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> Investigation of the marks on the iMac screen, 05/04/2011 - Your reactions
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crispin
post Apr 4 2011, 10:58 PM
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For some time, and now more and more often, we have had reports of the appearance of spots on screens of the iMac. Initially they affected the iMac Alu 20 and 24", and now "propagated" to the iMac 21,5" and even the 27". They start to appear visually after approximately 12 to 18 months of use.
To illustrate our remarks, here are photographs of a iMac 27". 








The second photograph is a close-up of the top left corner after the glass has been removed. On this machine, there is really the impression of trails of smoke, but forms and the extent vary from machine to machine. Note that they appear especially in the two zones that precisely correspond to the hottest spots of the machines in top left where is found the power supply and the graphics card. In top right where there is cooling for the CPU, they are also present but less obvious. Also note that these two zones correspond to the outlet of the air flow from the two ventilators.
So to find the cause, we decided to dismount one of the screens affected by this problem. The owner of the 27" screen hoping that one day Apple will offer an update under guarantee was opposed to us we dismounting it, we thus went back ourselves to a 20" screen having very similar problem. 





On the top photograph, you see the system of diffusion of retro-lighting LED once the LCD screen is removed. To explain things, it acts to arrange the light which comes from two rows of LED placed at the top and bottom of lthe screen to diffuse it in a homogeneous way as possible over its totality. As you can see it, there is the problem  since the spots are still seen. This system of diffusion is composed of 3 layers, the first one is brilliant, and is that you see on the photograph and of two other layers resembling something like tracing paper. 





Once the brilliant layer is removed, one sees better still these spots. 





In fact, these spots are made up of a kind of very fine dust that manages to settle between these various layers.

The questions that arise are of course:


  • Is it possible to repair such a screen?
    Yes, but it will be necessary to replace these layers in a place free from dust. It is practically impossible to clean them without adding dust. in any case we succeeded in reassembling the screen and to make it function always with the spots. 
  • How this smoke get there?
    Difficult to say, but the screen is not completely tight even though the bottom it is sealed with an adhesive. either a volatile compound of these films blackened with heat, or the cooked and reheated dust succeeded in getting in. 
  • Is it possible to change the complete screen?
    Yes, but it is very expensive, especially on a 27". 


We invite those which are affected by this problem to speak out and hope that Apple offers an extended guarantee. It is indeed difficult to say the cause is bad usage of the machine under these conditions. A tighter screen or better quality should be enough to avoid this problem.
By crispin, original by Lionel
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Leppe
post Apr 5 2011, 07:35 AM
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I have exactly the same issue on the same place(s) of the screen!

I have Apple Care, would they repair this?
It's really ugly if you have to watch the screen!

I always thought that this iMac gets very hot. I own the same one but with a C2D and there is the screen okay. The heat exhaust is also much better.

I hope they will fix it for all the people with this iMac!

Thanks for bringing this article and investigation.

Sincerely.
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iCharlie
post Apr 5 2011, 08:53 AM
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I have exactly the same problem. There are some weird blurry spots in the right top corner.
The problem is, that is seems to get worse over time, although i don't do anything else than work with the machine.

I'll have to call my local apple service partner,...
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mizzos
post Apr 6 2011, 06:39 AM
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Same issue here!

My late 2007 24" iMac shows some stripes from the mid of the screen to the upper right corner.
The stripes have the shape of someone wiping with a dirty piece of cloth over the screen. Maybe someone wished with a dirty or oily (whatever) piece of cloth when assembling the machine - just guessing.

And it is definitely not between LCD screen and front glass plate. I once removed the front pane in order to be able to cleanse the dirt. I had to find out that it's even behind the LCD screen - just as you stated.

I don't know exactly when this problem appeared, but it was definitely before my two year guaranty went over. I have to say that the dirt stripes (not only spots) got worse by time. By now 3,5 years after purchase they seemed to have stopped.


Hopefully Apple acknowledges this problem and reacts in a customer friendly way!

Thank you guys
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Leppe
post Apr 6 2011, 07:30 AM
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Thanks for the feedback iCharlie & mizzos!

I'm going to use my Apple Care. My iMac is not even a year old! So some people could have regular guaranty.
Don't wait To long!
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gotetrunks
post Apr 6 2011, 08:58 AM
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Hi everyone.
Same problem here, for my 24" iMac late 2007.
I've the same feelings of mizzos, it's like someone use a dirty piece of cloth to clean the monitor.
The problem appeared about 6/7 months after purchased.
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okamiokami
post Apr 6 2011, 10:06 AM
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I serviced Alu iMacs since their introduction, saw and fixed a lot of those issues.

In the majority of cases, it's just dust that passes the gasket and settles on the upper part of the glass (the LCD produces heat and keeps dust in the upper part of the cavity).

Overtime the dust melts with glass, and at that point the usual fix (cleaning the glass with isopropyl alcohol, microfiber cloth and silicone roller) does not work anymore.

The issue is more frequent on larger models.

Apple's Service Manuals refer to this as a cosmetic issue, if cleaning doesn't work, the glass panel must be replaced unless the foreign material is a result of external cause, abuse or misuse (a little tricky to prove either way, because semantically, dust IS an external cause).

Customers can NOT demand replacement if the issue is successfully solved by cleaning the glass.

At the moment I'm not aware of a REP (Repair Extension Program) for the issue, so if the computer is over Apple's one year warranty or AppleCare Protection Plan, the glass panel is replaced for a fee.

My suggestion? Don't wait too long, just have an AASP (Apple Authorized Service Provider) service your computer no matter your warranty status: even out of warranty, the issue can be fixed in 1-2 hours tops, if you wait too long, the glass panel may need to be replaced, and it's expensive.

Also, it's no use arguing with your AASP or reseller, Apple has the last word on replacement and warranty extensions, service providers have to follow rules.
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Niklasfn
post Apr 6 2011, 11:12 AM
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I have The same problem on my 27" iMac from September.
Until now I actually just thought it was marks from very dirty fingers, but then I saw this post.
Doesn't bug me a lot since it doesn't show unless the screen is white or somewhat very bright.

Luckily I made a 3-year all-risk insurance, so I could get this fixed whenever I want, I just dont
Want to deal without my iMac while reparing is going on.

Anyway, I hope Apple will make a fix for this for future iMacs.
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marceloluft
post Apr 6 2011, 02:21 PM
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Hi everyone
Im from Brazil and i have the same problem in my iMac 24".
The problem is: I no longer have my one year warranty, which ended in 2010.

I hope Apple open an iMac recall soon.

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stemac
post Apr 9 2011, 11:07 AM
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I had same problem with 1st gen aluminium intel iMac 24".
Got repaired under Apple Care just before it ran out.

My marks were in the same place as the Superdrive.

Does seem to be quite a common problem...
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luckymethod
post Dec 1 2011, 09:29 PM
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I started a petition to get Apple to own up to this problem.

You can find it here: http://www.change.org/petitions/customer-s...om-2009-to-2011

If you have the same problem, please sign it and spread the word on Twitter and Facebook.

Thank you!
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MikeFlirt
post Dec 1 2011, 10:24 PM
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Same here, I got 3 iMac 27″. Apple replace all 3 screen then everything was fine until now, winter is coming and we have started the ultra sonic humidifier, then boom the stain started to re appear. The iMac is not under apple care anymore, apple will not replace them and anyway it will not fix the problem. When we made them fix, Apple ask if we have Ultra sonic humidifier, I guess they know the problem, if you don’t have an ultra sonic humidifier, I guess it’s something in the environment that do the exact same thing
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