iMac freezes after screen dots appear

liberated

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#1
Hello everyone, hoping someone can help me here. My iMac started freezing after dots appear on the screen (see pic). I've researched the issue without finding any conclusive cause or fix. Anyone experienced this?
 

Europa

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#2
It might be corrupt kernel extensions or a bad graphics card. Does it seem to be related to a specific program? How old is you iMac? Try resetting the PRAM and removing unused login items and browser plugins.
 

liberated

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#3
It happens without any programs running it has been happening for a while but recently the freezing started. I made a Genius Bar app for this afternoon but without Apple Care I'm hoping for this to be a known issue. If the repair is over 1000.00 I may just get a new iMac instead. My iMac is 3 years old
 

Europa

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#4
If it's a bad video/graphics card and a known issue, it's possible that they will replace it for free. Good luck!
 

liberated

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#5
If it's a bad video/graphics card and a known issue, it's possible that they will replace it for free. Good luck!
Thanks Europa, I hope so, I have an issue with spending too much money and with my Apple addiction the last thing I need is an excuse to plunge money on a new slim 27inch iMac :(
 

liberated

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#6
If it's a bad video/graphics card and a known issue, it's possible that they will replace it for free. Good luck!
Do you think upgrading to a 2013 from a mid 2010 is worth it? I saw the recycling program and it looks I may be able to get at least 600 for it
 

Europa

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#7
Do you think upgrading to a 2013 from a mid 2010 is worth it? I saw the recycling program and it looks I may be able to get at least 600 for it
It's getting to the point where it might be worth it. I have 2011 iMac that I'm still really happy with and don't feel the need to upgrade, but I might in a year or two.
 

liberated

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#8
It's getting to the point where it might be worth it. I have 2011 iMac that I'm still really happy with and don't feel the need to upgrade, but I might in a year or two.
Such a hard choice, I'm happy with mine, I like the built in CD drive but now that the computer is unreliable I'm wondering if I should take the plunge.
 

rambo47

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#9
If you use Time Machine you might try rolling back to a date before the instability began. If it's a hardware issue this won't help, but if it's a case of something corrupted within the system it might help.

The Genius Bar should be able to diagnose hardware problems. Have you added RAM recently? Maxing out at 16GB has been known to cause stability issues for some folks. It caused problems for me and dropping down to 12GB sorted it out.
 

liberated

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#10
Update: dropped it off at Apple for testing, they seem to think it's the graphics card and will replace it. They told me that if that doesn't solve the problem, they will apply the almost 300 toward a new iMac. I'll keep updating you guys if interested.
 

Ledsteplin

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#11
Update: dropped it off at Apple for testing, they seem to think it's the graphics card and will replace it. They told me that if that doesn't solve the problem, they will apply the almost 300 toward a new iMac. I'll keep updating you guys if interested.
Follow through to the end. This kind of info may help someone else. I'm just nosy! :)
 

Kriss

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#12
I had an issue like this with my 2008 iMac. I bought a new one but then took it in to see what it would cost to repair. They charged me around $100.00 to replace a bad graphics card. I was lucky as that model/year iMac was one of the few with a replaceable graphics card. Now I have two :)
 

Kriss

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#13
Oh, Another thing.. My iMac got to a point whenever I ran a graphics intensive program, the screen would freeze and break up into little blocks when I moved the mouse, eventually not even responding. I thought this was due to overheating and I downloaded a little program called SMC FanControl. I was able to boost the fan speeds up high enough to keep it running while using photoshop, etc.. I'd just put them back to normal when finished. It got me to a point when I could make a change.
 

liberated

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#14
Oh, Another thing.. My iMac got to a point whenever I ran a graphics intensive program, the screen would freeze and break up into little blocks when I moved the mouse, eventually not even responding. I thought this was due to overheating and I downloaded a little program called SMC FanControl. I was able to boost the fan speeds up high enough to keep it running while using photoshop, etc.. I'd just put them back to normal when finished. It got me to a point when I could make a change.
I didn't get to tinker much but mine does the same thing tho it doesn't seen to be overheating.
 

Kriss

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#15
Mine got hot on the back. Really hot. Though it only froze and displayed artifacts when using it heavily. The fan control helped. I imagine the downside of using it is that it can probably decrease the life of the fans. I think the default was like 200 rpms and I would crank it to 2000 rpms. All three fans. Haha.
 

liberated

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#16
Update: Apple replaced the graphics card, the problem seems to be fixed now. I'm keeping an eye on it. They charged me 280.00 but if the problem is truly resolved, then it was well worth it.
 

Kriss

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#17
Congratulations. Well worth it. Better than $1,000+ for a new motherboard. I wasn't aware the 2010 iMacs had a removable graphics card. It looks like you lucked out.
 

liberated

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#18
Congratulations. Well worth it. Better than $1,000+ for a new motherboard. I wasn't aware the 2010 iMacs had a removable graphics card. It looks like you lucked out.
Thanks! Part of me wishes Apple killed my 2010 so I have an excuse to get a new 2013 :D I'll wait till the next refresh and recycle my 2010
 

Kriss

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#19
Lol. I ordered my new 2013 iMac just before Christmas and it took two months for Apple to build it to my specs. I got a 21 inch because 1. money and 2. the 24 inch was almost too big for my desk. I couldn't imagine a 27 inch on it. I'm happy with the smaller screen and it being the fastest machine around :)