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Model A1311 / Late 2009 / 3.06 or 3.33 GHz Core 2 Duo processor

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Power issues with late 2009 iMac

Sorry for the long post, but I'm trying to be thorough.

I may have done the bad thing. I came in to get set up for an event yesterday, only to find that my iMac would not power on. No chime, no whirring of a disk—nothing. It has done this before, and the only thing that helped was to leave it unplugged for a week, then try to boot up a week later.

Side note: I was out-of-state over the weekend and don't know if there were power outages/surges from weather, but we'll consider it likely.

Well, I decided to open ‘er up today as I had seen that there are diagnostic LEDs that can point to the issue. I got the screen off and delicately set it aside only to then discover that I was looking at the troubleshooting guide for the wrong generation and my LEDs are visible through vent-holes without removing everything. I decided just for kicks that I would unplug the power supply from its cables and plug it back in. Got everything screwed back together, screen put on, and it started up!

Now, though, the display is a bit messed up and I'm not sure what went wrong… everything displays and I can use it just fine, but green dots and stripes show up in varying places. The pixels aren't dead; when I hover the cursor over any of those spots, they disappear and show up as soon as I move it away.

My question is twofold: 1) should I bite the bullet and buy a new power supply even though it booted up this time? And 2) how do I fix the green-pixels issue?

Any help would be appreciated!

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Test out that power strip first. I’ve had them go bad totally and just one outlet. As for the artifacts, hook up an external monitor and see if the problem persists. If they show up on the external, your GPU has been hit. Now if facing replacing parts, total up the costs for the parts, then check on eBay to see what your machine is now worth. If indeed you have been hit with an electrical surge, such as caused by lightning, it will have weakened other parts and you may start getting cascading failures, i.e. you replace one part and then the next part fails.

I don’t understand the photo you have posted.

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I have a bunch of stuff plugged into the power strip and they're all fine so I don't think that's the problem. The picture was supposed to show the GPU artifacts, but apparently the quality REALLY suffered when uploading and its hard to see.

Good call looking into buying another machine. That's what we're doing, but just starting fresh and not wasting time and money trying to revive this one just yet. Will keep it around as a project.

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I do not like to take chances with power supplies. I think it would be in your best interest to purchase one just in case. It definitely sounds like a power surge hit your computer, and I would hate for it to be damaged by a bad power supply. As for the green pixels, it sounds like those are GPU artifacts. It’s likely that the power surge shocked your GPU. I would replace that as well. You’re fine to use it right now, but you’ll probably notice lots of other issues as you do, so replacing that should be a priority. This looks like the correct part, but double check to make sure. This guide should get you to where you need to be in the iMac. Good luck!

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Thanks for the quick answer.

I also want to add that I plugged the computer directly into the wall to turn it on, rather than into the power strip it was connected to. I shut it down properly and plugged it into the power strip to put it back in its home, and it won't turn on again.

So I'll wait it out and see if it'll come on again, and I'll shop for those parts. Thanks.

par

Oh, and I did plug it directly into the wall after realizing it wouldnt come on this time, and still nothing.

par

The problem with power surges is that multiple parts could have been affected. The power supply and GPU are a good place to start.

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Chris Keeley sera éternellement reconnaissant.
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