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T O P I C     R E V I E W
Member # 748
 - posted January 05, 2010 10:39
Now it's failing me. It started a few weeks ago, when I kept finding it shut off when I knew I put it to sleep. After searching a bit, it turns out I have one of the "good" iMacs from a bad batch, the repair would require changing the logic board and the power unit. And since it took so long to fail, I am out of the extended warranty for this problem.

But now, my Safari and Mail have started "unexpectedly quitting" within minutes, sometimes it's the finder itself... (Although my card game seems immune?) Sure it could be bad memory, but at this rate, it's going to be cheaper to buy a new one rather than repair this one - plus the fact that repair would deprive me of a home computer for over a week, most likely.

I have started looking, and a refurbished iMac would probably be just what I need (I already have enough power with my 4-years old iMac G5 1.8GHz etc.). But should I pray the technology gods that my computer holds up just long enough for the MacWorld keynote, hoping to get an even better deal? (No, I would not get whaterver new is getting out; I'm heading to Europe this spring, remember? And since my car will be paid out in two month, leaving me with mortgage only, I'd love to stay mostly debt-free.)

Comments? Suggestions?
Member # 1659
 - posted January 05, 2010 11:01
____ iSlate Tablet
Ugh, MightyClub
Member # 3112
 - posted January 05, 2010 17:46
Tech is never top of the line for long. Take a refurb iMac and run. Limping along for a month in your current state will be painful and unproductive. Anyway, I think it's pretty unlikely we'll see another iMac refresh already.
Member # 1659
 - posted January 06, 2010 05:05
____ Computers are just a tool, every one has a preference on favorite tool. Stereo you are in a bind, can you do your work on company comps?

____ I would wait until your return then get serious about what you want. Choices made under duress are usually not good.

____ Take your time and be happy with your choice.
Member # 748
 - posted January 06, 2010 07:02
I sure can work on company comps. But I can't play on them! [Big Grin]

Ugh has a good point, and since my actual comp is seriously giving me problems (it again crashed Safari, Mail and the finder -twice - in half an hour this morning) I will go for a refurbished iMac. Too bad, yesterday there was one at about 1000CDN$, but it was gone this morning. But there is a 24-in one at 1350$, one that is no longer available so with 35% rebate. I don't need one as large, but I don't need the super-extra graphic and CPU power one that is at the same price, either (but only 15% rebate). So I'll go for the best value one.

As soon as I get home, if Safari can stay up long enough... [Wink]
Member # 1232
 - posted January 06, 2010 10:37
Sounds like Stereo needs some minor maintenance. I would advise you check your File system with something like Onyx. Once you have cleaned and tuned the file system, permission and possible fragmentation (most basic users won't need to worry)See if your Application Lockups/Panics have subsided. If not, an archive and install of the OS is recommened.

There is another possibility. MTBF ratings on hard drives are around three years. You may be experiencing Bad sectors or other issues related to the drive. The basic fixes I have outlined above might solve your problem, but not if you have a drive that is simply aging out.

I hope this helps. Just to prolong your computer just a little bit longer.
Member # 748
 - posted January 06, 2010 11:39
Thanks for the info, I will see if a system clean up can help, but I doubt it will solve the sleeping/shutdown problem. Anyway, I checked again a few minutes ago, and a 20-in iMac showed up for under 1000CDN$. Not from the latest lineup (but still an Intel Mac), so with a nice price cut, and it should be more than enough for me, and since there is a 1-year warranty on it... Well, I bought it.

Now, I hope a system clean-up will keep the old one working until the new one comes in. As for the hard-drive, it is newer than the computer, since the original died on me a couple of years ago.
Member # 3890
 - posted January 07, 2010 10:44
Stereo – If only I had been here sooner, I would have suggested checking out MacMall, they always have good deals on new Macs, though probably not as good as you got. Still, with mail-in rebates (yes, I know, devil spawn and all) you can get a good price reduction, plus Parallels for free (okay, so that's what I'm planning on doing, and think it's such a good idea I'm sharing).

Anyway, my machine is acting up, as well, so you have company. Two kernel panics in three days is my illness. Grrr. Hopefully, it's nothing serious as I was planning on waiting until Spring to get a new machine.

