Resolved [Issue] late 2009 Intel-iMac noisy screen in booting

Discussion in 'iMac' started by nzgin, Aug 23, 2014.

  1. nzgin, Aug 23, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014

    nzgin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    #1

    Hey guys,

    This is my first post at MacRumours so I may be asking the same question previously.

    I searched for a similar post but I could not find any. Sorry!

    Anyway, I have a problem with my iMac. When I boot the computer, the screen is noisy (the screen freezes white and there are strips of pixels across the screen). I can move the cursor, however.

    A friend suggested to start in safe boot and move ATI extensions elsewhere in order to boot normally. And it does so. However, I cannot play videos.

    I did a clean install and updated fully but no luck.

    Is this a hardware or software issue?

    Please guys. I really need your help :(
     
  2. nzgin, Aug 23, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2014

    nzgin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    #2
    [Update]


    I completed an extended hardware test with no error.

    Are there other tests I can do to find the problem?

    Also, I added a photo to show the problem:
     

    Attached Files:

  3. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #3
    Can you give some more information?
    Which iMac (21 / 27-inch)
    What version of OS X

    How much RAM is installed? Have you recently upgraded your memory, or changed any other hardware? Good first step, I think, would be to try reseating the RAM, and check to see if that helps. If your ATI extensions are still out of place, you should also reinstall your present OS X system, again. If you are presently running 10.10 Yosemite, then you should consider that version is not finished, and may be your problem...
     
  4. lookatchu, Aug 23, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2014

    lookatchu macrumors regular

    lookatchu

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    #4
    Sorry to say, but it appears to be a graphics card issue, something iMacs are notorious for having. Chances are, your iMac was running hot and ruined the card. Unfortunately, you may have to replace the entire logic board. If that's the case, you're probably better off replacing your iMac or get another Mac or PC because the cost for parts and labor is almost as much as a new computer.

    Hope I'm wrong, but your symptoms are typical. Good luck.

    P.S. Have you tried the freeware download, "smcFanControl?" Once installed, you can control the fan speed (make it higher or max) and it might be a temporary measure for cooling you mac and improving the graphic performance. If it works for you, it will work for a while, and eventually the graphic card will crap out, but it will give you some time to use it and upload/transfer files you need to save.

    Once it craps out, you'll have to move or delete the ATI files in order for the computer to start (other than safe mode), but you won't have video, ie. youtube and flash, though QT may still work).


    http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/23049/smcfancontrol
     
  5. nzgin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    #5
    Thanks DeltaMac.

    Mine is:
    Intel-iMac late 2009 27"
    mac os x 10.6.8 (old heh)
    2.66GHz Intel Core i5
    4GB 1067MHz DDR3
    ATI Radeon HD 4850

    I tried PRAM with and without the extensions in their rightful folder but no luck.
    I have not change any hardwares either.

    Thanks lookatchu.

    Yeah, I was afraid of that. QT works for now though.
    Any suggestion in order to confirm the motherboard is really toasted?
     
  6. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #6
    Your iMac came with Apple's Hardware Test.
    Should be on Disk 2 of your original Restore DVDs, which would be grey, I think. (It's one reason that you would keep track of that original set :D )
    The hardware test should be listed on the disk label.
    Insert the disk, then restart holding the D key (D = Diagnostics)
    It will boot very differently to the test. Run both the standard and extended tests.
    Come back with any error codes that you get - if any.
     
  7. nzgin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    #7
    Thanks DeltaMac :)

    I will try this when I am back at home.
     
  8. lookatchu macrumors regular

    lookatchu

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    #8
    In my experience, other than it degrading, nothing confirmed it, but my research pointed to others experiencing the exact or similar symptoms. The hardware test didn't pick it up as it was faltering, even when it was clear that something was wrong; it would always pass.

    I hope you have better luck and that your hardware test indicates that it's something else, but it sounds all too familiar.
     
