My iMac repair story

Discussion in 'iMac' started by joelovesapple, Aug 5, 2015.

  1. joelovesapple macrumors 6502a

    joelovesapple

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Sorry, long post!


    Since mid-July, I have been having some big problems with my Late 2012 iMac. Now, I absolutely love my Mac and am really upset that after nearly two years of working just fine, things have started going wrong recently.

    It all started when I was browsing the web and watching YouTube and iTunes, Mail and Messages were open. Suddenly, the computer appears to turn off, as though someone had pulled out the power lead. I check the connections and it's properly connected. I unplug everything bar the power lead and attempt to turn it on. Nothing. So I unplug the lead and connect it again. Nothing. I unplug it at both ends and then it turns on. Something clearly isn't right here. It turns off again soon after.

    I run Apple Hardware Test which comes up with no issues found in the quick version. In the long test it turns off again. I reset the SMC and zap the P-RAM. It works for a little while then powers off again.

    The long and short of it is, I contact Apple Support and it gets sent to AMSYS, a respectable 3rd party repair centre. They can't diagnose the fault at first, so they call me. I tell them to wait and throw everything at it that they can because something will happen. Eventually they notice an issue with the Graphics adaptor. It's all built into the logic board so they order a new one of those. This is over a weekend so there's understandably a delay. I cannot fault AMSYS for their communication by the way.

    On the Monday, a new logic board is fitted, and the machine is put through it's paces and a healthcheck is performed before returning it back to me. It passes all tests according to the checklist when I receive it and they've not only cleaned it up, but have also put that film on the Mac that you'd find on a brand new one. I am happy and convinced that things are OK now. Things are great, for about 2 weeks of on and off usage.

    But... here I am again without a working iMac. It continues to just power off as though someone has pulled the plug, and not turn back on again.

    It has again been sent in for repair, and I probably won't see it for at least a week. Thankfully it's still under the extended warranty, but Apple insists on repairing it still, even though a *brand new* logic (main) board had been fitted in an attempt to solve the problem.

    I have exhausted all the main support channels today, after getting through to a Senior support agent. She assured me that it should be repaired because it is a hardware issue. As if I didn't know that already...

    I've ended up emailing Tim Cook and his team to see what can be done about it. Clearly the machine is no longer performing to the advertised standard when I bought it back in 2013. Two weeks later after having it back and the same issue continues to loom. I just don't know what to do at this point. But I do know this: I want a replacement.

    Am I being too demanding? How many times does it get 'fixed' only to break again? At what point do they think about replacing it? I spent a premium on an Apple computer as I believed I would get a superior user experience, and for the most part I have... until now.
     
  2. mrhoaf macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2013
    #2
    I work at an Apple Authorized Service Center in the US, and I have seen similar behavior from an iMac at my church. I did tons of troubleshooting and never could find the issue with it. At the repair shop, it sat on the bench for a few days and never shut off once. I'd set it up in it's place at church and it would work fine for a few days or even a week or 2 before it would shut off and not work until it had been unplugged for a few minutes.

    Finally, I suggested replacing the UPS that the iMac was plugged into. The iMac has been issue-free for 3 months now.

    Evidently, the UPS was going bad and causing a brown-out on the iMac which would cause it to shut off and mess with the SMC.

    So, I would try another UPS (or if you're not using a UPS, buy one) and see if that solves your issue.

    And yes, I think you are being overly demanding by feeling you should get a replacement system after having your system worked on once. Troubleshooting is not always an exact science, and it can take more than one try to get the correct part replaced when there is an intermittent issue.
     
  3. joelovesapple thread starter macrumors 6502a

    joelovesapple

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    I can't afford a UPS as I don't currently work (which is annoying in itself - I'm trying so hard to get a job, but hey that's besides the point).

    I have it plugged into a power strip which is surge protected and there are my router, desk lamp and my NAS attached to this, and they never have a problem with regard to power.

    In a workshop scenario, as I'm sure you're aware, the power is regulated to such an extent that it'd be hard to detect a power issue unlike in a lousy home scenario where there are minimum protections installed.

    The reason I sent it straight back is because once was enough since having such a major part replaced. I was told to report it if it happened again, so I did, and this is the current outcome. The logic board is a massively integral part of any computer, especially the iMac where it's all built in anyway. I just did not expect this problem to reappear after this brand new part had been fitted. Also add to that, the time where I'm without my computer because it's in for service, and then now it happens again. I just want a working machine, and because it is the second time now that this has happened, I have no faith in this particular Mac any longer, I'm sorry to say.
     
  4. joelovesapple thread starter macrumors 6502a

    joelovesapple

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Location:
    UK
  5. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #5
    Well you are getting it fixed under the terms of your warranty and they have no obligation to do anything else.

    If it is back a third time (for the same issue) they will often replace it but they don't have to, you bought their warranty and agreed to their terms and they can "fix" it as many times as they like.

    Spending more money does not mean electronics won't fail, it is the nature of the beast, this is a common misconception, it doesn't matter how much you spend failure rates are much the same for all electronic devices.

    In other words you can kick up a fuss and be PITA but you don't have a legal leg to stand on....
     
  6. cynics macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #6
    He wouldn't need one. Assuming he's in the U.S. or U.K. a judge or arbitrator would side with him. I say he wouldn't need one (a legal leg to stand on) because Apple wouldn't let it go that far. And depending on the state you live in there is a set duration warranty work can be performed to protect you from them "fixing" it for the warranties duration.
     
  7. aliensporebomb macrumors 68000

    aliensporebomb

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2005
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA, Urth
    #7
    I believe you are experiencing a power supply issue - yours may be brittle and on the verge of failing. The power supply in my original i7 iMac had a bad power supply and was doing the same behavior. Eventually I came home and found it to be "off" and I couldn't power it on again. One power supply swap later it was fine.
     
  8. joelovesapple thread starter macrumors 6502a

    joelovesapple

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #8

    You hit the nail on the head. That's what they found when they reproduced the problem. They've ordered a new PSU and I'll get it back next week
     

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