Honey I fried the new iMacG5

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by photocat, Oct 23, 2004.

  1. photocat macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2004
    I am the happy owner of an iMac G5...
    Oops, I forgot, I fried the machine. How – will you all ask me?
    I got it on wednesday, went home with it, it was sitting on the living room table, ready to play.
    I have been using macs for more then 10 years now, worked for a newspaper, well, I know macs.
    I quickly browse through the manual, yup, this is plug and play. We don't expect anything less from apple.
    I plug it into the wall and nothing happens. It is dead. Dead on arrival.
    For the records, we live in UK, and my husband is an american so we ordered it in the States. It was shipped to our APO address.
    I called the seller, and after lots of searching and elimination processes the verdict is that this apple machine is single voltage!!!!!
    Indeed, I plugged in a 110 volt machine in the 220 volt main lines here in UK.
    Searching the discussion pages from apple, I see the bleak reality.
    I have to call my husband with the message "Honey, I fried the new computer"
    How can this be?
    Am I a dummy? No...
    Am I stupid? No
    Can I read? Yes

    I call apple support in the States, they refer me to apple support UK,
    Apple support UK can't do anything for me cause I bought it in the states.
    Which leaves me without apple support.

    I blame two parties for this:
    First of all, apple puts old technology in a new machine.
    I have an iBook and my husband bought the old iMac six months ago, they were plug and play and auto switch voltage, why would I start thinking this new machine would NOT have auto switch voltage?
    Not all americans live in America, and the whole world does not live on 110 volt.
    Secondly I blame the firm, we are known customers there. They had our APO AE address, so they knew we lived in Europe.
    Is it too much to ask to put a label or sticker on the cord or on the cover of the manual that says "check voltage"?

    I mean, I had a transfo in the house, it is not that we don't know these things, but there has to be a reasonable doubt before we pull that thing out of the closet.

    So apple and the company who sold it to us made mistakes. I guess that more people overseas will have the same experience I have now.

    My apple is now in a british store, where it will be fitted an auto switch voltage power supply. I hope it ends there, that only the power supply will have been damaged...

    All in all, this has been an extremely frustrating week for us, and I am still waiting on my computer, cause no shop in UK has the power supplies in stock.

    Apple, stop saving on a few dimes, and put an auto voltage switch in every single machine you sell...

  2. J.Allen macrumors member

    Oct 12, 2004
    Adelaide, South Australia
    You've void the warrenty. (you should have checked the voltage, that's a noobie mistake, and you've said you've been using Mac's for years.)

    best you can do is see how mush a new power supply is to buy. and since warrently is void you can install it yourself. Not sure if apple will let you do this though and you might have to pay instaltion.

    Tough luck, but you can only blame yourself.

    now part 2[​IMG]: Send it back to the USA to your husband, and get him to call apple and say that the powersupply gave up the ghost. you might be lucky.
  3. evil_santa macrumors 6502a


    Sep 23, 2003
    London, England
    the imac specs show duel voltage for both us & uk machines, your imac may have been DOA. This is one of the pitfalls of getting a grey import, if you have a problem it is not covered by the warranty.

  4. redbaron macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2004
    But if Macs have been coming with auto switching power supplies for years (I think my old Classic II has one - I run it on 240v without any complaints, but I haven't checked whether it is switched or fixed), it would be reasonable to expect that the latest ones would. I reckon this is extreme slackness on Apple's part - why downgrade your technology?
  5. caveman_uk Guest


    Feb 17, 2003
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    That's not how I read that. I read it as 'depending upon your country of pruchase this machine will be either be 100-120V OR 100-240V'. It looks like the US machines are only 100-120V. My guess is the UK ones are dual voltage. The specs for the g4 imac(and ibook) say only 100-240V. I just looked them up.

    I think you're all being a bit harsh seeing as the previous product WAS dual voltage regardless of where you lived. Yeah maybe she should have checked but it understandable she didn't. I mean how much extra does it cost apple to fit a dual voltage supply into all the machines rather just the non-US models?
  6. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030


    Sep 18, 2003
    London, UK
    Is this Apple's way of screwing us over cheaper US imports?
  7. photocat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2004
    Harsh comments

    I know I should have checked the voltage, it is just that you don't expect apple to put old technology in new machines.
    The machines sold in the States and in Japan are preset voltage. All the other machines have auto switch.

    My husband serves his country abroad, we are not here in UK for pleasure, (well, sort of, UK is great!!! So are the States for that matter), so I think it is reasonable to be a bit price aware. On big and expensive electronics, it is a lot cheaper for us to buy in the States. (Which makes me wonder why UK people have to pay double of americans for computers, but that is a total different issue).

    We are used to be careful with voltage things, it is only that you don't expect a new machine to have that old technology.
    I have tried apple support, but apple support usa points us to apple support UK, and apple support UK can't help us because we bought it in the States.

