Kind of at a loss. Need some help.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Clayto1332, Aug 2, 2017.

  1. Clayto1332 macrumors newbie

    Clayto1332

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2017
    #1
    Hi guys! I'm new here so thanks for having me.

    Let me start off by saying I am a computer repair technician. Never had a problem working on Mac computers. If anything everything is easy to get to and laid out nice and neat.

    A customer brought me a iMac 27" 2015 i5 (I believe an A1419) that won't power on after a lightning storm. OK! Sounds like a power supply to me! I didn't bother dis-assembling to look at it first and ordered the power unit. Put it in.... and.... no one home. Do diagnostic LEDs, nothing. I did some reading and saw that the AC line filter can go bad and is serviceable in older iMac models.

    Well I get to looking online and can't find a single one. I think I know why.

    It can't be removed from the chassis.

    It seems to be held in there with industrial strength adhesive or epoxy. I see no screws holding it in and it will not budge. Am I missing something simple? Anyone run into this problem before? I know for sure this is what went out because I am getting zero voltage on a multimeter on the lead that plugs into the power unit.

    I just find it hard to believe that the whole chassis has to be replaced. These go for about 300 dollars+ used and this whole ordeal will end up being a 500 dollar or so repair. It is a 2 year old computer with no apple care. If this is the case I need to discourage businesses from buying these. This one in particular is the book keeping computer for a roofing company and has put them in a bit of a pickle. A plain-Jane Dell OptiPlex with the exact same specs has a 3 year business class warranty with next day on-site service. This customer could buy one of these with the same amount of money it would take to repair this one. However I try not to push people to different operating systems and products they aren't used to using.

    Any help and advice is greatly appreciated. Will stick to this thread and post resolution in hopes it will help someone down the road with the same problem. Also attached is a picture of the AC line filter. linefilterresize.jpg
     
  2. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #2
    Apparently Apple, for some reason, abandoned screws and started attaching the power socket and EMI filter assembly to the chassis with epoxy from the A1419 as you can see from this used unit for sale at eBay Ireland.

    I don't know that you can get at it with a heat gun but if so a replacement (used) goes for about $35-$40.
     
  3. fastlanephil macrumors 6502a

    fastlanephil

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    #3
    All in can suggest price wise is maybe a new or used Mac Mini or a used 21" iMac. Apple is also gluing in the memory on the newer 21" iMacs and the newer Mac Mini. A 2012 quad-core Mac Mini is pretty upgradable and repairable as are the tower Mac Pros. Apple is going to sell an iMac Pro in December for $5000 base price and the memory is NOT upgradable.
     
  4. Clayto1332 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Clayto1332

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2017
    #4
    How bizzare. I have a rework station with an adjustable electronics heat gun. I'm tempted to remove it this way and open it up.

    There is an apple repair shop that does warranty work nearby. Gonna call them in the morning in hopes they have spare stuff like this laying around. Otherwise I wonder what ship times are like frim Ireland! LOL

    Thanks for the quick responses guys. I'll have an update tomorrow.
     
  5. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #5
    No need for that. Here is one on eBay in the USA for $36.38. :)
     
  6. Clayto1332 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Clayto1332

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2017
    #6
    Power socket... That's why I couldn't find one, was using the wrong words.

    Awesome. Thank you....
     
  7. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #7
    Yeah, I really only linked to the Ireland auction because it clearly shows the remnants of the epoxy. I should've included the US link in my first reply. Good luck!
     
  8. Clayto1332 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Clayto1332

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2017
    #8
    I overnighted the US part and it will be here Friday. Will post updates. Thank you for the help. I really appreciate it.
     
  9. mbosse macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2015
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    #9
    I guess I have to correct you:
    1. new 2017 Retina 21.5 iMac has (again) socketed RAM with can be upgraded (if you dare to open the case)
    2. same will hold true for the iMac Pro
    So clearly your statement that
    is not correct.

    Magnus
     
  10. Clayto1332 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Clayto1332

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2017
    #10
    I promised an update so I am going to post one. Even though I am beyond irritated.

    So quick recap:

    1) Replace power unit: NO
    2) Replace Line Filter (EMI Filter, Power Socket etc...): NO

    - Old line filter tests bad with multimeter. No output voltage whatsoever. New one tests good.
    - Put in new line filter with old power unit, no diagnostic LEDs come on.
    - Put in new power unit with new line filter in....... and LED 1 flashes on briefly after about 3 seconds and goes back off. In order to get it to do this again I have to unplug AC power and hold down power button (discharge capacitors) and plug back in.
    - Did continuity test on power button, it tests good.

    I did a bit of research on test points on logic boards. Older iMacs have 14 test points and there are service manuals for these on the internet. I can't find the service manual for this one and it has 12 test points. The square test point I'm assuming is 1 which is the ground. You are supposed to put the negative terminal of a multimeter on the ground and check misc pins on test point for voltage. I'm not getting anything on any of them. Maybe I am doing it wrong. Maybe the square test point isn't the ground. These test points seem to be where the power connector from power unit are soldered/terminated to the board. So why would the diagnostic LED flash on and off and there be no reading?

