There are so very many incredibly slow iMac’s out there, but why ?
Apple kept putting in old style mechanical Hard Disk Drives ‘HDD’ up until the end of 2019. Sure, what’s the issue ? The issue is that since OS Mojave came along and with the new ‘APFS’ file system – This was designed for Solid State Drive (SSD) technology, all other Mac’s – With the exception of Mac Mini ( which suffers this same issue ). This is the best ‘bang for your buck’ upgrade that you can give an iMac with a 10x or more increase of speed. As you can see in this video, the ‘after’ part it boots in less than 20 seconds and beach-balling is a thing of the past… If you’re suffering this issue and have been sent in circles on the phone to Apple support, or at a genius bar ( They know exactly what the issue is ) and have got no where to then be told ‘you should probably buy a new one’. Then this is for you.
The vast majority of iMac’s shipped since 2012 until 2019 came with old mechanical Hard Disk Drives (HDD) which is why if you’ve updated your Mac to OS Mojave or higher you will have noticed a large performance drop such as over a minute if not more to boot up. But why is this ? There are a couple of contributing factors. The main one is that since the last update to OS High Sierra, Apple change the file partition map from JFS to APFS . APFS has been designed for the much newer and 10x faster Solid State Drives (SSD) yet they continued shipping new iMacs up until the end of 2019 with old HDD’s. Newer SSD’s also have no moving parts, so much less likley to fail, and with no moving parts they operate using less energy thus more efficient and cooler. The other reason is that as Operating Systems ( OS’s ) have evolved with more and more bells and whistles, this puts additional strain on an already tired and over worked HDD.
This particular iMac came in to us with a failed HDD. It couldn’t be repaired using disk utility, or any thing else. It wouldn’t mount nor present any data. Our customer also said that it had been behaving ‘oddly’ for a while with internet connectivity issues and mail app would no longer work. Delving deeper this Mac was on it’s original OS – OS Mavericks 10.9 – Which is the OS that it shipped with when purchased early 2014. It had never had an update, thus when support ended for OS Mavericks a few years ago and no longer received security updates, webservers see it as insecure and a vulnerability and so block it from connecting.
The same is true of out of date applications such as Mac mail no longer working.
The fix by Mycomputerworks & Macrehab – The poorly HDD was mounted in our data recovery rig and using specialist tools and software, our customers data was retrieved and saved to another drive.
After a thorough clean of of the mac’s inner workings of dust and debris and all the old glue strips removed which hold the screen in place -A nice new SSD was fitted after removing the faild old HDD.
Initially OS High sierra was installed as it contains a firm ware update for the logic board, and then further updated to OS Catalina 10.15.7 being the maximum supported OS for this Mac. Although there are ways to have put a current OS on there such as Monteray thats is covered in a different post.
Once fully updated, and zipping along with a boot time of now just 20 seconds we connected the drive with our customers recovered data and imported it back into the iMac. With all works complete we supplied our customer with an exteral USB Hard Drive in a matching aluminium case and set up Time machine for them with a full back up.
The usual suspects had our customer going in circles and ended up telling them they needed to purchase a brand new iMac. They would never have seen their lost data again, and here we are with a beautifully fast and solid iMac good for years to come all at a fraction of the cost.
Once power was restored to this Macbook by replacing 2 resistors on PPBUS_G3H which is the power rail responsible for all others, though it would charge the battery, it would not run from it.
We replaced the Mosfets and battery power was restored. Next the back light circuit which is needed to power the screen’s brightness so that the image may be seen.
On removing the back light driver IC the 50 volt pad was toast, so we had to run a new trace and lay a new pad to restore the 50 volts.All done and held in place & insulated where exposed by the green conformal coating.
Macbook back up and running at a fraction of the cost of Apple who deemed this unfixable.
Widley documented as ‘flexgate’ where Apple were sued in court over a known defect affecting ALL 2016 & 2017 13″ & 15″ Macbook pro’s. Apple did issue a free repair program, but only for the 2016 13″ model which is valid upto 4 years from date of purchase of the Mac. So up until now the only fix has been to replace the entire screen at great cost, only knowing it will suffer the same issue. The flex has been made too short and upon opening the Mac’s lid it puts pressure on the flex which will fail after a short amount of time.