I hope your new Mac is great. If I were you, though, I'd get the AppleCare as well. Though, you can buy that at anytime during the 1 year warranty.
Member # 748
 - posted January 07, 2010 12:42
Thanks tweety. I don't know if I could have done better, since the Mac I ordered is supposedly already on its way...

The thing that hurts most is that I sent my Smart for its regular service this morning, and they found a few repairs needing to be done, over the rear winter tires I asked for: a piece of the steering is getting loose, but it comes in a set of two; and while at it why not change the breaks that are getting worn down to save some work time, and oil change is no longer free. Those will cost me more than the new iMac. Good thing I'm pretty much done paying it; I'll be able to offset the cost on the no-more-payments!

Actually, I will be able to pay for the new Mac, the repairs, the holiday bills, the RRSP, the coming taxes and my trip to Europe on what I have set aside, or barely digging into my credit line. Ah! Well, the boring job has the advantage of a nice, steady paycheck! [Big Grin] (And now, back to earning it! [crazy] )

Update: I come home to find my Bluetooth module is off now, which means I had to dig out my usb mouse and keyboard... Just a few more days... just a few more! [Roll Eyes]
Member # 1232
 - posted January 07, 2010 20:48
I really hope you enjoy your new iMac when you get it. I Will second the AppleCare recommendation. Let me know if you need any more info on old machine via PM.
Member # 748
 - posted January 09, 2010 07:03
It's in! It all went so fast... [Big Grin] But the new computer is so much faster - and no more worries about being kicked around by an old grumpy iMac! [Big Grin]

There were only two little snags: my FireWire cable wouldn't fit the new iMac (not the standard 6 pin nor the 4pin! [Confused] ), but so I had to do the file transfer with Ethernet. And I spent some time looking for the reset of my cable-modem. But it's all set now, and I now have Airport too!

Good bye problems (for a while, hopefully!), and hellooOOOoo biggie! [Big Grin] (I didn't thought the difference of screen size would be so noticeable!)
Member # 1659
 - posted January 09, 2010 07:30
____ Stereo, I have been told size does matter, especially if too large. I would guess that driving the big screen TV would be over kill, you might not see that little icon in the corner.

____ I do hope you and your new Comp, have a long relationship with out a ugly breakup like the last.

____ So when are you leaving this Continent? Have fun over the pond.
Member # 748
 - posted January 09, 2010 10:58
I will jump the water for two weeks or so by the end of May. Vienna, then a few days in Rumania to see a cousin and his family. (Or the other way around, things are not completely set yet.)

And thanks for the wishes, MoMan! [Big Grin]
Ugh, MightyClub
Member # 3112
 - posted January 11, 2010 09:56
Stereo, the new iMacs have FireWire 800, which uses a different connector. I think there are cheap adaptors if you have any old firewire 400 peripherals you need to hook up still.
Member # 2814
 - posted January 11, 2010 10:03
Random software crashing is often bad ram. Test it (I presume there's a memtest for ppc).

If hard drive fragmentation is in any way affecting your system's stability, then mac os x is an even bigger pile of shit than I'd originally thought.
Member # 1232
 - posted January 11, 2010 13:25
DNF... the mem test is part of AHT (Apple Hardware Test) usually part of DVD 1 or a separate disc that come with computer. As for the fragmentation. OS X is self optimizing if the machine is left on. However. If you like to move large files around a lot or ar into video editing and a graphic designer, and do not do regular maintenance... Don't be surprised if it goes to shit
Member # 748
 - posted January 11, 2010 13:57
I did the memory test (took over an hour!) and it came out clean. The OnyX test reported a problem with the hard drive and requested the computer to be started with an emergency/alternate disk for repairs, but all the CDs (DVDs) I had would not let me launch a third-party software; and the default test software found no problem whatsoever. Anyway; problem solved. The only problem left is that the Sims 2 won't properly install (I think there was some trick for updating the older add-ons to Universal, but I don't play it anymore so I didn't do more than a cursory search and a few attempts.) Or I may just transfer the updated files from the old mac. (For some reason, only the main partition was transferred, the other two were not.)
Member # 1232
 - posted January 11, 2010 18:41
The migration utility only migrates the users, apps and data from a specified drive with a valid OS as it runs as an app... It does not have the ability to re-partition from the same drive it is booted from (a bad idea anyway to self delete ones self) If you require additional partitions you'll have to erase the the machine, repartition, and migrate the stuff you need, then copy the data from the other partitions manually.

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