Previous 1 2 3 Next 34 Replies Latest reply: Sep 26, 2009 10:40 PM by Libby Armstrong Go to original post
  • dande1135 Level 1 (0 points)
    I am with you, this isn't right. My iMac G5 just failed yesterday. Bad capacitors.

    Both Apple Care and the Apple Store told me "sorry".

    This was my 4th Mac.
    3 of the 4 have had hardware problems.

    I like OS X but it is not worth it, if you have to run it on inferior equipment that is poorly backed by the manufacturer. I hope I can undo all the damage I have done, telling friends how great Mac's are.
    Most of them can not afford for their computers to fail after a couple years, I can't either.

    Windows *****, but at least it runs on good equipment. And a new PC is cheaper than a new board. broke my heart today.
  • Michael Lafferty Level 6 (16,080 points)
    I'm sympathetic, but really? You're not going to get an at least four year old iMac G5 fixed for free, but you have options other than doing nothing, or paying an extraordinary sum for a logic board exchange.

    Apple bent over backward to address this issue, one which also affected many other manufacturers, including Compaq, Dell and Hewlett-Packard. They did virtually nothing in response: Apple offered a three-year from date of sale or end of 2008 extended period of coverage to affected users through a repair extension authorization. How often does any technology, auto or other manufacturer provide such coverage?

    It's unfortunate that you have experienced this failure and other hardware issues, but hardly a reason to buy a less well-built machine from another company, which I dare say you cannot do for $ 189.00.

    And, keep in mind that this defect was not the direct result of a choice made by Apple: it was the result of out of specification—effectively 'counterfeit'—electrolytic fluid knowingly sold to many manufacturers of electrolytic capacitors who unwittingly built parts which would later fail, at least one of which provided what later were determined to be these defective components to Apple's manufacturing partners, who used them to stuff logic boards used in some members of the iMac G5 product line. It's really that simple. And, it seems to me that Apple went well beyond the point that they reasonably had to, in order to cope with this problem.
  • dande1135 Level 1 (0 points)
    2 things:

    1. Thank you for mentioning the $189 fix. Obviously that is my best option. I will probably take advantage of that for my current problem.

    2. I bought the computer with a limited warranty. I accept that. But, if there is a known defect there should be no time limit on fixing it. Maybe they could have even let me know by mail or email.
    I guess the reason I am upset is because I thought Apple Corp was something special. And when I found out they are not, it distressed me.

    I did hold Apple to a higher standard. I did expect them to step up in a situation when Dell or Compaq would not. But I was wrong.

    I do realize that my tone sounds corny, but I work on my computers around 10 hours a day, 5 days a week, so this is a major part of my life. I really feel betrayed.

    Lastly, if you take my sappy emotion out of it, a Mac is not worth its value if they only last 3.5 years before major problems occurs. If you want to pay extra to have a cool looking machine, then I believe Mac is a good choice. If you want to pay extra for a reliable, quality machine Apple will take your money and make a fool out you. I have learned the hard way.
  • 1967Donzi Level 1 (0 points)
    This same sentiment seems to be continually voiced by people who have purchased Apple computers. Apple promotes themselves as something more innovative, better, and just plain cooler than other computers. And they charge (and people are willing to pay) a premium for this. I just bought my daughter a basic Mac Book. It was $1,000. You can get "name brand" laptops for $500.

    I understand that Apple implemented an extended warranty to address this problem when others didn't. Good for them. It seems the right thing to do. HOWEVER, putting a time restriction on it doesn't seem like the right thing. They have effectively said, "We believe the service life for our computers is 3 years. Any failure that happens after that time frame should be considered OK, and not our problem."

    If in fact the number of computers affected was small, as is continually stated, and the dissatisfaction/disenchantment of the owners suffering these failures seems so high, they should fix it simply for the public relations aspect. Virtually everyone who I have heard discussing this talks about feeling bad because they have been responsible for "leading others into the MAC fold," only to find out that perhaps this wasn't a good thing to do for a friend.

    If I bought an ACER computer, and it failed after 3+ years, I would not be upset at all. It is a less expensive computer, and you get what you pay for.

    But it really upset me to have 3 levels of Apple support people tell me my machine's serial number was "just outside of the range we determined to have a problem, so we can't do anything for you." Oh, really? If your range is accurate, then my machine shouldn't have failed in exactly the same way as the problem machines did, now should it. Must be that your serial number range ISN'T accurate, and you are telling me "Thank you for spending $5,000 on your Apple, your daughter's Apple, and your son's Apple. Now, go pound sand."

    Would I expect ACER to fix it for free? Nope. Would I expect Apple to? Absolutely.

    I have sent my machine in for the $189 logic board repair. Hopefully this will get my machine back up and running.
  • 1967Donzi Level 1 (0 points)
    And, FWIW, Nissan replaced all 6 of the fuel injectors in my 300ZX. This was a $1,600 repair. They were leaking, and there was a factory recall addressing the issue.

