Model A1311 / Late 2009 / 3.06 or 3.33 GHz Core 2 Duo processor

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Logic board need replacement?

I'm troubleshooting for my parents' iMac.

Part # MC413LL

Model# A1311 (last four digits of the serial #zb9u)

It has all it's original parts (although are unsure, the logic board might have been replaced while still under warranty), it has been into 'the shop' a couple of times because of viruses and to have security software installed and/or updated.

This time they took it in because 'it wouldn't boot and the picture was all funny'. They were quoted $900+ to fix it, so they brought it home.

When powering on, the screen is pinkish and pixelated (small rectangular, horizontal blocks of colour), the Apple shows up kind of in a grey square and you can somewhat see the circle spinning below. The entire screen goes white/light grey then blue. If booted in verbose mode, it's hard to read as the small coloured rectangles still show over the white text on black background, however it will do one more step beyond the blue screen to half purple, have black blocked out in small white squares.

I tried hooking it up to an external monitor, but it shows the same starting with the white/light grey screen, so assuming it's not a graphics issue.

It looks like there are no logic boards for sale for it on here, I checked another site quickly and saw one for $600 and another for $1500. At those prices they'd rather replace the entire computer. I read somewhere though that it could be as simple as swapping out a couple of blown capacitors. Any thoughts?

Before they rush out to purchase a new computer, is there any thing else that it could be?

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Here's the series your system is part of: iMac10,1. Any of the logic boards here will work if you can find one thats more inline of your budget.


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Chosen Solution

From your description it sounds like the graphics card needs replacing. That would be the cheapest solution here.

Finding the correct one may take some effort. Click on the first link I posted as your system came in two different configurations if you can get to the about this Mac menu and then clicking on the hardware details you should be able to figure out which you have.

Otherwise, you'll likely want to look at replacing the complete logic board if you can find a cheaper one clicking on the second link for the other systems with in the series. Here is the steps to open your system: iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2308 Logic Board Replacement and then from Step 34 follow this guide: iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2389 GPU Card Replacement picking it up at Step 44. You will need to clean & apply a fresh coat of thermal paste follow this guide on how: Technique: Applying Thermal Paste. I do recommend you use the Arctic Silver Thermal Paste and the Arctic Silver ArctiClean cleaner.

And lastly, if this is too big a job or too expensive then I would recommend looking at a used system.

Arctic Silver Thermal Paste Image


Arctic Silver Thermal Paste


Arctic Silver ArctiClean Image


Arctic Silver ArctiClean


Electronics Skills Image


How to Apply Thermal Paste



5 - 20 minutes

iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2308 Logic Board Image


iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2308 Logic Board Replacement



iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2389 GPU Card Image


iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2389 GPU Card Replacement



50 minutes - 3 hours

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