My iMac continued to get worse and worse the last few months until it was virtually unusable without running SMCFanControl at high speed pretty much all the time. I finally couldn't take it anymore and broke down and bought a new 27" iMac. It's a breath of fresh air, if not all that different from my old Mac which *should* work fine. Very frustrating, but I suppose exactly what Apple wants.
That said, I'd like to give my parents my old early 2009 iMac. So I tried downgrading to Mac OS X 10.5 after erasing and zeroing the hard drive. After installing all upgrades, etc. in 10.5, I tested the machine by running 10 Youtube videos at once. The computer performed admirably, and I saw no hint of screen pixellation, artifacts, or freezing.
So I got brave and installed 10.6. Within minutes of booting into 10.6 I got the "glittery" pixellation trails in a horizontal line across the lower portion of the screen.
So, I popped the original discs with 10.5 back in and reinstalled 10.5 again. This time, I also got the artifacts in 10.5!
So I did an SMC and PRAM reset (4 chimes) and tried again. Seemed better so I tried the YouTube test again. Everything looked good. After I had that running for a while and the machine was getting quite hot (as measured by Temeperature Monitor) and the screen was still looking good, I decided to reboot, and try to use the computer for mundane tasks at the same time as running a YouTube video. Sure enough, after a few minutes, a small amount of glittery pixellation occurred.
I've shut the computer down and left it sitting a couple of days. I may try zeroing the hard drive again and reinstalling 10.5 from scratch. I can't imagine zeroing the drive will make any difference, but it is the only thing I did differently in my first attempt, which *appeared* successful (maybe I just didn't push the machine hard enough.)
In any case, 10.5 is much, much, much better on this computer than later releases are, but it does **not** cure the problem as others have reported.
I'm hoping to still find a fix so I can give my parents the computer (they're still on the bendy-necked iMac G4!) without worrying that it will fail on them.
Did anyone try to disable Quartz Extreme with the GT130 ?
I think the problem is that Graphics card exceleration with Quartz Extreme is overheating the GPU and therby destroying the graphics card and / or motherboard.
So with a new video card you should disable QE with an already infected machine it maybe helps... maybe not
I wish apple would update their imac drivers to send lesser load of these effected iMac video cards
I just want to be able to use my iMac and 90% i don't really need those hardware excellerated graphics...
A couple of months ago, I disabled Hardware Acceleration everywhere I could (Browsers, video players, etc) and I'm still getting the same freeze/reboot garbage from this faulty system that Apple does not have the integrity to stand behind and publically admit that there is a defect and make it right.
I see red every time my imac randomly restarts while I am in the middle of trying to work. It is somewhat shocking that the solution some have chosen is to just buy another computer from the deceitful company that already sold them a lemon, then laughed & spit in their face. It's like the clichéd guy driving off the used car lot and the two salesmen are just laughing their butts off.
Feeding more money to an indifferent behemouth that won't stand behind their product is just not in my nature.
The chiselers in charge KNOW there is a defect in their product. The thousands and thousands of crash reports sent in by the afflicted suckers (whoops, I meant customers) after their 2009 imac had a kernel panic directly related to the graphics card/driver and reboots proves this. Yet, this wide-spread defect is news to anybody you talk to at Apple. Hhhmmmm...So what exactly is the point of those crash reports? Are they sent to a mailbox that is just deleted each night? Are they just used togather info about customers computers? What's the deal?
They need to be shamed in to admitting that there is a problem and then committing to fix it. That seems to be the only way to get a big comapny to do the right thing these days.
I'm tired of dealing with this. I'm just tired...
Just adding my lament to the stream. I have 2x early 2009 imac 24"ers with nvidia GT 120 graphics boards, 4GB. Updated both to OS 10.8 at the same time. One gets 4x the use than the other. On the 4x used one, I started seeing display crashes bringing down the imac. Tried smc control didn't help. Upgraded to Maverick, didn't help. Checked memory loading, doesn't seem to be the issue. But have found a simple test that crashes every time.
1) Open safari (I'm up to version 7.0 in Maverick)
2) Do a google search for " sewnsew glendora "
3) On the right the google search shows location and map for sewnsew in glendora, click on the map to bring up Google location page
4) Place cursor in the middle of the map, hold down the mouse button and wiggle the map around
5) Crashes within a few seconds
Now repeat with firefox and it doesn't crash!!!
Other than safari, this more used imac doesn't crash (but I'm not running intensive graphics elsewhere)
Meanwhile the lesser used imac doesn't have any graphics problems in safari or elsewhere.
But yours has a gt 120 card this thread is for gt130 card 2009 imacs only. Please don't confuss this thread go to the gt120 card thread.
I have just took my imac to the apple store bullring. After a week they can not find any thing wrong. Offered to charge me to replace the graphic card that their tests said was ok? Imac is still restarting itself having kernel panics wacky screen graphics. Got to be a driver or softwear issue. When using early snow leapard works with no problems.
I have took my 2009 imac into the apple store bullring. They cleared the dust out the fans & its past all the tests. They offered to put a new graphic card in at a charge. But stated they can not find a fault with the graphic card. (GT 130 card) They have now ran it for two weeks without a crash. I was geting kernel panics 20 times a day since sept 2012. So maybe a complete clean install with fresh user of mavericks & a dust clear out is the answer. I would not buy a graphic card unless it fails the apple store test. I have been advised not to use any old time machine back ups, as the fault is somewhere in the softwear of my old user profile. The only none apple softwear I had installed was accountedge. So its a case of reinstalling all my old stuff untill i can recreate the kernels panics scrren shots imac restarting itself. This should show the real cause.
I was having KPs all the time with my 2010 i7 iMac (11,1 model) until I turned off WiFi. Not a big deal since the switch is only five feet away so wired Ethernet is fine, but it bothers me that Apple didn't get it right. So...I did a clean wipe of the hard drive and installed Mavericks from a USB stick. All's well, and I only had stock Apple software installed and I thought "what the heck" and I enabled the WiFi connection. I had a KP within an hour or two. Some things never change with Apple, I guess.
I'm seeing the same "branched" message you are Scott and just like you I cannot access whatever it is. No idea what that is, I don't think I had ever seen that previously.
* Something else I just noticed too is that I can no longer go back and edit my prior posts in this thread. However, I do not know if this is somehow normal, like posts lock themselves after a certain amount oftime has paased since posting or something like that.
Supposedly 10.9.2 (Mavericks) has a change in the Nvidia drivers. At least reports are that the testing concentrated on them and the update notes claim that there are "improvements". So has anyone tested their 2009 iMac with the GeForce 130 and the latest Mavericks? Are the drivers a newer date and version? Any good or bad news? Or has everyones video card been so damaged that there is no hope.