iMac completely kaput.

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Tusenstammar, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. Tusenstammar macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2011
    Quick run through:

    Today my computer started acting up. This behavior first occurred when I was watching a youtube video and the computer screen just froze up/started blinking/exhibited weird patterns but the sound kept playing. This happened 3 times. Then I gave up and left the computer alone for a couple of hours. When I tried starting the computer again, it showed weird patterns again and completely refused to load up OS X.

    After that I've tried booting through
    OS X boot DVD

    Tried holding down:
    C (Nothing happened)
    D ( Got all the way to hardware test, the test said nothing was wrong. Tried the extended test, the computer froze up)
    option + command + P + R (this apparently erases RAM memory, this actually worked and the computer restarted, but I only got a different pattern and it still wouldn't load OSX)
    COMMAND + V (loaded up all the way until a message that said "warning audit space low(<5% free) on audit log file)

    After struggling with this for hours, now the computer suddenly works again. Everything seems to work normally, not sure for how long though. Thought I'd ask what could be the cause for this and is there anything I can do to prevent it from happening again.

    Initially I thought the graphic card was toast because of the weird patterns, but now it seems to work so I don't know? Plus why wouldn't it load up OSX just because The graphics card has some error?

    It's a 2008 iMac 3,06 Ghz
    4Gb RAM
    500 GB HD (19,61GB free)
    NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS

    Also, if it starts acting up again and it is in fact a hardware failure (like it seems it is), does Apple cover the costs of maintenance for something like this?
    I'll attach some images.
  2. Schtumple macrumors 601


    Jun 13, 2007
    Apple will only cover the cost of repair if you still have a warranty, do you have the applecare extended warranty?

    The machine can happily freeze for ANY number of reasons, software will easily not boot because of a hardware issue. My only suggestion is back EVERYTHING up immediately so you don't lose anything.

    There are a few diagnostic apps for macs, Tech Tool is pretty good, the bootable disc might provide you with answers that OSX can't do when booted.
  3. Tusenstammar thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2011
    First it looked like this

    Then it looked like this

    Then like this (This is by the way where every reboot attempt ended) (Aside from this one)

    Then like this
  4. Schtumple macrumors 601


    Jun 13, 2007
    Your graphics card is on the way out, simple as that.

    I have 2 age old iMacs that've done that. Go to the Apple store and get them to look at it, chances are they'll say the exact same thing and advise you further.
  5. Tusenstammar thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2011
    I have everything backed up. By lucky chance I actually started using the time machine feature just weeks ago. :D

    Maybe I should format the HD and reinstall osX? Is it worth the hassle, is there any potential gain? At least PC's generally tend to work better after that.
  6. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    It appears to be a hardware problem. I'd recommend a trip to the Apple store.
  7. Tusenstammar thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2011
    I was a affraid of that :(

    Is it possible to install a better graphics card in to a 2008 iMac while getting it repaired? Could write it partly off as an upgrade. I think 4Gb is the max for RAM so no room for improvement there.

    But right now it's working though. Could it be just dust?
  8. Schtumple macrumors 601


    Jun 13, 2007
    Depending on what iMac you have (screen size), it is technically possible to replace the graphics card as they're on a board unto themselves that I forget the name of, but they're near impossible to find and I'm pretty certain the 2008 models were still soldered to the logic board back then.

    Think a trip to the Apple store is your only option.
  9. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    "....a trip to the Apple store is your only option."

    There might be other options.

    To the original poster:
    Are there any "independent" Apple dealers in your area? That is, dealers that sell Apple hardware, but are not "official Apple-owned stores"?

    If so, you may be able to find an "independent" who does Mac repairs. He might be able to get it fixed for a much better price than Apple will charge you.

    Just a thought....
  10. Tusenstammar thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2011
    Ok, now its gone again.. :(

    Im gonna try and open up the backpanel first and have a look at the graphics card. It stands to reason that it just might be something small wrong with it since it both half-works and worked normally for awhile.

    Then ill go shopping for best deals. :)

    Its a 24" model schtumple

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