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24" iMac (early 2008) 500GB Hard Drive - PROBLEMS anyone?

by bestbari / June 12, 2009 6:31 AM PDT

Purchased my brand new 24" iMac August/08. Never had any problems with it until last week. Got the file folder with the question mark after waking up from "Sleep". Phoned Apple Support, went through a couple of requests, and was told it sounded like my HD was shot. Took it to the Apple Store, the Genius hooked up his HD to it, said everything looks good. Disconnected his HD, restarted my iMac, and it started up fine. He said that his HD may have corrected whatever was wrong with it. Took it home, started it up the next day, it ran fine. Put it to sleep for about 8 hours. I have never done a backup, and the Apple Store says they don't do that, and if they had to put in a new HD, everything will be lost. I went out and bought a Maxtor 640 GB External HD so I could do a backup. Then when I awakened it, I got the folder with the question mark again. So, no backup has been done! Back to the Apple store, where a different Genius hooked up his HD, and he said it didn't recognize my HD. Said to leave it for repair, and they'd check the internal cables first, and if all OK, then they'd replace the HD with a new one. (This was Monday, today it's Friday and when I phoned to check on it I was told it's in queue for repair, but no results yet) When I was waiting for the Genius the second time, I was talking with another customer also waiting for his appointment. He had the exact same machine as mine, and the same problem. He said he had done some investigating, and found out that the Hard Drives that Apple put into these iMacs were FAULTY. His serial # prefix was the same as mine, and he bought it from the same store, around the same time. Just wondering if this has been a common complaint with the 500GB HD?

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Mine failed
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / June 12, 2009 11:19 AM PDT

with one recovery, after 18 months.
Fortunately, I had a Time Machine backup which put everything back as if nothing had happened.

P

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Mine failed
by bestbari / June 12, 2009 11:48 PM PDT
In reply to: Mine failed

mrmaqcfixit - This episode has taught me one thing: Always Backup!!! Like I said, I haven't heard from the Apple Store yet, but hopefully they'll be able to leave the same hard drive in my iMac. Then I'll learn how to use Time Machine!

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Learning to use Time Machine
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / June 13, 2009 4:14 AM PDT
In reply to: Mine failed

is something that you will not regret.
After you answer Yes to the one question, you have configured Time Machine. It's that simple.

P

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500GB HD (further)
by bestbari / June 15, 2009 5:17 AM PDT

My letter to Apple today, June 15, 2009:

I am very, very disappointed with Apple, after being a Mac user for over 10 years!

I just received a phone call from the Apple Store at Sherway Gardens, here in Toronto, ON and was told my 500GB Hard Drive was shot, after they had my 24" iMac for one week.

I purchased this brand new 24" iMac only 10 months ago in August/08, and never had any problems with it until last week. After waking up from the "Sleep" mode, I got the flashing file folder with the question mark so I phoned Apple Support, went through a couple of test procedures, and was told it sounded like my HD was shot.

I took it to the Apple Store, the Genius hooked up his HD to it, said everything looks good. He disconnected his HD, restarted my iMac, and it started up fine. He said that his HD may have corrected whatever was wrong with it.

I took it home, started it up the next day, it ran fine, and I put it to sleep for about 8 hours, and I went out and bought a Maxtor 640 GB External HD so I could do a backup. Then when I awakened it, I got the flashing file folder with the question mark again. Thus, no backup was able to been done!

Monday, June 8th back to the Apple store, where a different Genius hooked up his HD, and he said it didn't recognize my HD. He said to leave it for repair, and they'd check the internal cables first, and if they were all OK, then they'd have to replace the HD with a new one. While I was waiting for the Genius this second visit, I was talking with another customer who was also waiting for his appointment. He had the exact same machine as mine, and the same problem. He said he had done some investigating, and found out that the Hard Drives that Apple put into these iMacs were FAULTY. His serial # prefix was the same as mine (W88), and he bought it from the same store, around the same time, so I?m wondering if this has been a common complaint with the 500GB HD in the 24? iMacs (early 2008). If so, then why weren?t they all recalled for replacement?

After paying over $2800. for this iMac (the ?best? I could get at the time of purchase), I think Apple should be responsible for transferring all my data to the new HD, OR, should consume the cost of having it done by a Data Recovery Service, which I understand could cost between $500 and $2400. Please advise.

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Same thing: lost iMac HD
by dwlightiv / July 22, 2009 6:59 AM PDT
In reply to: 500GB HD (further)

The same thing happenned to me two days ago. My WD HD backup had been off for 2 months, so lots of pictures are on the internal drive only. I have an appt at Apple store tonight and will advise on my results. I'm encouraged that you had at least one episode of normal startup and will back up immediately if that happens.

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Same thing: lost iMac HD
by bestbari / July 22, 2009 2:19 PM PDT

Hello dwlightiv - One thing I noticed right away once they put the new HD in: They cranked up the fan. It's probably running 5-6 times as fast (rough guess) as it was when I purchased the machine. Maybe this is a resolution they've come up with, to keep it running cooler. Hope you get a chance like I did to get your backup done. I didn't have the backup, so I lost quite a few files, but fortunately, I had 85% of my pictures on cd's from years ago, so I've reinstalled them into iPhoto. Good luck with yours. pdm

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Now the wait begins
by dwlightiv / July 22, 2009 11:52 PM PDT

Thanks. Took it to the store last night. The Genius booted it up with his drive and immediately looked at me and said "this isn't showing your HD at all. We'll have to pull it out and put in a new one. Then we'll trouble shoot your drive and tranfer the data if we can get it going at all. If we can't, we'll give your old drive back to you and give you some numbers to call to try a recovery."

