Known problem w/older iMacs?

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Known problem w/older iMacs?

Carl Hoefs
Is the following a known problem with older iMacs running Sierra?

A (not-so-very-computer-savvy) friend writes:

"… Now the iMac won't wake-up with a mouse click in the morning. ...  I get a grey screen and then the computer restarts.  After it restarts, it takes forever to find the magic mouse.  Once up and running, it is OK until the next morning. …”

Sounds like a hardware (mobo) problem to me. Time to get a new iMac?

-Carl

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Re: Known problem w/older iMacs?

Macs R We
Well, the first big question: is the mouse wireless?  Maybe he just need to change the batteries!

> On Dec 27, 2017, at 9:19 AM, Carl Hoefs <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Is the following a known problem with older iMacs running Sierra?
>
> A (not-so-very-computer-savvy) friend writes:
>
> "… Now the iMac won't wake-up with a mouse click in the morning. ...  I get a grey screen and then the computer restarts.  After it restarts, it takes forever to find the magic mouse.  Once up and running, it is OK until the next morning. …”
>
> Sounds like a hardware (mobo) problem to me. Time to get a new iMac?
>
> -Carl
>
> _______________________________________________
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Re: Known problem w/older iMacs?

Carl Hoefs
If it were just a mouse issue, how would that cause a gray screen and an automatic restart of the iMac?

-Carl


> On Dec 27, 2017, at 9:20 AM, Macs R We <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Well, the first big question: is the mouse wireless?  Maybe he just need to change the batteries!
>
>> On Dec 27, 2017, at 9:19 AM, Carl Hoefs <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> Is the following a known problem with older iMacs running Sierra?
>>
>> A (not-so-very-computer-savvy) friend writes:
>>
>> "… Now the iMac won't wake-up with a mouse click in the morning. ...  I get a grey screen and then the computer restarts.  After it restarts, it takes forever to find the magic mouse.  Once up and running, it is OK until the next morning. …”
>>
>> Sounds like a hardware (mobo) problem to me. Time to get a new iMac?
>>
>> -Carl
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> MacOSX-talk mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> http://www.omnigroup.com/mailman/listinfo/macosx-talk
>

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Re: Known problem w/older iMacs?

@lbutlr
In reply to this post by Carl Hoefs
On 27 Dec 2017, at 09:19, Carl Hoefs <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Is the following a known problem with older iMacs running Sierra?

Not specifically, no.

> A (not-so-very-computer-savvy) friend writes:
>
> "… Now the iMac won't wake-up with a mouse click in the morning. ...  I get a grey screen and then the computer restarts.  After it restarts, it takes forever to find the magic mouse.  Once up and running, it is OK until the next morning. …”

Does this happen from sleep? Is it possible the machine is not restarting, but it waking up from hibernation mode? How old a machine is this?

> Sounds like a hardware (mobo) problem to me. Time to get a new iMac?

It's *always* time to get a new mac!

But seriously, not necessarily. The usual things to try apply:

0. Is all the software up-to-date and patched?

1. Shut down the computer and unplug it from power for at least 30 sections.

2. Reboot with the shift key down, login with the shift key down. Reboot.

Then, if the problem persists,

4a. [create a new user if there isn't a second account]

4b. Restart and login to another user account and see if the problem continues.

Still problems?

5. Try to run a speed test on the disk. You can do this manually if you're CLI literate, or there are some free utilities like Blackmagic's Disk Speed Test. If the disk is super slow, it is probably failing. Backup and replace it, or get an external to boot from.

6. Reinstall the OS. This is pretty much a last hail-mark swing-for-the-fences.

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Re: Known problem w/older iMacs?

Carl Hoefs
Thanks for the procedure. I take it that resets PRAM. Will throw it over the wall and see what happens!

