Help diagnose why my iMac is failing

Discussion in 'iMac' started by rogersmj, Nov 4, 2014.

  1. rogersmj macrumors 68020


    Sep 10, 2006
    Indianapolis, IN
    My 2011 iMac is experiencing some kind of hardware failure. I would appreciate some advice on how to narrow it down so I can determine whether a repair or new iMac is in my future.

    System: 2011 27" iMac 2.7 GHz i5, 12GB RAM, 1TB spinny drive + 128GB SSD that holds the OS and apps, Radeon HD 6770M 512MB graphics.

    Yes, I've done SMC reset and all that usual stuff.

    1. Graphical glitches like this. These occur daily, and in different areas but usually only on the top half of the display (unless symptom #2). They flicker in and out, and if I drag a window over them they change -- either they disappear for awhile or they get worse. It seems random.

    2. Extreme instances of #1 where the graphical glitches take over almost the entire screen, the mouse cursor turns into a giant chunk of multicolored pixels, and then the computer freezes -- I have to hard reboot. This occurs 2 to 3 times a month.

    3. The computer will turn off and then not turn back on until I unplug and re-plug the power cord a couple times. This has only happened twice in the 6 months or so it's been having the other symptoms.

    Any suggestions? Thanks!
  2. imac wannabe macrumors regular

    Sep 1, 2011
    Appleton, WI
    There is a free program that will give you an analysis of your computer and its hardware. They use it over on the Apple Help site...maybe try this:

    Post the results back here and maybe someone will be able to spot something. Good luck!

  3. rogersmj thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 10, 2006
    Indianapolis, IN
    Thanks! I've never heard of that software before. I ran it; here's the results.

    Problem description:
    Graphical glitches and freezing/crashing.

    EtreCheck version: 2.0.11 (98)
    Report generated November 6, 2014 at 8:04:48 AM EST

    Hardware Information: ℹ️
    iMac (27-inch, Mid 2011) (Verified)
    iMac - model: iMac12,2
    1 2.7 GHz Intel Core i5 CPU: 4-core
    12 GB RAM Upgradeable
    BANK 0/DIMM0
    2 GB DDR3 1333 MHz ok
    BANK 1/DIMM0
    2 GB DDR3 1333 MHz ok
    BANK 0/DIMM1
    4 GB DDR3 1333 MHz ok
    BANK 1/DIMM1
    4 GB DDR3 1333 MHz ok
    Bluetooth: Old - Handoff/Airdrop2 not supported
    Wireless: en1: 802.11 a/b/g/n

    Video Information: ℹ️
    AMD Radeon HD 6770M - VRAM: 512 MB
    iMac 2560 x 1440

    System Software: ℹ️
    OS X 10.10 (14A389) - Uptime: 3 days 19:10:32

    Disk Information: ℹ️
    ST31000528AS disk1 : (1 TB)
    S.M.A.R.T. Status: Verified
    EFI (disk1s1) <not mounted> : 210 MB
    Files (disk1s2) /Volumes/Files : 954.86 GB (444.25 GB free)
    Recovery HD (disk1s3) <not mounted> [Recovery]: 650 MB
    BOOTCAMP (disk1s4) /Volumes/BOOTCAMP : 44.48 GB (15.63 GB free)

    M4-CT128M4SSD2 disk0 : (128.04 GB)
    S.M.A.R.T. Status: Verified
    EFI (disk0s1) <not mounted> : 210 MB
    iMac (disk0s2) / [Startup]: 127.18 GB (33.36 GB free)
    Recovery HD (disk0s3) <not mounted> [Recovery]: 650 MB


    USB Information: ℹ️
    Apple Inc. BRCM2046 Hub
    Apple Inc. Bluetooth USB Host Controller
    Apple Inc. FaceTime HD Camera (Built-in)
    Apple Computer, Inc. IR Receiver
    Apple Internal Memory Card Reader

