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

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How to fix "vertical lines" on my iMac 27 late 2009

Hi everybody, my name is george and i'm from germany.

i bought a faulty imac 27 2009 i7 with harddrive damage but the seller didnt told me there were these digital vertical stripes all over the whole screen.

so i waited a few weeks to buy another imac 27 2009 i5 with just another cpu and a faulty gpu which i repaired and now its working very well.

so i startet replacing the parts of the imacs to analyse the problem.

i ordered new lvds cable and v.sync cable. replaced them but nothing became better.

i replaced the lcd und nothing was better.

after that i replaced the power board next to the power supply and also i replaced the power supply. still nothing better than before. it cant be the gpu...

i didnt try to change dumb things like the odd, camera, ram or cpu.

maybe i should try that next.

i want to repair that device and i will. but maybe i need some help from someone else. after that we will definitely know what the cause for that apple fault is.

i think its the internal display port or damaged ic's in it or something else on the motherboard.

also very important, i tried the mini displayport to hdmi. perfect screen on my tv, no lines und no problems.

so what is it!!!???

now, a few hours later, graphics card replaced and still nothing.

pluggen everything thats not needed off, but still nothing.

so its definitely the motherboard and something is wrong with the internal display cable port.

but what is it!!!

help!

2 hours later I soldered all the connection points from the lvds port to clear out that there are no dead solder points.

also its not the connector, maybe it is, so i would have to order a new port to solder it.

no one has the solution and i know i am not alone.

please help me to clear that problem.

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Hi, me again. Now i bought another iMac 27 2009 with C2D and someone took the lcd out without unplugging the lvds cable, so the port was broken and i soledered a new one today in it. the same problem as the other iMac! Totally the same lines. Is there somebody who knows about the motherboards and what can cause this kind of error? I got good solder skills so i just need a good manual : ) thanks for your help!! aaand i reseted everything like p-ram or smc.

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hey Georg,

Did you every manage to figure out what exactly causes the issue?

I am at the same point you were at at the beginning of your replacing-every-part-quest, however i have not resorted to replacing anything yet.

I have faint digital noise lines showing evenly spread across the LCD. The V-sync cable is my first suspected culprit, however my parts-supplier claims it can only be fixed by replacing the LCD. Obviously , thats too expensive...

i have a feeling that the LCD is not the problem, but that it has something to do with a v-sync or backlight (inverter) board problem. maybe even the backlight board that is attached to the actual LCD itself.?

Pleaase, would be brilliant if you replied to this thread, eventhough it's over a year old!!

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Any update on this? Experiencing the same issue.

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I upgraded to the latest iPhone being a 6s plus recently probably be outdated in a couple of months

Anyways in order for me to be able to back this phone up to my computer I had to update the OS on my imac which is what I did and since then everything has just gone Kaput as has been the case from what has been mentioned previously above ,

I have no question about this issue being OS related so am not going to even bother trying to sort and just use my mac book pro which still works flawlessly as did my imac using Lion OS and wait until these OS geeks get the act together and get it hopefully wright next time with either another update or different OS all together ,

I'm certain apple intentionally does this in order to cause a panic and make people run for instant solutions or even upgrade there system or systems all together

Either way it's more revenue apples way

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@Dennis Khan - The trick to prove if the display or the GPU is bad is to plug in an external monitor. If the external display looks OK, the internal display is bad. If the external display looks bad then it's a GPU failure. We still have a few of these (EMC 2374) which we use as test stations both are running newer versions of OS-X Yosemite & El Capitan without any problems. Over the years many had GPU failures when we pushed them hard. Are you running some heavy graphics on your system like gaming? That will kill your system as the current near real life graphics is just to much for this old boy.

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Deck the Halls
With tools and Fix Kits

9 Answers

Chosen Solution

Since the external video is OK I suspect the cables or connecting points at the end of the cables - if you are certain you have the correct (matching) LCD. Try pressure at the connection points, try moving/rerouting the cables.

If this answer is acceptable please remember to return and mark it.

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its definitely the same lcd, i have three of these. one ordered at ebay and one from my other imac which works very nice.

the cables i use are brand new, and i after your help, i tried to bend the connection a bit and put a bit more pressuse on the cables, but nothing got better. shell i replace the port??

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"nothing got better" but this is the 'chosen solution' ?

Did you try swapping-in the known-good GPU ?