-Carl


> On Dec 27, 2017, at 9:28 AM, @lbutlr <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> On 27 Dec 2017, at 09:19, Carl Hoefs <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Is the following a known problem with older iMacs running Sierra?
>
> Not specifically, no.
>
>> A (not-so-very-computer-savvy) friend writes:
>>
>> "… Now the iMac won't wake-up with a mouse click in the morning. ...  I get a grey screen and then the computer restarts.  After it restarts, it takes forever to find the magic mouse.  Once up and running, it is OK until the next morning. …”
>
> Does this happen from sleep? Is it possible the machine is not restarting, but it waking up from hibernation mode? How old a machine is this?
>
>> Sounds like a hardware (mobo) problem to me. Time to get a new iMac?
>
> It's *always* time to get a new mac!
>
> But seriously, not necessarily. The usual things to try apply:
>
> 0. Is all the software up-to-date and patched?
>
> 1. Shut down the computer and unplug it from power for at least 30 sections.
>
> 2. Reboot with the shift key down, login with the shift key down. Reboot.
>
> Then, if the problem persists,
>
> 4a. [create a new user if there isn't a second account]
>
> 4b. Restart and login to another user account and see if the problem continues.
>
> Still problems?
>
> 5. Try to run a speed test on the disk. You can do this manually if you're CLI literate, or there are some free utilities like Blackmagic's Disk Speed Test. If the disk is super slow, it is probably failing. Backup and replace it, or get an external to boot from.
>
> 6. Reinstall the OS. This is pretty much a last hail-mark swing-for-the-fences.
>
> --
> No Sigs. Blame Apple.
> _______________________________________________
> MacOSX-talk mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://www.omnigroup.com/mailman/listinfo/macosx-talk

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Re: Known problem w/older iMacs?

@lbutlr
On 27 Dec 2017, at 09:39, Carl Hoefs <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Thanks for the procedure. I take it that resets PRAM. Will throw it over the wall and see what happens!

It does not, but nearly nothing is stored in PRAM and that procedure is largely a hold-over from System 7 days, and generally as effective as waving a chicken bone over the keyboard.



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Re: Known problem w/older iMacs?

Macs R We
In reply to this post by Carl Hoefs
I guess the symptoms weren’t clear to me, combined with the fact that they were being reported by your not so savvy user. I thought he was saying that the mouse click would do absolutely nothing, not the mouse click would itself cause a gray screen somehow.

lbutlr’s list of steps to take is pretty comprehensive, except for the one that I would probably try up near the top of the list, which is to reset the Mac’s system management controller, especially since the problem is related to the power subsystem. You can Google the phrase and find the instructions for whatever vintage Mac you have.

> On Dec 27, 2017, at 9:23 AM, Carl Hoefs <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> If it were just a mouse issue, how would that cause a gray screen and an automatic restart of the iMac?
>
> -Carl
>
>
>> On Dec 27, 2017, at 9:20 AM, Macs R We <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> Well, the first big question: is the mouse wireless?  Maybe he just need to change the batteries!
>>
>>> On Dec 27, 2017, at 9:19 AM, Carl Hoefs <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>
>>> Is the following a known problem with older iMacs running Sierra?
>>>
>>> A (not-so-very-computer-savvy) friend writes:
>>>
>>> "… Now the iMac won't wake-up with a mouse click in the morning. ...  I get a grey screen and then the computer restarts.  After it restarts, it takes forever to find the magic mouse.  Once up and running, it is OK until the next morning. …”
>>>
>>> Sounds like a hardware (mobo) problem to me. Time to get a new iMac?
>>>
>>> -Carl
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> MacOSX-talk mailing list
>>> [hidden email]
>>> http://www.omnigroup.com/mailman/listinfo/macosx-talk
>>
>

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Re: Known problem w/older iMacs?

@lbutlr
On Dec 27, 2017, at 12:10, Macs R We <[hidden email]> wrote:
> except for the one that I would probably try up near the top of the list, which is to reset the Mac’s system management controller,

I didn’t mention it, but unplugging the machine for 30 seconds usually does this. It would have to be a PowerPC Mac for it not to.

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Re: Known problem w/older iMacs?

David Schwartz-11
On Dec 27, 2017, at 8:53 PM, @lbutlr <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> unplugging the machine for 30 seconds usually does this.

Does what? Reset the SMC?

Apple documents specific steps for all flavors of Macintosh hardware. Just unplugging an iMac is not a listed method for those machines.
(Tip: press power button for 5 seconds while unplugged)
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Re: Known problem w/older iMacs?