    I have tested the power cord, tried known working one. Replaced two apparently faulty power delivery components. I think this is one of those "cascading failures". This problem happened after a thunderstorm and I really believe the logic board is bad. Usually in these cases you can see visual signs of foul play like swollen capacitors, shorted-out spots on back of circuit board, melted connectors... but I don't see any evidence of anything on any of these. This is the only piece of electronics that took a dive during this storm in the entire household.

    Am I missing something? Is the #1 diagnostic LED flashing on and back off indicate something specific? Because Everything I have read leads me to believe the logic board THINKS it isn't getting enough power and says to replace the power unit and line filter, respectively. None of these service manuals/reposts on forums with similar problems make any mention of the logic board.

    At this point I have spent too much time on this and am going to consult my customer against replacing the logic board and to buy a business class desktop computer with Microsoft Windows installed and an extended next day on-site warranty so their bookkeeping has minimal downtime in case something like this happens again.

    I know there will be people upset about this post because they love their apple products and haven't had many issues with them. I like them too in certain applications. A friend of mine owns a newspaper/publishing/printing company and runs every single thing from Mac computers except for their postal automation software and it really works for what they use it for. Most college students I service use MacBook Pro or Air and I have probably fixed close to 100 of these. They work really well and last a long time. However to use as a bookkeeping (or any other important usage) computer for a small business with no backup? It just isn't practical because **** happens and ordering proprietary parts and waiting for them to come in takes too much time. This goes for any all-in-one or laptop but the reason so much time and effort was put into this is because it is worth a few thousand dollars rather than several hundred.

    Anyone that has the service manual for this computer, or has more technical knowledge than I do on these iMac computers, would help me out a great deal. I don't like throwing in the towel without knowing for sure what the problem is first.

    Also about 5 mins with an electronics heat gun the adhesive that held on the line filter loosened a bunch. It wasn't very hard to pry off with a wedge after the case got up to temperature. I'm sure the power button is held on the same way and you would have to do the same thing to remove it.
     
  11. SaSaSushi, Aug 4, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017

    SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #11
    Thank you for the update and I feel your pain. :(

    Well, I don't know that you will like this suggestion but the Apple tech service repair guide for that iMac is available in PDF format on eBay for $7.49. I wonder if you can glean any helpful info from the screen shots. Considering it is 545 pages in total you'd have to be pretty lucky. lol

    I hope you are able to get it fixed.
     
  12. Clayto1332 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Clayto1332

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2017
    #12
    SaSaSushi... dude.. let's be friends. You are like a wizard at finding things on ebay... I would pay 8 bucks to have some sort of explanation. Even if I am not going to repair this thing. That one picture shows the page that gives brief description and troubleshooting of the LED's. However makes no mention of if it comes on after a few seconds and shuts back off immediately. I am sure I have a bad capacitor on the motherboard. I have reworked legacy server motherboards but it had always been obvious to me which ones were bad. I have a ton of low ESN capacitors on hand but it doesn't make sense from a business standpoint to spend anymore time or money on this. Data recovery time.

    I have learned something from this. From what I have read Apple suggests changing the power unit first if LED 1 doesn't illuminate. No... Do an AC voltage test on the line filter (EMI Filter, whatever) and go from there. It is an inexpensive part if you are able to be patient. A good power unit that doesn't look like a cheap Chinese piece of crap copy, or isn't sold as-is, goes for about 100 dollars. At that point it is a crapshoot. I'm going to keep both good power delivery parts in this computer (and the screen adhesive kit you need to re-attach it) and recover data, get them up and running on a business class PC. If they end up deciding to take it to an apple store or certified technician they will tell them the same thing. Well.... at least that the logic board needs replaced. Whether or not whomever consults them to go ahead with repairs depends on the individual/business I guess.

    I am going to wait until tomorrow before I strip the old adhesive off of this thing to put the replacement adhesive kit on in hopes someone has some sound and definite suggestions on what to try. Once I put the screen back on I'm not going to put another dime back into this project.

    Again, any constructive input is beyond appreciated. Sorry if I'm coming off as blunt. This situation is irritating to me because my customer is down, there is no documentation or service manuals available unless I pay and wait, and I am ignorant on this set of circumstances to the point where the back of my mind is telling me the solution is extremely simple and I keep overlooking it.

    Thanks again guys.
     
  13. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #13
    It's a deal, in spite of your MLB fan affiliations. :p

    I'm sorry I can't be of more help but component level repairs on iMac logic boards are above my pay grade. As you probably know, Apple's only repair for such machines is a $500 to $800 full logic board replacement. I'm sure they then have the logic boards serviced and put back into refurbished machines but no such repairs are being done directly for customers by Apple.

    You may have some better luck posting for advice on the iFixit forums. They are more of a Mac repair-oriented site.
     