    I also think it is very reasonable to expect either Apple or the Seller to make a little notice on a clear spot to put VOLTAGE CHECK, that way the surprises will be almost none.

    You don't read the trouble shooting pages before you encounter trouble.
    If I had done that, I would not have had troubles in the first place.
  8. russed macrumors 68000


    Jan 16, 2004
    surely, if it came from the american market it will have come with an american plug, that being one that wont work in the british plug sockets. that means you will have had to change the plug which will have already invalidated the warranty as you will have had to chop off a molded plug.
  9. photocat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2004
    We are used to have american appliances in the house, and we do have little adapter plugs all over the place.
    If you buy an iBook, you get a set of different plugs with it, so they do keep foreign countries in mind when they produce those.
    All i want is Apple to reconsider its design in this issue, being the dual voltage switch power supply, and not save a few box on a power supply that in se would benefit all users.
    It is about user friendlyness and support for your customers, because it is the customers that make the market. Apple would not be Apple/the company it is today if it would not be for us buyers.
  10. evil_santa macrumors 6502a


    Sep 23, 2003
    London, England
    I took that as being switchable between 100-120v or 100-240v. My G4s spec reads the same & has a voltage switch next to the power socket.
  11. Dr. Distortion macrumors regular

    May 2, 2002
    Eindhoven, the Netherlands
    Apple may have made a mistake on the website, it's more likely that it should read:

    Line voltage: 100-120V AC or 200-240V AC, depending on country of purchase

    just my 2c... this seems to be a most unusual and odd move by Apple, since I've seen laptop power supplies that were smaller than the iMac one that are also auto-sensing...
  12. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030


    Sep 18, 2003
    London, UK
    Normally, if you use a US version, you'll be okay as long as you use the proper BRITISH power cord/adaptor. If you use the US one that comes with your US Mac with an adaptor shoved on the end of it, you could fry it, which is proabably what you did. If you had used the British iMac power adaptor with your US iMac, it probably would have been fine.
  13. Foxer macrumors 65816


    Feb 22, 2003
    Washington, DC
    It hurts me, as I type on my G5 iMac, to hear your story. I moved overseas for number of years and the first thing I plugged in (my wonderful dual system ex-stereo) was fried. I didn't know there was a switch I had to flip. I was scared everytime I plugged something in after that.

    I'm no electrician, but I suspect that making something duel system requires a different power brick. All Macs come with power bricks of some sort(even the laptops). All Macs until the new iMac. The power brick is inside the bugger. I assume that it wasn't possible (ergo or techincally) to cram a brick for both systems in there. It's already pretty cramped.

    Well, that's my theory. I feel real bad for you. I know that when you're opening a new mac, you're so excited that the last thing you're thinking about is power supply issues.
  14. Music_Producer macrumors 68000

    Sep 25, 2004
    Since I travel the world on music assignments, everytime I purchase an electronic product (usually musical instruments and pro audio gear) ..even an electric shaver, the first thing I do is look at the voltage settings. I have plenty of step up and step down transformers for that purpose. Apple, or any other company shouldn't have to place a "Check Voltage Settings Before Opening" on the box..I'm sure they will have it in the manual (usually the first page) I'm not surprised that they will not do anything about it. Thats like living in a relative poor country like India.. importing a BMW from the USA and before driving it..filling her up with diesel instead of unleaded fuel (just a comparison, however lame it might sound)

    Voltage is the *first* thing I worry about when buying products from abroad. Yes, a lot of products do come with the 110-240 V operation, but I STILL use a transformer to convert the voltage settings to whatever the default would be for that country. Why take a chance?

    The first time I took my pioneer cd recorder (1996) to a friend's house to show it off..he happily plugged it in the mains while I was messing with his drums..and fzzzt!!! He just looked at me and went "Oh sh$t!!!!! I forgot its 240 V here and the machine is 110V!!!" I almost passed out (I was a student then and could barely afford that machine) but he opened it and luckily, it was only the fuse that was busted, which we then replaced. Hope everything works out for you.
  15. gekko513 macrumors 603


    Oct 16, 2003
    It's an understandable thing to do, but I think it is also understandable that Apple uses non-auto-switching power supplies for the U.S. iMac.

    The iMac is rather big and is not something people will bring with them on pleasure travels abroad, the iBook on the other hand is something that people will bring with them. That's why the iBook has an auto-switching power supply and not the iMac.
  16. Doraemon macrumors 6502

    Aug 31, 2001
    Europe (EU)
    No US desktop Mac EVER has auto switch voltage.
    Besides, it's not old technology. It's totally unnecessary to have auto switch voltage on a desktop computer. The number of owners who move to a country with a different voltage is so little, that it's economical nonsense to have such feature on a desktop computer.

