iMac 2009 2.8 i7 --- Graphics card dying......

Discussion in 'iMac' started by nynemusic, May 18, 2013.

  1. nynemusic macrumors newbie

    May 8, 2013
    Hi guys, just a speculation that my graphics card is dying! :(
    Brief Background:
    iMac 2009 2.8 Quad i7 , 10.6.8.
    Was getting frozen distorted graphics screen on startup repeatedly. Mac would only boot up in safe mode, repaired disk, permissions etc, no help.
    Installed a new drive and because could only boot in safe mode without any USB or FW peripherals, my tech installed 10.6.8 on the new drive by connecting my MBP via FW.

    iMac started up just fine, registered name etc. Then restarted to check and same frozen, distorted screen. From there on, it wont wont boot normally again, not even once. Only will boot in safe mode.

    Opened console and showed the system logs and all messages logs to some other forum buddies. They asked me to reset NVRAM, a few other terminal commands. Everyone's speculation is that the graphics card is dying.....
    To make matters worse, the DVD Rom on my iMac is broken so i have not been able to run an Apple Hardware Test yet. Will take it to a tech and see if he can run the test somehow.......


    Say, if the graphics is dying/dead.....what solution do i have ? Can it be replaced on this model ? Or would the whole logic board need to be replaced.

    What causes such a failure ? I have run on UPS and Voltage stabilizers always. I have always used a fan or AC to make sure the machine is cool, even though it does get pretty hot in the back.

    Hmmm.......recently however, because i have have moved, i did not have a fan directly behind the iMac. But the AC would be running most of the time. Also, i installed SMC FanControl a few days before my system went down. Had the fans running everytime the machine went really hot.

    Can this be linked in any way ?

    Could it be that the Graphics card is just missing some drivers, firmware etc ?

    If the graphics card was dead, would it show perfect colors etc in safe mode ? Because in safe mode everything looks just fine......

    Please advice......


  2. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    It sounds like the card, but the AHT will far as replacement goes, folks have done it themselves, but I'm not one for splitting an Imac open. I'd wait and see what the report says....You seem to have covered all the bases otherwise. Let us know what happens.
  3. nynemusic thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 8, 2013
    Thanks for the reply.
    I will try and get the AHT done asap. But i still need to know what my back up strategy is going to be. Its my main studio machine and all work has come to a halt which is very troublesome for me.

    Is it even possible to replace just the graphics card on this machine or is it built into the motherboard ??

    I really would like to be able to run this machine at least till the end of summer, so see what new macs are available, see how Mountain Lion progresses with pro audio work and of money!!!

    Replacing the whole Logic Board at around US$800 doesn't make sense as one can buy a brand new Mac Mini.....

    Would ideally buy a new Mac Pro.....again its the lack of Snow Leopard support which is scaring me.

  4. justperry macrumors G3


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
    Seems like it can be replaced.

    This one upgraded his card. (iFixit)
  5. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago

    Some videos here:,d.ZWU&fp=6fabc58faf87ed07&biw=1105&bih=633

    I would like a Pro for different reasons, but could not wait and went with another maxed out iMac 2012....the job can be done, just takes skill and organisation. as far as backup goes, you should be able to get the data off the Mac in safe mode if needs be. Good Luck:)
  6. nynemusic thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 8, 2013

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