Friday, October 5, 2007

New iMacs face widespread random freezing and lock up issues

ATI graphics forcing iMac freeze?
Widespread problems being reported by new iMac owners

From the iPod Touch to the latest incarnation of the MacBooks, Apple just can’t seem to guarantee the quality of the product you will receive. It’s hit or miss as to whether the one you get will be without problems and it seems this has expanded to new iMacs as well.

AppleInsider reports on the problems as well as users on Apple’s support forum that the new iMacs continue to run when the freezing occurs but it is not possible to control or switch programs without a reset.

One person writes, “Whatever was going on at the time continues, so if you were listening to music it continues to play.”

Some items on the system continue to respond such as the mouse and basic keyboard functions.

The problem appears to be linked to the ATi Radeon HD graphics hardware and related drivers but this has not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Some owners are able to reliably cause the freeze and for others it occurs at random.

Apple isn’t trying to deny this problem exists and says it is aware of the issue but has been unable to produce a permanent fix for it. Two update packages have been released, mostly containing updated video drivers but failed to fix the freezing issue.

Some iMacs were made worse by the updates, but reverting to older drivers corrected that problem for a handful of owners.

AppleInsider claims that its review iMac, while fine for a couple weeks now suffers the same fate as the others and the above fix did not correct the problem.

For anyone considering buying a Mac, this should be cause to second guess that decision. It’s really been nothing but problems since Apple switched over to Intel processors, which may or may not be related.

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