I know there were problems with early NVIDIA 'BGA' (Ball Grid Array) GPU chips - 'Bumpgate'- reflowing the solder fixes it again, for a while. Loads of eBayers offer the service, some people have successfully held theirs over a candle !

There was a 2011 iMac issue

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7228/apple...

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@ georg

So, have you fixed vertical lines with cables?

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NO ! I have multicolored vertical lines on my Macbook Pro 2009 13 inch 10.10.5 and if you move the screen they go, but getting harder and harder to make them disappear by tapping and moving screen about

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They call it vintage now... I had put a Solid State drive in a few months ago ? It was working much faster ... Am pretty handy if I need to dismantle ... Any ideas please guys ?

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HalelujaH!

FIXED!!!

I got a free 27" IMAC because of this problem! Fix was simple! Boot from MAC osx Snow Leopard CD. Erase and repartition internal hard drive. Install MAC OSX Snow Leopard, then install additional software from folder on install CD. Once install is complete the bars went away!

Presto!

OSX Snow Leopard Install Disk was ordered from Apple for less than $20.00. iMac was donated to local computer recycler that only accepted PCs. So they gave it to me.

Do not upgrade these machines beyond MAVERICKS!

God Bless and God Speed!

Professor out.....TZZZZSSSSSSSSsssssssssssss.

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Did somebody else tried this?

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Yes definitively !!!

On two Imac 27 inch 2009, same issue, same solution to fix the problem.

I'd disassembled the two machines in order to check all connection, refected thermal past.

The first time, I'd take a try with Yosemite 10.10.3 but after the reboot, the iMac was very very hot and strange things appears on the screen then the gpu card temp was not acceptable to work in good condition.

To resume, never upgrade this model to another version than os x 10.6.8

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Seems odd to only install to 10.6.8, I have been running 10.12 since it was released all the way to 10.12.5. then all of a sudden it had this issue. its defiantly something to do with heat.

I have a 4TB and a 500GB SSD installed. with using HDD fan Control to manage the fans, sometime in 10.12.4 to 10.12.5 I think HDD fan Control no longer works or fails and it messed up my GPU as now it says fan speed is 14202393494rpm when I can get the machine to stay up long enough past boot.

I do get the vertical lines with a 2nd monitor and when I SS to the it. so its GPU related. I reseated all the wires. this iMac has been perfect since I got it with no issues till this so its frustrating. because sometimes it boots up and the screen is perfect then it locks up and I get little pixel boxes all over the screen.

The LCD is fine. still at a loss. not installing past 10.6.8 isn't a real answer especially since this hardware supports 10.12.5.

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Georg,

I've read that the vertical lines have something to do with the display card not working. My Dh's computer has the same problem and I'm searching the internet to see if there is anyway to be able to replace it. So far I haven't found anything helpful or significant. I don't think it's fixable w/o you having to take it to an Apple store. Probably done like that on purpose. If I were able to find a way to be able to fix it, I know I could probably do it, since I've replaced the hard drive on one of my older iMac's. -Katia

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Who knows. My Dh is taking it in to an Apple store.

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Georg,

Got your most recent post via email, (below), but I don't see it anywhere on here. My Dh finally took his iMac to a local Mac dealer and they're going to fix it free of charge, because the vertical lines were a big time issue with some iMacs started back couple years ago. The only thing you might try doing is just to Google it and research it online for a good manual on the problem or even go to your library and look for a manual there. The other suggestion would be to look for an authorized Apple computer store or Apple store near you and see if they'll fix it free of charge. -Katia

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georg wrote:

Hi, me again. Now i bought another iMac 27 2009 with C2D and

someone took the lcd out without unplugging the lvds cable,

so the port was broken and i soledered a new one today in

it. the same problem as the other iMac! Totally the same

lines. Is there somebody who knows about the motherboards

and what can cause this kind of error? I got good solder

skills so i just need a good manual : )

thanks for your help!!

by

machead3: I don't know what in your mind constitutes an answer, but I do believe my missive to Georg was an answer and not any different from my other answer(s) to him. If you're the Charles in charge and since I'm done with this board, feel free to delete all of my answers to Georg. It's as simple as that. Good day, sir. -Ella

P.S. Georg, good luck!

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Thanks to all of you for your answers and yes they are answers to me : )

but also he was right that i could use the comment button...

maybe i will try to go to an apple store. but i opened every imac and made some repair on them, so i dont think they will repair it for free.