Macs R We
Unplugging the Mac is the most common reset across the various models of iMacs, but of course it doesn’t do squat for laptops.

> On Dec 27, 2017, at 10:09 PM, David Schwartz <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On Dec 27, 2017, at 8:53 PM, @lbutlr <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> unplugging the machine for 30 seconds usually does this.
>
> Does what? Reset the SMC?
>
> Apple documents specific steps for all flavors of Macintosh hardware. Just unplugging an iMac is not a listed method for those machines.
> (Tip: press power button for 5 seconds while unplugged)
> _______________________________________________
> MacOSX-talk mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://www.omnigroup.com/mailman/listinfo/macosx-talk

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Re: Known problem w/older iMacs?

Carl Hoefs
Here’s the update:

"OK, I have reset the System Management Controller and the PRAM.  Just changed the magic mouse batteries last Saturday.  Still had the grey screen and loss of mouse connection when the iMac woke up this morning.  I've had issues with this iMac ever since I got that secd security bug and Mac Grabber virus over a year ago.  Genius Bar doesn't know if the issue is hardware or software, and say there’s a $100 part I could “try” swapping out.  No thanks.  The Mac is 4+ years old.  I've read 4-5 is average. Time to get something new...”

Any last suggestions?
-Carl

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Re: Known problem w/older iMacs?

Matt Penna-2
If there's a lingering and longstanding question about malware, you could try backing the system up and then wiping it out totally—including deletion of all the partitions—just to see if the problem persists after a totally clean install with no files or other applications on the machine. That could help nail down if it's a hardware problem.

Has he run diagnostics on the machine, himself? Hold the D key at startup and it should start the hardware test routine.

On Thu, Dec 28, 2017 at 12:25 PM, Carl Hoefs <[hidden email]> wrote:
Here’s the update:

"OK, I have reset the System Management Controller and the PRAM.  Just changed the magic mouse batteries last Saturday.  Still had the grey screen and loss of mouse connection when the iMac woke up this morning.  I've had issues with this iMac ever since I got that secd security bug and Mac Grabber virus over a year ago.  Genius Bar doesn't know if the issue is hardware or software, and say there’s a $100 part I could “try” swapping out.  No thanks.  The Mac is 4+ years old.  I've read 4-5 is average. Time to get something new...”

Any last suggestions?
-Carl

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Re: Known problem w/older iMacs?

Carl Hoefs
I’ve tried the D-boot diagnostics thing, and it’s never worked for me. Maybe other people have more luck with it, but for me it just goes on forever and never reports anything.

Seeing as how my friend is "not-so-very-computer-savvy", I think at this point he’ll be best served by going with a new machine as opposed to continually futzing with his current system. I can kinda read between the lines that he wants an excuse to get a new computer anyway, so I’ll just let it go at that...

Thanks for all the hints and tips! It’s been quite educational.
-Carl


On Dec 28, 2017, at 1:11 PM, Matt Penna <[hidden email]> wrote:

If there's a lingering and longstanding question about malware, you could try backing the system up and then wiping it out totally—including deletion of all the partitions—just to see if the problem persists after a totally clean install with no files or other applications on the machine. That could help nail down if it's a hardware problem.

Has he run diagnostics on the machine, himself? Hold the D key at startup and it should start the hardware test routine.

On Thu, Dec 28, 2017 at 12:25 PM, Carl Hoefs <[hidden email]> wrote:
Here’s the update:

"OK, I have reset the System Management Controller and the PRAM.  Just changed the magic mouse batteries last Saturday.  Still had the grey screen and loss of mouse connection when the iMac woke up this morning.  I've had issues with this iMac ever since I got that secd security bug and Mac Grabber virus over a year ago.  Genius Bar doesn't know if the issue is hardware or software, and say there’s a $100 part I could “try” swapping out.  No thanks.  The Mac is 4+ years old.  I've read 4-5 is average. Time to get something new...”

Any last suggestions?
-Carl

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Re: Known problem w/older iMacs?

