're pushing me to go back to Linux...
     
  12. G-Force macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    #12
    I think I have a similar issue with my 3.06 iMac since yesterday. The screen has two grey lines at the top (do you experience the same?) It looks like some sort of screen burn-in from the Safari window. This morning, the lines were almost gone but after using Safari again for about an hour they started to re-appear. The lines are pretty hard to see on the picture, but I can see them very good with my eyes...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I'm calling Apple tomorrow, I've never experienced this on my late 2006 iMac and my MacBook. :confused:
     
  13. oranges thread starter macrumors member

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    #13
    Those lines are exactly the same, but I don't have the target thing on mine. Maybe because I don't really shop at Target. :p
     
  14. oranges thread starter macrumors member

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    #14
    So, tomorrow, I'm planning on giving Apple a call (or waiting for them to call me) and letting the guy know I didn't attend to the appointment, and that I want a refund immediately. I'll let you all know how it goes. My guess is they're going to push me to repair again, but I'm not going to take it. They're going to refund me, otherwise we can let a judge do it. (And I'm not making an empty threat. When I spend $2K+ on an item I want it to work consistently, and if they won't give me my money back, I feel I have justification to go to court.)
     
  15. G-Force macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    "The target thing", do you mean the reflection of my Canon A400 camera? :p
     
  16. nickcliborne macrumors regular

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    Nut house
    #16
    This is why I make all purchases with a credit card. Check with them and tell them they sold you a faulty product and will not help you out.
     
  17. oranges thread starter macrumors member

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    #17
    So Apple refuses to refund me.

    I'll check with my credit card company. Thanks, nickcliborne!
     
  18. oranges thread starter macrumors member

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    #18
  19. Elven macrumors 6502a

    Elven

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    #19

    if they have offered to repair it then I fail to see what you moaning about? they admit a fault and are fixing it pair to their warranty. You honestly expected them to just hand you another? perhaps if after a few repairs then yeah.

    Personally I think your being OTT.
     
  20. oranges thread starter macrumors member

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    #20
    I'm moaning over the fact that they've already replaced it, and the new computer has the same issue. Therefore, I want a refund, since they can't seem to provide me a working computer.

    And it's not just me, see a few posts above.
     
  21. oranges thread starter macrumors member

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    May 11, 2008
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    Tucson, AZ
    #21
    Well, it's in the Apple Store's hands. And going on 12 hours now (according to the store guy) of stress testing, and they can't see the lines. Yet Simutek was able to.

    And that picture (I showed the genius) apparently is not worth much. But the Genius was awesome, at least. :D
     
  22. ViperrepiV macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    #22
    dude, just ship it to them, you'll end up with a replacement. true, this is your second computer, but that seems by far the best option. you don't have to lug it around, and you know the issue will be resolved.
     
  23. oranges thread starter macrumors member

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    #23
    Well, I got it back either late September (as in, a day or two before the month ended) or early October. Can't remember.

    It was working fine. Keep in mind, I said *was*. :)

    And now, same issue. I'm about to install Vista with Boot Camp and run Crysis to try to get it worse, just so I can tell the Apple Store what they need to do to reproduce it.

    Executive relations says to repair it, rather than provide a refund or replace the damn thing and I could just sell it brand new.

    Pisses me off. What should I do? Just take it in there and let them "repair" it again?
     
  24. johto macrumors 6502

    johto

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #24
    Whatta hell? If i'm right you guys are talkinga about "faint" lines that are COMPLETE NORMAL! I bet what you guys are talking about are normal LCD BURNING when you have static picture long enough on the screen. Example browser window or some other stuff. Dock icons are good example. This "burn in" is nothing serious and it will totally fade away once your display has been turned off for some time or the picture is changed! :rolleyes:

    This "burn in" was seen already on the last Alu cinema displays ...

    I'd recommend a screensver to activate after 15-30 of idleing to reduce the "burn" :)

    This is so funny, because if you turn off your mac to ship it in, of course they cant see the lines because it will fade away during that time. Electric charge or "memory" of the lcd crystal has gone way :D
    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_persistence
     
  25. oranges thread starter macrumors member

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    #25
    They said it was burn-in, but I'm not too sure about that now. The area that it's had the lines is the exact same place each time, and that area is not the gray part of the menu bar. It's in the white part of Safari and Xcode, my two most-used apps. Also, the line runs all across the screen, and I tend to multitask.

    I doubt it's burn in.
     

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