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try the HD or try a different O.S.s sometimes they cause issues.. the thing with the lines it that the IMac doesn't boot, it just stalls out.

RT

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Hello everyone,

since i hadnt gotten a reply soon enough, ive taken this iMac in to my supplier and tested it with a bunch of known-good-parts.

I've swapped the LCD (twice), V-sync Cable, Inverter Board, LVDS cable, even all of these items.

The vertical wavy noisy lines remained visible.

After logically assessing that this cannot be the video-card (digital video artifacts or any other typical GPU related issue generally looks totally different, plus this has a sort of 'analogue-ish' look to it: the lines are like an old CRT-screen that has gone bad, or an old TV that's got bad reception on the coax cable) Ive concluded that it must be the Logicboard, and probably the LVDS connector on the board.

I am pretty darn sure i havent ripped the cable out of the connector when opening up the iMac (i've opened up imacs at least a million times before and know what to watch out for) however, maybe this specific connector had already been played with before and gotten a little sensitive..

just thought i'd let you guys know; i know how darn frustrating it can be to google something that is practically un-google-able (you have to be sort of general in the searchbox, yet specific enough not to get all kinds of bogus results like ads, manuals for decades-old macs, or bulls**t websites) and come up with zero results after spending hours on it.

People need to follow up their questions on here more, and post more in general.

im all for sharing the knowledge, let's keep it up!

oh by the way, in the end, my customer didnt mind the defect and said that she would never even have noticed if i hadnt told her about it.. funny

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Lol Thomas. But hey. Now in your answer above, are you implying that you actually did resolve this issue by either: 1.) swapping Logicboards or 2.) you were able to manipulate the LVDS connector at the board?

Thanks for the insight

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Hey there,

In the end i never actually resolved the issue, but I'm almost 100% sure that should I've swapped the logic board, the issue would've been gone.

I don't know whether the actual culprit component would've been the lvds connector on that board, or it might be something in the circuitry or so..

Since I've swapped practically all other involved parts, the logic board swap would be my best educated guess however..

I'm still curious about other guys' experiences with this though as i realise this is quite inconclusive and bloody annoying!

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Have you tried resetting the P-RAM? Try holding down Command-Option-P-R during power up.

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Hi there, i've seen this several times on different iMac's (all 27 inch models).

It seems it only happens on the models with a v-sync flatcable. The later models with a "normal" connector and separate wires seems not to be affected.

At the moment i have an iMac with the same vertical lines with the additional problem that the whole screen goes black after a few days. When i pust the power button 2 times (standby and out of standby) the screen appears again. The external monitor is not affected and keeps playing when the internal scheen goes black.

Already did a reflow of the GPU and changed the inverter board but no difference.

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Did the image look OK on an external monitor? If it did the issue is within the LCD panel and/or its wiring to the logic board. Black lines tend to be bad driver logic on the back side of the LCD screen. Not much you can do here other than replace the display unit. Not sure why you thought it was the GPU (if the external display was OK) or the inverter board (CFL backlight power for the LCD display)

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Guys I have you ever thought about putting the crappy tape they had placed over the lvds connector !?!

:)

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I have the same problem with macbook pro early 2008 15,4 inch 2.5 c2d , the thing is from the OSx !! when i boot from 10.6 , it does that ( vertical shadows from the bottom of the screen about 1 inch thick with 1 inch space between them) when i boot from 10.8.5 , works perfectly !!

And i have to mention that i've tried to install the updates for 10.6 , they are downloaded , but the machine NEVER reboots , it stays frozen , so i have to shut it down from the power button !!!

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I have a late 2009 imac with a ATI Radeon HD 4850 and had a similar problem last year. I have it connected to an external monitor and the vertical purple lines appeared on both screens confirming a GPU problem.

The OS only booted in safe mode (pressing shift on start up) not in normal mode.

One of my local Apple dealers sent the iMac to an independent repair shop who reseated the GPU (without replacing it). Overheating can cause the GPU to warp and no longer connect properly to the main board.

There are instructions here on iFixit if you feel up to trying yourself. Make sure you also clean the fans and ventilation ports for obvious reasons.

With an quad core 2.8Ghz i7 it's still a very respectable machine which can run the latest OS and software in 2017 so I've been trying to extend it's life as long as possible.

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georg will be eternally grateful.
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