We had been modifying the antenna strip on fitting new screens, cutting away a small bit of plastic relieving the pressure, thus eliminating the problem. Here we have actually repaired the flex, thus saving the huge cost of repacing the screen with a new one. We obtained some new back light flex cables, cut the existing failed flex at the fail point, and splice in a new one with an extra 5 mm of play thus eliminating the problem. In the 4th photo this can be observed
Left in the red circle is the camera flex – Exactly the same design & length as the back light flex circled in red on the right. You can see post work the slack it now has, so it can never break again from being pulled on when opening the lid. A 100% forever fix for this ridiculous issue.
Macbook Pro 2015 A1502 No image to screen, non booting.
Although there was power to the Mac, testing with an external monitor showed the flashing folder upon starting up meaning no internal drive seen / no OS seen.
Inspection of the SSD showed minor corrosion, but enough to cause trouble. This cleaned off nice causing the drive to work without further issue. No image, 1st thing looked at was the LDVS connector which showed what the issue is, clearly something wet has gone in there to cause that damage, along with some messed up bits and peices PP5VR3V3 is what is produced here, without that, no picture. Cleaned up okay, replaced a few dodgy capacitors and a resistor, and we have a picture again.
No new screen or new logic board needed as quoted by the usual suspects, fixed at a fraction of the price. Good for your pocket and the environment. Got a dead Mac somewhere ? Get in touch, it’ll probably cost a lot less then you’ve been previously quoted, or that you think.
A few capacitors got replaced. On testing this when it came in using a USB-C multimeter it was pulling just 5 volts and 0.1 amp and cycling on – off. No 5 v then 9v then 19v. the speed at which it would go off again was much quicker than what we’d expect if it was a charge area problem, so we have a short circuit somewhere.
The battery liquid sensor had got full red, so looking in that area next to the battery connector, the track pad connector was toast, as seen in the photos. Except, this isn’t just a track pad connector, it also carries USB at 5 volts , keyboard and a sensor return that is in the track pad itself. Without this working, apart from the obvious – No keyboard and track pad, the Mac will boot extremely slowly with the fans running full pelt. This is because it’s not getting any return from the sensor on the flex cable, so the Mac thinks it has an overheat problem and goes in to ‘limp home’ mode to protect itself ( Probably looking at 5 minutes to boot ).
First having removed the nuked connector revealed the short, and what a short. We dug the short out and once testing proved the short was gone, a layer of conformal coating applied to seal in where the short had been and to prevent further shorting when the new connector is placed on to it. New connector soldered on, and as 8 pins now have nothing to be connected to, by using the brilliant board view software it allows us to see where we can take the missing power from an alternate source which we did by running jumper wires. We finish of by sealing any bare wires with conformal coating again. After final testing for no short to grounds or anything – The Mac was put back together and voila. Everything as it ought to be at a fraction of the cost of Apple.
This guy had the full Monty. Soaked through, what was wrong with it ? easier to say the only working part in the end was the screen . Due to this being a very expensive machine, it was worth the work. But I kid you not, every area had multiple issues, I’m not even going to post any before / afters as there would be hundreds. Everything needed sorting out, all power and charge lines, sensing circuits, screen connector, battery, SSD – Everything – Esentially 95% of the logic board needed sorting out. Have montaged the worst into 1 big picture, you’ll get the idea. but as every, had this up and running 100% as ought be at a fration of the cost of Apple. Shop local, you’ll get a nice surprise
Macbook Pro 2015 13″ sent into us dead. Another nice straight forward one. On testing the power rails, everything was there, just a huge short somewhere pulling it down preventing it turning on. Inspecting the logic board it was spotted almost right away. A big glob of something sticky and mess accross the keyboard back light connector.
Having removed the foul connector and cleared this area up the short was eliminated, and the Mac now booting just fine albeit no keyboard back light. Although it’s easy enough to put in a replacement back light ( that flex conector is toast! )