My personal findings on freezing..

Bolteh

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 20, 2007
171
0
Last monday, I decided to create a small logbook to record any freezing or corrupted graphics for the week to come. That week has ended now and here are my findings and own personal conclusions.

First of all, I'll post some info about my iMac:
- 24" aluminum iMac, 2.8GHz C2De
- 2GB RAM, default Apple RAM
- 500GB HD
- ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro
- External devices: HP psc 1219 all-in-one printer, Line6 Toneport GX, iPod Video 60GB
- Wired Apple Keyboard and wired Mighty Mouse
- Mac OS X 10.4.10
Bought it the 2nd of October, shipped from Shanghai 8 days later (the 10th of October).

I've been seeing freezes since day 1, the first freeze was on the very first boot, when I was asked to take a picture for my account (with the iSight camera). The computer froze when camera-screen appeared. I knew of the freezing issues and that Apple promised a fix by the end of the month. So I waited with returning this iMac, mostly because I really need the computer for school and sending it back would result in a week or 2 without a computer, something that I can't "afford".

The freezing raised its ugly head from time to time with iMac update 1.0, but it wasn't that often.. Once a day, maybe even once every 2 days. All that time, I've never shut down the computer at night, I always put it to sleep. After installing iMac update 1.1, the freezing got worse. It would now freeze quite a few times in a row, then finally be OK for a few hours or even a day or 2, then freeze again multiple times in a row. But, somehow, after a while, the freezing was stable again, and it seemed like 1.0 was installed again (I never did a rollback, though, so it was still 1.1 running). I could spend multiple hours to even days on the computer without it freezing, then it would randomly freeze again, but never a freezing-spree.

This was still irritating me, though, as I don't want to work on a computer with the factor of luck backing me up (I'd never buy a house near an active vulcano, if you know what I mean). So I started looking into things a bit more. I decided to keep a logbook for a week to record any issues I had with the iMac (the logbook can be found further below in this post). This was mainly done due to some individuals saying that people constantly whine about the freezing, but don't like to do some research or give enough information about their issues.

Anyway, 1.3 came and didn't fix much of the freezing, hasn't made the freezing worse neither, it did give me artifacts though, as seen here: http://users.pandora.be/bolteh/artifacts.jpg . I reset PRAM a few times, that would usually fix the artifacts after booting, but nothing permanent.

Anyway, here is the logbook:
Monday, 29th of October.
- 16:32 - Start of freezing logbook. Current update running: 1.1
- 17:49 - Freeze when going from Firefox to WoW (windowed)
- 17:50 - Freeze when rolling over dock after reboot
- 17:50 - Reset PRAM
- 17:53 - Freeze while playing guitar with Line6 Toneport GX in Garageband '08.

Tuesday, 30th of October.
- 02:03 - Put iMac to sleep
- 06:51 - Coming out of sleep
- 07:03 - Back to sleep
- 19:06 - Coming out of sleep
- 19:32 - Freeze during WoW (windowed) just after checking mails in Mail
- 19:36 - Freeze when starting Firefox after fresh boot
- 19:37 - Reset PRAM

Wednesday, 31st of October.
- 01:37 - Put iMac to sleep
- 11:01 - Coming out of sleep
- 18:31 - Freeze during initial loading screen of WoW upon logging in
- 23:46 - Shutting down computer

Thursday, 1st of November.
- 10:49 - Booting computer
- 19:31 - Freeze while doing some audiostuff with Guitar Pro 5.1, Gearbox 3.20 and Garageband '08
- 23:41 - Put to sleep

Friday, 2nd of November.
- 6:36 - Coming out of sleep
- 6:42 - Installed iMac update 1.2. Rebooting computer
- 6:44 - Artifacts showing right after boot
- 6:49 - Freeze after replying in a thread on macrumors.com in Firefox
- 7:32 - Freeze after boot while checking the rollout menu of the Apple-logo, showing artifacts on screen
- 7:37 - Freeze after boot while going over dock, showing artifacts on screen
- 8:42 - Freeze after 2 minutes of playtime in WoW (windowed)
- 9:02 - Put iMac to sleep
- 11:01 - Coming out sleep, artifacts showing in Front Row, Screensaver previews, iTunes Cover Flow and Dock
- 13:07 - Freeze when browsing with Firefox
- 13:08 - Reset PRAM 4 times in a row
- 13:09 - Showing artifacts in dock right after boot
- 13:13 - Attempted to roll back to iMac update 1.0 using Pacifist and a download 1.0 .dmg file
- 13:15 - Still showing update 1.3, so rollback failed (I guess)
- 14:02 - Freeze while watching a DVD in Frot Row, showing artifacts in the Front Row menus
- 23:23 - Shut down the computer

Saturday, 3rd of November.
- 11:19 - Booting the computer, no signs of artifacts anywhere
- 12:23 - Putting computer to sleep
- 19:12 - Coming out of sleep, artifacts showing in Front Row, Dock, iTunes Cover Flow and Screensaver preview
- 22:56 - Shut down the computer

Sunday, 4th of November.
- 10:47 - Booting computer, mild artifacts showing in Dock, nowhere else
- 19:44 - End of freezing logbook
As you can see, it froze quite often, and it also shows what the effect was of 1.2 on my system. Artifacts started showing, but the freezing remained the same. Or did it?

It has come to my attention that I seem to be having far less issues when having a fresh boot after a few hours of being shut down. Whenever the iMac was coming out of sleep, the computer would freeze up a bit later. But when I shut down the system instead of putting it to sleep, I didn't have any issues when booting again. I didn't freeze just after booting, there were hardly any (or not all) artifacts post 1.2. Today is the perfect example for me. I booted this morning and haven't had any issues at all, apart from one little artifact that popped up for a fraction of a second in the dock. Apart from that, there were no issues at all. I played WoW for hours, played Half-Life 2 Episode 2 with Crossover for an hour, did some stuff with Garageband '08, Guitar Pro and Geabox, spammed dashboard, spammed fullscreen-to-window-and-back in WoW, activated Front Row every now and then even with WoW or HL2 active. I haven't had a freeze once today, not even any artifacts.

I'm not going to jump up while swinging my arms around like a twit yelling "EUREKA!!!", since these are only personal findings, and others might think otherwise. I'm just trying to do my part in the search for the holy grail filled with anti-freeze.
 

czachorski

macrumors 6502a
Sep 24, 2007
871
1
That behavior for a computer is absolutely unacceptable. I would return/exchange it. With a log like that, Apple would exchange it in a heartbeat. I am sorry to hear about people having such issues. My 24" is working great.

Personally, after seeing your freeze on the first boot up, I would have returned it right then.
 
Comment

l33r0y

macrumors 6502
Aug 7, 2007
288
0
Bad video memory?

Could the issue be related to bad video memory?

Is there an application out there that can perform a thorough test of the video memory similar to memtest?
 
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