David Schwartz-11
You never shared exactly what model of iMac was under discussion, but "4+ years" suggests a "Late 2013", which wouldn't be particularly old in my mind. I've got lots of Mid 2011 iMacs (with SSD upgrades) humming along quite nicely w/High Sierra. And a 2013 model supports the newer AirDrop and wake w/Apple Watch, both features I very much appreciate on my newer desktops.

Restarting into Internet Recovery mode, erasing the drive and installing High Sierra cleanly seems like a reasonable step to take before deciding there is a hardware issue.

But if the owner just needs an excuse to drop money on a new machine, please make sure he/she doesn't buy an iMac with a single rotating magnetic drive. If they're opting for a 21.5", either go full Flash or go Fusion, but don't get stuck with the slow 5400 RPM 2.5" HD. It's a dog-slow machine and an embarrassment that Apple still sells this configuration.

 





> On Dec 28, 2017, at 12:33 PM, Carl Hoefs <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I’ve tried the D-boot diagnostics thing, and it’s never worked for me. Maybe other people have more luck with it, but for me it just goes on forever and never reports anything.
>
> Seeing as how my friend is "not-so-very-computer-savvy", I think at this point he’ll be best served by going with a new machine as opposed to continually futzing with his current system. I can kinda read between the lines that he wants an excuse to get a new computer anyway, so I’ll just let it go at that...
>
> Thanks for all the hints and tips! It’s been quite educational.
> -Carl
>
>
>> On Dec 28, 2017, at 1:11 PM, Matt Penna <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> If there's a lingering and longstanding question about malware, you could try backing the system up and then wiping it out totally—including deletion of all the partitions—just to see if the problem persists after a totally clean install with no files or other applications on the machine. That could help nail down if it's a hardware problem.
>>
>> Has he run diagnostics on the machine, himself? Hold the D key at startup and it should start the hardware test routine.
>>
>> On Thu, Dec 28, 2017 at 12:25 PM, Carl Hoefs <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Here’s the update:
>>
>> "OK, I have reset the System Management Controller and the PRAM.  Just changed the magic mouse batteries last Saturday.  Still had the grey screen and loss of mouse connection when the iMac woke up this morning.  I've had issues with this iMac ever since I got that secd security bug and Mac Grabber virus over a year ago.  Genius Bar doesn't know if the issue is hardware or software, and say there’s a $100 part I could “try” swapping out.  No thanks.  The Mac is 4+ years old.  I've read 4-5 is average. Time to get something new...”
>>
>> Any last suggestions?
>> -Carl

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Re: Known problem w/older iMacs?

Carl Hoefs
Yes, his system is not very old. Probably just needs a new HDD and macOS reinstall and it would be good to go. My understanding is that it is an iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2013) iMac14,1, but I’m not 100% certain of it. I asked him to go to About This Mac, but he doesn’t know how to do that… Plus, he’s across the country from me, so I can’t just take it under my wing. It would probably be simple to fix, but sometimes the best “fix” is no fix at all.

I didn’t know any Macs shipped today with an HDD. Thanks for pointing that out. I thought all current models were SSD-based. For Apple to be shipping a current iMac with what amounts to a 2.5” laptop HDD as the main/only drive is eyebrow-raising, to say the least.

-Carl


On Dec 28, 2017, at 5:11 PM, David Schwartz <[hidden email]> wrote:

You never shared exactly what model of iMac was under discussion, but "4+ years" suggests a "Late 2013", which wouldn't be particularly old in my mind. I've got lots of Mid 2011 iMacs (with SSD upgrades) humming along quite nicely w/High Sierra. And a 2013 model supports the newer AirDrop and wake w/Apple Watch, both features I very much appreciate on my newer desktops.

Restarting into Internet Recovery mode, erasing the drive and installing High Sierra cleanly seems like a reasonable step to take before deciding there is a hardware issue.

But if the owner just needs an excuse to drop money on a new machine, please make sure he/she doesn't buy an iMac with a single rotating magnetic drive. If they're opting for a 21.5", either go full Flash or go Fusion, but don't get stuck with the slow 5400 RPM 2.5" HD. It's a dog-slow machine and an embarrassment that Apple still sells this configuration.







On Dec 28, 2017, at 12:33 PM, Carl Hoefs <[hidden email]> wrote:

I’ve tried the D-boot diagnostics thing, and it’s never worked for me. Maybe other people have more luck with it, but for me it just goes on forever and never reports anything.