    Thunderbolt Information: ℹ️
    Apple Inc. thunderbolt_bus

    Configuration files: ℹ️
    /etc/hosts - Count: 66

    Gatekeeper: ℹ️
    Mac App Store and identified developers

    Kernel Extensions: ℹ️
    [not loaded] com.parallels.kext.hidhook (9.0 24229.991745) Support
    [not loaded] com.parallels.kext.hypervisor (9.0 24229.991745) Support
    [not loaded] com.parallels.kext.netbridge (9.0 24229.991745) Support
    [not loaded] com.parallels.kext.usbconnect (9.0 24229.991745) Support
    [not loaded] com.parallels.kext.vnic (9.0 24229.991745) Support

    [not loaded] com.panic.TransmitDisk.transmitdiskfs (4.0.0 - SDK 10.6) Support

    [not loaded] com.Belcarra.iokit.USBLAN_netpart (3.1.1 - SDK 10.6) Support
    [not loaded] com.Belcarra.iokit.USBLAN_usbpart (3.1.1 - SDK 10.6) Support
    [not loaded] com.RemoteControl.USBLAN.usbpart (3.1.1 - SDK 10.7) Support

    [not loaded] com.belcarra.iokit.netpart.panther (1.6.3) Support

    [not loaded] com.belcarra.iokit.usbpart.panther (1.6.3) Support

    [not loaded] com.RemoteControl.USBLAN.panther (1.6.2) Support

    Launch Agents: ℹ️
    [not loaded] com.adobe.AAM.Updater-1.0.plist Support
    [running] com.bjango.istatmenusagent.plist Support
    [loaded] Support

    Launch Daemons: ℹ️
    [loaded] com.adobe.fpsaud.plist Support
    [invalid?] com.adobe.SwitchBoard.plist Support
    [running] com.backblaze.bzserv.plist Support
    [running] com.bjango.istatmenusdaemon.plist Support
    [loaded] com.ea.origin.ESHelper.plist Support
    [loaded] Support
    [loaded] com.rogueamoeba.instanton-agent.plist Support
    [loaded] com.screenhero.SHAccessibilityHelper.plist Support

    User Launch Agents: ℹ️
    [loaded] com.adobe.AAM.Updater-1.0.plist Support
    [running] Support
    [running] com.backblaze.bzbmenu.plist Support
    [invalid?] Support
    [running] com.plexapp.helper.plist Support
    [running] com.spotify.webhelper.plist Support
    [running] com.victorpimentel.TVShowsHelper.plist Support
    [running] com.vladalexa.MagicPrefs.plist Support

    User Login Items: ℹ️
    iTunesHelper Application (/Applications/
    Dropbox Application (/Applications/
    Plex Media Server Application (/Applications/Plex Media
    Google Drive Application (/Applications/Google
    Airfoil Speakers ApplicationHidden (/Applications/Airfoil
    Airfoil ApplicationHidden (/Applications/
    Moom ApplicationHidden (/Applications/

    Internet Plug-ins: ℹ️
    AdobeExManDetect: Version: AdobeExManDetect - SDK 10.7 Support
    FlashPlayer-10.6: Version: - SDK 10.6 Support
    Default Browser: Version: 600 - SDK 10.10
    Flash Player: Version: - SDK 10.6 Support
    LogitechHarmony: Version: 2.0 - SDK 10.7 Support
    o1dbrowserplugin: Version: - SDK 10.8 Support
    QuickTime Plugin: Version: 7.7.3
    googletalkbrowserplugin: Version: - SDK 10.8 Support
    Silverlight: Version: 5.1.30514.0 - SDK 10.6 Support
    JavaAppletPlugin: Version: 15.0.0 - SDK 10.10 Check version

    Safari Extensions: ℹ️

    3rd Party Preference Panes: ℹ️
    Backblaze Backup Support
    Flash Player Support
    MagicPrefs Support
    MySQL Support
    TVShows Support

