Previous 1 2 3 Next 89 Replies Latest reply: Nov 19, 2013 2:00 PM by rkaufmann87
GLS-Texas Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Yes, the title sounds a bit inflammatory, but it in my case, it's true. I have four 24" form factor iMacs ranging from the 2.4 to the 3.06GHz core 2 duo models that I've bought over the last 3 years, and have had hard drive failures in 3 of them. Fortunately I had Applecare plans on all of them but still, 3 out of 4? And why? Apparently, Apple prevents the Mac Geniuses at the stores from commenting or speculating about it at all. They said they simply couldn't talk about it. What the ****?

I'm no Mac newbie. I've had about 15 different Macs since '88 and only once have I had a hard drive fail on me, and that was a Mac Quadra 700 with a twitchy Seagate drive from the time Apple was lost in the wilderness. And yet now I have I have 3 out of 4 of the same form factor poop out on me in as little as 3 years? Something is rotten in Denmark.

This is not a rant against Apple, OS X or Macs in general. I love my Macs. What I want to know is this: is this a design flaw with this form factor or were the Western Digital drives they came with just crappy to begin with? I've used stand-alone WD drives for Time Machine installations, and yes, I've discovered that those are crap. Of the 4 I bought, 2 of them failed within the 1st year, so I'm leaning toward the WD theory. But if its a design flaw, such as the HD (regardless of the manufacturer) isn't being properly cooled due to to the design, I would like to know that. I need to know that. If I didn't have Applecare, I certainly would like to know if I had to factor in $350 every year for a new HD replacement.

So what I would like to find out is if anyone else out there has been having a similar experience with the 24" iMacs. Did you need to have your HD replaced as well? Did they replace it with a WD drive or a non-WD drive, like a Hitachi? How did that go? Has anyone had failures with the Hitachi drives? I'm really curious to see how prevalent this has been.

24 in. Imac, Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • elmac Level 5 Level 5 (4,230 points)
    Hi, initially I thought you were running for office!
    Maybe the cause is your power supply! (grounding/leakage)
    I have had macs since 2003 - only the 17" C2D needed a new HD (Applecare) All are running Ok
    My MBPro & MBook where replaced by Apple a few months ago because they could not cure a video/graphics issue.. iBook & Mini still original as per out of box..
    I feel for you, being doomed by HD failures, Applecare is a wise choice & always will be.
    My external HD's -> 3Lacie's(4yrs old) & 3WD's(2-3yrs old)- as of to-day all are Ok - fingers crossed for the future. Even my Leica camera needed warranty work....L

    Message was edited by: elmac
  • rkaufmann87 Level 8 Level 8 (47,385 points)
    I've got the a mid 2007 24" Aluminum iMac, it's run flawlessly since day one and is on 24/7.
  • den.thed Level 7 Level 7 (24,595 points)
    How much ram was/is in those iMac's and do you monitor ram usage?
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1342

    The reason I ask, is because disk thrashing (excessive paging in VM) can lead to premature failure.
  • Hellstan Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    I had also a HD replace last month uneder Apple Care on a 4 GB 2008 24" iMac.
    And apparently the problem is back a month later.
    See my other post about his :
    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2433854&tstart=0
  • garysisson Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    I purchased my 24 inch imac in october 2008, the first drive failed in 9 months, the replacement drive failed at 18 months. Both were 500gb wd drives. For me 100% failure rate. My computer has 4 gig ram too. Seems to be a drive or heat related issue.
  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (15,200 points)
    And yet now I have I have 3 out of 4 of the same form factor poop out on me in as little as 3 years?


    Are they really all the same form factor? There have been four different 24" iMac models, each somewhat different in internal layout. What are the model ID's for each of yours, as shown in System Profiler's Hardware panel? Three fit your description:

    iMac 7,1 -- the Mid 2007 model, available in 2.4 or 2.8 GHz versions
    iMac 8,1 -- the Early 2008 model, available in 2.8 or 3.06 GHz versions
    iMac 9,1 -- the Early 2009 model, available in 2.66, 2.93, or 3.06 GHz versions
  • garysisson Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Mine is imac 8,1 3.06 GHz model
  • TrayLoad Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Count me in.
    I had a 24" 2.8Ghz "Core Extreme".
    HD was always running in it´s 60s (degrees Celsius, way too high).
    Two failed HDs in 3 years , then I sold it.


