iMacLife 3-4 Years?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by bembol, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. bembol macrumors 65816


    Jul 29, 2006
    I'm using my BlackBerry PlayBook to post this because my 24" iMac crashed. I'm reinstalling Lion right now. Is it all good afterwards or is this temporary that I need to change/upgrade to a HDD?

    Anyways, this is the third iMac in our house that needed to be repaired/upgraded or replaced. Poor Quality Control or Bad Luck, either way I'm not happy.

    17" needed to replaced the HDD.
    20" was gone, Logic Board. My sister upgraded to 27" i3.
    24" hopefully it's just the HDD. I will find out tomorrow but it's been freezing and unresponsive.

    I was going to sell my 24" and upgrade, just waiting to see if Apple is making any changes.

    So are we doing so something wrong here or just pure bad luck?
  2. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    Hard drives die, unfortunately. The only iMac I'd say you had that was actually faulty was the one where the logic board went.

    Do a Verify Disk in Disk Utility to find out if the hard drive is having problems. You may also notice other issues, such as poor performance/stuttering and might even hear a clicking noise.

    Your Mac shouldn't just 'crash' so we can assume something's wrong. Perhaps it's time to look at a nice HDD upgrade or even a switch to a SSD? :)
  3. Spyriadon macrumors regular


    Mar 27, 2011
    I wouldn't expect the imac's HDD to just fail without warning did the system slow down at all prior to the HDD going?
  4. bembol thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jul 29, 2006
    After Google, I tried...

    Disk Utility
    Resetting PRAM, I don't even know it helped.

    It was acting up prior to crashing it became slow, sometimes unresponsive and got the beach ball spinning.

    The reinstall didn't even work this morning, an error with the HDD. t just got back from upgrading it went from 320GB to 1TB, it cost me just over $250 and was told as well HDD dies and it's bad luck. :(

    Anyways, thanks for responding.
  5. nuyawwka macrumors newbie

    Dec 31, 2011
    More like 2-3 years

    We purchased a 27" iMac from the online Apple Store 2 years ago. This week the HDD crashed and needed replacement ($300 parts and labor).

    The iMac had only been moderately used (i.e. no gaming or CPU-intensive apps). Only 20GB of the 1TB drive was used.

    In addition, gray smudges on the upper-left corner of the LCD appeared after 1-year. If one searches this forum, the "burn mark" phenomenon is not an abberation.

    Somewhat off-topic, but add to the list the fan running at max rpm immediately after the HDD replacement/upgrade. This issue has also received some attention in this forum.

    Godspeed to those whose iMacs have held up, but in our case it appears to be an issue of quality control and/or design flaws.

    The lemon law only applies to cars, huh?
  6. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    I'm typing this on my late 2007 24" iMac that has never had an issue. I'm surprised no one here has mentioned AppleCare. Because the cost is so moderate (easily found for $125 USD in the US) it's almost a no brainer. That comes out to about $62.50 a year. In almost every case in the rare event a Mac needs a repair AppleCare pays for itself the first repair. Also it's fairly well known if a Mac needs a repair 3x during it's AppleCare coverage Apple will generally replace the machine when asked.

    As for issues found on forums even if they seem prevalent remember forums A) are places most users never visit and don't represent the overall population and B) is like visiting a hospital to judge the overall population.

    While I"m not discounting the issues you may have had in some cases they were simply bad luck, in some the problem could be environmental or any other reason. However I don't think quality control is the issue or some other issue, if it was widespread enough Apple would take care of it via warranty. For example they did recognize they had a problem with the original mag safe power cords, and will replace one for free. All you need to do is contact them or bring the bad cord (as I did) to your local Apple Store and they'll replace it no questions asked.
  7. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    I have 6 Macs in the house, none had AppleCare, none had ANY hardware issues. Main machine is a 24" iMac from 2008 and it's been on 24/7 since I bought it and only turned off when I was on vacation. One Mac, a PPC mini, has been retired, but never had any issues. I saved enough not buying AppleCare to pay for the most recent 2011 13" MBP.

