Diagnosed and replaced Power Supply and an Upgrade Too!
30 Minuten - 1 Stunde
My wife has a 20" Intel iMac (EMC No. 2210) which had slowed to a crawl and eventually failed to boot. I have always had PC's and wasn't shy about swapping out hard drives and performing basic hardware repairs or upgrades. I wasn't eager to go out and spend a couple grand on another Apple computer so Google and I set about looking for instructions on how to trouble shoot and fix this machine.
The iFixit videos and repair guide was awesome, as are the user forums here. After digging about the site, watching the videos and combing through the forum I made a plan. I decided that no matter the problem I would upgrade the hard drive from the 250 GB stock drive to 1TB and that I would swap out the PRAM battery at the same time. So, I ordered the drive, the recommended suction cups for removing the screen and the driver set. The tools are great quality and a good value.
Once they arrived I cleared the dining room table and set to work removing the screen - I have to admit the way those Apple guys figured out how to mount it using magnets is very cool - and disassembled enough so that I could easily view the LED's for trouble shooting. The first LED lit when I plugged the machine in, but all of the other lights remained dark. Based on the trouble shooting checklist I found here and on Apple's support site I narrowed the problem down to a bad power supply. I got back on the site, ordered the part, and told me wife that she would just have to deal with the partially disassembled computer on her dining room table until the power supply showed up.
Whiel I waited for the part I followed the repair guides to remove and replace both the PRAM battery and the hard drive. I recommend reading through these guides carefully because there are numerous little connections and there are some very good, spot on directions on how to best navigate the disassembly.
When the power supply arrived I just followed the guide, pulled the old one, dropped in the new one, put everything back togther except the screen so that I could see those LED's and then crossed my fingers as I pressed the power button. All four of those LED's lit up, the screen came to life and I knew that I was in business.
I wanted to do a clean install of the OS from the discs that came with my wife's computer. This is where I encountered a problem. It turns out that the optical drive had gone bad and would not accept the disc. My first thought was to order a new one, but my wife said she never used it. A bit more research and I learned that I could create a bootable media from pretty much any USB drive. So, I borrowed my daughter MacBook Air, downloaded a copy of Yosemite and figured out the couple UNIX commands to create a bootable rescue drive from a Seagate USB drive. It worked like a charm. I got Yosemite installed and updated the applications. The machine runs like new and has four times the drive space.
I was very impressed with the design of this iMac. It is very well thought out and quite easy to repair. From what I have read the new iMacs are not so easily repaired, so if you own one of these slightly older machines I recommend upgrading and repair it rather than buying a new one.
That said, it is quite the production to disassemble the machine so I would also suggest that if you find yourself in need of replacing something you might as well take advantage of the fact that you've got the machine open to do some maintenance and maybe even an upgrade or two.
First off, buy yourself a can or two of compressed air. My wife's machine was filled with dust accumulated over years of use. Once I had the machine disassembled I took it out to the backyard and blew everything out. All of that dust probably had something to do with that powersupply going bad.
I would also suggest replacing the PRAM battery. You can pick one up at the drug store for a couple bucks. The problem is that when you remove the battery your computer will lose the date and time. This was a problem when I tried to install Yosemite. I had to get back on Google and figure out the Unix command. It was not difficult and now you know.
The hard drive upgrade was also a good idea. The drives are not very expensive. The one thought I had was possibly using an SSD, but the performance with a regular HDD is actually pretty good so I'll leave well enough alone.
Lastly, read through the repair guides a few times and watch the videos. Great help!