HELP!!! Screen glitching HARD (pictures inside)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by bungiefan89, Dec 26, 2014.

  1. bungiefan89 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 5, 2011
    Oh my God oh my God oh my God...

    Full screen:
    DSC_0042 copy.JPG

    All I was doing at the time this happened was scrolling through Google Image searches for an article I'm writing. Had multiple applications open including Chrome, FireFox, InDesign, TextEdit, and Excel, all of which my computer has handled just fine before.

    It was like this for a while, then I was able to put it into sleep mode and when it woke up, it was fine. Shortly after that, however, the screen went completely blank and was replaced by little white tiles that I couldn't take a clear picture of. Computer was completely unresponsive, managed to shut it down by holding power button, it is turned off now but I am frightened for my workhorse computer right now. :(

    2011 27" iMac
    i7 Intel 3.4 GHz
    Radeon HD 6970M w/ 2GB of Video RAM
    12 GB RAM
    1 TB HDD

    I DID have AppleCare on this baby and she DID have some corruption in the screen a while back, but that was all taken care of and covered by AppleCare in early 2013. AppleCare expired in May of this year.

    I just installed a big firmware/software update on the machine (through the App Store and everything legitimately) two days ago and maybe that is the reason why I'm having problems right now, but I'm not sure.

    Please, tell me there's an easy fix for this and/or it will be better soon. Really frightened right now because this is my workhorse computer and I cannot afford to loose it now. :(
  2. AR86 macrumors member

    Dec 7, 2014
    Looks similar to the problem this guy seems to be having

    If it's the same thing then it looks like your GPU is toast, but I wouldn't panic just yet as i'm sure there are better diagnosticians then me who'll be able to help you out.
  3. bungiefan89 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 5, 2011
    I saw that thread. Really tragic and I REALLY hope that's not the case.
    I didn't buy my computer through eBay, I bought it directly through Apple three and a half years ago, and I'm using a 2011 27 inch, not a 2009 25 inch.
    I tried running an Apple Hardware Test on my machine, but it would only display a bright yellow screen while I held down the D key. Trying it again now...
  4. Nismo73 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 4, 2013
    I guess if you hooked up another screen and it shows the same, that would tell you it's probably the gpu.
  5. bungiefan89 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 5, 2011
    I just plugged in a second monitor it is just as blank as my iMac monitor.
    I'm also getting purple and sometimes bright yellow screens when I turn it on... how screwed am I?
  6. poiihy, Dec 26, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2014

    poiihy macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2014
    It can only be... your GPU failing. You are quite much screwed :\

    You need to replace the motherboard/logicboard.

    I've heard may cases of Radeons failing (like the 2011 MBPs and the old iBooks) so I suggest you stay clear of Radeons.
  7. bungiefan89 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 5, 2011

    I just realized I have an iMac with a faulty graphics card and it was eligible for a replacement GPU.

    But... I remember reading that article WAY back when it came out and thinking I had the wrong serial number. But actually, my serial number DOES end in DHJW.

    However... I bought my computer in May of 2011... does this mean I can't get it replaced by Apple? :(
  8. poiihy macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2014
    Officially you can't, but if you're lucky you may be able to.
  9. bungiefan89 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 5, 2011

    I'M LUCKY!!!
    Dropped my baby off with TD Curran on Saturday, just got off the phone with them today, and it qualified under the recall!

    They ordered the part, and they'll install it for me. Once they get everything back together, I can walk into their store and pick it up without paying a dime!

  10. poiihy macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2014
    :) Nice
  11. ctbaz macrumors regular

    Aug 20, 2014
    My Dad's same model started acting the same way yesterday and found the link below on Apple's site. It seems they don't require the serial number to be a certain one. Says all from May2011 to October2012


    seems a certain serial number isn't required now for that model. Looks like it broadened. This is the second issue with the mid2011 model. The first one was with the hard drive.
  12. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    Start saving some money now, and be prepared to upgrade to something newer in the next 1-2 years. The replaced motherboard doesn't fix the problem; it's using the same GPU with the same faults, so eventually it will have the same issue.

    Sorry to rain on your parade, but just something you need to be aware of.
  13. bungiefan89 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 5, 2011
    So... all the Radeon HD 6970M graphics cards are faulty? Hmm... well, that's a shame to hear but thanks for the tip.

    And I got the computer home today... but not safe and sound!

    I foolishly bumped the glass screen on the metal doorway of TD Curran as I carried my machine out... >.<

    FORTUNATELY my iMac was wearing a thick cloth protective casing, and upon discovering the damage at home, I found it to be less than an inch square... the fracture doesn't even reach into the screen itself. Slight blemish, though I hope it doesn't get worse... think it will?
  14. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    I guess the correct way to state it is: there are some GPU that have solder flow issues, and there are certain use-cases where, over time, they will consistently fail.

    What that basically means is: depending on the environment and how the computer is used, the GPU will fail pretty consistently for some users. Meanwhile for other people, using their computers differently in and different environments, the same GPU might outlast other parts of the computer, or might last until the user moves on and upgrades. The problem isn't specific to AMD. Nvidia had one or two bum GPUs as well, that also caused problems for Apple and some other PC vendors that used the same card.

    It's thought that rapid temperature changes tend to cause these types of failures... like turning the computer off and on over time. Usually the problem GPUs are found in laptops because those are constantly being powered up and down, and because laptops generally run hotter than desktops when turned on. That said, iMacs are pretty tight on space, so their internals are in an environment not too disssimilar from a laptop.

    Probably not, as long as the iMac doesn't move a whole lot.

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