Sunday, July 10, 2011

blocky graphics imac overheating epic fail

We've been using mac products for years. Two systems (imac white and a 24" imac) both had "blocky screen of death" issues. We took matters into our own hands and attempted the mythical "thermal paste fix". No joy. There are significant design issues that folks over at Apple HQ don't think exist:

The ifixit folks have an awesome set of tear down instructions. However don't even attempt this one - trust me it is a waste of time, even if you have the capability to pull the machine apart, and pull off the fix: by the time you see the "blocks of death", you are pretty much done. Spare parts are like rocking horse droppings and of various quality.

This snap below is the before we resolved the "thermal paste" issue. As you can see "quality control" on the inside of your lovely mac is not the same as it is on the outside - I've seen sellotape fixes, but this one is a bit more fascinating:

Oh and you will need a pretty fancy screwdriver to even attempt this one, the blue decorator tape is great for putting humpty dumpty back together again... not that any of this actually works.

SMC fan control, and disabling quartz extreme:
isrv:~ jcuff$ defaults write /Library/Preferences/ GLCompositor -dict tileHeight -int 0 tileWidth -int 0
can help for a couple of weeks, but once these boxes start to go, they really do just go. We are two machines down, and wondering about the sense of the "all in one" approach... maybe it is mac mini and a decent screen time?

(UPDATE: Sept 25th 2011)
One of them is running linux with awesome graphics and is just fine, the other was not able to be repaired and resurrected from the "blocky screen of death" and is still in pieces waiting a dodgy ebay purchase!

[any opinions here are all mine, and have absolutely nothing to do with my employer]
(c) 2011 James Cuff