loud buzz sound, followed by a light smell of something burning
Yesterday I was working away when suddenly there was a loud buzz - about 5-8 seconds long. Followed by a light smell of something burning.
In the past year, Apple has replaced 3 power supplies, the faulty logic board, and the faulty DVD drive.
With the previous faulty parts, I heard a loup POP sound, following by a smell and, on one occasion, a spark.
This time a loud buzz, followed by a smell. It's still working though.
If Apple will not work with you I would contact DT&T services in Calif. You would be looking at $250-$350 depending on your model for a logic board installed + shipping. See the following link.
I checked on the iFixit site and they do not carry the logic boards. But they do carry the Power Supplies. A power supply will run about $150 with you installing.
The replacement instructions are posted at iFixit.com and depends on if you have ALS or iSight on which one you use.
"Ripped off" is indeed the right word. You got ripped off because Apple (and a lot of other companies) were ripped off in a case of industrial espionage. Here is a Wikipedia page that goes into the gory details.
It's a no-win story for everyone involved. I have worked on a TON of G5 iMacs, many with bad capacitors. I have also seen iMacs of the same period that are still trucking along happily, not a single visible bad cap. It's just the luck of the draw. Apple did have an extended replacement program. So did Dell, and I'm sure others manufacturers as well.
In terms of buying new equipment from Apple, the "capacitor plague" problem is now behind us. Support services are excellent, IMHO, especially if you can take the system to an Apple store and talk to them in person.