New iMac 21" - Dead! Help needed.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by jdmass, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. jdmass macrumors member

    Oct 17, 2008
    I'm looking for advice from this board on how I should proceed.

    I purchased a new 21.5" iMac with Fusion drive for my wife. It is 3 weeks old and was running great until this past Thursday night when it froze. I tried to restart and it wouldn't boot (3 beeps repeated, black screen).

    My wife called Apple support. After being lectured on the fact that we should have bought AppleCare (this is a 3-week old computer, still under warranty!!), she was told to bring the computer to the Apple Store. However, the local Apple store had no appointments available for the next 2 days. Speaking to the manager of the store, didn't help the situation. So here it is 3-days later, and we are finally bringing it in today.

    I did some additional investigation and found that after letting it sit for a while the system will boot but within about 5 min. it freezes again - same pattern. I was able to run a quick test with Diskutil during one of its uptimes and it reported ok (obviously not a thorough test). I also tried to run low level system diagnostics, but it hung during the test. So, I suspect it's a memory problem.

    My concern is 2-fold:

    1. Should I demand a new computer? I'm worried that given the complexity of servicing an iMac that this may be the beginning of a chain of problems.

    2. Should we just fight with apple to return the Mac? We were about 4 days outside of the 14-day return window when it failed. My wife is now thoroughly disgusted and wants to return the iMac and go back to her Windows desktop. She was concerned about switching to Mac (learning a new system), and I was the one who pushed her, so now I'm not looking too smart. Again, given the lack of serviceability with this computer, even I'm getting worried.

    Thanks for any advise.
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    You might just have gotten a fluke, nothing you can do about, as it is a matter of probabilities.

    As for Apple Care, a Mac is covered for 365 days from the day of its purchase and you get to use the telephone support system for 90 days.
    The Apple Care Protection Plan extends the telephone support for 3 years from the day of purchase as the warranty is also upgraded to three years.
    No need to get it now, if you decide to let Apple fix the iMac for now.
    As for getting a new iMac, it has to have been serviced three times to actually get a replacement, and it has to be the same component.

    For now it seems the drive is broken in some way, but it could also be something else.
    It can happen, but due to its low self serviceability the iMac is harder to fix yourself compared to a non AIO computer, thus a Windows PC might be more to your liking if you want to fix a problem instead of letting Apple to it within your stated warranty rights.

    See what Apple can do and await a return of the fixed product.

    I have had five Macs till today and only one have them had to be fixed.
  3. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    Ive bought 6 Macs in the last 8 years, and none have ever had a hardware issue. Only one had an OSx related software problem, and that was due to a bad download of an OS update.

    Apple sells millions of Macs, and if even 1% has a problem out of the box that is still quite a few systems. You are just one of the unlucky ones.

    As for the Apple support, it's silly for them to bring up Apple Care on a system less than a month old. The original warranty is good for 1 year anyway. I bought AppleCare only once for 6 Macs and never needed to use it.

    Just let Apple fix the system and get back to using it. They might be willing to let you return it, but it would be at their discretion. A replacement system is unlikely and not warranted in my opinion.
  4. jdmass thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 17, 2008
    Good outcome from Apple

    Thanks for the feedback -- much appreciated.

    So, we took the iMac to the Apple store and the Genius bar tech ran diagnostics on the system and storage. We also booted up the system and it failed exactly as we had previously experienced. He agreed with my diagnosis that it was likely a RAM problem, with a secondary possibility of a system board issue.

    Unfortunately, the store did not have either part in stock. He spoke to the manager who basically offered to do whatever I wanted to make me happy - they could repair it, which would take several days, or give me a new one, or refund my money. I must say that I was very impressed as this was unprompted by me - no arguing or haggling.

    Because I had the fusion drive, they did not have an identical system in stock. Apparently on the 21" iMac, the fusion drive is considered a custom order. After some discussion, we decided to take the refund in Apple gift cards to apply to an order of a new iMac.

    Given my wife's trepidation going in, I'd say that this was handled in as positive a way as possible. The tech demonstrated great competency and good customer relations, and the manager was great.

    Kudo's to Apple for handling a negative situation in a classy way.
  5. Siderz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2012
    Glad to hear that.

    I've only actually had to take an Apple product in once, and by the time we got there, it wouldn't boot at all, so we didn't get very far, so I haven't really had the experience of taking a product in and getting it serviced with ease.
  6. HenryDJP macrumors 603

    Nov 25, 2012
    United States
    Right on! That's great to hear. If I had chimed in at the right time I would've said have them swap you out another machine. Doesn't matter if it's a few days outside of the return period. Apple has it's policies but they aren't iron clad. I've known them on several occasions to repair Macs free of charge when they've been a couple of weeks outside of the warranty period. That's not to say you shouldn't get the Applecare because I always recommend it, especially with today's technology.

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