The Greatest Mystery in the World of my 24" iMac

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Apple!Fre@k, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. Apple!Fre@k macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2006
    When your screen does this every so often, WTF is wrong? Everything is there, everything is just jumbled up into an unreadable mess. After activating and deactivating the All Windows tab of Expose a dozen times, it self corrects but is annoying as hell. What is going on? Why does it do this? I've had this problem for over a year.

  2. i.shaun macrumors 6502a


    May 1, 2008
    might be hardware issue

    Pop in the install disk and do a hardware test
  3. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    your graphics card is either overheating or is damaged.

    take it to get repaired!!!!
  4. Ivan P macrumors 68030

    Ivan P

    Jan 17, 2008
  5. Apple!Fre@k thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2006
    Guys, I did a hardware test just now because I believe my Mac is on its last leg. It completely froze while viewing a PDF, restarted, froze again 10 minutes later, and continues to do so and can only be restarted by holding down the button. This worries me that I'm going to have to shell out $2K for a new one which isn't in the budget right now.

    Here is the error code I got when I ran the Hardware Test:

    4MOT/1/40000003: HDD

    That looks like a hard drive failure to me (just because of the HDD at the end) but I haven't had any loss of data, nor strange noises, only freezing and things like the original posted picture. So is this not a display card problem?

    Whatever the problem, I must get it resolved now. Without my Mac, I can't do any work and my Mac doesn't work very well right now.
  6. Apple!Fre@k thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2006
    Okay, so this guy is my soul mate:

    His experience is absolutely, 100% identical to mine. Even the fact about not wanting to bring it in because I have too much work to do.

    I just called, spoke to my local Apple Store and he asked the genius about the code. Apparently, it means that the fan cooling the hard drive has failed and just the motor for the fan itself needs to be replaced. If that's all it is, this is a freakin' miracle because I can't imagine fan motors are expensive.

    Do any of you guys know whether this is a part that would be readily in stock? Nothing would make me happier than being able to go in, and two hours later have a working machine. I just can't see waiting 3 days to get my computer back.
  7. CubeHacker macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2003
    A failing hard drive fan would not cause graphical corruption, unless of course the HDD fan is also the fan that cools the graphics processor. Something is odd. Did you try to run the test several times?
  8. shrakner macrumors member

    Dec 28, 2006
    Your symptoms are very different from mine, but I have a Macbook Pro which had a failing fan. In my case, it was the fans that cooled the CPU. My machine would occasionally freeze up, or just certain processes would freeze up, as the processor would hit a critical temperature and then stop processing to prevent overheating. Besides that, the fans made noises like dying jet engines.

    A hardware test confirmed that it was the fans, so I took it in to a Genius Bar. This was a smaller Apple store inside a mall, and they didn't have the fans in stock.

    The tech then gave me three options: (1) leave the machine there, they would get the part in a few days and I could pick it up, (2) they would ship it to the nearest service depot and mail it straight from the depot back to me, or (3) they would order the part, call me when it came in, and I could then just schedule two consecutive appointments to give them the hour (half-hour?) they need to fix it and give it right back. Apple is REALLY helpful in trying to minimize the turn-around time if it's a major problem like that.

    In my case, I chose option (2), since I didn't have a car at the time and I didn't want to have to find another ride to the store. I don't know which would really be best for you- in your case, your machine seems virtually unusable, so the tech will probably be able to recommend which option gives the best turnaround time. If they have the part, it'll be quick- my only worry is if something else might be going wrong, which might take additional time and maybe need other parts.

    Good luck, and in the meantime- BACK UP EVERYTHING, if at all possible. Do you have a walk-in refrigerator handy?
  9. Apple!Fre@k thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2006
    I ran the test twice. First, with everything plugged in in the back like they don't recommend. Then shut down, unplug everything except the mouse and keyboard, and ran an extended test this time. Same result.

    Does anyone have a blueprint of the internals of the 2.16GHz 24" iMac? Because you're right, it would only make sense if the fan cooled both the hard drive and the graphics card.
  10. Apple!Fre@k thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2006
    Thanks, shrakner.

    I'm trying to find out who has the part in stock now but I worry more is wrong than just this fan.

    Everything is already backed up on two redundant hard drives here with me and on a service online so all set there. Why a walk-in refrigerator? Were you going to suggest freezing the hard drive to retain the data? Does that work?
  11. shrakner macrumors member

    Dec 28, 2006
    Well, I do know of a couple people who were able to put a "dead" hard drive in the freezer and then it would work briefly...

    My comment was intended as a joke, sort of, because if your machine is just suffering from inadequate cooling, then operating it in a refrigerator (not a freezer!) might make it work better. But I wouldn't really try that. Maybe as a last resort if you didn't backup.... :rolleyes:

    As far as whether the HD fan might be responsible for other problems- that seems to be the most likely case. Generally speaking:
    system pausing/stopping = CPU overheat
    graphical glitches & "messed up screens = GPU failing
    miscellaneous crashes & failed startups = often the HD
    So, a general overheat of the machine, which would seem quite possible given that the iMac doesn't have a whole lot of room for cooling, would explain the problems you've been having.

    I've only found a couple teardowns of the Intel iMacs- this is the best one I've found so far ( and it's not that informative. Too bad iFixit doesn't do desktops...

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