My 3rd iMac in 5 weeks has a yet another problem; also: Seagate HDD now loud!??

Discussion in 'iMac' started by iMacLover2010, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. iMacLover2010 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Location:
    Southern California
    #1
    Hi everyone! I'm new, so please be gentle. (yes, I did perform searches! ;) )

    So I exchanged my iMac AGAIN, this time for a 27" 2010 model and again, I love it with the exception of a couple of issues.

    First, the audio jack doesn't always "take" whenever I put my (Apple) earphones into the audio out connector on the back of the iMac. It usually takes me anywhere between 1 and 3 add'l times to get it to work, i.e. the sound is actually routed through the earphones instead of the iMac's speakers. I used the very same set of earphones with both previous iMac's and it is certainly not the problem.

    Then we have a hard drive issue. Apple seems to be using Seagate drives for its 1TB iMac models, the ST31000528ASQ, to be precise. My previous two iMacs' (one late-2009 entry model, one late-2009 21.5" model with the discrete gfx) hard drives were just fine, but the drive in my current model (the mid-2010 27" "dual-core") is producing a considerable amount of noise.

    Looking at the drive model no., it appears to be the same drive at first glance. However, it actually shows a slightly different model number for seemingly the same drive: It's the ST31000528AS. Without the "Q". I've searched this forum for information on what the "Q" could possibly stand for, but it's definitely not "Quiet". That's because my previous 21.5" ST31000528ASQ's were both super quiet when another thread on this very forum talks about several issues with "the Q drive", including noise. Well, now that I have the "Q"-less ST31000528AS model, it is so loud that my girlfriend literally thought she heard her coffee machine percolating! (no, really!) I don't even mind the noise that much, but it just adds to the (long) list of inconsistencies with the (lack of?) build quality of these iMac's, both the late 2009 and mid-2010 models.

    My previous iMac's, again both 21.5" and "late 2009" models, had issues that forced me to exchange them for new ones. The first had a screen flickering problem, and the second had a bad WiFi card. Each time, I've paid Apple another $300 and $200 respectively, because I was upgrading to the next higher model. They did not suggest that I do. I did so out of own free will, as I did eventually want a 27" screen. Co-incidentally, the timing of my last exchange/upgrade also got me into the new 2010 model, which is highly appreciated!

    However, there comes a time when one wants his beautiful iMac to work without any issues and without having to wipe out the hard drive, box it back up, travel back to the store and take yet another one home, only to set it back up while anxiously going through the re-configuration for a fourth time, hoping that there won't be yet another problem.

    Phew! I apologize for the long post and if you're reading this, I thank you very much for your time and consideration. What should I do? I'm actually thinking about upgrading to the highest-end iMac, the one with the Quad-core i5. lol...I really really love this iMac. The screen is sensational. It's super fast! I LOVE Mac OS X! I love the fact that I can even run Windows 7! This is my very first Mac, ever, and I have gone through tons of PC's since the MS-DOS days. I am NOT giving up on this gorgeous computer. Do any of you have similar issues with Apple hardware? I switched to the iPhone platform, as of OS 3.1 and never had an issue. My iPad does not have any problems either. Should I get a 2TB model, so as to hopefully fall into a Western Digital hard drive? I can't keep spending money like this, though. lol...
     
  2. jicka macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    #2
    I wouldn't take the chance of returning it because of a loud hard drive, because you might end up with a yellow screen. I just got my 4th 27 inch today 2 2009 and 2 2010 models this one finally doesn't have the yellow screen. Both this one and the 2010 model I took back have the loud seagate and the 2009's were quiet. I'll take a little noise over a bad screen any day though.
     
  3. PatriotInvasion macrumors 65816

    PatriotInvasion

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #3
    The noise the hard drive makes is normal. Everyone in here has mentioned it and it's the case on my 27" iMac as well. The way I see it, if it's not a true problem than there's no way I'm taking it back.

    Stop looking for every minor thing the iMac might do for reasons to return it. Just use it and enjoy.

    My iMac's screen is perfect, but I'd imagine a lot of yellow tint would be a different story. Especially because Apple acknowledged it as a real problem, as opposed to a preference of the amount of noise a hard drive makes while working properly.:)
     
  4. iMacLover2010 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Location:
    Southern California
    #4
    Thanks for the replies! However, stop looking for problems? lol...My first iMac had screen flickering issues and I do like my WiFi, which was broken in my second one. Surely, you're not saying that I should have ignored those problems?

    As I said, the noise of the hard drive is NO problem whatsoever for me. Maybe it's because of the bigger iMac actually, because my previous two were 21.5 inchers. I was never even thinking about taking it back because of that!

