My advice for prospective iMac buyers


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 26, 2005
So, I just bought an iMac last week. 24" 2.4 GHz, 2GB RAM, 750 GB HD. It arrived yesterday. The first thing I did was install Leopard via erase & install, and apply all updates. I got a freezer. I totally forgot that people were having the issue, but as soon as I got my first freeze, I remembered. The easiest way to freeze it was to use Front Row to play a few videos, or let Front Row do the cool cycle through images in a folder thing. Other freeze causes included Photo Booth and iMovie effects, but Front Row was the quickest route to freezage. I called Apple today, and after about an hour or so on the phone with the support guy, he decided it is a hardware issue, and since I just bought it, he got me on the line with a guy from the Apple Store and now I am shipping it back and they are sending me a new one. So apparently with brand new faulty units, they don't even try to service them, and just ship you a new one.

Here is my advice for anyone who is planning to buy an iMac and is worried about this issue hitting them. The first thing I would do is to an Erase & Install of Leopard, and install all the updates. The support guy was going to have me do this until I told him I just did that yesterday. The next thing I would do is take Photo Booth, the iTunes visualizer, your favorite video game, Front Row, and some screen savers all for a spin. The more at once, the better. If you can't get it to crash in 10 minutes or so, you are probably okay.

If you got a bad one, call Apple straight away, and just do whatever the guy (or girl) says. The key is to find out the easiest way to cause the problem - it seems to be different for different machines. You need to be able to freeze the thing on command. He had me do the following steps, and after each one he had me reproduce the issue.

1. Delete all startup items and restart. (Freezage!)
2. Boot Leopard DVD and repair disk. (Freezage!)
3. Boot into safe mode. (No freezage, graphics card is disabled)
4. Create a new account and login to that. (Freezage!)
5. This would have been erase & install, if I hadn't just done it yesterday.

After this, they will probably give up and arrange a new unit to be shipped. Hopefully the next one will work!

Finally, I have a question for others who have had their machine replaced - did your replacement work? I have to believe that they aren't all bad, because I spent several hours on more than one iMac in the Apple Store over the course of a few weeks before deciding on the purchase, and never had the problem.

It's unfortunate that this is what I have to go through to get an iMac, and it shouldn't be this way. But Apple has handled my individual case as well as I could possibly have hoped for.

All that being said, I really love this machine, and can't wait to have a fully functional one!


macrumors newbie
Oct 29, 2007
After two months of living with a freezer and waiting for a fix that never worked I went to the Apple Store and asked for a replacement. Before I took it home I tried it there and it worked perfectly. I am now enjoying a good working iMac. Finally!


macrumors newbie
Nov 7, 2007
Miami, FL
Thanks for that.

I'm looking into buying one and always thought what i would do if i run into this problem and your thread helped me out. I think i'll wait a few more weeks and then purchase one.



macrumors 6502a
Oct 29, 2007
Thank you for the advice. I plan to order in the next 2 wks and I'll test out the machine as suggested. I hope you get a good one!

Similar threads

Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.