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Question: image persistence


I have had my 24" Intel iMac since like May of this past year. I have had no hardware issues with it at all until now. Just this week though i am noticing image persistence on the screen. I have read all about this subject and i know that it's usually not permanent, and i know how to get rid of it with the white images or the screen-savers or whatever.

My concern is, this didn't start happening until JUST this week. Not once before. I have changed nothing about my iMac usage since i bought it. I have always kept the screen on the absolute lowest brightness, i have my screen-saver set to kick in after 20-ish minutes and the display set to turn off after about 30. I have a full-time job, i go on frequent trips away from home, and nobody else uses the machine but me, so it's not like it's being used all day and all night either.

8 months i've been leaving Firefox and Adium windows up, sometimes for hours, doing whatever, never had a single shadow. But all of a sudden i am seeing this persistence thing where for example keeping my browser window in one place for a few hours gives me vertical bars where the window edge used to be. Running LCD Scrub for a few hours makes the original shadows go away, but they just come back somewhere else later.

It is easy enough to just keep using the screen-savers or whatever to get rid of them, but obviously they will come back, and my concern is, is this just going to keep getting WORSE? Am i eventually going to end up having to completely change my usage habits (like having to turn my display off every hour or two, or running LCD Scrub every night) to get around this problem? Is this the intended behaviour of these displays?

iMac Intel, Mac OS X (10.5.6)

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Jan 11, 2009 9:02 PM in response to oh kine In response to oh kine

Hi oh kine

Welcome to Apple Discussions

To help prevent it from happing at all;

1. Minimize any windows when you are not using them.
2. Setup a hot corner to sleep the display be for you get up and leave.
3. Set display to sleep after 5 minutes, in case you forget to sleep the display be for you leave.

Not only will 2 and 3 above help to extend the displays life, but they will also save energy!


Jan 11, 2009 9:02 PM

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Jan 15, 2009 8:19 PM in response to oh kine In response to oh kine

I purchased my 24" Aluminum 2.8Ghz iMac in October of 2007. I have this very same screen burn in issue, and have had it fixed 4 times now.

Just today, the issue started up again. I am officially fed up with making trips to the Apple Store to fix this same issue over and over again. At this point I have no confidence that the issue will ever be fixed, and as soon as my AppleCare expires, I'll be stuck with a lousy product.

I will never purchase another iMac, nor will I allow any of my family to purchase one, and I will do my level best to strongly urge anyone else that I come across not to purchase one.

I traded down to this iMac from my Power Mac G5. That was the best computer I have ever owned, and I sorely regret selling it to get this iMac.

Jan 15, 2009 8:19 PM

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Jan 19, 2009 12:47 PM in response to oh kine In response to oh kine

I have the exact same problem. I've had my 24" iMac for less than half a year now, and I've never had any problems with it until recently. Now I constantly get pixel ghosting, shadows and lines all over my screen that takes hours to wash out, but they always come back. This is incredibly annoying...

Jan 19, 2009 12:47 PM

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Jan 19, 2009 1:05 PM in response to o-Nugget In response to o-Nugget

Well, I have decided to take my losses and sell this nightmare. Perhaps someone else will not mind taking it into Apple every other month to get it fixed. I will never purchase another iMac again, nor will I recommend one to anybody. My experience with this iMac has me wondering if their new 24" cinema display has the same ghosting issues. For $899 I would go through the roof if I saw this behavior in my LCD.

I sure hope Apple steps up the quality control soon, as it has been rapidly declining as their unit sales increase. Either that, or I hope that they open the OS up to run on any Intel system so that I don't have to suffer their miserable hardware.

Jan 19, 2009 1:05 PM

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Jan 23, 2009 10:42 PM in response to oh kine In response to oh kine

I also have a 24" 2.4 iMac purchased in August of 2007 (when they first came out). I've had no problem with the screen until recently when I noticed screen burn while editing photos. It looks like a menu has burned in from iDVD as I've been doing a lot of mini-DV direct to CD burning. I didn't think the menu was on screen all that long but after a little investigating, it was clear this was where it came from.

