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New iMac – major start-up issues

Has anyone had start up issues on their iMac? I am really not happy with mine generally as has been glitchy from the start (only had it a little over a year), but it has gone down again after the electricity went off briefly, which just should not happen when I have even tripped over power cables in the past pulling the plug from its socket but starting up again was fine on previous models such as a Powerbook, Quadra, G3, G4, cube and MacBook I've used over past 25 years.

The first time was after just a few months and a proper shut down after quitting all applications, but this time the progress bar gets so far then it just gives up, and am not going to attempt a safe boot and resetting PRAM etc. as it took about 2 hours for Apple to talk me through recovery last time so am getting a tech in, but Apple's advice to me for avoiding future problems? Do regular restarts – which is exactly what caused my start up issue the first time.

Anyone else? Am just really cross this has happened at all as it really shouldn't have, and Apple has had tens of thousands from me on their equipment alone, but to reward my loyalty they sell me shoddy goods.


Paul Murray

Staff member
Which OS are you running?

My mid 2010 iMac and mid 2013 MBP are doing ok, though the MBP is starting to get a little long in the tooth. El Capitan doesn't seem to be the most stable of OS releases, but part of me suspects it's due to my older machines.

However, I'm currently using a late 2014, 5k 27 inch iMac at a studio, and it's the most unstable thing I've ever used. Adobe CC crashes randomly, at times corrupting files (thank God for server back-ups), and the machine itself sometimes just doesn't turn off. I come in the next morning and it's still shutting down.

Some people are using practically brand new 2015 versions that have the exact same issues. I blame rushed releases and the new forced "free upgrade" model.


Staff member
First things first... buy a UPS, if you don't have one, seriously anyone using a pc for work or long periods of time should have one as it's like a little power supply to allow you to shut down/save work if there's a power cut. It should also stop the device being damaged by those annoying little brown outs (flickers). I've had them for years and they've saved me loads of times :)

The powercut could have damaged numerous parts on your machine, psu, hard drive, cpu chipset, ram to name the obvious parts. There's also the current 'release to schedule' rather than 'release when finished' approach apple seems to be taking these days which could be causing issues.
Leopard I think – the one before El Capitan which I haven't installed yet as have heard it's shite.

But tech stuff aside – stupid random stuff goes off all the time such as the windows shaking their head at me as it struggles to perform, the time shooting in from the left when I didn't ask for it, my screen saver only coming on some of the time and hot corners don't seem to work at all. That's the small niggles, but I can't recall any at all from past models, except for fan being too loud on the cube.

So have gone from having little confidence in it to none at all as I know it will happen again.

My next purchase will be a MBP hooked up to a larger monitor and it will serve as a back up for when this heap of junk has another meltdown for no reason.
Good point on 'release to schedule' rather than 'release when finished' Mr. Levi Moderator. When a company has monopoly on market (and let's face it – they have in all designers) that's when quality control becomes slack as they've already won.

I reckon Steve Jobs may be up to mischief too though and having a right laugh from his cloud . . .
How remiss of me – I am so rude. Thanks for the advice and am jotting it all down for my tech next week, but if the thing has been damaged I will be like a pitbull with a migraine in Apple shop. A UPS sounds great as another source of power, but no appliance shouldn't break as a result of being starved for a few seconds – not these days. And if Apple don't advise or warn about this, they should be liable – and how the holy hell have I managed all these years without this ever happening?


Staff member
When a company has monopoly on market (and let's face it – they have in all designers) that's when quality control becomes slack as they've already won.
Not with me they haven't :p No point in me using Apple hardware when I'd need to use windows anyways for my 3D software :)

A UPS sounds great as another source of power, but no appliance shouldn't break as a result of being starved for a few seconds – not these days. And if Apple don't advise or warn about this, they should be liable – and how the holy hell have I managed all these years without this ever happening?
If you live in a city with stable electric the odds are you don't get powercuts very often, if you live in the middle of nowhere like me they can happen at any time (had one last night around 1.30am... yeah no idea why at that time either). As to things breaking, any item with a power supply has the potential to be damaged by a power cut, sometimes you're lucky and it's just a fuse, other times it could be a capacitor or similar being blown by then sudden change. I've had a modem/router get killed by a powercut because of the 'flickers' that came after the main outage.