    Having said that, I do keep having the audio jack issue, though, which may be getting worse. I work with headphones every day, so again, I can't really ignore that, even though the screen IS spectacular and I haven't seen any yellow tint on any of the three iMac's. I did read about that and I thought I also read that the issue was both acknowledged by Apple and that it was fixed as well, way before the 2010 iMac's came out. Is this not the case?

    Again, the hard drive sound, no problem. I really really need my I/O on the back of my computer to work!
     
  5. aliensporebomb macrumors 68000

    aliensporebomb

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2005
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA, Urth
    #5
    Hard drives...

    Hard drives are mechanical devices with motors and moving arms in them.

    They will make noise. It is normal.
     
  6. nobias macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #6
    Have had 2 different 2010 27"s with the 2TB Hitachi, COMPLETELY silent.
    If it bothers you, consider getting the upgrade.
     
  7. aliensporebomb macrumors 68000

    aliensporebomb

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2005
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA, Urth
    #7
    Thinking..

    Try a different set of headphones too - you say you've used these for years so you might want to try a new set anyway.
     
  8. iMacLover2010 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Location:
    Southern California
    #8
    Hey, you guys are awesome! Thanks so much for helping a n00b out. :) Yes, I have considered upgrading to a 2TB HDD but as I said, I know that Seagate's are louder than others (per my own experience). I did try other headphones (I have quite a few) and it IS the jack. :(

    Should I take it in for repair? A brand new computer? I do agree that it is not as big a problem as the entire screen "flickering" or a bad WiFi card, but I still can't just leave it like this, because I work with these all the time. :confused:
     
  9. nobias macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #9
    I always tell people, if you aren't satisfied, take it back.
    You paid good money, there is no reason you should "settle" for something that is defective.

    I went through 3 stock 27" systems in 2009 before giving up and waiting until they announced the new ones.
    I am about to get my 3rd 2010. Unfortunately I submitted several rebates, so I am going to just keep returning them until I get a good one. Only trouble is my 2010 is CTO and it takes a week to get each one.

    I always give each system a multi-point inspection upon receiving it.

    *Exterior Damage
    *Accessories all present and functioning
    *Configuration correct?
    *Screen test white/black/grey backgrounds
    *Dead pixel test
    *Hard drive noise
    *Brightness adjust whine

    It's a long road ahead and despite loving Apple products, its disheartening and disconcerting to think they can't put together a system that doesn't FAIL at one of those.

    Maybe building the systems in the USA isn't such a good idea after all? All my CTO macbook pros came from China and they are perfect.
     
  10. D'Illusion macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    #10
    Shocking that you pay so much for a computer and are still faced with such a dilemma.

    I really want to upgrade but these kind of stories are making me nervous.
     
  11. iMacLover2010 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Location:
    Southern California
    #11
    iMac's are physically made in the U.S.? Up in Cupertino or a more business-friendly state than California?

    Well, I wasn't going to say anything about it, but there is one other little problem with my current machine. My keyboard's CAPS LOCK key almost always takes 2-3 presses for the little LED to come on. It does not want to do all caps without giving me at least a little push-back almost every single time.

    Again, not a big deal, and I decided almost immediately after finding the issue that it would be no problem at all to live with that. I neglected to mention it until now so that I would hopefully not get a bunch of responses from people to just tell me to get the keyboard swapped out. If there was nothing else wrong with this machine, it is actually highly unlikely that I would have even cared enough to try to get a new keyboard from Apple.

    However, I cannot work with the audio jack being messed up. I have several high-end headphones that I use depending on what I'm doing that I simply need to be able to switch between every now and then and this machine is not letting me do that. This also leads me to believe that the problem will only get worse and that I will eventually have to take it in and deal with Apple to get the audio jack repaired. When that times comes, I won't be able to just walk away with a whole new machine, no! I will have to take it in and probably leave it there overnight at the very least, and then go back in another time to pick it up. I guess I'd rather get it over with now and keep the time spent on dealing with that pesky little audio jack to a minimum.



    You know, I understand what you're saying and in principle, I agree with you. However, it is what it is, and even though I am the one who is the complainer-in-chief in this particular thread, I would still tell you to go ahead and get an iMac if that's what you would like to do.

    Why? Because most people seem to have flawless machines and happy people do not voice their high level of contentment unless maybe when asked about it in a survey. I just wanted to get an idea as to how frequent these issues are and as to what extent other Apple customers are willing to live with subpar quality machines and/or components.
     

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