Previous 1 2 3 4 Next 391 Replies Latest reply: Oct 24, 2014 10:19 AM by 1201studio Go to original post Branched to a new discussion.
  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (14,875 points)
    GaBeech wrote:
    Three years is not long for a top class piece of kit to last.
    If it was just me affected I'd shake my fist to the heavens and submit to bad luck...
    It seems like it's not only me thats been affected.


    The most significant thing is how many people with similar Macs have the same problem & when it occurs. If there are say half a million of that model in regular use & only say 1000 of them die the same way at around the three year mark, that is just a 0.2% failure rate, which is actually quite good even for top class three year old computer products. But if say 10,000 out of half a million of them die, it begins to look a lot less like bad luck.
  • GaBeech Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hello,

    My head's a little clearer today.
    I started acting like a 'child' who's favorite 'toy' had broken within the first 3 'weeks' of ownership.
    Maybe if the words 'child', 'toy' and 'weeks' where exchanged for 'adult', 'tool' and 'years'...

    Anyway back to the real world;

    R C-R wrote:

    The most significant thing is how many people with similar Macs have the same problem & when it occurs. If there are say half a million of that model in regular use & only say 1000 of them die the same way at around the three year mark, that is just a 0.2% failure rate, which is actually quite good even for top class three year old computer products. But if say 10,000 out of half a million of them die, it begins to look a lot less like bad luck.


    I am trying to gather figures to prove or disprove various ideas/suspicions that I have.
    Granted a few of them may stem from having just lost a tool that I relied on.
    Yet from the amount of similar reports, from so many different places, I get the feeling that there is something to look into.

    If from half a million, 1000 fail in the same way with roughly the same amount of use.
    That may, on paper, be good (it hurts being in the '0.2%').
    If, out of that 1000, 900 had a serial that begins with 'W8', indicating which factory they had been produced in...
    Would that not change things?
  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (14,875 points)
    GaBeech wrote:
    If, out of that 1000, 900 had a serial that begins with 'W8', indicating which factory they had been produced in...
    Would that not change things?


    It would still depend on what percentage of all the iMacs with a WB factory code those 900 represented, & similarly what percentage of those had a date code from about the same time.

    If say 75% of all the iMacs failing at around the four year mark had the same factory code & a date code for the same few weeks of manufacture then it might indicate a manufacturing defect during that period of the production run, but also keep in mind that Apple only warrants iMacs to be free of manufacturing defects for at most three years.
  • GaBeech Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    R C-R wrote:

    It would still depend on what percentage of all the iMac's with a WB factory code those 900 represented, & similarly what percentage of those had a date code from about the same time.

    If say 75% of all the iMac's failing at around the four year mark had the same factory code & a date code for the same few weeks of manufacture then it might indicate a manufacturing defect during that period of the production run, but also keep in mind that Apple only warrants iMac's to be free of manufacturing defects for at most three years.


    This is why, maybe I went a little overboard posting my entire serial, I am asking for people with these problems to post the first 5 characters of thier serial.
    Indicating;
    *W8 - Factory*
    *7 - Year of Production*
    *07 - Week of Production Year*
    In the case of my iMac

    I understand that Apple only warrent the Mac for 3 year maximum.
    That does not make it OK, at least in my eyes, for alot of iMac's to suffer/die after 3 years and 6 months.
    I've been trying to stay away from comparisons yet maybe, to judge what to expect from something, you have to compare.

    With computer equipment I, don't know what others people think, expect to get a hardware life that exceeds the time that the hardware specs are deemed excellent/very good/good.
    By that I mean; Apple is still releasing iMac's of similar specs/capability, my slightly older one should still be working.
    I do fully appreciate that things with moving parts are going to fail over time, thats why we have Time Machine and I'd love to be able to buy a replacement SuperDrive and fit it in an Mac that had been my trusted companion for over 3 years.

    There is a PC under my bed which, before laying under my bed, had been owned by so many different people and lived in so many different places. The PC has been mistreated, transported without care... blah blah
    It's over 10 year old and still works. I don't use it because it has 'outlived' it's purpose.

    I expect computers to outlive thier purpose, giving exception to the parts that are mechanical (usualy; fans, drives, doors, cases, etc).
  • GaBeech Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Also during my search for information throughout this horrible section of my computer life, I have come across quite a few stories of people having thier iMac's repaired/replaced by Apple.
    Even though these customers were a few months outside of thier Apple Care agreement.

    What makes a customer who did not take out Apple Care any differnt to a customer that took out Apple Care, 3 years and 6 months after initial purchase date?
    (apart from the obvious extra cash from the purchase of Apple Care in the begining)
  • GaBeech Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I have not looked into this, at least not yet;
    (I'm trying to concentrate on iMac's and not get sucked into consumer law, at least for the moment.)

    A lady in the UK bought a washing machine with the usual 12 month guarantee.
    18 months down the line it stopped working.
    The judge sided with the lady and she won her case.

