In desperate need of help! My 27" 09 iMac has artifacts all over the screen?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by maf2k8, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. maf2k8 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    #1
    I am having some strange artifact issues on the screen of my 27" Late 09 iMac

    Specs....
    i7 2.8HGz
    8gb ram
    ATI Radeon HD 4850 512 MB
    OSX Mavericks OS X 10.9.4


    I have never once had an issue with my iMac in all the years of owning it until today.

    I am running the newest OSX Mavericks that i updated to the week it was released ( did a few clean installs )

    I get artifacts appearing all over my screen, anywhere from colored lines, to black boxes, to the mouse pointer disappearing ( though i can still use it, just can't see it )

    When i go to open a program like mail, safari, finer, etc. The window appears as a black box, you cannot see anything but a black box but you can still click on stuff and the iMac works fine, So does the selected app your using, Its just visually you cannot see or make out anything because its either all artifacts or a black box.

    Some parts of my screen will be fine while others are just all messed up. Its not always the entire screen,

    I tried to do a fresh install of Mavericks ( which i have on my thumb drive ) and it did its thing and when it was finished and it came time for me to input my country, wireless password, etc. the boxes that displayed the info were all crazy looking or just totally missing to where i could not even see the continue button to finish.

    This has been happening all day, The ONLY way i can use my iMac without any visual issues is if i am working in SAFE MODE ( which i am in now )

    I am out of warranty and have no clue what the problem is? I never once had an issue with my iMac, I don't game, I don't abuse it, I don't install any crazy programs.. It just all of a sudden started doing this and the only way to use my iMac is in safe mode. I don't a clean install, reset PRAM, unplugged my iMac from the wall for 15 mins, i disconnected every single piece of hardware connected to USB ports and still.

    Would anyone have a clue what the issue may be? My only thinking is that the video/graphics card it going or about dead (My iMac has the ATI Radeon HD 4850 512 MB graphics ) I don't game so never had a need for high end cards.

    I am guessing (though could be wrong) that it isn't a software issue and more a hardware issue.

    Any advice from anyone? My iMac is out of warranty and i really don't have the funds to fork over to have Apple store look at it.

    Thanks
     
  2. nzgin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    #2
    Hi Maf2k8,

    I have the same issue.

    I am advised that it is a hardware problem: our graphics card being toasted.

    I am researching solutions and I will reply to you if I find one :)
     
  3. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #3
    Sounds like a bad GPU. An appointment and estimate at a Genius Bar is free.
     
  4. MrMJS macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2014
    Location:
    Ohio
    #4
    My 2009 27" did the same thing a few weeks ago. Gfx repair is $300
     
  5. maf2k8 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    #5
    Yeah everything I read and all the symptoms point to the video card.

    Ok few questions if anyone can help answer them to the best of there knowledge it will help with deciding what I should do .

    So if it is the video card , from what I read the late 09 iMacs video cards are not soldered to the board making replacing them low cost. You said 300? So a good guess if I had apple replace the card would cost me around 300?

    I have my eyes on a new iMac, should I pay to have my iMac fixed (as long as it's around 300) and sell it?

    What is the going price for a mint condition 27" iMac?
    late 09 i7, 8gb ram, 1tb hd

    Do you think it's worth fixing and keeping? Or worth fixing and selling towards a new iMac?
     
  6. MrMJS macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2014
    Location:
    Ohio
    #6
    Well, I did both. I am having the 09 fixed and bought a new i7 iMac. I figured the 09 will be a good backup or can use it on photo-shoots. This way I can also use the 09 as a second monitor too. [I think]
     
  7. strnbrg59 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Location:
    California
    #7
  8. xraydoc macrumors 604

    xraydoc

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    192.168.1.1
    #8
  9. strnbrg59 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Location:
    California
    #9
    Other people are likely to encounter this problem in the future. They'll do a search and they'll see my fix. (They'll see your comment too.)
     
  10. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #10
    Well, that's a method to get the video to work (to some degree), but not what I could call a fix - just a work-around.
    If the graphics card is failing, then it needs to be replaced. Removing the driver is simply hiding the eventual failure of the card.
    Most of the graphics cards don't fail because of some mismatch of the drivers - they fail due to soldering issues, or that the graphics chips are simply faulty.
     
  11. strnbrg59, Jan 21, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2015

    strnbrg59 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Location:
    California
    #11
    Fair enough, it's a workaround. But even with my i3 CPU doing the frame buffering, graphics performance is pretty darn good; the screen resolution seems uncompromised on static images, Youtube shows fine, etc. So if you don't absolutely need to play video games or watch hi-res TV on your computer, this $0 workaround stacks up pretty well against the alternative of $500-$800 (plus labor) for a new video card.
     
  12. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #12
    One difference is that you may find that your 'fix' won't necessarily be as effective on all models of graphics chips, nor with all Mac models.
    Good luck goes with you :D
     
  13. Thanks pal macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2014
    #13
    Extending a thanks to strnbrg59.

    Workarounds to this are better than nothing.
     

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