I've written a very detailed article about my battle with Apple and trying to get them to repair my faulty late 2006 iMac. After many months I succeeded though and actually received a brand new iMac. You can find the article here:
Amazing! Great job Shaun! It's a shame that we have to go these lengths really. My iMac is pretty much unusable. It used to have unbelievable tearing, etc until I installed SMC Fan Control. Now I have minor lines and tearing, but the machine just freezes with whatever was showing at the time of the freeze, and NOTHING can be done about it. Audio still plays in the background, Youtube, whatever. It just freezes and the only thing I can do is power down (which isn't good for it at all). Because I have to power down like this all the time, I have to run Repair all the time. I'm not sure what to even do with my machine? It PAINS ME to throw it away!? But essentially that's all I can do with it because it's not worth using, even if it were free.It's basically a giant paperweight. I can't even sell it really because it's worth nothing.
No amount of defragging, OS reinstalls, will fix it. I've tried everything including Apple Hardware Tests, Memory Tests, etc. It's quite simple, my refurb was a refurb because of the video card and the problems for me didn't surface until after my Applecare ran out. It's expensive and pointless to consider a used logicboard for this machine because the vid card is built in. All the vendors know the problem too, and usually won't guarantee it. There are some who do offer a return policy, but it's big undertaking to replace the mobo based on a maybe. Maybe it'll work for 30 days then start acting up? Then I'm really out! So, it's not worth the risk. It's the very first Apple Computer that I've ever purchased that I've had a problem with and I've owned Mac's ever since the Apple IIe! In fact, I have a working PowerMac 7200/120 still (I don't use it, but I have it!).
Although, my iPod Touch 3rd Gen 64gig finally bit the dust recently. The Accelorometer went bad in it a year or more ago, then over time the charge pins got bent. I can replace that part (providing I don't mess up, which I have done before replacing batteries in iPods). But since the accelorometer is bad it's usefulness is limited. Only a new logic board can fix it, and it's not worth it. I've tried all the tricks to get it working as well.
So, I guess that's TWO products out of about 15+ over the course of 20+ years. I've not been able to afford to replace my iMac or the iPod Touch. I use my ANDROID phone instead. Sooner or later I'm going to have to do something. I can't have a home computer that limits me to web browsing for the most part. I'm a musician and have thousands of dollars worth of software and plugins that I can't even use. I've not been able to use my iMac for so long that I'm used to not recording anymore and may never again.
I don't have the money to buy a new machine at full price, and i can't afford an iPad yet. Maybe when the 3 comes out I'll buy a 64gig iPad 2 on sale from Verizon or something? I'll at least be able to use my apps. In November of this year, I'm getting an iPhone too. But I still desperately need an iMac at home. It's not likely to happen anytime soon either.
Firstly, congratulations Garrod, just shows what some persistance can achieve. Quite a story.
Secondly, I've just started having some freezes with my late 2006 20" iMac, plus the odd pixelated horizontal line. However, after doing some extensive reading, it does appear that extensive pressure on the graphics chip, with video / graphics applications, causes overheating, freezes, and overtime a gradual 'frying' of the chip.
Thus far, I've followed this post from OSX Hints http://hints.macworld.com/article.php?story=20110606033134359&msg=15 and SMC fan control has made a difference.
SMC fan control is the only thing I've installed so far.
Before I order a suction/blower fan to tape to the back slot of the iMac vent (that's going to look great!) which does sound sensible, I wonder if anyone else has any hints/tips with regard to keeping the Mac cool?
For example, is it worth cracking the iMac open and cleaning out all the dust and stuff that maybe preventing clearer air circulation?
The suction/blower fan is inexpensive, and I guess worth a try and in theory should help draw air through the mac.
This is of course, if people do buy into the theory that these problems are generally caused by overheating. I've installed the widget iStatNano to monitor the individual temperatures of the components to randomly check as I work.
I'm also having these same problems....for the past year or so. I tried replacing the harddrive thinking it was too crowded and that was the problem. Never even considered it might be a problem with other iMacs.
I'm from the same generation: W86291
Is there any point to asking Apple to come clean about this?
I managed to get my 2006 iMac replaced, for free, in late 2011. It was hard work but worth it. I've written about it in detail here:
Apple won't come clean on it now, the machines in question are 5 years old. I think Garrod was fortunate in that, by the sounds of it was something more fundamental than a typical machine given replacing the entire logic board and LCD did not solve the issue. His is probably a unique, but successful case.