  14. Clayto1332 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Clayto1332

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2017
    #14
    Dude. I totally believe you. I'm leaving my office for a week on Sunday and have to get this individual up and running tomorrow either way. It is too late to post to other forums. Really everyone on here has been cooler than expected. There was only one semi-scuffle when someone said components like RAM were soldered to the logic board and another fellow came in real defensive-like saying it wasn't true. I don't care about that. I expected more of that on a forum full of people that offer advice and have discussions about their favorite technical products. I came here for some last minute help but I think I might stick around for a while and contribute what I know to try and help other folks with their problems.

    If there were any documentation about this iMac that was behaving this way it would have saved me a lot of time. Hopefully someone else in my boat will come across this and it will save them some time and money.

    Anyone who comes across this thread please understand that I know this exact problem can happen to any computer. My problem is the lack of documentation, Apple telling folks to just up and replace the power unit if LED 1 doesn't come on without any steps to diagnose the line filter, and the fact people use these 27" iMacs for such trivial business uses like running Intuit financial software. Jesus Christ buy a MacBook pro for your personal stuff and go to best buy, get a consumer grade PC on the cheap with a BS warranty and make sure Windows 10 File History is backing up your one important directory to a flash or external hard drive. As long as you make sure you have a good working backup you literally have a disposable PC that they can replace for less money and time than repairing a computer tapped out by a lightning strike that costs 10x more.

    Going to get some sleep. 4 a.m. here and I have to wake up early. Thanks again everyone.
     
  15. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #15
    A lightning strike wiped out the iMac's logic board.

    These things happen.
     
  16. Clayto1332 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Clayto1332

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2017
    #16
    Yeah man. You are right. I did work for a credit union that lost 160K worth of equipment with one. I guess most of my frustration is the lack of documentation and mind blowing troubleshooting process. "Having this problem? Replace this part. Still having this problem? Replace this part. Still having the problem?"

    ...
    ...

    Nothing

    It isn't that they don't know. It's that it doesn't need to be on paper that their service methods are flawed and not completely documented. It is as if Apple doesn't want people to know that their logic boards aren't indestructible.

    I'm going to get off my high horse now. For anyone else that works in this industry knows the frustration. Situations like this are lessons learned. I made some assumptions instead of going with my gut feeling.

    To anyone else in a similar boat: Consult customer there is no guarantee and that BOTH power delivery parts needed to be replaced at once. Let them know the price of the power delivery replacement and then a logic board up front in case all three are toast. Also don't forget you will need to buy an adhesive kit for re-attaching the screen right off the bat. Don't try super glue or something stupid like that. If you or anyone else has to service this thing again you'll end up having to buy a new screen.

    I went into so much detail about everything in hopes this will help someone. Thank you for everyone's help and suggestions. I think I'll stick around on my spare time and offer advice on things I learned the hard way.
     
  17. pixelatedscraps, Aug 5, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017

    pixelatedscraps macrumors regular

    pixelatedscraps

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2017
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #17
    Apple products are what they are, premium or not, it is a huge risk to open them up without having the proper skills - as many here (myself included) can attest to. I applaud your efforts with the iMac though, I've replaced HDDs, DVD units, fans, etc. in a couple of iMacs (the bigger / easier 2010 units though) and even that was a magnitude of pain more than a PC build ever was - though I never went down the route of an AIO PC before switching to Apple.

    Forgive me for being blunt where others haven't, but advising the client to have purchased / purchase in future extended AppleCare or directing them to an authorised Apple service centre once you realised you were out of your depth might have been wiser options.

    Good luck with resolving the issue with the iMac, I hope it goes well in the end.
     
  18. Clayto1332 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Clayto1332

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2017
    #18
    --- Post Merged, Aug 6, 2017 ---
    I didn't know you can purchase apple care outside of your warranty after you already have a problem. It kills the purpose of how warranty service works I would think.

    So if a lightning strike kills your comp you can purchase apple care after the fact and they will replace a logic board? I really, honestly had no idea.
     
  19. pixelatedscraps, Aug 6, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017

    pixelatedscraps macrumors regular

    pixelatedscraps

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2017
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #19
    Sarcasm aside (and trying to keep this thread as useful as you intended), if you read up about AppleCare you'll see its to be purchased in the first 12 months of your Apple hardware purchase. Hence: 'advising them to have / purchase in future' plus the second part of my advice to: 'direct them towards an authorised Apple service centre'.

    Presumptive lightning strike aside, I would also point out the real problem isn't the lack of documentation available online (although others here have provided incredibly helpful Google / eBay search results for you already) it's the lack of expertise or qualification as an Apple hardware repair technician. Again, my apologies for being blunt but it seems there are more issues here than you've outlined. As SaSaSushi has pointed out, the iFixit forums should have a great deal of documentation and guides to helping resolve the issues you've come across. If that fails, I would advise emailing their help desk, they've saved me more than a couple of times.
     

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