iMac Apple Repairs

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jbond312, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. jbond312 macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2009
    Hey guys,

    I've been using Apple products for a few years, ive mainly only ever used the laptops but 4 months ago i decided to ditch them all and get a 20'' iMac.

    It worked perfectly until a few weeks ago there has just been a constant clicking noise coming from it from the moment the machine is turned on, ive looked up the problem and didnt find that much about it, the noise is loud enough that i can hear it over the t.v when its on.

    I rung up apple support and they went through doing the apple hardware test which found no problems, they then told me just to take it to the nearest apple store to hand it in for repairs.

    I went to Apple shop at lakeside where i was firstly told that i shouldve made an appointment as they cant see me otherwise, which i was never told, but they said i could leave it with them instead, they then rung me up today to say they cant find the problem im having and think its just the optical drive when the system is booting up and that my mac is ready to collect.

    I've asked them to go and look again as it still makes the noise after the system has been booted and has been on for hours and there is no CD in the drive, i have also tried increasing fan speeds to see if it noises differs and it doesnt, so im assuming its a hard drive fault, but they wont listen to me.

    What do you guys suggest doing? as it seems odd that the noise has magically stopped all of a sudden when they have it? and i dont want to drive another 70 miles to the shop if it still happens when i get it back?

    any ideas would be really greatful,

  2. hughvane macrumors 6502


    Aug 25, 2008
    Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
    A dying hard drive tends to 'chatter' more than click, but at what intervals does the click occur, ie. every 2 seconds, every 5 seconds? If it's something like every 0.5 to 1 second, then it seems to me it's a hard drive bearing.

    Your increasing the fan speed eliminates the possibility that it's the cause. The drives and the fan are the only moving parts inside the iMac.

    If you insert a CD or dvd, does the clicking stop, increase, or continue as before?

    Does the clicking begin as soon as the iMac is powered on, and does it cease immediately the iMac is switched off? I'm wondering about the 'cracking' noise associated with expanding and contracting hard materials, eg. the plastic outer casing, or something inside.

    Last, and faintly plausible, option, is there something loose in the vicinity of the iMac's location (although that would more likely produce a sympathetic buzzing or rattling)?
  3. oculus42 macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2002
    Do you have unreliable power (brownouts, especially) or are you using a generator to power your computer? In either of these cases (particularly the second) your power supply could be making the noise. This would also explain why it doesn't happen at the store.

    If either of these are the case, you should invest in a Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). Power that is out of spec can put extra wear on a power supply. Power from a generator is especially harsh (typically square waveform instead of stepped sine-approximation) and can damage computers and appliances unless it is filtered through a UPS or line conditioner.

    Just a thought.
  4. jbond312 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2009
    Thanks for the replies,

    hughvane - i suppose clicking isnt the best term, the sound is hard to describe its kind of like a pulsating drone that goes from quiet to louder as it occurs, it happens about every 1 second after it finishes and lasts about a second.

    As for the CD in the drive, it still happened when i inserted one, and made no difference to the frequency of the noise either

    Yeh the clicking starts the second its turned on until the moment its turned off, ive also set the energy saver to 'put hard disk to sleep' and when it went to sleep after a minute or two the noise stopped aswell.

    Yeh i did actually think it may be something vibrating near the imac but ive moved it elsewhere and as oculus42 suggested i tried different power sources and the noise still occured

    thanks for the comments thought, very helpful, so far i've just been told they are having another look at the imac but i havent heard anything since
  5. Kristenn macrumors 6502

    Aug 30, 2009
    Does the computer pause during a click and take a second or two to pick up again? If so, it might be the motor in the hardrive. That's what happened to mine... due to a bad power source. It damaged the hard drive (clicks) then the Logic board went out and took the hard drive with it.
  6. jbond312 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2009
    No it doesnt sound like that, thanks for the idea though,

    i've found a video on youtube of someone with the exact same problem the sound is identical

    What do you guys think?

    I collected my imac back from apple on saturday and they said they had found the problem and that it was the CPU fan (although i had changed fan speeds and didnt think it was) so i took it home and its still making the exact same noise, so i rang the apple store i collected it from and they said i should just come back and drop it off again (bearing in mind its 1hr away) so i declined, shouldnt they be collecting it anyway seeing as its there problem?

    I've gotta say though this is the first problem i've ever had with an Apple product and the customer service is really awful, they just dont really seem to give a crap once you've given them the money for the product but i guess most places are like that nowadays
  7. oculus42 macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2002
    If you've gone to the store, they'll anticipate you will do it again. Either speak to the manager or call Apple Support. Tell either of them that the store hasn't resolved the problem in several attempts and it's getting expensive driving back and forth for no resolution, and you're leery of doing it again.

    The store may offer a replacement. Apple Support will likely ship you prepaid box in which to send it. Either way, make sure you have a recent backup.

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