Apple Support ROCKS

So here’s why I haven’t been posting lately, my iMac has pretty much taken a giant dump over the past 2-3 weeks and it’s gotten progressively worse. It started in the Beta of Yosemite 10.10.3 – I was having lots of random crash issues at first. Then it started into banding on the screen. Reboots worked at first and that too became worse and worse.

I then downgraded out of Beta to Public release of Yosemite 10.10.2 and it seemed to be good for a day other than not having my latest pics from the new Photos app available. I can live with that. BOOM. Auto-Update puts me back to 10.10.3 and the machine just goes belly up on me for a lack of a better description. The only way to get it working at all was to disable the graphics car entirely with a bunch of commands after using Command-S to boot up in single user mode or something like that.

My Apple Support journey

Many online the Apple Support community pointed to this link: iMac (27-inch): AMD Radeon 6970M Video Card Replacement Program (LINK REMOVED BY APPLE). and at first I was very skeptical. I posted on the Apple Support community my experience and last resort after trying everything else was the worst thing you can image. Format and Re-install. Man, I left Windows to AVOID THIS SHIT.. 3 years is a good run with no problems so I bit the bullet and found a workaround.

Disabling the video card so I could get on the system and make sure I had EVERYTHING backed up. I don’t have Time Machine running for which I only have myself to blame.

Here is how I disabled my iMac’s graphics card and used only the intergrated video:

1- Clear the PRAM
2-Reset SMC
3-Boot into Single User by holding cmd+S when booting
4- Write exactly these lines one by one and press enter after each one
/sbin/fsck -fy /
/sbin/mount -uw /
mkdir /Disabled_System_Library_Extensions
cd /Disabled_System_Library_Extensions
mv /System/Library/Extensions/ATI* .
mv /System/Library/Extensions/AMD* .
touch /System/Library/Extensions

Once I did this I was able to finally boot back into the machine and make my backups. I did a reinstall and no luck, it was still crashing.

This morning I contacted Apple Support and at the very same time I was talking to a phone call tech, someone from Engineering at Apple saw my post and had their staff reach out to me.

After another hour of failed diagnostics with Dave (an awesome guy and smart tech at Apple Support) we came to the conclusion that I needed to bring it in. Low and behold the only shop that could take me today was 20 miles away and I needed to be there sooner than later with personal things going on here at the house.

Vrooom. Off we went. After a 5 minute wait I had the tech at the Apple Store helping me out. She quickly determined it WAS in fact the hardware issue requiring the video card replacement and they are keeping my iMac until next week when the parts arrive and get installed. They need to basically take the entire machine apart to perform the repair.

Any other company I would have my dick in my hand with a broken computer or a huge bill from the local Nerd Herd shop hoping they solved the issue. Apple on the other hand stood by their product tall and reached out to me to offer a hand. I can count on my hands the big corpo experiences I’ve had like this.

Kudo’s to Apple. You took a converted lifelong IBM customer and turned me from a ‘new user’ to a loyalist with a friendly phone call and honoring your products expectations to work as intended.

It looked like a $328 repair they are doing gratis. On a machine out of the 3 year AppleCare Protection Plan. The marketing guy in me just screams ‘THIS IS HOW EVERY BUSINESS SHOULD BE’ but unfortunately they’re not all this good. Lucky for me, Apple is.

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