  9. Kyle-K macrumors regular

    Kyle-K

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    Location:
    Geraldton, Western Australia.
    #9
    nzgin, I see exactly what you have posted in your picture above on my 2009 iMac and have also seen it on other iMac models from 2009 the ones listed here.

    It's only present during bootup for a few seconds before the login screen appears. On the iMac's that I've experienced this on. My 2009 iMac only does this in Mac OS X 10.6.8 for a few seconds during boot when I start up in OS X 10.9.4 the issue is not present. It's also no longer present on the iMac's that I have upgraded to a later version of OS X for clients.

    nzgin, Does it disappear after bootup or is it like that all the time?
     
  10. nzgin thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 23, 2014
    #10
    Thanks Kyle-K.

    I will be honest; I was away for a long time and just realized about the upgrade, Mavericks.

    I am downloading it now.

    Hopefully, the upgrade will solve the issue...

    Thank guys; fingers crossed :confused:!
     
  11. MrMJS macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2014
    Location:
    Ohio
    #11
    My 2009 iMac does this as well. Apple repair wants $300 for new gfx card & service. I'm having them do the repair next week.

    The iMac got really hot when the card died. Not sure why it got hotter then normal, but I'm going to install the fan control.
     
  12. Kyle-K macrumors regular

    Kyle-K

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    Location:
    Geraldton, Western Australia.
    #12
    As mentioned if you're only seeing what you posted in that picture during start-up in my experience it disappears completely when running a later version of OS X then Mac OS X 10.6.8.

    I also haven't experienced any other graphics card issues once the computer has booted even when running Mac OS X 10.6.8.
     
  13. nzgin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    #13
    Thanks Kyle-K.

    I upgraded to 10.9.4. When I booted normally, the screen did not freeze like before! Yay!

    However, I have a new problem: finders turn black and app icons flicker when I mouseover them :confused:
     
  14. Kyle-K macrumors regular

    Kyle-K

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    Location:
    Geraldton, Western Australia.
    #14
    Interesting, Going back to your issue on the earlier version of the OS are you saying what you see on the screenshot never disappeared? As for me it only lasts for a few seconds then I get the login screen?

    Interesting it's definitely sounding like a graphics card issue. I'd be curious if you go back to 10.6.8 if the issue disappears again and you have the issue you had earlier.

    As mentioned I see what you posted in the screenshot for a few seconds when booting into 10.6.8 then the login screen appears for me. If I then restart and boot into 10.9.4 am having no issues.

    Very interesting wondering if this is a symptom of a failing graphics card issue or if there is a graphics card driver issue.
     
  15. w0lf macrumors 65816

    w0lf

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Location:
    USA
    #15
    This is very likely a hardware issue. Artifacts and flickering graphics are often signs of a graphics card on it's way out.
     
  16. Kyle-K, Aug 25, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2014

    Kyle-K macrumors regular

    Kyle-K

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    Location:
    Geraldton, Western Australia.
    #16
    Yes I'm well aware of that, but I'm only experiencing what was posted in the screenshot above in 10.6.8 for a few seconds before the login screen appears and I have been seeing that screen for at least two years now. With no issues under a later version of OS X.

    Trying to determine if it's a symptom or an unrelated similar issue that I'm experiencing to nzgin or if I have to look forward to future problems similar to what nzgin posted later and posted here.

    Regardless looks like I'll be doing some stress test today on my graphics card to see if any other issues pop-up. Unlike the other posters in this thread I can get a replacement under statutory warrantee over here.
     
  17. nzgin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    #17
    Thanks guys,

    I had a mac pro to look at my imac. He confirmed lookatchu's dianosis: my GPU is dead:p It is on a life support but brain dead, a vegetable.

    He told me to buy a new PC: it will be cheaper to buy a new one than to fix this one.

    Really, honestly, thanks guys. I got better support from here than apple's support website lol. I will stick around at macrumours.
     
  18. MrMJS macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2014
    Location:
    Ohio
    #18
    It's a $300 repair. I'm having mine done now.
     

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