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Thread: iMac 27" not starting problem, can anyone help

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    Default iMac 27" not starting problem, can anyone help

    Hello, this is my first post here as I'm in desperate need for help for my iMac 27" bought around 2011/2010. Apple won't fix it any more because it's too old and they don't have parts for it.
    The computer turns on with the startup chime, I can see it tries to start, there is loading bar and it stays for for a long time (3-5 minutes) and sometimes it just never finishes to the log in screen, sometimes it turns off itself.
    This unit costs over $2500 when I bought it so I was willing to fix it. I have read on google, forums and discussions and I believed that I needed to replace the hard drive, which is cheap to buy a new one so I bought a new one and followed instructions here to replace it:

    It was not too difficult to replace the drive. I have followed other instructions to create a USB flash drive to install OS X.
    The problem is after I replaced the drive and tried to install OS X, I am still running into the same problem, which led me to believe that the hard drive was not the issue in the first place.
    And I did more reading on google, narrowed down a few discussions:







    from what I've read, now I'm thinking the issue is with the video card, not hard drive. But i'm not technical enough to know this for sure and it is quite expensive to buy a new video card and find out that it still doesn't fix the problem.

    I don't expect any forum member here to read all of these articles cuz they're lengthy to help me out. But if you have come across similar problem, would you have any suggestions for me before I toss this iMac to eWaste?



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    Quote Originally Posted by li2013 View Post
    Hello, this is my first post
    hi, ive not done a mac but if your keen enough, 1st id pull it apart,

    even watch some vids
    & see what sort of card is in it, then try to get a cheap replacement


    hopefully cheaper than that, & replace it.

    ps. if you think it turns off completely by itself, its probably Not the graphics card
    more the psu or motherboard, if it just loses the screen, its probably the card
    Last edited by Philquad; 02-06-19 at 05:38 PM.
    why do we need the NBN ? because the copper network is constipated & needs fibre

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    Sadly, Apple being a proprietary system, there are few third party bits for them hence the big $$$$. Philquad is about as helpful as I can be there, sorry.
    I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Philquad View Post
    hi, ive not done a mac but if your keen enough, 1st id pull it apart,

    even watch some vids
    & see what sort of card is in it, then try to get a cheap replacement


    hopefully cheaper than that, & replace it.

    ps. if you think it turns off completely by itself, its probably Not the graphics card
    more the psu or motherboard, if it just loses the screen, its probably the card
    Thanks for that. I've got the computer opened up now and it's broken already but willing to try.
    The card is 512MB and different model to my original one, will it work?

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    Quote Originally Posted by lsemmens View Post
    Sadly, Apple being a proprietary system, there are few third party bits for them hence the big $$$$. Philquad is about as helpful as I can be there, sorry.
    Thanks anyway. Surely a premium brand like Apple will be more expensive than cheaper ones, same goes with cars and other things I guess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by li2013 View Post
    Thanks for that. I've got the computer opened up now and it's broken already but willing to try.
    The card is 512MB and different model to my original one, will it work?
    which card? i only posted 1 as a reference
    im guessing it wont matter what you get, its just needed to make it work, same as pc motherboards without vga

    can you post a picture of the card, or the model of the mac, i mainly want to see the "pin" slot layout, where the card plugs in, they may differ from model to model

    maybe i can get 1 on ocau cheap if someone has a old job.
    why do we need the NBN ? because the copper network is constipated & needs fibre

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    You should be able to find here from your model number which card it uses:


    Check of anything else is removable like the wifi port and disconnect to see if it boots up.
    I assume you removed RAM sticks one at a time if they are removable.
    Last edited by nomeat; 03-06-19 at 02:50 PM.
    This era of thoughtless consumption must end so we can encourage a world of creative geniuses rather than consumer idiots.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Philquad View Post
    which card? i only posted 1 as a reference
    im guessing it wont matter what you get, its just needed to make it work, same as pc motherboards without vga

    can you post a picture of the card, or the model of the mac, i mainly want to see the "pin" slot layout, where the card plugs in, they may differ from model to model

    maybe i can get 1 on ocau cheap if someone has a old job.
    sorry should have made it clearer. the card on ebay link is 512MB for 2011 iMac from its description. Mine isn't the same one. I think I'll order a cheap one to try it out, if it does not work then at least I wouldn't lose a great deal of money, and I'm not using this computer as my main computer again anyway.

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    yes you need to post exact model
    if you get anything on the screen, then the card does work
    youtube vids today show me the mac cards have a overheat problem, it maybe that
    pull card out, remove heatsink, check the paste
    why do we need the NBN ? because the copper network is constipated & needs fibre

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    Seriously, if you have an image, can see the Apple logo or loading bar, your graphic card should be working.
    I had a look on ifixit at the 27" iMac from 2010 and there are quite a few peripherals that can be removed to see if they are causing the problem.


    50% of the time is just a dodgy or not well seated RAM stick.

    Removing the graphic card is considered difficult so that would be the very last you should look at but as said it seems to be working for now.
    You also can not get any old cheap graphic card. The Mac OS will not have the drivers for it.

    I only fixed a core 2 duo Dell a couple of weeks ago, that would always shut down a few seconds after it started to boot and already displayed POST.
    Ppl on the web forums said graphic card/motherboard. That was rubbish.
    It was the the WiFi card, 6 bucks on Ebay.
    Last edited by nomeat; 03-06-19 at 11:15 PM.
    This era of thoughtless consumption must end so we can encourage a world of creative geniuses rather than consumer idiots.


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    Thanks everyone for input. I ordered a cheap video card (not the same model) to try it out. It did fix my problem but I ran into another issue (caused by myself). It was indeed a faulty video card, replacing the card made it work at first but I couldn't fully install the card that I purchased because it has different model and smaller, the metal part for the card does not perfectly fit with the new card so during my effort to fit the metal bracket in (tried 2-3 times), I must have broken the new card somehow that it stopped working after that. I think I'll call it off here and see if I can get it repaired elsewhere. I like DIY and it's been a learning curve so far but it's getting beyond my knowledge now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by li2013 View Post
    Thanks everyone for input. I ordered a cheap video card (not the same model) to try it out. It did fix my problem but I ran into another issue (caused by myself). It was indeed a faulty video card, replacing the card made it work at first but I couldn't fully install the card that I purchased because it has different model and smaller, the metal part for the card does not perfectly fit with the new card so during my effort to fit the metal bracket in (tried 2-3 times), I must have broken the new card somehow that it stopped working after that. I think I'll call it off here and see if I can get it repaired elsewhere. I like DIY and it's been a learning curve so far but it's getting beyond my knowledge now.
    Any update for this?

    Is the computer working now?

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