iMac Intel 27" EMC 2309 (Late 2009, Core 2 Duo 3.06 or 3.33 GHz) ID iMac10,1, EMC 2374 (Late 2009, Core i5 2.66 GHz or Core i7 2.8 GHz) ID iMac11,1

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iMac27 crashes to black screen, fans running, won't boot for a day

Hi there,

i've got an late 2009 27'' iMac (Core 2 Duo).

Recently it started to crash to a black screen, after that the fans are still running (like normal, not loud etc.) in the back, but it's not just the screen that crashes or turns off, there is no sound and the Mac disappears from the network. I have to do a hard shutdown to power the Mac off.

When i try to power it back on right away, it will not boot (black screen right from the start or before the OS is booted). I can unplug the Mac and plug it back on, but it won't boot anyway.

When i wait for about 24h or so (completely unplugged) it will boot up just fine and work correctly for days / weeks ... until the next crash.

I tried reinstalling the OS several times, it even crashes while installing the new OS, i tried NVRAM / PRAM / SMC etc. and of course also fixing the file permissions and checking the disk. Everything seems alright from the software-side.

Does anyone have an idea or have you seen this behavior before?

Could it be the Power Supply being defective or could it even be the Logic Board?

Thanks in advance for your help, it's really appreciated!

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I have the same problem iMac 27" i7 late 2009.

It works fine from external screen.

It happened since upgrade to Lion.

The problem seems pre OS as it can happen when the loading screen is on.

It seems like a dodgy driver or firmware.

Did you get it resolved ?


our late 2009 Mac 27" has just started this nonsense, but for us it happens when our iPhone 4S's are plugged in. I am going to try and switch USB ports and syncing cables. will let you all know how it pans out.


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You will need to take the screen and frame off to see the diagnostic LEDs to the right of the RAM slots. This will help tell us which part of the system is failing.

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Is the iMac plugged into an outlet with good grounding, or is it plugged into a 2-prong outlet with an adapter? If the computer doesn't have a good connection to ground, static electricity can build up in the system to the point where the monitor stops syncing correctly. The fact that unplugging the computer for 24 hours eliminates the symptom for awhile supports that idea; letting the computer sit unpowered gives the capacitors time to bleed off the stored static charge.

If the iMac is plugged into a grounded power strip or surge protector, check to confirm that the power strip has a solid ground connection at the wall outlet.

Get a ground checker at Radio Shack or a hardware store, and confirm that your iMac is plugged into a true grounded outlet. You can also take your iMac to a location with a confirmed grounded outlet, plug it in and see if the problem recurs.

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iMac 27 2.93 i7, 16GB ram. Screen goes black randomly after Lion upgrade 10.7.3.

This issue just started for us about a week ago, and i finally found a quick solution to avoid a restart after a blackout.

When it goes black the CPU and system is still running, but can't do anything without force restart. Mirrored monitor stays on and i can work, but its a pain. The blackout is intermittent and i can't recreate the issue. Have restarted, Reset PRAM, SMC, prefs, privledges...everything.

This worked for me to get the screen to come back on without restart:

Shift+Control+Eject key. This forces the system to switch back to the inegrated graphics and not the nvidia drivers, which is causing the blackout.

This fix has worked about 10 times now. Hope this is addressed soon by Apple, it's got to be a hardware issue!

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