    Classical design fault.The Air outlet is placed sub optimal in the airstream, the fans are on the wrong places, and the CPU/Screen run too hot.
    I´m not the only one, this was clear after the first breakdown.
  • GLS-Texas Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    R C-R wrote:
    And yet now I have I have 3 out of 4 of the same form factor poop out on me in as little as 3 years?


    Are they really all the same form factor? There have been four different 24" iMac models, each somewhat different in internal layout. What are the model ID's for each of yours, as shown in System Profiler's Hardware panel? Three fit your description:

    iMac 7,1 -- the Mid 2007 model, available in 2.4 or 2.8 GHz versions
    iMac 8,1 -- the Early 2008 model, available in 2.8 or 3.06 GHz versions
    iMac 9,1 -- the Early 2009 model, available in 2.66, 2.93, or 3.06 GHz versions


    RC, I actually had one of each model fail. Suprisingly, the iMac 9,1 3.06GHz with 4Gigs of ram failed first after only 6 months. The original iMac 7,1 with 2 gigs made it the longest, nearly 3 years, before its drive failed as well. I take it pretty easy on my HD's, never maxing out the memory to the point where I get a lot of pagination. I know no company is immune from mistakes, but this is like a dirty little secret Apple has been keeping. They should at least be offering a little more info on this phenomenon.

    Message was edited by: GLS-Texas
  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (15,200 points)
    GLS-Texas wrote:
    I know no company is immune from mistakes, but this is like a dirty little secret Apple has been keeping. They should at least be offering a little more info on this phenomenon.


    The phenomenon is known in the industry as "MTBF" for mean time between failures. It is a standard statistical measure of reliability, describing the arithmetic mean (average, more or less) time before a failure will occur in a *very large sample* of the product.

    While your failure rate is unfortunately high, it is not a large enough sample to indicate anything substantive about a design or manufacturing flaw. What would is a significant fraction of all iMacs using the same design failing long before the MTBF rating of the drive specified by its manufacturer.

    IOW, even in a "perfect" IMac design some drives will fail long before the MTBF interval & other long after it, with most failing around that time, but it is neither a prediction nor a guarantee about when any specific drive will fail.

    More simply put, unless there is good reason to believe your experience is typical of all 24" iMac users, there is no reason to believe there is any secret Apple is hiding about a flaw in them that causes premature drive failure.
  • squaddie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I have had my 24inch imac for just over 12mnths, and I get a flashing question mark on start up, I have tried everything. dose this mean my hard drive is broke?

    the problem started with programs running slower to the colorful wheel then freezing to nothing, can anyone help?
  • rkaufmann87 Level 8 Level 8 (47,385 points)
    squaddie,

    Welcome to Apple Discussions!

    Here is the meaning of the flashing question mark on startup.

    Regards,

    Roger
  • a_seto Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I've just gotten a grey screen with the Apple logo on it and a spinning status symbol underneath on startup, and this just stays there forever. When OSX finally does start, everything runs really slow, the beach ball always appears, and programs crash left and right. Brought it in to the store, and weirdly enough it didn't happen there so they said that any of my external hard drives could be causing it...so I tried it at home again without any hard drives connected, but I'm still getting the same result. My Windows 7 partition is still working fine however, only the OSX partition seems to be affected right now. Any ideas?
  • TylerJL44 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I have had my 24" iMac for approx 3 years and I have had no problems until recently. About a month ago I had my hard drive fail. I went to Best Buy and purchased a new Hitachi drive (Original was a WD drive). Installed new drive, loaded OS and files from backup, everything was perfect again until today. This is failure number 2 in one month. Again, I had no issues for 3 years. I have been wondering about the potential "heat" issue myself. Just wanted to share this, as this does seem to be a common problem among iMac users. Even a simple google search on "mac hard drive failure" will produce numerous forums on iMac HD failures. It seems to me there is a common problem as you have pointed out and I do not think the problem is in the hard drive. In my opinion, something else is causing them to fail.
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