iMac Problems????? Is Apple becoming Microsoft?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by rmeyer52, Oct 3, 2007.

  1. rmeyer52 macrumors newbie

    Oct 1, 2007
    As noted later in thread: Article originally posted on AppleInsider, New iMacs plagued by interface freezing issues

    A growing number of users have reported that Apple's aluminum all-in-one computers suffer from a flaw that locks up the interface, rendering the system all but inert until a reboot.

    Customers participating in Apple's official support discussions (one, two) have reported that the new iMac will technically continue to run when the freeze occurs, but that it becomes impossible to control or switch to programs without a hard reset.

    "Whatever was going on at the time continues, so if you were listening to music it continues to play," one user wrote. "The mouse pointer moves but you cannot select anything. Tabbing through apps doesn't work."

    Significantly, some can still control basic functions from the keyboard, such as pausing music or activating the Caps Lock key.

    The issue appears to be related to the ATI Radeon HD graphics hardware and its drivers, but has proven unpredictable. While some customers have said they can reliably trigger the freeze by running games, iTunes, or other programs that push the video chipset, others have had the lockups occur at seemingly random intervals or after running the iMac for a long time.

    Those who have contacted Apple for help have found that the company is aware of the issue, but hasn't yet responded with a permanent fix. Both the 1.0 and 1.1 iMac Software Update packages released since the iMac's August launch have included "important bug fixes" which users later discovered were almost exclusively centered around video drivers, but none of these included a fix for the freezing issue.

    Some users' systems even appear to have been made worse by the latest of the updates. AppleInsider's own review unit, while stable during the review period and for weeks afterwards, now suffers from the same issue since the 1.1 update and will occasionally refuse to respond regardless of what was running at the time.

    A handful of users claim to have repaired the issue by manually reinstalling earlier drivers, though this unofficial fix has not been successful for AppleInsider as well as other users. However close Apple may be to a fix, the widespread nature of the problem is making some prospective buyers think twice before purchasing the system so soon into its release cycle.

    "I would hate to get a new iMac, and then experience problems with it right out of the box," said one visitor to Apple's discussions.

    This is extremely troubling to me and Apple should develop a FIX ASAP.
  2. wazgilbert macrumors regular


    Jan 15, 2007
    UK South
    I'm willing to bet that all times that people had this problem, there were multiple apps open, and there was only 1gb ram on the system.

    Having left 1gb as a minimum behind 1 or 2 years ago in the pc world I was sure I'd get more ram after my machine was 'daily business'

    Sure enough on day 1 I locked the machine out because I was showing off to family with so many apps open I can't remember, then I opened front row. - played a few tunes, then freeze. still playing tunes but unresponsive. This was before any updates.

    After the 1.1 i did the very same thing again. - I bought 4 gb ram, and have never locked it up since. So for me, the machine wasn't hung, but 'busy' and if I'd waited an hour or three, it probably would've finished and got back to normal - I've done this countless times on pc's so hey ho - I reset. so what.

    maybe 64bit with leopard will help, but 4 gb of ram - it's a non issue for me.
  3. jovinhan macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2007
    As someone with a new 24" iMac with 2GB of RAM, and a corrupted external drive as a result of a lockup, I beg to differ. And, as a software developer, I can assure you that there is no reason an OS should completely lock up just because multiple apps are open.

    When an OS runs out of physical memory, it pages the least recently accessed memory to disk. Usually, this is just fine, because it's much easier to launch 20+ applications than it is to use them all simultaneously. If you switch to an application that has some of its memory paged to the hard disk, there will be a pause while that memory is loaded back into RAM. But you will still be able to use the app after that point. As with anything, there are limits to the system's capacity for this, but most users will never run into them. The benefit of having a lot of RAM is that it allows you to run multiple (or large) apps without swapping, not because it prevents your computer from crashing.
  4. Luap macrumors 65816


    Jul 5, 2004
    Apple cant really be compared with Microsoft, as Microsoft dont make computers. Still, I see what you are getting at.

    As for ram and multiple apps etc.. I can guarantee this isnt the issue. Mine has frozen with only 1 app running. And its just as bad with 1 or 2gb installed.
    Currently my replacement iMac is making do with the stock 1gb. I have another 1gb chip handy, but seeing as my second iMac may have to be returned too, im not about to waste my time installing it yet.
    Besides, lack of ram or not, it still should not behave like this.
  5. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    To the original poster - it's a good idea to make it obvious when you're quoting stuff and give the correct attribution.