PC hardware, especially all in ones, is surprisingly delicate if you don't have the right hardware, power fluctuates and most parts of a pc run on very small margins of voltage which are all supplied via one single psu which depending on the quality might not handle the fluctuations that well.

PSU's and cooling is two areas I don't scrimp on when I build my own rigs (best option for me :)) because in my opinion they're the two most important aspects to a long life in a pc.
Quick question for any tech types in here – as I have been using MacBook while iMac still down, I had on my knee on sofa then put on end to eat my dinner, not noticing power cable was knocked out (I'm a girl – we like cushions).

It was only several hours later, once the battery had obviously died, that I noticed – then plugged back in & started up without any problems or concerns whatsoever. I had just 2 applications open – same as when power went down with iMac, and even they were fine on re-launch.

So can anyone tell me the fundamental difference between the inner gubbins of a MacBook and an iMac? I have already decided my next Mac will be a laptop connected to larger external monitor, not only because a battery will prevent this issue, but using existing MacBook has emphasised just how profoundly annoying the lack of functionality on the iMac is . . . and despite being designed for internet use, I also get "looking for networks" interrupting me constantly, whereas this never happens on this one.

Thanks – if anyone knows?!


Staff member
Macbook - has battery and went into 'hibernation' (very low power state) when it got to around iirc 10% battery life. It saved the data to the hard drive for when it reboots after being charged or while on charge. I'm not 100% sure on if it would be there if the battery went 100% flat though, although if it's like windows it depends on the power settings.
iMac - does not have battery (unless you use ups where it would act like the laptop does) and abruptly shuts down losing all data.

Apart from the battery they're pretty much the same except the macbook uses mobile hardware while the iMac uses primarily desktop parts. The processors are all based off the same core architecture (if the same age), the ram is pretty much the same just smaller in the laptop and the laptop gpu's are usually just 'lower performance/power use' versions of the desktop ones.
Thanks – and crikey . . . I did have a hunch that a MacBook would have some sort of in-built recovery facility as is built for work and not just surfing the net, whereas iMacs initially built for that alone. Just thought that because you can't buy towers anymore (and I didn't have a spare few grand for a Mac Pro) that they would be a tad more sophisticated now – more fool me, having owned just about every other model.

I do find it rather bewildering though, having spoken to a senior Apple tech (when it went down for no discernible reason the first time) at great length about loss of data concerns that I wasn't advised about ups back-up as I will inevitably have lost all my Safari bookmarks too.


Staff member
you shouldn't have lost your bookmarks.... they're stored on your hard drive. Does safari have a sync/backup feature like firefox/chrome/edge where it stores a backup online?


Staff member
But some seem to think I will have lost everything on hard drive! I am not aware that anything is stored online, just within software.
Honestly they're being stupid. Yes you can lose everything on the hard drive but you wouldn't be loading into os-x as that's on the hard drive too lol. What may have happened is the files have been corrupted due to being written at the time of the powercut or the hard drive itself was damaged by the incorrect shut down procedure (aka a damaged sector).

From the looks of it you should be able to backup/sync bookmarks/files using iCloud (same with the iPhone) although as I use windows as my primary os I can't say much more on that front. If not change to chrome/firefox as they both have sync/backup tools built in :)
Hey – thanks again for attention on this. Logic tells me that yes, there could be damage, but as it's getting stuck at a certain point it could be just one thing that needs sorting to allow it to boot back up rather than reformatting the entire disk.


Staff member
well if it's getting stuck at boot then it's likely corrupted the os, same thing as with loss of bookmarks in that it may have been writing something important at that time and it's broken.

With windows I'd just reinstall my image of the OS if something dodgy happens to the OS and it looks like you have similar options on os-x too using recovery mode. As I say though I'm not that familiar with macs due to my main usage being windows.

Well, whatever the damage turns out to be, whatever needs reinstalling, however much faffing about is required . . . despite the fact that I will be sorting some kind of support contract – if it's something I can't rectify myself next time, it's going back.

I have enough ammo as has been wobbly from the start and will argue my piece with John Lewis rather than Apple themselves initially. I mean, what sort of piece of equipment stops working after just a few months after following proper procedure to the book? I simply shut the thing down after quitting everything as was running a tad sluggish (a fault all on its own) but wouldn't start up again and needed major attention just to get the bloody thing back on. With hindsight, I should have sent back then and changed for another MacBook, but couldn't as it was last birthday present my Father bought me before he died – just another reason it makes me so bloody angry.