For the rest of us, try the fixes that have been illustrated. Fan control, iStat nano to monitor your temperatures, and even external fans to help - http://hints.macworld.com/article.php?story=20110606033134359
I actually bought this USB fan set really cheap from Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B003LLADCA/ref=oh_o00_s00_i00_details and have unscrewed the fans and blu-tak'd them to the back of the iMac at the left corner where it gets hottest with them drawing air out rather than blowing air in. Seems to be keeping temperatures low at the moment, and no freezes for a while.
Would be happy for people to comment on whether this is a good/bad idea, for some it will only be a temp fix for a problem solution, but I'm giving it a try to prolong the life of the machine.
count me as others mentioning problems with the iMac (17-inch iMac G5, no camera).
image corruption, snow, or flickering, screen fuzzy with code.
tried ALL the rebooting help items and got the screen to come up for a few minutes, but it doesn't last and the screen degenerates back to the fuzzy, unstable screen until it freezes.
gonna try the SMC thang, but i don't think thats's gonna FIX the problem.
i've been letting this problem 'sit' for like 1.5 yrs. as i also have a newer version iMacG5 (w/camera), so i switched to that cos i was so FRUSTRATED. i've spent SO MUCH TIME troubleshooting this.
i like the old machine cos i also have old os9 on there and all my prohrams that i loved, esp. Premiere v.4.2 and PageMaker !! (i'm not crazy about adobe's layouts after these versions, too much "PC" crept into their look.)
i've mostly found all these system upgrades 2b a big pain in the neck, getting other software to work, etc.
ah, the good old days!! been buying mac since the original mac, mac +, SE, etc. they STILL work FINE!!
anyway, i digress to a fuzzy, unstable screen until it freezes… it's not like thse machines were cheap!!
I'll be honest in that your problems Cino sound slightly different from those effecting the late 2006 iMac's Intel Core 2 Duo's. There are a few images posted, but they are graphic glitches such as horizontal single pixelated lines, screen tearing, and odd shapes.
The fuzzy code, snow and flickering is not something I've read so far, and I've gone through the whole thread.
Yours does sound like a video / graphics issue. If you've tried many of the 'typical' fixes (resetting PRAM etc.) iStat Nano is a great little app for monitoring temperatures within the Mac. If you notice overheating which leads to the problems, then SMC fan control can help keep the Mac cool. Given your's is quite old, may also be worth a good dust clear out.
I'm having the same problems with 2 iMacs, both 2006 models that were purchased new and a few months apart (one is W86033xxxxx the other I'm using now and hesitate to turn upside down to get the number). One machine died completely a few weeks ago after months of horizontal lines and freezes. The other I have to boot from an external hard drive and run in safe mode in order to get anything done on the machine. I had written these problems off as just the "age of the computers" until finding this thread tonight.
Oddly enough, I purchased a secondhand MacBook Pro today to have as a backup in case my only remaining and partial functioning iMac also decides to bite the dust. I spent about 30 minutes inspecting the MBP and playing around on it before closing the transaction. The previous owner said he had never had any problems with it other than a battery replacement last year due to swellling. Never dropped, no spills and was used very little (only 39 cycles on the new battery). I got home with it and 2 hours into working on the MacBook Pro......tada, there they were, the same horizontal, random lines across the screen just like my iMacs!! Is anyone aware of these similar issues happening with the 2006 15" MacBook Pros? Serial on the MBP is W86320xxxxx.
You're better off finding a thread (or starting one) in the MBP forum for that particularly query, as this is very much an iMac thread.
I do however have a MBP 15" from 2007, which did have it's logic board replaced under Applecare after a couple of years of use. It just died though rather than freezing or exhibiting any lines. I'd also note that a low cycle count is no indication of the use of the Mac or the health of the battery. A healthy battery is one that is run down completely on a regular basis http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1446. I ruined one battery as I hardly ever unplugged the machine from the mains, I used the machine loads but the cycle count was probably 30 or less. I've had my latest battery for a couple of years now, cycle count 133, but it still holds 4077mAh of its 4133 full capacity, I run it down at least once a week.