    A lot depends on luck of the draw. If you sell 1,000,000 millin machines and your failure rate is only 1% that's still 10,000 machines that have problems or fail. I've had external disks fail, and USB sticks fail, but no Apple hardware has failed or needed servicing.


    Love the hospital analogy. It's like if you visit the main hospital in a big city and you see the gunshot wounds, stabbings, drug overdoses, and the like; you get the image that the city has descended into anarchy.
  8. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    The number of problems I've seen with imacs is one of the reasons that I am considering a move away from Apple if the Mac Pro goes away. The hard drive thing annoys me too much. I've stated this in the past, but the imac is an aging design just like the mac pro. If Apple was going to create a new desktop today (assuming comparable internal hardware) from the ground up, the imac would not be the end result.

    With Apple aesthetics have at times taken precedence over reliability. If I was buying an imac, I'd purchase Applecare and read up on what is covered under the display warranty, as display warranties are sometimes quite subjective. Obviously if it won't turn on, it gets replaced. Outside of that they can become a bit weird. Backlight degradation usually isn't covered, or is limited in coverage. Things like image persistence and weird quirks with the edges are a bit of a touchy subject.

    I don't always buy Applecare either. I consider the potential for repair and the cost for the given model. If I was going to purchase an imac, I'd buy the Applecare. The mac pro is the only one truly designed for a really high duty cycle. Also Macs have much higher failure rates than 1%. Most of the time they've been reasonable, but buying a Mac doesn't guarantee reliability. I feel you really need to look at the model being purchased just as you would with a PC, but computer reliability has been going downhill for years with the push for lower pricing. Apple is not immune to this. They use the same primary components as other OEMs.
  9. Overniven macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2011
    I've had pretty decent luck with Macs, but I have to wonder if the current design is doomed to failure because of design compromises. There just isn't enough space inside for the heat generated by the drive, the CPU and the GPU. It doesn't surprise me to hear of more failures than the past. To me, Apple could do themselves a huge favor, by making the iMac an inch thicker with better venting.

    My 2006 Intel iMac is whisper quiet and still running as my main Mac to this day. It runs warm, but nothing like I see the iMacs get that are just at idle in store. Drives will fail, that is true, but they'll last longer in a lower heat environment. I usually won't let my drives get older than 3 years old before I have them replaced. These days, I'm not even sure you can replace a drive without causing issues unless you have Apple do it. Hopefully, SSDs mature quicker. Paying $500 more, for less storage that appears to fail just as thanks.
  10. lexvo macrumors 65816

    Nov 11, 2009
    The Netherlands
    I think this nails it.

    With my PC's I never had much problems in years. My 2009 iMac is in repair now for the third time. Maybe bad draw of luck. Thankfully I have AppleCare.

    This morning I got my 7 year old PC from the attick because my wife needs it for work. It still 'just works', albeit a bit slow and with quite some noise.
  11. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    frankly the iMac was apple's biggest f you we are apple product made since 2005. Plain and simple the hdd is trapped. That is a complete
  12. izibo macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2004

    There's your problem. That new HDD you got is bunk! Go back to where you "upgraded" and have them change it out.
  13. lali macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2007
    this will not help you but I wish to state my 2007 iMac has been rock-steady, never crashed, has encoded 1.5 trillion TV episodes and movies.

    The only thing I would like to do is upgrade the hard drive (as prevention) even though I am fully backed up.
  14. jertronic macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2011
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    The HDD in the iMac is susceptible to electricity surges, fluctuations and especially outages. If the power suddenly fails without the computer being properly shut down the HDD can sustain fatal damage (become fried) and eventually fail.

    For HDD longevity it is highly recommended to protect your Mac and peripherals with a UPS. Don't skimp on this. There are many threads under UPS battery back up/surge protection.

    I bought a $130 UPS from amazon to protect my new 21" iMac and ext hard drive. I hope that my Mac lasts 4+ years. Hopefully this measure will help.
  15. lexvo macrumors 65816

    Nov 11, 2009
    The Netherlands
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    I think a 3 to 4 years lifespan is a bit short. Technology is fast moving of course, but I would expect to do longer with my hardware.

