1. Computing

Discuss in my forum

Tom Nelson

iMac Hard Drive Replaced, But Display Still Not in Best of Shape

By November 8, 2012

Follow me on:

Those of you who follow my daily ramblings know that we took our older 2009 iMac into the Apple Store to have the hard drive replaced under a program from Apple that addresses possible early failures of 1 TB Seagate drives.

iMac Hard Drive Replaced, But Display Still Not in Best of Shape


Courtesy of Apple

When we dropped the iMac off last Monday, the Apple Genius suggested that they might also be able to fix a long-standing display issue. The LCD looks fine on the right side, but the lower left side looks like twilight is falling. We brought it in to the Apple Store about a year ago, but decided that the replacement cost for the panel was too high. While the area of darkness is annoying, we've learned to live with it. This time, since the iMac had to be opened up anyway to replace the drive, the Genius offered to see if the problem might actually be the driver display board, which is a much less expensive fix.

We got the iMac back today, and I'm happy to report that we have a brand new 1 TB drive installed. All we need to do now is restore our data from a Time Machine backup, and we're back in business.

Unfortunately, the backlight driver board didn't fix the display problem. It looks like the problem is indeed the LCD panel, which we still don't think is worth the cost to repair. The problem seems to be stable; as long as it doesn't get worse, we can still use the Mac. If it does get worse, we can always hook the iMac up to an external display. We could also use it to drive the HDTV in our home theater system. In that case, we wouldn't really need the built-in display.

What would you do with an iMac that has a bad display, but is otherwise in fine shape? Leave a comment below and let us know.


November 8, 2012 at 10:44 pm
(1) Jeffrey says:

This is too funny, I too have a 2009 iMac that qualified for the hard drive replacement. I went to the Genius Bar, iMac in tow, the Genius confirmed my eligibility but said they couldn’t accept new checkins because this particular Apple Store was closing for renovations. That was on the 29th and with many calls and chats with Apple I finally got the hard drive replaced yesterday. And, my LCD screen had what he called contamination issues. It looked like the northern lights (greyscale, of course) all over the screen. Apple sent someone over tonight and had it installed. 2 days, 2 hardware replacements, its been some fun times.

But it literally is like using a brand new machine. The brightness, colours … right down to the sounds (or lack of) from the hard drive. Its crazy.

January 11, 2013 at 7:35 pm
(2) JIM LOHMAN says:

Had my hard drive replaced a couple months ago even though I hadn’t experienced any problems. Took it to an Apple repair shop and am delighted with the service. One thing: for can I tell if they actually replaced the drive? Where do I find the serial number of the drive?

October 15, 2013 at 10:48 am
(3) Matthew says:

The issue with the screen (LCD contamination) is easy to fix. It is very likely that it’s just dust/smudging between the display and the back LED panel.

If you remove the front panel glass (lift up then pull away from 2 magnets at top). Then, remove the 4 torx t10 screws either side of the screen, you can remove the display (there are approx 4 connections you just need to disconnect) then you can remove the display completely. One you have the display out, remove the torx t10 screws that attaches the screen to the outer frame. Once at this stage get a knife/screw driver and pry the frame off from the screen (it is glued on), once you have the outer frame off it’s just a case of using the pry points to remove the top panel/screen. Lift it up clean the dust/smudges from the LED surface and back of the screen, then reverse order the steps above to put it back together. iMac Fixed.

I’ve done this to a number of iMac with this issue. It’s a known fault but Apple refuse to admit it. I believe it’s caused by poor design of the internal fan exhausts. Apple should really offer a free service to fix this. So many people suffer the same thing. All apple says is that it’s because of the enviromnent that the machine is in (dusty, smokey room) but that’s just a load of nonsense.

Hope this helps. If you search online you’ll probably be able to find instructions to carry out the above.


Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.