9 Replies Latest reply: Aug 23, 2007 8:17 AM by cosmichobo
cosmichobo Level 3 Level 3 (515 points)
Hi iMac G5 owners,

I just thought it may be of some interest that the bad capacitor problem that resulted in Apple starting a Repair Program for the iMac G5 is now also affecting the eMac G4 1.25Ghz machine, which ceased production on the same month as the iMac G5.

Is there anyone here who was affected by this problem? How did you find out about the problem (ie that it wasn't just you)? Had Apple already instigated the repair program by the time your machine was affected?

cheers

Travis

eMac 1.25Ghz, Mac OS X (10.3.9)
  • 1. Re: eMac sharing iMac capacitor issue
    Dave Stowe Level 5 Level 5 (5,065 points)
    Hi Travis...alot more computer manufacturers have been hit by bad capacitors than Apple

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague

    dave
  • 2. Re: eMac sharing iMac capacitor issue
    Eric Kracinski Level 6 Level 6 (15,925 points)
    As this was an industry wide problem, it is not surprising that other Macs were affected. Other well respected brands like Asus, Antec, Zalman, and HP have found issues also.

    Hopefully Apple will give all their users affected a repair extention.
  • 3. Re: eMac sharing iMac capacitor issue
    cosmichobo Level 3 Level 3 (515 points)
    Hi Dave,
    Yes, after discovering the cause I did a lot of reading about "Bad Caps". I'm sure I read somewhere that a "group" of computer manufacturers sued the capacitor manufacturer over the problem. Not sure if Apple was in the group, but either way they should surely be able to do so, if they havent already. Thus, we the end purchaser shouldn't be left out in the cold.

    I'm curious how long it took from the time that the iMac G5s starting showing the problem to when Apple started the official repair program.

    With the eMac (1.25Ghz model, manufactured in G8 YM & VM factories between roughly May-Dec04) the problems (system freezes usually following intense video work but gradually intensifying til the machine is unbootable) were first reported in mid 2005, but just since January this year there have been hundreds of people experiencing the problem. The thread in the eMac forum has over 6000 views, with around 100 views per day. Attempts to post our serial numbers as a collective group have been deleted.

    There's a lot of unhappy campers over there. I'm one of the lucky minority, having been able to convince Apple to replace my logic board for free (only after emailing Steve). Having had mine repaired though, I'm not wanting to leave the others out in the cold.
  • 4. Re: eMac sharing iMac capacitor issue
    cosmichobo Level 3 Level 3 (515 points)
    The fear we have, Eric, is that Apple are going to repair their education customers, and ignore the rest... There have been several people say how they look after anywhere from 6 - 300 eMac 1.25Ghz machines, and found the problem in 17-80% of them. Those people have been told Apple will repair all those affected for free.

    The rest of us however have to play the dance with Apple's customer relations departments in the hope of finding someone willing to do the same.
  • 5. Re: eMac sharing iMac capacitor issue
    Eric Kracinski Level 6 Level 6 (15,925 points)
    I forgot to mention that Apple had instituted the repair extension program before my first gen iMac was stuck down with the bad caps.

    They replaced my midplane in 3 days back in August '05 and I have not had a return of any prolems since.

    If Apple is repairing the eMacs for the educational market, I would find it very hard to believe that they would not do anything at all for the consumer market. It seems very short sighted and non-Apple like to me.
  • 6. Re: eMac sharing iMac capacitor issue
    cosmichobo Level 3 Level 3 (515 points)
    The problem is it is still being dealt with on a case by case nature... I know there are no doubt protocols involved... with x% needing to be affected, and before a repair program begins they would need to ensure there are enough new logic boards...

    But certainly to date, if you have a lab full of eMacs, Apple's phone/tech staff have enough common sense I guess to say - Not a problem, we'll take care of you. If however it is Joe Bloggs who owns 1 eMac... not so nice a reaction (one person even reports being accused of fraud).

    The worst part... there appears to be a high percentage of "first timers" reporting this problem on the eMac forum. Potentially therefore a lot of first time mac owners getting a bum-steer by Apple... Not good.
  • 7. Re: eMac sharing iMac capacitor issue
    Eric Kracinski Level 6 Level 6 (15,925 points)
    "The worst part... there appears to be a high percentage of "first timers" reporting this problem on the eMac forum. Potentially therefore a lot of first time mac owners getting a bum-steer by Apple... Not good."

    Not fair. There are lots of first timers with Asus, Dell, and HP as well as others who are affected also. It would not be expected that as soon as reports come in that there is a problem to fly off and issue a recall or repair extension.

    If they are outside of their warrantee - whether it is the 1 year or 3 year AppleCare - Apple really has no obligation anyway to take care of them. It sounds cold, and would really stink to be in that position, but that is the truth.

    As I said before, I would hope that Apple, a company with a world-class reputation would take care of their customers with bad caps, but I wouldn't be crushed if they didn't. Even if I had one that needed repairs.

    Sorry to be so blunt.
  • 8. Re: eMac sharing iMac capacitor issue
    cosmichobo Level 3 Level 3 (515 points)
    No offense taken, Eric, honest.

    The reason I single out Mac first timers is because we are the underdog, and it would be fair to say they are taking a big leap from PC to Mac. The eMac was an ideal "first timers" computer - cheap, but still powerful, and pretty. There are a lot of people still looking for eMacs today, though from what I can gather they are education only, if available at all.

    I don't know about US Consumer Law, but I am fairly sure that Australian Consumer Law states that a product should live through a reasonable life span. For example I had a car battery that died after 13 months. The companies warranty was 12 months. They were however obligated to replace it, as a car battery should last longer than 13 months. A computer I would think should last longer than 20 months.

    I agree that time is needed for Apple to determine how many eMacs are affected, and if so, to ensure there are enough new logic boards available before going public with a repair program. It is just very disheartening reading the posts that just keep on coming in every day, and the only reply Apple has made to date was not words but actions - they deleted "our" attempt to make an official list of eMac serial numbers suffering this problem (the list simply was re-established on MacFixIt.com).
  • 9. Re: eMac sharing iMac capacitor issue
    cosmichobo Level 3 Level 3 (515 points)
    Well, clearly Apple did eventually set up the Repair Program for the eMac... Hoorah... yay... etc.