With the right color (mostly blue tints) as my desktop background, I'd describe the effect as an etch-a-sketch that's not fully erased. Looks like magnetized particles on the screen that just won't clear. There are images of windows and the DVD from the iDVD menu on the screen. I'm running jscreenfix tonight to see if anything helps.

I brought the iMac into the store today and I was quoted over $900 to have the screen and logic board replaced. Ouch. Needless to say, that's not an option but a badly burned screen is not one either, especially for editing photos.

I'm curious to hear other stories and hopefully fixes. The genius at the A-store said this was the first one he's seen. I was surprised by that.


Jan 23, 2009 10:42 PM

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Jan 24, 2009 6:06 PM in response to David Wellerstein In response to David Wellerstein

I think that the culprit is iDVD. I have been archiving hours of miniDV tapes to DVD and it's clear that the burned area is the iDVD capture screen (which can't be hidden unless it's under other windows. What's weird is that I thought I had it under other windows (such as Safari) but there is a definite lingering image of the screen. I have moved the screen in question and now the burned image is showing up there as well.

Has anyone else seen this? Wonder if it has to do with the video card or if it's the iMac display.

FWIW, I seem to have had some good luck with LCD Scrub and not with JScreenFix. I am going to pay the $18 to get the paid version unless someone has another suggestion.

Jan 24, 2009 6:06 PM

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Jan 25, 2009 10:46 AM in response to David Wellerstein In response to David Wellerstein

Update again...

Now it appears that everything with a lot of contrast in it (black/white pdf in a safari window) is leaving a "ghost" image.

Anyone else seeing this? Help please!

Jan 25, 2009 10:46 AM

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Jan 29, 2009 2:40 AM in response to oh kine In response to oh kine

I've had my 24" iMac for 5 months and I've already started having this problem. The weird thing is, all the image persistence I'm seeing is from today. Either folders I've just created or persistence from the desktop background I put up just a couple hours ago. I know how to fix the pixels, but is there any reason this monitor would burn that quickly? Do I have to take into an Apple store to get the panel replaced?

Jan 29, 2009 2:40 AM

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Jan 30, 2009 7:31 AM in response to DrScience In response to DrScience

Good news! I read somewhere that "resting" the pixels can help the problem. As opposed to "exercising" the pixels. Simply shutting down my computer which is generally always on has helped the problem immensely. The "etch-a-sketch" patterns are now virtually gone so I will be "resting" my computer regularly.

I'm not sure if this is going to be an ongoing problem but I'll shut it down at night to see.

Good luck all!

Jan 30, 2009 7:31 AM

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Feb 2, 2009 11:27 AM in response to David Wellerstein In response to David Wellerstein

Hold off on that good news proclamation...

Shutting down overnight makes the screen look pretty nice first thing on startup. But if I leave anything up there it burns and/or creates that black magnetic particle look (my etch-a-sketch).

I really don't know what to do at this point as paying $900 for a new screen and video card makes no sense to me. I'm disappointed that Apple has not acknowledged the issue. Shouldn't happen to a less-than-two year old machine imho. It's making it very unusable for any kind of photo editing which bums me out.

Anyone else having the same problem? Heard of any other fixes?

Feb 2, 2009 11:27 AM

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Feb 2, 2009 11:58 AM in response to David Wellerstein In response to David Wellerstein

The ghosting on my screen is only getting worse as it happens more often and more easily with every day. The problem obviously lies in the hardware, so I guess the options at this point are:

- living with it, and try to wash out the ghosting as it comes and goes
- pay $900 and maybe fix the issue, or maybe risk seeing no differene
- sell it

At least for me, I wouldn't consider neither of these options. Apple should take responsibility for this, and offer a free fix-up for everyone who has this problem.

Feb 2, 2009 11:58 AM

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Question: image persistence