    Before switching to iMac, I always kept my PC's like 5-6 years without big problems. I have a 7 year old PC which still works fine.
  16. dizmonk macrumors regular

    Nov 26, 2010
    Is a UPS really neccessary?? I used many PCs for decades and a Macbook Pro for about a year. I've NEVER had a HDD fry due to electrical storms...

    I'm really not sure how important this is... Is this really a case of just wanting to be extra careful?:confused:

  17. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    It's smart especially is you live in an area prone to electrical storms. So far you have been incredibly lucky, your number just hasn't come up yet but its coming.
  18. Norkusa macrumors member


    Nov 25, 2010
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Sounds like bad luck to me. You might want to look into using external HDD's though to reduce wear on your iMac's internal hard drive.

    I'm typing this on a Oct 2006 20" iMac and it's still going strong. I've always used external HDD's for storage and always turn it off at night. Superdrive has been replaced twice because it had issues burning dual layer dvd's but no problems aside from that.
  19. doktordoris macrumors 6502a


    Mar 14, 2009
    what on earth?
  20. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    Originally Posted by philipma1957
    frankly the iMac was apple's biggest f you we are apple product made since 2005. Plain and simple the hdd is trapped. That is a complete

    to doktordoris:

    Have to agree that post makes no sense at all.

    Here is a Translation:

    "Apple has an air of arrogance due to great success and since the year 2005.

    Apples nastiest product is the iMac. Why the hdd is trapped. If your iMac is a toy or fun piece of gear fine.

    For those that depend on it the trapped hdd with very difficult change out is nasty! Basically apple is saying f you you are dumb enough to buy

    one now suffer the consequences of a trapped dead hdd.

    Fortunately with the coming of t-bolt you can buy a faster external then any authorized internal ssd or hdd.

    this product : ends the trapped hdd /ssd of iMacs ."

    Now why did my first post look the way it did well it was new years eve. I will leave it at that.
  21. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    HDDs fail without warning all the time. The click of death mechanical failure thing is not the only way you can see one fail. I've had drives beachball out endlessly once, then never work or show up anywhere again. It does happen. As for SSDs, those fail too. Considering the unreliable nature of hard drives which have in many cases decreased in reliability over recent years (rather than increased with advances in technology), it annoys me that Apple would make a system with a trapped HDD. We seem to be moving toward computers with them that are just moved on to recycling after the first out of warranty component failure (macbook air, imac).

    So far thunderbolt hasn't performed well with things like target disk mode. There was a thread on this some time ago. If that changes, it may make things considerably easier.
  22. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    To echo what's been stated over and over - hard drives eventually fail, moving parts = wear over time. SSDs have a finite number of read/write cycles, too, and are also prone to failure in spite of not employing moving parts.

    During long enough operation times - any computer will fail at some point.

    I have not noticed iMacs failing more frequently than any other computer in my own experience.

    My launch 2006 CD iMac is still running strong today, only had to blow dust out of the vents a few times. (it's in a very dusty household). My late 2006 24" audio amp problems - but this issue it shipped with, and I never resolved under warranty. The original HD was fine - my replacement Seagate died after 6 months (turns out, the whole lot of that particular model were failure-prone) Only other issue I had was a friend who yanked on the audio cable years ago messed up the jack - but outside of this - no new failures. And the jack was fixed with some good epoxy.

    Sorry to hear of your bad run, though. :(
  23. iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    I have a 7 months old 27" iMac with i7 and I already get this notorious grey smudge on upper right of the screen. Painful to look at when everything is white. And knowing it's there is even worse and distractive.

    But the worst part is it spreads like cancer overtime!! On the beginning it was a small spot and now it's getting longer and longer. Should've buy a macPro instead :(

    Other than that my iMac works like a charm, quick, great for working n gaming. I'm sure the CPU side can have 3 or 4 years. But the display? I doubt it
  24. PurrBall macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2007
    I've noticed that iMac HDDs operate around the maximum rated temperature (60C, mine with stock fan speeds runs at 55 constantly). I don't know if this could be a cause of this seemingly widespread problem, but I always run my fans at higher RPMs, dropping the temperature about 10 degrees C.

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