    On the grounds that everybody 'EXPECTS' a washing machine to last longer than 18 months.

    I don't know if everybody expects an iMac to last more than 4 years.

    I expected, at least the screen and circuit boards, of my iMac to least beyond the point I started to feel it was time to catch up with current technology.

    I also expect that a different kind of user to me would expect a heck of a lot longer from an iMac.
    A user that mainly used thier iMac for light media/internet could expect 10 years plus from thier investment.

    I don't think I'm being a dreamer here.
  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (14,875 points)
    I understand that Apple only warrent the Mac for 3 year maximum.
    That does not make it OK, at least in my eyes, for alot of iMac's to suffer/die after 3 years and 6 months.


    Understood, but you are still guessing that a lot of these Macs are dying from incomplete data, especially about how many of similar vintage are not dying.

    It is a lot like surveying hospitals to try to judge the general health of a population. Unless your survey also includes people that aren't in hospitals, you will get a very distorted idea about how healthy the average person is.

    In statistics this is known as "sampling bias" & it is obviously quite likely to occur if you just search for or consider only problem reports.
  • GaBeech Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    R C-R wrote:
    Understood, but you are still guessing that a lot of these Macs are dying from incomplete data, especially about how many of similar vintage are not dying.

    It is a lot like surveying hospitals to try to judge the general health of a population. Unless your survey also includes people that aren't in hospitals, you will get a very distorted idea about how healthy the average person is.

    In statistics this is known as "sampling bias" & it is obviously quite likely to occur if you just search for or consider only problem reports.


    I understand what you are saying. I am open to any recomendations on different places and methods to gather information. At the moment this method is all I have got, posting in and searching the web/forums regarding 'problems' with the iMac.

    This is not sarcasm;
    In three years of using an iMac I have never even thought about posting in a forum to tell of how much of a good time I was having.

    So my search is slightly flawed from the start, at least for an overall comparison.

    All i can do is gather as much information as I can of iMac's with the same/similar problems and assume all the others are working perfectly.

    I will miss out on 'good' reports.
    Saying that, I will also miss out on information of the problem iMac's that got scrapped with no mention to anybody.
    (if any of those types of cases ever existed)
  • Helen Berman Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)
    I am not going to get involved in discussions of potential remedies since consumer warranty laws differ drastically from country to country - and even within states. I believe GaBeech is located in the UK which seems to have stronger consumer protection laws which might help him in this case. My advice would be for him to haul his computer into an Apple store and take it from there.

    Unfortunately the problem is quirky and (at least for me) the issue couldn't be replicated at the store. Even at home, the issue will appear and reappear without rhyme or reason at times since it crashed almost immediately twice this morning and now is behaving. Some conditions -- video intensive uses; downloading email while posting on forums seems to crash the computer almost always whereas other times it is capricious.

    However -- and to the point -- I believe GaBeech is absolutely correct in his thesis that a significantly high percentage of computers manufactured during a comparatively short time frame are unusually susceptible to these issues. (I believe the video cards are also similar which was discussed on another thread). For what it's worth the start of my serial number is W8637 and my video card is NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT. I personally think it's the video card.

    I know friends and family who had essentially the same iMAC but bought slightly earlier or later and none have this very distinctive problem whereas almost everyone with this distinctive problem seems to have an iMAC bought in late 2006.

    Be that as it may, as a previous poster pointed out, it's quite difficult to carry out a global class action since the value of an almost four year old computer is relatively small - In looking back over the last 20 years of Apple ownership, the longest I have had a computer was 5 years -- and I had it for that long only because my usage was minimal since my main computer was at my work place.

    Class action for those in the US are a possibility. I know there is a thread listing the attorney who is attempting same but again (and I don't mean this cynically), class actions are rarely particularly remunerative for any individual plaintiff. They exist because the damage to one individual is small but the aggregate damages for the certified class is high -- thus making them a particularly useful tool for consumer actions which often change corporate conduct (but don't result in windfalls for an individual).

    For example, I was a member of the class action for early iPOD's which had extremely limited battery lives with expensive replacements. I was given a choice of a replacement battery or a $25 (or was it $50?) credit at the Apple on-line store.

    Message was edited by: Helen Berman

    Message was edited by: Helen Berman
  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (14,875 points)
    Helen Berman wrote:
    I know friends and family who had essentially the same iMAC but bought slightly earlier or later and none have this very distinctive problem whereas almost everyone with this distinctive problem seems to have an iMAC bought in late 2006.


    I'm not so sure that it is safe to assume that almost everyone with this problem have iMacs bought (or more importantly, manufactured) in the same relatively narrow time period by the same factory. The most frustrating thing about it is it's almost impossible to get a good, statistically meaningful sample to work with -- a "smoking gun" that reasonably shows too many such iMacs are affected to write off as normal.

    For that, it would be necessary to have a good estimate of how many iMacs were made that fit some specific time/location frame, including both ones that do & don't fail in this way. That would at least provide an estimate of how many that fail would be required to show an endemic problem, but it still doesn't solve the problem of how to find that many of them.