    You ask for such a sticker and say that you're not a computer dummy? I'm sorry, but that's hilarious.

    You should blame yourself.

    No. You did.

    Not if they FIRST checked the specifications of their computer and read the manual before plugging a 110V computer into a 220V socket.
  17. photocat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2004
    Excuse me, the imac we bought six months ago is a desktop computer, the swivel with the round base, and that one has auto voltage. A lot of G4's are desktop computers and have auto voltage.
    I would not call the American Forces Overseas a group to be associated with "economical nonsense". I would think that it would be economically easier for apple to just produce one model auto power supply then breaking the production up in two groups... The more one can automate tasks, and have uniform production schemes, the cheaper it comes for the producer.

    Yeah, I am female too. Steve Jobbs uses stickies, maybe that is hilarious too????

    I do blame myself, more then anything. IF, IF, if my aunt had had wheels, she could have been a carriage... If I would have been a little bit less exited about the new arrival, I would probably not have had a blond moment.

    yeah, right. chuckkle... It suddenly dawns on me why designers at Apple could have been so short sighted. Sort of a neanderthal thinking path...

    Maybe we should put up a new law: "Read the trouble shooting section of the manual first, because by elimination you will deduct the right way to go." Never mind trust in apple and its products. No, we need to be suspicious instead of exited about a new product.
  18. photocat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2004
    fried stuff all over

    I think I will not plug in for a LLLLLOOOONNGG time... It is nice to find a person who can understand my feelings right now.
    :) :)
  19. toughboy macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2003
    Izmir, Turkey
    There is one more here, who definitely understands your feelings.. that just sucks.. I bought my iPod 3G and my Powerbook G4 from US when I visited and they both come with auto-switch adaptors.. and plus, I was thinking to buy a iMac G5 and make one of my close friend bring here, just because prices here in Turkey are so high because of the tax and dollar-euro currency difference.. and I'm lucky I read this thread.. so what can I do?.. ??? what will you do??
  20. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Sep 21, 2003
    Las Vegas, NV
    what stinks is how many people just jumped all over the original poster.

    just think about how you'd feel if the same thing happened to you.

    "it'd never happen to me because I'm perfect." get over yourself if you think that way.

    instead of offering support, a bunch of people posted arrogant, condescending and rude replies.

    photocat had every reason to believe her latest, greatest iMac G5 had an auto-switching power supply, because her iMac G4 had one.

    photocat, I hope you get your computer fixed under warranty.
  21. keysersoze macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Yeah, those people suck. I feel bad for the woman who fried her computer, regardless of anything else. Doing something like that is just plain bad. Don't have to make someone feel worse then they already do.

    Good luck photocat.
  22. caveman_uk Guest


    Feb 17, 2003
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    She's already said her imac G4 was auto-switching. Are you calling her a liar?
  23. iMeowbot macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    Yeah, this is how they were able to eliminate an external power brick in such a slim machine.

    To get the same amount of power out of 115V, you need twice the amperage, and that produces more heat. Leaving out the extra windings for higher voltages makes cooling easier.

    In 230V countries, the supply can run cooler and more windings aren't a problem.

    So why, then, would the Euro-spec supplies allow operation at the lower voltages? The most sensible explanation would be that it does work, but the heat dissipation in that mode is closer to the safety margin than Apple's engineers wanted. The odds favor using a more easily cooled design, so that's exactly what US customers get. (In general that's how all electrical and electronic things are spec'd. It's not so much a yes-no question of if something will work as it is a statistics game.)

    [and more]
    So why is Apple so into statistics? They aren't just in the hardware/software business, they're also an insurance company! After all, that is what the warranty (and especially Applecare) is, insurance.
  24. photocat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2004
    fried stuff all over

    Thanks Rod and all the others who can understand me and offer a bit of support. To be honest, I don't really need anyone bashing me, I have done enough self-bashing over the last days.
    My main reason for posting was to make people aware of this problem.
    If this was a problem for me, and experienced mac user and firm believer of the mac cult, I am sure that more will follow in my path.
    Unless they find a thread or a lucky page with information.
    It will never happen to me again, because from now on I will be suspicious about voltage. It was a hard lesson to learn.
    In the long run, it is only a machine, and it can be fixed. It will be fixed by next week.

    I sincerely hope that with this post I have kept at least a few readers from doing the same.
  25. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    My Tungsten T came with 6 different adaptors for use all over the world. They look kinda weird some of them...

    I feel bad for you, but anytime you buy something expensive that uses electricity double check to make sure. It can't hurt. I remember this from 8th grade...

    When you assume, you make an ass out of you and me.
    I hope that you can get your computer fixed...in the US, if you try to use something at 230 volts, it just doesn't work. No frying. There isn't enough voltage to do damage.

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