    Anyway, I've heard (on no real evidence) that it's a problem with the graphics card. Edit: actually, just noticed that the OP's quote (from AppleInsider) attributes it to the graphics card.
  6. Calixa macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2007
    I've found these kinds of hang-ups get resolved using DiskWarrior - run straight off the CD.
  7. Miharu macrumors 6502


    Aug 12, 2007
    You just lost that bet sir. I have the exact same problems as mentioned in the first post, and they occur no matter what I'm doing, be it surfing web with Safari, or listening to music in iTunes or whatever. Quite often after I restart OS X won't even load before it already freezes. Besides I used a ridiculous amount of programs at the same time on my old PPC Mini with 1gb RAM and it never ever failed me (Google Earth, IRC, Terminal, Adium, Safari, iTunes, iPhoto, heck sometimes even WoW at the same time).

    I talked to Apple about this and they said I likely have a faulty graphics card, and I'll take my iMac to be fixed shortly.
  8. Luap macrumors 65816


    Jul 5, 2004
    Err, not this time. This problem is well beyond DiskWarrior.
  9. intelliot macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2006
    Why, what does DiskWarrior do?

    This is not a disk repair issue, as this is a new computer with no directory corruption to speak of.
  10. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    The only psuedo lockups I've had were during iTunes Music imports.

    And that was because the longterm storage music CDs were starting to degrade, and the tracks causing the problem had gone bad.

    Though I have wiped the drive and reinstalled everything and added 1GB of RAM, which upped the speed at which I was able to reinstall everything from the new backup drive.

    Much faster reinstalling than saving, which shouldn't be the case.
  11. Dimwhit macrumors 68000


    Apr 10, 2007
    Over two weeks on, and I've yet to have a lock up. Come to think of it, I'm not sure I've even had to restart it...
  12. rest44 macrumors member


    Sep 24, 2006
    I had this issue and my 24" iMac has 4GB ram...

    I actually did a fresh install and it still didn´t go away.
  13. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    Well its either the software, the hardware or something else. Im glad I have been waiting for Leopard but this seems to be widespread and admit I have been watching the posts here at rumors about iMac gpu issues that have been posted this past month. Apples history with 1st generation Macs isnt pretty and have had a lot of problems since moving to China.
  14. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    I've seen a similar issue with our new 20" iMac. It locked once while running Keynote. As I recall the cursor could be moved but nothing else was responsive. The time on the clock did not advance. Obviously a low-level bug either in the OS or a driver.
  15. tschur macrumors member

    Sep 21, 2007
    I agree on both counts: the comparison is a bit sloppy but the OP's point is understandable. I just want to say thanks for this post. It's unusual in that it's thoughtfully composed and about an urgent problem. While users like us have been discussing the problem for over a month now--and there are many of us aluminum iMac owners who experience the problem to varying degress--writers with real print and web audiences have been slow to take notice. I wish we could just take a version of your post and move it outside the buried confines of a MacRumors forum and into a more visible place. I mean, it is in fact news, and more importanly, news that might spur not only action on the immediate problem but some general notice that all is not well at Apple Inc. I wish there was someone like Jeremy Horowitz at iLounge who was writing about Macs, and a website like iLounge for Mac news.
  16. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    So far, my iMac has been rock solid since I got it. The only problem I've had so far is Safari froze up once and I had to force quit it. Its way better than my 2 computers running Windows XP, of course each of them is at least 3 years old.
  17. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    How in the world does this make Apple like Microsoft?
    I really shouldn't even be replying to this thread, but I really can't take the complaining and 'Evil Apple' comparisons anymore.

    Can we at least complain a little more constructively here? This is such a cliche topic to pick on.
  18. davekarn macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2007
    I just got mine and I've been thinking this whole time how great this is compared to the Windows based laptop I just got off of. I love it!
  19. Xfujinon macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2007
    Iowa City, Iowa
    does this problem have an effect on the previous-gen iMacs?

    Part of the reason I sprang for one of those older models (aside from the notable fact that it was cheaper), was the constant stream of complaining I heard about the bad screen, the random shutdowns, and the density of complaints in general spoken about them here. I simply didn't want to mess with it, and I wasn't about to drop a thousand bills on a computer that was going to give me crap. After a year battling every kind of failure from my Dell, I've had it.

    But it is depressing to hear all the anti-Apple stuff lately. I've been an Apple fan since 1989, and I can say they've come a long way. But the QC stuff bugs me, and the explosive diversification we've seen in product lines concerns me, but I digress...