I did call Drivesavers. They take the thing apart and get straight to the actual disc, then recover and back up. I'm fairly confident that they can do it, but their quote is $900-3900. Ouch.

Mainly what I need off of there is pictures and iTunes.

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Ouch!
by bestbari / July 23, 2009 3:39 AM PDT
In reply to: Now the wait begins

Hi dwlightiv. Sorry to hear the bad news. I shopped around to about 5 different Recovery companies, and I know why you're saying OUCH. My lowest quote was about $500, and it just wasn't worth it to me. The HD is still sitting here and I don't think it's going anywhere except in the garbage. Good Luck! pdm

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That fan
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / July 23, 2009 12:03 AM PDT

should not run 5 to 6 times as fast as before. It should run at the same speed as it did before you sent it in.

Take that sucker back to the store and have them fix the problem. There is either a temp sensor that has not been reconnected or some other connection problem.
If the Temperature controlling system detects a defective, or disconnected, sensor, it goes into high gear just to be on the safe side.

Download a copy of iStats and configure it to show Processor use, Fan speed and Internal temperature. The icons showing this will be in the Menu Bar at the top of the screen. Check the them when the fan runs fast and you may find, if this occurs when you are running a specific program, that the processor use is solid red. If that is so, check for a new version of that program.

Let us know how you get on.

High fan speed is NOT a cure or a good sign

P

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That fan
by bestbari / July 23, 2009 3:31 AM PDT
In reply to: That fan

Hi P. Maybe I exaggerated with the 5 to 6 times as fast. I just noticed the fan when we got it back from the Apple Store. Maybe it's only twice as noisy? However, the top of the screen is not HOT anymore, as it was when originally purchased - it's just a nice "warm" now.
As far as the fan running faster for any specific program, it runs the same speed no matter which program I'm running.
I can't find the iStats you mention in the Menu Bar. Where exactly is this?
Ever since they replaced the HD, I've not had any problems.
Thanks for the follow up.
pdm

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google for iStats menu
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / July 23, 2009 4:47 AM PDT
In reply to: That fan

download and install it.

you'll find it Here

P

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iStats
by bestbari / July 24, 2009 12:22 PM PDT
In reply to: google for iStats menu

Thanks P. I installed it and got the following stats:

Temperatures
CPU A 36C Ambient 23C GPU 42C HD Bay 1 55C
Optical Drive 46C Power Supply 1 47C WDC HD 51C

Rpm's
CPU Fan 3598 Hard Drive 1351 Optical Drive 698

This is all interesting, but I don't know what the temperatures and rpm's should be.
Do you know?
Thanks
pdm

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Mine is
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / July 25, 2009 12:23 AM PDT
In reply to: iStats

43C and 1200 RPM for the fan while the machine is looking at this forum

At that fan speed, you may have something else going on. It should not be that fast when idle. In fact the machine should be just about silent while looking at the forums

P

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Mine is
by bestbari / July 31, 2009 5:54 AM PDT
In reply to: Mine is

Hi Peter.

You were exactly right. I took it back to the Apple Store, the Genius took it in the back, and found that the temp sensor had not been reconnected (after they replaced my HD).

Brought it home and now the TMP is 39/40 degrees, and the FAN is running 1198/1200 rpm. I can't even hear it!

One thing I've noticed though, is that the HD is now up to 57 degrees, and before it was 52 degrees. Is this OK?

Thanks again for your input Peter. I really appreciate it!

Paul

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You're welcome
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / July 31, 2009 6:59 AM PDT
In reply to: Mine is

Don't ya just love it when you finally get one right?

Don't worry about the HD bay. Mine is currently ready 55

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Thermal problems???
by cysound / December 26, 2009 9:46 AM PST
In reply to: Mine is

I am working on a friend's iMac that seems to be having the same issues reported here. When it is on for a while, the hard disk just completely disappears. I had everything working with OS 10.6.1 and ran software update. After well over an hour, the machine crashed. I took a chance after at least 10 minutes of beach ball and shut it down. When I started it up, no internal drive at all appeared. After several restarts, still no hard drive. Shut down for an hour, and it restarted and ran perfectly. After sleeping after about an hour, once again the hard drive disappears. I suspect a thermal problem as reported here.
I was originally going to install a new drive, but I suspect this is not the problem, it is something with overheating. The drive in this case is a WD 320, not the 500 that started this thread.
Any info appreciated.

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HD and Heat
by dwlightiv / July 24, 2009 3:16 AM PDT
In reply to: That fan

Now that I think about it, I was a bit surprised as to how hot the thing got. Perhaps a heating issue killed my hd. I think I'll try iStats when I get it back.

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24" iMac 500GB hard Drive Failure
by rwreed / February 20, 2010 2:10 AM PST

My early 2009 24"iMac exhibited the same symptoms as yours after it was just out of the 12 month warranty. Thankfully I had bought Applecare for it and had both TimeMachine and SuperDuper backups.
The iMac intermittently refused to boot up from the hard drive and was taken to an Apple repairer after I had spent 45 minutes on a call from AppleCare trying to diagnose the problem. My Mac was ready for collection after two days, a 640GB drive having replaced the original 500GB unit that had failed.

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