    The car was 19 years old when they performed this service. For free.
  • zpull Level 1 (10 points)
    My iMac was diagnosed with bulging capacitors by the Apple Store. I was quoted a price of about $417.00 (parts & labor) to replace the main logic board. This seems quite a bit less than most of the quotes others have reported receiving for this repair. Could it be that Apple has instructed their stores to quote a lower price for this repair due to all of the pushback and negative pub regarding this problem? My iMac falls within the serial number range of affected machines but, of course, it did not fail until the extended warranty period expired last December.
  • Michael Lafferty Level 6 (16,080 points)
    Each Apple authorized dealer or service provider is free to set whatever markup from cost they wish to apply to the parts they consume in a repair, and to set their bench or service fees at whatever level they wish. There is no downward pressure being applied at all by Apple to exchange these boards or perform repairs on these machines at any specific cost.

    It may be that your dealer tends to repair all products at lower rates than others typically charge, or they may feel that they should make this repair as affordable as possible, given the relative value of the machine, but they receive no guidance from Apple in this respect.

    If you would like a less expensive competitive quote, contact me at the electronic mail address in my public profile.
  • Greg Hancock Level 1 (5 points)
    I just received diagnosis of bad logic board capacitors (already had replaced a few years ago as part of original warranty extension), bad power supply AND "frozen" hard drive. All of this started about a week ago when I was running a Security Update and the system couldn't get through it. Fans started whirring, lost all function and could only boot from start-up as HD was not reading. Anyway, local Apple service center (Small Dog Electronics) essentially told me it is useful only as an anchor or door stop now. I am really disappointed with this, as the machine was less than 5 years old, and the problem is a known manufacturing defect. Now I've lost all of my files (including purchased iTunes catalog and family photos and movies).
  • Michael Lafferty Level 6 (16,080 points)
    Small Dog has a great reputation, but your situation is not likely as dire as you think.

    The hard drive is a separate matter: removed from the machine, it may be reasonably easy to recover you files using a tool such as DiskWarrior. If the drive itself has failed mechanically, then that's a different matter. But, there should be no link between the software issues affecting your directory and the hardware issues with your machine, save the fact that the software issues occurred as the result of multiple unscheduled and improper shutdowns of the machine itself.

    It is unusual to see both a capacitor failure on the logic board and a failed power supply in a machine at the same time, unless your model is an ALS or Ambient Light Sensor model - one that was not actually covered by the repair extension authorization.

    See if you can remove and recover—or have Small Dog remove and recover—the data from your hard drive using Disk Warrior or a similar tool. If that is successful, that's half the battle. Then, if you want to explore options regarding the fix to your machine, contact me at the electronic mail address show in my Public Profile.
  • Terry Jackson1 Level 1 (35 points)
    zpull wrote:
    My iMac was diagnosed with bulging capacitors by the Apple Store. I was quoted a price of about $417.00 (parts & labor) to replace the main logic board. This seems quite a bit less than most of the quotes others have reported receiving for this repair. Could it be that Apple has instructed their stores to quote a lower price for this repair due to all of the pushback and negative pub regarding this problem?

    No, it's just that Apple Corp has now marked the iMac G5 as a "Vintage" model of computer,
    and as such the cost of the Part to AASP has dropped dramatically.

    I do not know what most shops charge for labor/bench, but with the MLB
    ( your Main Logic Board as Apple calls it) now priced at $299, the remainder
    is probably the cost to install the new one, plus shipping on the part.
    (about $117, minus $7 to ship, about average bench near my area in the Midwest).

    If you know or are friends with a Mac Savvy person, or know a certified ACMT,
    you could probably barter the labor and get the job done for the cost of the part.
    shrugs You catch more flies with honey than vinegar....
  • Andy Scontras Level 1 (20 points)

    This week my iMac quit. Everything was working just fine then ftttttph ... it went dead just like someone pulled the plug. When I try a restart it chimes and begins to restart, quits, chimes, tries again, quits & chime, tries again ... then nothing.

    Any ideas?
  • Michael Lafferty Level 6 (16,080 points)
    The answer should seem glaringly obvious: the 'bad capacitors' have deteriorated to the extent that your machine no longer operates properly. And, while there is no direct correlation between a defective logic board and defective power supply in most cases, with most models, the continuous operation of a logic board plagued by this issue can trigger the failure of a power supply in some instances.
  • Andy Scontras Level 1 (20 points)
    RIP iMac...
  • Greg Hancock Level 1 (5 points)
    Can anyone on the forum refer me to a schematic diagram that shows (maps) which capacitors fail on the board? I've my machine open and can't see any bulging or visibly burnt capacitors, but was told that was my problem by repair center.

    Secondly, is anyone aware of a board replacement service? I've seen mention of $189 replacement.

  • luddite2008 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi there.

    This is a request for Michael Lafferty. You seem to have the expert knowledge with these machines.

    I've got a 17" 2.0Ghz ALS 2005 with apparently perfect capacitors in both the PSU and the logic board. On powering up I get LED 1 + 2 but nothing on screen and 30 secs later the fans go on full. I've been trying for months to get an answer to this one by following the forum but haven't had any joy. Others here - - have same problem. I can't reset PRAM or start up in Safe mode as there appears to be nothing getting through from the keyboard. I have reset SMU endlessly.

    The service source manual and the developer notes say this " Note: If Mac OS X is not booted and the alternate development operating system does not manage the fans, the fans go into an unmanaged state and run at full speed. Also, the fans enter an unmanaged state and run at full speed when the system is in target disk mode, stopping in Open Firmware, or running from the Apple Hardware Test disk."

    What is " the alternate development operating system " ??

    Another problem, I'm stuck on this side of the pond, so can't send the machine to you. Any advice/diagnosis would be greatly appreciated.