    Anybody have an idea about how to do that?
  • GaBeech Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hello,

    I'll have to try and keep this one short, as I'm reliant on other peoples computers/internet at the moment...

    Thanks for your post.
    I can't make any statement that reflects how I 'feel' because, even if what I posted came to be true, at the moment it's only the feelings of one disgruntled customer and I'd most likely end up in court.

    There just seems to be so many clues that make it look like it's not just me that this problem effects/is going to effect.

    If I had 5 years worth of data on iMac's, 2006 - 2007 models in particular, I'm pretty sure I'd have no problem feeling entirely comfortable in airing my feeling/findings.

    It's hard proving that a high number/too many items produced in a certain place during a certain period of time or of a certain design, subjected to regular use, are prone to or will exhibit a certain fault.

    I'm not saying we should be guaranteed in every instance...
    But, for me, home/office computer equipment should last well over 5 years.
    (mechanical/moving parts obviously needing relevant care/maintainance)

    At the moment I'd wager a small amount of cash on me being close to the truth in my seemingly paranoid posts.
    All I can do at the moment is make educated guesses/gambles.

    x does y after 3 - 4 years of regular use...
    x was produced approximately 3 - 4 years ago...

    certain x's may of not been used often enough...
    certain x's may not of started to be used until well into the last 3 - 4 period...

    an x may differ in behavior, over time, from other x's depending on place of manufacture...

    I don't even want to imagine if something as simple as, the use of, capacitors from a different source could effect things.


    (so much for keeping it short)
  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (14,875 points)
    There just seems to be so many clues that make it look like it's not just me that this problem effects/is going to effect.


    The issue though is if these are really legitimate clues or something else, like wishful thinking making the relatively few reports available seem more representative than they actually are.

    FWIW, I had a G5 iMac fail with video issues at about the four year mark. Of course I was disappointed that it didn't last longer but I never considered it the result of a design or manufacturing flaw, just bad luck. (It was not one of the ones subject to the 'capacitor plague' that affected an earlier version.)
  • Helen Berman Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)
    The problems presented are unique to a small number of IMAC's that seem to have been produced during a relatively small window of time.

    I don't know what kind of "proof" you are looking for though since I have no expectation that anything will come of my "knowing" that I got a "lemon".

    If it walks, talks and crashes like a duck, it's a duck as far as I'm concerned. It might not be enough statistical evidence to prove by a "preponderance of legally admissible evidence" (the threshold for a plaintiff to prevail in a civil trial and it probably isn't enough proof to test a theorem in the scientific equivalent.

    However, I have been reading about this problem on these boards for about a year -- they are specific enough to a subsection of late 2006 MAC's so that I am reasonably certain that there is something about those MAC's which has this issue. I haven't read of anyone on these boards with this problem whose computer was manufactured outside that time frame -- to the extent they post, they have different issues.

    Message was edited by: Helen Berman
  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (14,875 points)
    Helen Berman wrote:
    The problems presented are unique to a small number of IMAC's that seem to have been produced during a relatively small window of time.


    What do you base this on? I searched this topic for "W86" -- which should show every report for any iMac produced with that factory code +at any time in 2006+. I get a total of 3 hits: two reports for iMacs without the problem, & one (yours) with it.

    I searched the entire "Using your Intel-based iMac" category for "W86*" -- which should do the same. I get a total of 15 hits for all of 2009 & eight for 2010, & only a few of them mention this issue at all.

    I've also tried various Google searches with similar results -- there are a lot of guesses that some relatively small window of time is implicated in higher than normal failure rates, but nothing more than that, & no consensus at all about what time window that is.

    I don't know what kind of "proof" you are looking for though ...


    A good start would be at least a handful of reports from owners of iMacs with the same 2 digit factory code & a production week code clustered around the same few weeks that all have the same symptoms of a failing video card. However, if a similar or greater number of reports of iMacs with the same codes appear saying those iMacs are still working fine, then it seems pretty obvious that the first group of reports is not proof of anything, legally or otherwise.

    … since I have no expectation that anything will come of my "knowing" that I got a "lemon".


    Every contextually applicable definition of "lemon" I'm aware of is characterized by failures early in the expected product life of the item. How long did you own the iMac before it failed?
  • Helen Berman Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)
    Why don't you do a simple search of horizontal lines, glitches etc. rather than serial number. There are any number of extremely long threads on the subject some of which also have links to other internet sources including some form of class action.

    I am not sure what the point of this discussion is. There seem to be a significant number of people having identical problems with machines made at approximately the same time. You seem intent on disputing any sort of anecdotal evidence. No one has any interest in conducting the kind of scientific survey that it appears you feel is necessary -- but again "necessary" for what?

    I don't intend to sue Apple nor do I intend to not buy a MAC as my next computer. I posted merely to provide the initial poster with confirmation that he wasn't alone in his having this problem with a machine made in this time period as have a number of other people.
Previous 1 2 3 4 Next