iMac freezes + weird problems

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ruchiccio, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. ruchiccio macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2009
    New York
    A few weird issues with my iMac 20inch that's 3 years old, running Snow Leopard. These issues don't happen every single time I'm using my computer, but it happens enough to warrant a post here, I think! They also usually occur during the same periods of time which I call "weird mode".

    1) When I try to enter the login password (to get out of the screensaver mode) then the password field doesn't let me type in anything. All I hear is that clicking noise. If I hit "switch user" button, then I get the main page and I can enter my password ok in that area.

    2) I can't open applications.

    3) If I want to force quit, I'll go to the Force Quit menu from the Apple icon in the corner but no applications show up in the list, not even Finder.

    4) If I happen to be using iTunes when this weird-mode happens, the iTunes window won't come to front of the screen (it stays behind the windows of other programs).

    5) computer won't restart the regular way (apple icon in the corner...)

    The only way to make it good is to restart manually. Any ideas would be hugely appreciated!
  2. shadowbird423 macrumors 6502


    Sep 8, 2009
    Chapel Hill
    I have no idea what's wrong with yours, but mine will freeze when I'm doing something and require a hard reset. Try a clean install of Snow Leopard and see what happens.
  3. naid macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2008

    Sounds like a software issue. If it's still doing it after a clean install (not over the existing OS), then it's time to look at bad memory or something else, but I doubt it will come to that.
  4. chris98vf macrumors regular


    Mar 3, 2010
    try a clean install of the OS and if it still locks up or even worse, locks during install it may be a failing HDD. Try inserting your original install disk and hitting option+D at the tone sound. It may be disk 2 depending on when the iMac was released. Either way it will get you into diagnostics mode and you can run tests to determin what if any hardware is failing.
    Good luck.

    BTW, if you need to replace the hdd it's not as hard as it seems. has a lot of useful howto's for the iMacs.
  5. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816


    Nov 15, 2010
    Edinburgh, UK
    I agree with Chris's pointer to ifixit. I used their guide to replace my 500Gb HDD with a smaller 3.5" SSD (OCZ Vertex 2) which I am really liking.

    All I needed was a pair of suction cups from the local pound store, a multi-screwdreiver set from eBay with the Torx heads, a clear tabletop and about an hour of time. I took the opportunity to vacuum out the accessible fans and vents too. It only took one go with a cleaned microfibre cloth to get rid of any dust on the screen and glass too.
  6. ruchiccio thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2009
    New York
    The weird problems disappeared when I updated OS X. But thanks, all, for your tips. And thank Chris for your link -- I actually want to install a new hard drive I just got.

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