    I hope this is soon resolved.
  20. sushiman macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2007
    Kumamoto , Japan
    I so wanted to ditch my PC and go for an iMac , but I am going to put off my purchase for the time being because of the apparent QC problems which are plaguing the new iMacs . I understand that everybody isn't having trouble , and that many folks love their new computers , but there has been more than a modicum of complaints on this site .

    After fighting with Fujitsu , they reluctantly agreed to come to my house and fix my 6 year old lemon free of charge . Hopefully it'll last until Apple gets the iMac together and any potential bugs with Leopard are fixed .
  21. bogman12 macrumors regular

    Sep 20, 2007

    Apple has only a couple of possible configurations for the iMac's components and yet they still can't identify this freeze issue in testing? WHAT A JOKE of a company!

    And yet, we still fanbois preachin' how reliable Apple systems are etc etc.. :D
  22. OldCorpse macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2005
    compost heap
    Apple is being very short-sighted. They are cutting corners on quality, and that will come back to bite them - for the simple reason that if you charge premium prices (which rightly or wrongly is the perception about Apple), quality has to be top notch. Meanwhile, quality has collapsed at Apple - stuff like the new software update on the iPhone which would brick unmodded phones, the horrendous issues with the iPod Touch, and the lemony iMacs... not good at all.

    How do we know Apple is cutting corners? As the other poster pointed out - they have an extremely limited range of products and yet they still have huge problems - this might be somewhat understandable at Dell with a gazillion configurations, but Apple? Here's what we know: they are diversifying their product line too fast and not putting the resources necessary to assure quality: exhibit one is how they had to delay Leopard because they pulled engineers off to work on the iPhone... big, big, big mistake - instead, they should have been hiring more engineers to fire on all cylinders.

    Again, Apple is being short-sighted. QC must be top priority - because once you lose your reputation, you can't charge premium prices - it's hard to get your rep back.

    I was considering a new iMac, but now I'm waiting on buying one for several months... probably until they refresh the line again next year, and after I hear there are no new problems. Apple WAKE UP!!!
  23. bongabonga macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2007
    New York
    I'm currently on my second 24" iMac. Bought the first one on September 5th and got a replacement on the 19th.

    (Sorry for me repeating some of the info others have posted on this forum, but I feel like some here think that all the lockups have to do with users running 100 apps at the same time, which clearly is not the case...)

    During the first two weeks I had around 7 or 8 total lockups, just like everyone is describing on the forum (and elsewhere): I could move the cursor and turn caps lock on and off, but that was it. After a minute or so of pressing keys the keyboard would start beeping, at which point I (always) tried to leave the machine alone for a while to see if it would wake up -- but I always had to force restart.

    After the first lockup occurred I went online and became aware of other users' issues, so I made sure I was never running many cpu or memory intensive programs at the same time, but that didn't make any difference. It locked up when I was writing an email (with no other programs open), when I was browsing with Safari or Firefox, when I was rating a song in name it.

    The replacement I got on September 19th has locked up 4 times already. I have been using Photoshop and Illustrator (and those are probably the most intensive programs I'm using) but the lockup has never occurred while they're crunching numbers (or colors) -- it's always Safari or iTunes...heck, or even doubleclicking a folder, everything seems to do it.

    I've owned my black MacBook since May 2006, and just for fun, let's say it has locked up once during all this time. Honestly I can't remember if it ever did. I've had two or three freezes which generated crash reports, but I can't remember a single lockup like I've experienced repeatedly with the iMac.

    As a replacement for a 5 year old desktop PC the iMac has performed miserably -- my old (and, sadly, dead (mobo issues)) PC almost never froze, and 99% of the time I could force-quit and simply restart the program and be back on track. With the iMac I feel like I can never relax. I'm saving my files every two minutes, getting nervous everytime the clock stops ticking, and always expecting a crash.

    When I went to the Apple store for the replacement they really gave me a hard time, and I had to talk to three different employees just so they wouldn't charge me the $220 restocking fee. For a broken machine...!

    At first I thought I was just unlucky, but now I've used two different iMacs, and they both behave exactly the same way: random lockups which never generate a crash report (so there's nothing to submit to Apple). I hate to say it (and thought I'd never do so) but maybe you should wait...
  24. redraidermacman macrumors regular

    Sep 20, 2007
    if you look at percentages, while apple has its problems so do all electronic and computer companies and apple year over year ranks better in reliability than all of, even though quality may not be as good as it used to be, apple is a company whose main goal is to make money to please shareholders and overall their products most of the time are still light years ahead of the competition, i would take that over any pc maker with a windoze computer anyday....
  25. sushiman macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2007
    Kumamoto , Japan
    % of new iMacs with problems seems to be inordinately...high?

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