Seeing as how my friend is "not-so-very-computer-savvy", I think at this point he’ll be best served by going with a new machine as opposed to continually futzing with his current system. I can kinda read between the lines that he wants an excuse to get a new computer anyway, so I’ll just let it go at that...

Thanks for all the hints and tips! It’s been quite educational.
-Carl


On Dec 28, 2017, at 1:11 PM, Matt Penna <[hidden email]> wrote:

If there's a lingering and longstanding question about malware, you could try backing the system up and then wiping it out totally—including deletion of all the partitions—just to see if the problem persists after a totally clean install with no files or other applications on the machine. That could help nail down if it's a hardware problem.

Has he run diagnostics on the machine, himself? Hold the D key at startup and it should start the hardware test routine.

On Thu, Dec 28, 2017 at 12:25 PM, Carl Hoefs <[hidden email]> wrote:
Here’s the update:

"OK, I have reset the System Management Controller and the PRAM.  Just changed the magic mouse batteries last Saturday.  Still had the grey screen and loss of mouse connection when the iMac woke up this morning.  I've had issues with this iMac ever since I got that secd security bug and Mac Grabber virus over a year ago.  Genius Bar doesn't know if the issue is hardware or software, and say there’s a $100 part I could “try” swapping out.  No thanks.  The Mac is 4+ years old.  I've read 4-5 is average. Time to get something new...”

Any last suggestions?
-Carl

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Re: Known problem w/older iMacs?

Macs R We

On Dec 28, 2017, at 5:56 PM, Carl Hoefs <[hidden email]> wrote:

Yes, his system is not very old. Probably just needs a new HDD and macOS reinstall and it would be good to go. My understanding is that it is an iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2013) iMac14,1, but I’m not 100% certain of it. I asked him to go to About This Mac, but he doesn’t know how to do that… Plus, he’s across the country from me, so I can’t just take it under my wing.

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Re: Known problem w/older iMacs?

@lbutlr
In reply to this post by David Schwartz-11
On 27 Dec 2017, at 22:09, David Schwartz <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On Dec 27, 2017, at 8:53 PM, @lbutlr <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> unplugging the machine for 30 seconds usually does this.
>
> Does what? Reset the SMC?
>
> Apple documents specific steps for all flavors of Macintosh hardware. Just unplugging an iMac is not a listed method for those machines.

The instructions for all Intel desktop Macs except the new iMac Pro is to unplug for 15+ seconds, plug in, wait 5 seconds, and press the power button to start up.

<https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201295>

> (Tip: press power button for 5 seconds while unplugged)

That’s not in the instructions.

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Re: Known problem w/older iMacs?

David Schwartz-11
On Dec 29, 2017, at 4:23 AM, @lbutlr <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> The instructions for all Intel desktop Macs except the new iMac Pro is to unplug for 15+ seconds, plug in, wait 5 seconds, and press the power button to start up.
>
> <https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201295>

Yeah, I broke my own rule to never post without having cross-referencing evidence in hand; apologies for that. I hand't been to that page since before the addition of its iMac Pro section, so assuming the procedure wasn't just changed (unlikely) I'd been conflating "wait 5 seconds and press power" with "press power for 5 seconds" for a long time. Doubly embarrassing since I've been battling a 2009 MacPro w/updated ROM running Sierra that races its fans every week or so. The online recommended fix is an SMC reset, and I've not been doing it by the book.

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Re: Known problem w/older iMacs?

@lbutlr
On 29 Dec 2017, at 09:40, David Schwartz <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Yeah, I broke my own rule to never post without having cross-referencing evidence in hand; apologies for that. I hand't been to that page since before the addition of its iMac Pro section, so assuming the procedure wasn't just changed (unlikely) I'd been conflating "wait 5 seconds and press power" with "press power for 5 seconds" for a long time. Doubly embarrassing since I've been battling a 2009 MacPro w/updated ROM running Sierra that races its fans every week or so. The online recommended fix is an SMC reset, and I've not been doing it by the book.

Some days you eat the bear, some days the bear eats you.

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