What to do about my iMac? List of problems.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by zackkmac, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. zackkmac macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    Hi all, I have a 24" 2.4GHz Aluminum iMac. Lately it's been getting on my nerves.

    First off, I put it to sleep every night at the same time I go to bed. Yet, at exactly 3:20AM it wakes itself up. If I remember correctly, I somehow told it to do that [but was supposed to be PM] for when I got home from school, and that it is somehow set to AM and I forgot how to stop this.

    Secondly, the speakers distort the sound every once in awhile. I'll be listening to music for a good amount of time, and the sound will increase a bit and sound almost like it's coming through a metal can, if that makes sense. It sounds like a high ringing that blends in with the music.

    Another problem is that the apps crash or hang a lot, even now I was simply playing a song on iTunes and it crashed. In fact I won't be able to use iTunes until I restart. A lot of the times I'll be using iChat, and it will forget I have a webcam, sometimes it'll just crash out of nowhere. A lot of apps do this.

    Finally, the system itself seems to be a bit slower, I'm seeing a lot more of the "beach ball", aka the colored wheel. I don't have much on this computer, just a few extra apps, and the biggest portion of files are music and photos. But that's about it.

    What should I do about this? An Apple Store is too far away, and I use this too much to be able to ship it off really, so what do you guys suggest? Help is greatly appreciated and thank you in advance.
  2. dylanbrown macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2008
    First off, it sounds to me that you have set-up your Mac to automatically turn on. To switch off this feature, go to the Apple menu, System Preferences, then Energy Saver and finally click "Schedule..."

    This should stop your Mac from turning on at 3:20 in the morning!

    For the issue with speaker distortion, I'm not too sure. One question to ask yourself, is distortion present in every (or most) of your Apps? (For example: iTunes, iMovie, playing video/music through Safari etc.) If it is, this is most certaintly a job fir AppleCare. Also, AppleCare do make exceptions if you live far away from an Apple Retail Store.

    And finally, the solution to stop your Apps crashing, hanging and to get rue of that damn beach ball? I would say that a FULL install (not an archive & install) is required. This helped me when I was having problems simmilar to yours. Ust remember to back up all your data, as it will be lost when re-installing Mac OSX.

    Hope this helps, any more question's just posts reply or PM me.

  3. DavyC412 macrumors member

    Nov 19, 2008
    if the problem is with the speaker itself, why dont you just go and buy speakers for 20 bucks to solve the speaker issue?

    if you willing to spend 50 bucks or more, you could probably get something superior to the iMac speakers, probably even surround sound (you would be suprised at the difference 4 speakers make, even when the rear are just cloned from the fronts, because you are surrounded by the music rather than facing it).

    if you listen to music a lot, a nice set of speakers is always a sound investment. logitech has been making some kick ass speakers with lots of power recently, and ive heard them, they sound amazing.
  4. czachorski macrumors 6502a


    Sep 24, 2007
    I occasionally hear GSM feedback on computer speakers 20 or more feet away from computer speakers. Any cell phone users in your house?
  5. zackkmac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    Thanks for the replies. That fixed the random waking up, I totally forgot how I even did that so thank you dylan!

    I would only consider AppleCare service though if I had a different computer to use during the mail-in repair time.

    For the external speakers, I have always thought about that, but the iMac's speakers suit me well. I like the factory ones. If this problems gets worse however, I may buy better speakers. But I'm afraid of spending the money on them and it turns out that the distortion also could be heard through those. Which Logitech speakers do you recommend? I always wanted the SoundSticks, whichever brand they're from.

    And the GSM feedback, I know what that sounds like, yet I have never heard it come through my iMac's speakers. I forgot to mention that the speakers don't always have this distorted sound, it only lasts maybe a minute or two and the speakers "re-adjust", per say.
  6. DavyC412 macrumors member

    Nov 19, 2008
    if you want to test wether its the sound card or the speakers, hook up some headphones (im sure you have some lying around somewhere) and use them for a day.

    as for the speakers, im peronally geared towards something with a sub, cause i love having that deep bass. i use creative 4.1 FPS2000 (http://www.3dsoundsurge.com/reviews/fps2000/fps2000.html). its from their cambridge soundworks like that they dont make anymore (i bought them back in like 2000 or 2001 or something and they still sound great), but i wouldnt recommend creative to anyone anymore.

    my brother bought these X540s:

    they sound good, are a good entry into surround sound, and i imagine will last a long time, and im pretty sure they have a 2.1 version of that that would be cheaper, here http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/speakers_audio/home_pc_speakers/devices/232&cl=us,en

    if money is of little concern :p , i would get these http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/speakers_audio/home_pc_speakers/devices/224&cl=us,en heh, theyre more powerful than my home theater system :eek: this is the option one step short of hooking a reciever with a full sound system up to your computer, which could cost thousands of dollars, but would blow this out of the water. ive always wanted them but i could NEVER justify the price tag.

    the two main factors you need to look at are (1) wattage and (2) frequency range
    (1) wattage determines the power of the speaker, higher = more powerful = louder = better
    (2) frequency range determines the range of sound your speakers can produce. the lower number (written in Hertz(Hz)) is the lowest sound (bassy sound) the speaker can make. lower is better, anything higher than 50Hz is very unimpressive. the high number writtein in kilohertz(kHz) is the highest sound (trebbly sound) the speaker can make, usually it doesnt peak over 20kHz, which is good.

    also remember, the best sounding subwoofers are those that are encased in solid wood, remember that when you go shopping, as the cheapest ones have usually sub casings made of plastic, which sound fine, just not as good as wood.

    but the best way to find what you like is to go to your local bestbuy and listen to them yourself.
  7. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

    Sep 2, 2008
    Metro Kansas City
    You may need to clean things up; reset preferences, etc. Try this utility called Onyx and see if that improves things. I use it regularly. After I had my iMac a few months, I noticed it being slower and taking longer to start up. After using this, everything was back to normal.

    You can find it here: http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/11582
  8. zackkmac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    Thanks Davy for the post on the speakers, I'll see if I can find some good ones at CircuitCity [since we don't have a Best Buy].

    And Mike thank you, I had Onyx installed already and totally forgot. Maybe it takes a few cleanups, I still haven't noticed much difference. If it comes to it I will backup my info and re-install OS X.

    BTW, haven't had the sound problem in some time. But I did leave out an issue, AirPort will occasionally disconnect from my WiFi and reconnect about 20 seconds later. It does this a few times each "session", then acts normal for several hours before doing it again.
  9. J Radical macrumors regular

    J Radical

    Nov 20, 2006
    Way too many issues to be tolerated in a computer less than a year old...

    Talk to Apple and do whatever they tell you. A new computer would small compensation for all the hassle you've had.

    "Buying speakers" is not an appropriate solution to a possible hardware fault in a machine under warranty!
  10. zackkmac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    I'm on the phone with AppleCare, and at the moment, the representative is trying to ask a product specialist if I could get a replacement. I hope they send it out first, I can't be without my iMac. :eek:

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