This obviously doesn't help with the lines issue! Wierd that it's happening on 3 machines, either you're very unlucky, or perhaps there is something in the software / system setup you have? Have you tried typical things like zapping the PRAM etc.? http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1573
This probably doesn't apply to your MBP but worth checking - http://support.apple.com/kb/TS2377
Wanna hear something strange?? My iMac 2.166 Core Duo 21.5" w/ the ATI X1600 vid card running 10.6.8, has been bad for a long time (like three years) and it's usage limited to just casual use. If you taxed the card at all, it would freeze. Before running SMU I had wicked bad tearing, etc. But SMU helped that a lot, but not totally. I'd still see lines across the screen on occasion, and would experience video freezes often. You could hear things were still "running" in the background, but the screen would freeze. If I was transferring something to a thumb drive or whatever, and it froze in mid transfer, If I waited a while then did a hard power off, the transfer would be complete. So, the machine was still working as suspected.
But recently, the freezing got so bad that I couldn't keep the machine from freezing upon rebooting. It would freeze immediately and sometimes turn crazy colors, or display no video at all. That's when I knew it was hosed.
The other day I decided to boot into Single User mode for kicks. I've never done that before, so I figured it couldn't hurt. I know that booting into SUMode disables Quartz I think, among other things. But I booted into to Single User mode, and the computer didn't freeze. The display looked a bit funny... kind of speckled every so slightly with pixelation, but it was usable and not freezing. I let it run ALL WEEKEND, and didn't really use it
This morning I checked it out again, and the pixelization speckles were gone and the display looked pretty good. I messed around with it a little bit and it seemed to work just fine. I couldn't watch a Youtube video clip, but that may have just been a random issue. I didn't have time to view any others to test it out.
My point is.... my machine has never ran so good, and it's single user mode. Could this mean that the video card is ok? Or could this mean that Quartz is what makes the video card freak out? This doesn't mean that it's not still bad... but this is the first any only thing I've been able to deduce from the problem otherwise.
I haven't read through all 22 pages of threads here, but I've been monitoring this post for a long time. Maybe it's been discussed already? If so, then I beg your pardon. But just in case, I wanted to share my findings.
The graphic card can't be replaced because it's built into the logic board. The logic board can be replaced, but it's not cost effective to do so. You'll pay more for a logic board than what the computer would be worth sans issue. And since this problem is so widespread, it's hard to find a logic board that is "Guaranteed" to not have the same issue eventually.
Apple was wrong not to recall these units. There are way too many people with bad X1600 vid cards to be a coincidence. I don't have the time to "fight" Apple over it either. The only thing about Apple that I can't stand is that everything is built into the logic board and can't be replaced in a cost effective manner. If you have a problem with an out of warranty Apple product, you might as well use it for target practice because it's not worth fixing.
Plus, clearly Apple prices these Logic boards high on purpose. You can't tell me that they cost any more to make than a PC motherboard? Even the BEST PC motherboard is a fraction of the cost of a new Apple Logic board. Apple does this for their benefit, not the users.
I'm an Apple fan boy through and through, but this has always been a HUGE beef of mine.
I'm sort of surprised that no one is even remotely curious as to the X1600 video card working fine, but NOT if Quartz Extreme is active. I have verified this by running my computer in Safe Mode for a week, with NO issues. Unfortunately, I can't keep it this way because I can't burn DVD's, no audio, etc.
Something on the video card involving Quartz is what's bad. Whether it's a chip, capacitor, I don't know. Since my video goes out almost IMMEDIATELY, I don't think it has anything to do with overheating. I think it's a bad capacitor or chip of some kind. Too bad too, because if it weren't for that, my machine would be fine.
Gerrod... I appreciate your efforts to get your computer replaced, but I am a father of two boys, with a full time job, a wife with a high pressure job, sports after school, homework, etc... I don't have that kind of time to invest, even though the results speak for itself.
There is no guarantee that Apple would continue to honor such a thing. Maybe they have to? I'll have to read more about it. But one shouldn't have to jump through that many hoops to get such a thing taken care of.
Kidnap Apple CEO's dog on a Wednesday.
Return the dog to the home during the last five minutes of Dr. Oz on Friday.
Tell him you found the dog, then offer to cook him dinner (go easy on the pepper).
After dinner, drive to an unmarked road in the middle of the country.
Get out of the car and scream into the wind, "Oh Apple Gods, won't thine helpeth me?"
Return to the car.
Sleep EXACTLY 22 minutes and 15 seconds.
>>>> (If you go over or under by a even a second, start over from the beginning).
Write a letter using nothing but yellow Post It notes and send to Apple.
Wait for reply.
If no reply arrives, repeat all of the above steps but subsitute yellow Post It notes for blue.