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Odd collection of problems with newly purchased used iMac

641 Views 19 Replies Latest reply: Nov 14, 2012 9:16 AM by Creekwader RSS
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Creekwader Calculating status...
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Oct 25, 2012 7:58 PM

I have recently purchased a used iMac from eBay (an Intel model from 2006). I've been trying to get it set up over the last couple of days and have had one problem after another. I suspect a hardware problem, but would like to be able to pin it down before I contact the seller and ask them to take (and pay for shipping on) a return.


Here are the symptoms:


The iMac came with OS 10.5 freshly installed. I ran Software Update, which offered to install a combo update to bring it up to 10.5.8. I said yes, and it downloaded the update, restarted to complete the installation, and then hung at the same point for hours during the installation. I finally gave up and shutdown by holding down the power button, then restarted and tried again to run the update through Software Update -- and it hung again. I did a new fresh install of 10.5, and thereafter was able to download and install the update properly.


Afterward, I used the computer for a while without a problem and installed a few applications that I have known to be compatible with both Leopard and Intel Macs in the past. After it finished with the installing, I opened a Safari window and the computer became unresponsive, except that I could move the spinning beach ball around the screen. I left it for ten or fifteen minutes, then tried to force quit, but the force quit dialog box wouldn't come up. I held down the power button to shut down, waited ten seconds, and restarted.


Suspecting bad memory, I installed Applejack and Memtest and used Applejack to run Memtest in single user mode. It found no problems with the memory. (The computer did not come with a disk to check the hardware.)


I restarted, tried to open Safari and found that the cursor was "stuck." I went to check the USB connection for the mouse, when I heard the startup chime and then watched as the iMac rebooted on its own. A screen notice said:


The computer was restarted after Mac OS X quit unexpectedly. Click report to see more details or send a report to Apple.


The report read:



Interval Since Last Panic Report:  17646 sec

Panics Since Last Report:          1

Anonymous UUID:                    049895A2-15D4-4AB9-B189-349747A8704F


Thu Oct 25 16:23:35 2012

Machine-check capabilities (cpu 1) 0x0000000000000006:

family: 6 model: 14 stepping: 8 microcode: 0

Genuine Intel(R) CPU            1500  @ 2.00GHz

6 error-reporting banks

Machine-check status 0x0000000000000005:

restart IP valid

machine-check in progress

MCA error-reporting registers:

IA32_MC0_STATUS(0x401): 0xb200004000000800 valid

  MCA error code:            0x0800

  Model specific error code: 0x0000

  Other information:         0x00000040

  Status bits:

   Processor context corrupt

   Error enabled

   Uncorrected error

IA32_MC1_STATUS(0x405): 0x0000000000000000 invalid

IA32_MC2_STATUS(0x409): 0x0000000000000000 invalid

IA32_MC3_STATUS(0x40d): 0x0000000000000000 invalid

IA32_MC4_STATUS(0x411): 0x0000000000000011 invalid

IA32_MC5_STATUS(0x415): 0xb200120020080400 valid

  MCA error code:            0x0400

  Model specific error code: 0x2008

  Other information:         0x00001200

  Status bits:

   Processor context corrupt

   Error enabled

   Uncorrected error

panic(cpu 1 caller 0x001AA46A): Machine-check at 0x00c798b2, thread:0x35527d8, code:0x12, registers:

CR0: 0x8001003b, CR2: 0x008ec000, CR3: 0x010e1000, CR4: 0x000006e0

EAX: 0x00000010, EBX: 0x0361c140, ECX: 0x00000001, EDX: 0x00c7f800

ESP: 0x2a8bfc70, EBP: 0x2a8bfc98, ESI: 0x03614084, EDI: 0x00c7ecb0

EFL: 0x00000002, EIP: 0x00c798b2


Backtrace (CPU 1), Frame : Return Address (4 potential args on stack)

0x4f8f18 : 0x12b4c6 (0x45f91c 0x4f8f4c 0x13355c 0x0)

0x4f8f68 : 0x1aa46a (0x4692a4 0xc798b2 0x35527d8 0x12)

0x4f8fe8 : 0x1a2525 (0x12 0x0 0x0 0x0)

Backtrace terminated-invalid frame pointer 0


BSD process name corresponding to current thread: kernel_task


Mac OS version:



Kernel version:

Darwin Kernel Version 9.8.0: Wed Jul 15 16:55:01 PDT 2009; root:xnu-1228.15.4~1/RELEASE_I386

