Will the genius bar fix/replace my iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by i4Collin, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. i4Collin, Apr 13, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012

    i4Collin macrumors regular

    Apr 4, 2011
    My mid 2010 iMac has been acting up recently. When I turn it on or wake it up from sleep, the hard drive makes loud clicking noises. It crashed a month ago and I had to erase the hard drive and reinstall Lion. It also seems to be lagging a lot and often gets the beach ball. That being said, it passes the hardware test, and shows no problems under the Disk Utility. Thankfully, I got the extended AppleCare warranty. If I were to take it in to the genius bar, would they fix it or tell me nothing is wrong with it? I just don't want to lug this 20 pound behemoth in there just to be turned around.
  2. rdlink macrumors 68040


    Nov 10, 2007
    Out of the Reach of the FBI
    Unlike iPhones, iPads, etc., the stores don't keep a stock of older iMacs, MacBooks, etc. lying around. But from my experience, they will make you whole. Probably by ordering whatever parts are deemed necessary when they run diagnostics. I'd say take it in.
  3. TheBSDGuy macrumors 6502

    Jan 24, 2012
    I've been looking into hard drive problems because mine is failing. I strongly recommend using a tool like Scannerz to evaluate the hard drive (www.scsc-online.com). Scannerz detects not only errors, but irregularities as well.

    Here's what happened to my drive:

    1. Periodically I would start the system and for no apparent reason, it would take several minutes to start. Normally it booted in about 30 seconds.

    2. Some applications would take forever to load.

    3. I ran tests on it with Apples diagnostics and some other tools that I won't mention, since at this point I have little good to say about them.

    4. Finally, one day, it just sat there with the white Apple at boot up. I powered it on and off a few times, then it booted.

    5. I took a chance on Scannerz because it's a lot cheaper than any other utilities (and MUCH cheaper than the one I had). I ran a scan on my drive and within minutes it was reporting irregularities, which are not errors. An irregularity means that the time it's taking the drive to read sections of the drive is abnormally high (in this case it was almost 20 seconds, and it should be milliseconds).

    6. I re-ran tests using the other tools and even though I could sort of tell there were problems, they kept giving me an "A-OK" status on the drive.

    7. I periodically ran Scannerz a few more times and the problems eventually went from irregularities to flat out errors.

    I'm not a hard drive expert, but as I understand it a "failure" on a drive is dependent on how a given drives internal programming decides how to handle slow reads. In my case, I guess the drive says "if it's readable, it's OK" even if it's taking 20 seconds to read a single sector.

    In my case, the drive is original equipment and my iMac is 2006-2007, so I figure it's had a good life. The Scannerz manual has a lot of stuff for trying to correct it, but for me using a drive that old it's not worth pursuing, especially when a replacement SATA drive can be had 2 times as big for about 50 bucks.

    Scannerz produces detailed log files for each scan it does on a drive. What you could do is scan it, look at the log files, find irregularities and errors, and then use that as proof that the drive needs replacement. If your drive is clicking like you've said it is, then it DOES need replacement. My experience has been that some drives will display that type of behavior periodically, and then it will get worse and worse and worse until it won't even start up. I had a PowerBook a few years ago that started doing that. First it was once a month, then it was about every two weeks, then once a week, etc. etc. until it got to the point it just dropped dead. Interestingly, S.M.A.R.T. analysis was almost useless as well as the "standard" (i.e. lame) drive analysis tools.

    Scannerz just analyzes drives, it doesn't fix them or recover data. If you need data recovery, you'll need Disk Warrior or some other type of recovery tool.

    I made a post earlier today about SSD failures that seem to be common, so if your drive needs replacement, you might want to be cautious and do some research before committing to them. No one has responded to that post, so maybe all the SSD failures being reported are just another "Windoze Thing".
  4. harcosparky, Apr 14, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012

    harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    I had a 2007 iMac with a failing HDD.

    I had Apple Care and it was failing about 60 days before the Apple Care expired.

    I took it in for the HDD problem.

    They replaced the HDD and also the LCD Display Panel as they said they saw an issue with the display in one corner area.

    Take it in, of course if it is out of warranty there may be a charge for the repair but diagnostics should be free.
  5. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    If they agree there is an issue, they will most likely replace parts. If it's just a bad disk, they should have that in stock. Some parts may take a day or so to get.

    In rare circumstances, they'll replace the unit.
  6. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    They only replace Macs after three repairs for the same problem. Individual stores may be a little different though.
  7. Medic278 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 1, 2012
    New York
    You should take it in. You bought Applecare and this is what its for. As others have said they will replace defective parts, although they may need to order the parts. If the iMac is not fixable other users have gotten a current model replacement. So you really don't have anything to lose by taking it in, you never know you could be walking out with a new iMac if the problem cannot be fixed. Just be prepared to have Apple try and fix it multiple times before a replacement is issued.

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