Ex­pe­ri­enc­ing oc­ca­sional black­outs

Mac Format - - APPLE TALK -

My mon­i­tor has been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing prob­lems re­cently – it’ll go black, right in the mid­dle of some­thing. It doesn’t cut my in­ter­net con­nec­tion; I can still hear the audio I’m stream­ing. I’ve had the com­puter for just over two years and I’ve up­dated to Yosemite, but I’m still hav­ing prob­lems. I’ve even done a safe boot, to no avail. Is there any­thing else that can be done? Wil­lie Holmes This sounds like the graph­ics card is over­heat­ing. The fact that your screen only blacks out after a pe­riod of use is a cause for op­ti­mism though. All Macs pull air in through vents at one end and blow it out at another end. This in­evitably sucks dust in as well and this grad­u­ally builds up to form an in­su­lat­ing blan­ket. If you can get rid of the dust, you should be able to re­store the nor­mal op­er­a­tion of the graph­ics card. If you have a Mac Pro or a Mac mini, first of all, it’s worth dou­ble-check­ing that the mon­i­tor it­self hasn’t failed, by test­ing it on another mon­i­tor or TV. If it still blacks out, you just need to open up the case and blow the worst of the dust away. Don’t use a vac­uum cleaner – th­ese can gen­er­ate static charges that will de­stroy the moth­er­board. Good old fash­ioned lung power is best.

But my in­tu­ition tells me that you prob­a­bly have an iMac. Since they have less space inside the case and no­body nor­mally opens them up, they suf­fer more from dust build up than other Mac de­signs.

I’ve had three iMacs die over the years from over­heat­ing, each after three to five years of daily use. The pro­ce­dure for open­ing the case de­pends on which model of iMac you have. On the Mid2011 model, the front glass is only held in place with mag­nets and you can pull it away us­ing strong suc­tion cups. The thin­ner Late 2012 model uses glue as well, so you’ll need to soften this with a hair dryer and prise it away with a credit card or gui­tar plec­trum.

Be sure to back up all your data first and then have a look at the guides for your model at ifixit.com.

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