System model name: iMac4,1 (Mac-F42787C8)


System uptime in nanoseconds: 373754620262

unloaded kexts:          2.4.0 - last unloaded 84297245239

loaded kexts:          2.4.0 - last loaded 14244796671          2.0.2          1.7.1a2          1.9d0          1.7.1a2          2.7.5          1.7.1a2          5.4.8          2.8.15          2.1.9f10          5.4.8          6.0.3          1.6.0          1.7.1a2          1.0.6          113          3.4.0a17          1.3.1          1.0.0d28          1.7.7          2.1.9f10          1.2.4b3          2.1.9f10          3.5.2          2.1.1          2.1.1          2.7.91          1.5.3          1.1.0          1.2.2          3.4.9          3.5.2          3.9.7          367.91.22          1.7.0          2.0.1          3.1.13b2          3.4.6          3.5.2          1.2.0          1.2.3          1.4          1.2.5          1.2.5          1.4          1.2.5          1.4          107.12          1.8.77          3          76.2.0          199          30.4          1.7.1a2          9.4          1.7.3          1.7.3          1.7.1a2          1.6.9fc5          1.1          3.4.0a17          2.3.1d1          2.1.9f10          2.1.9f10          1.2.4b3          3.4.6          3.2.0          2.1.1          1.5          1.5          1.5          2.1.1          3.4.9          216.1          1.5.0          2.0.1          1.6.1          3.5.2          1.2.0          1.1          1.5.6          1.5.5          1.2.5          1.2.0          2.6




The report also showed an unusual screen artifact -- a black line that went across it, but was not on the rest of the screen.


I opened Safari to look up information about kernel panics, and found a similar black line across its window. Later, on a different page, there was a blue line -- and on another page after that, various blue and black lines appeared. I restarted Safari, and it still showed odd lines. Those lines were only on the Safari window, not across the whole screen.


I have very little experience troubleshooting problems of this sort, and I'm hoping someone with more experience can tell me what significance the panic report has and how it might relate to the other problems. Like I said, I expect that I'll need to return this iMac (which I've only had for a couple of days now), but I'd like to have a clearer idea of what's going on before I contact the seller.


Any help would be much appreciated!

iMac, Mac OS X (10.5.8), 1.5 GB RAM
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,825 points)

    Despite the Memtest, those invalid errors indicate RAM, but of course coulkd be Logic Board, CPU, or overheating.

  • rkaufmann87 Level 8 Level 8 (40,740 points)

    If the machine came with the original Install Discs then you should immediately run Apple Hardware Test in Extended Mode, run the test 2-3 times to be sure. To answer before it's asked, no AHT is not something you can download it's only available on that model on the original Install Discs.  If the machine did not come with the media this is another MAJOR outpoint and IMHO justification enough for a return and refund. AHT should pick up any obvious errors, however it will only output codes not their translation. Whatever the code it doesn't matter, you have a defective buy. To learn how to access AHT please carefully read Apple's:


  • rkaufmann87 Level 8 Level 8 (40,740 points)

    btw how did this machine sell for on Ebay?

  • mende1 Level 10 Level 10 (89,490 points)

    Too cheap for this computer. It looks like a hardware problem, so contact with the seller of your computer or take it to an Apple Store. Also, call Apple to get the replacement DVDs >

  • John Galt Level 7 Level 7 (33,230 points)

    Creekwader, I am sorry to tell you this but without the iMac's original system installation discs a problem like yours will be almost impossible to resolve. A used Mac should be restored to its original unconfigured condition before selling it, and it should obviously be in working order. Yours was neither.


    Your choices are as follows:


    1. Have the seller supply the discs. Original System Install discs must always accompany a used iMac. No exceptions!
    2. Find suitable replacement discs from another eBay seller. They must be for that exact same model iMac or they will not work. Assuring yourself of buying exactly what you need can be difficult.
    3. Purchase suitable replacement discs from Apple. Apple may not have them available at any price, and it may even be difficult to make them understand what you require.
    4. Return the iMac to the seller for a refund.



    Edit to add: Used iMacs in good condition with original discs will sell for much more than what you paid, for these reasons. Check eBay's completed listings.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,825 points)

    TRue, you can't undo it... no worry, but it seems you have some other very good helpers here to! 

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,825 points)

    Great to hear, do keep us posted please.

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