    Time Machine: ℹ️
    Skip System Files: NO
    Auto backup: YES
    Volumes being backed up:
    iMac: Disk size: 127.18 GB Disk used: 93.82 GB
    Backups [Network]
    Total size: 1.50 TB
    Total number of backups: 80
    Oldest backup: 2014-01-11 09:35:49 +0000
    Last backup: 2014-11-06 12:22:28 +0000
    Size of backup disk: Excellent
    Backup size 1.50 TB > (Disk size 127.18 GB X 3)

    Top Processes by CPU: ℹ️
    14% WindowServer
    11% mds
    4% Google Chrome
    2% MagicPrefs
    1% Skype

    Top Processes by Memory: ℹ️
    734 MB SystemUIServer
    296 MB Google Chrome
    232 MB mds_stores
    180 MB Evernote
    168 MB softwareupdated

    Virtual Memory Information: ℹ️
    257 MB Free RAM
    5.64 GB Active RAM
    5.30 GB Inactive RAM
    1.56 GB Wired RAM
    187.75 GB Page-ins
    577 MB Page-outs
  4. iSayuSay macrumors 68030


    Feb 6, 2011
    Might be the graphic chip needs to be replaced. It's Radeon after all and many Macs with Radeon (both iMac or Macbook) having similar problems after some time.

    Might wanna bring your machine in for servicing. The graphic card in 2011 iMac is replaceable (not soldered into logic board). So a replacement would be cheaper (or free if your AppleCare is not expired yet).
  5. nrubenstein macrumors 6502

    Aug 5, 2008
    Washington, DC
    First things first, move your DIMMs around so that they are in matching banks. For some reason, Apple puts the stock RAM in across two banks.
  6. sharon22 macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2014
    Do the glitches happen RIGHT AWAY? Or after the unit heats up? Is there lots of dust inside? Does it need a "good cleaning?" Do the fans start up lots? Overheating GPU or CPU?

    The "scientist in me" wants me to tell you this:

    Jusssssst for the H*ll of it, here is what I would do (in order to make 100% sure it was a hardware glitch and not spurious software issues): I would do a clean install on either a backup drive, or a backup partition, or whatever, and BOOT FROM THAT, and then play around on your Clean Unadulterated Operating System, and see if you still have graphics glitches.
  7. rogersmj thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 10, 2006
    Indianapolis, IN
    Thanks for the suggestions everyone -- I haven't had a chance to do a clean install or anything, but I might try that if swapping around the DIMMs (or removing them in pairs) doesn't help. I've been busy so I haven't been aggressive about further troubleshooting. It really does seem like a hardware issue though so I'm not holding my breath that a clean install is going to do anything.

    I can't really answer the question about whether it only happens after things have heated up, because this computer is always on -- I don't even let it go to sleep because I often have background processes running that I need to have access to remotely.
  8. macthefork macrumors 6502

    Feb 2, 2013
    Do your Console Log files show anything just after this is occurring?

    You can check your Log files by going to Applications > Utilities > Console.

    You can also try the Apple Hardware Test to see if it finds any problems.

    This site explains how to bring up the hardware test.
  9. rogersmj thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 10, 2006
    Indianapolis, IN
    Moving the RAM around hasn't helped. I took a look in Console but there's so much information in there I'm not sure what to look for.

    It crashed hard again when I sat down at it this morning. After hard-rebooting it, I saw a message I'd never seen before: it was a message that OS X had detected a graphics problem (that's what caught my eye, that it specifically said a graphics problem), and asked if I wanted to ignore or submit a report to Apple. I submitted the report, although there was no way to see what it was (at least from that dialog).

    I will try running the AHT later today if I have some time.
  10. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Could the 2011 iMacs be experiencing any of the graphics problems that are notorious (and now the subject of a class-action lawsuit) on the 2011-vintage MacBook Pro 15" models?

Share This Page