Apple hardware is so fucking reliable!

This "spontaneously and randomly power off the computer" feature is really getting old...

    Mar 16 18:15:35 localhost kernel[0]: AppleSMU -- shutdown cause = -122
    Mar 25 20:18:17 localhost kernel[0]: AppleSMU -- shutdown cause = -122
    Mar 25 21:03:56 localhost kernel[0]: AppleSMU -- shutdown cause = -122
    Mar 26 06:17:22 localhost kernel[0]: AppleSMU -- shutdown cause = -122
    Apr  8 08:45:09 localhost kernel[0]: AppleSMU -- shutdown cause = -122
    Apr  8 08:50:34 localhost kernel[0]: AppleSMU -- shutdown cause = -122
    Apr  8 14:57:30 localhost kernel[0]: AppleSMU -- shutdown cause = -122
    Apr  9 00:15:04 localhost kernel[0]: AppleSMU -- shutdown cause = -122
    Apr  9 08:04:43 localhost kernel[0]: AppleSMU -- shutdown cause = -122
    Apr  9 11:54:59 localhost kernel[0]: AppleSMU -- shutdown cause = -122
    Apr  9 15:06:44 localhost kernel[0]: AppleSMU -- shutdown cause = -122

Again I'm faced with the decision: haul it down to the store for the fourth time now, or just back up often and wait until it fries my logic board and drive again?

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44 Responses:

  1. hexxenn says:

    So should I rethink buying a Mac?

    • kakaze says:

      Macs generally are pretty reliable, but when you do get a dud they do as little as possible to fix the problem and you usually wind up having to take it back over and over again, unfortunately.

      Since it keeps happening and they keep replacing the logic board, chances are the problem isn't the logic board but something else which affects the logic board. Possibly overheating, which some of the iMacs have had problems with.

      • jaydubbee says:

        I agree with your post except for the first and second paragraphs. In what alternate universe are macs "generally reliable"? Of all the models Apple has produced in the last five years, the majority have suffered from severe design or manufacturing defects which have led to recalls, warranty extensions, or other extreme measures. Even the MacBook Pro, on the market for only 6 weeks or so, is now undergoing a logic board replacement program.

        Apple needs to get their junk together and fire either the guy who does their circuit board layouts or the Random Taiwanese Corp. who has the manufacturing contract.

        • kakaze says:

          First revision products, such as the Intel PowerBook, have notoriously had problems, but they're generally ironed out by the next revision.

          Don't forget, too, that you'll hear more about the defects than about the units working fine. People are more vocal when something doesn't work then when something does.

        • davidmccabe says:

          For what it's worth, every mac I've owned, and I've owned a lot, has run without any problems or maintainance for years and years and years.

          • artlung says:

            I've had the same experience, very reliable. Always get the Apple Care, only had to use it on an old AirPort Graphite which was replaced without incident when it died.

        • Where I work we buy about 60 iMacs a year. The of the rev. 1 iMac G5s we've got about 10 that are either being repaired or need to be sent out. Of the rev. 2 iMac G5s we've had to send in only 2.

          We have about 50 iMac G4s not one of them has had so much as a hard drive fail.

    • chronovore says:

      My iBook is still running flawlessly after over five years of constant use and heavy travel.
      My PowerBook has had minor problems with auto-Sleeping, which were fixed after one trip to Service; since then, no problems.
      You will /always/ hear more about the problem cases than the "just works" cases, because there is little to be said when something performs as advertised. As a user of both Windows and Mac machines, I find that when something doesn't work on my Mac, I am surprised, and try to figure out what happened. However when something similar happens on Windows, I just shrug and accept it as another problem in a long line of problems in that environment.

      • I honestly don't want to start or escalate a Mac vs Windows flamewar, but in all honesty I'm to the point where I'm more surprised when one of my Windows boxen (in the last several years, this has included 3 Dells, a Micron, and a couple of frankenboxen) mysteriously misbehaves than when a Mac does.

  2. connatic says:

    This is when you demand that Apple give you an entirely new system... four times in a row is not acceptable.

    I'm glad all four of the Macs in our home have been reliable - apart from when I dropped the PowerBook on the floor and broke the screen two days after warranty, which Apple still repaired for free.

    But then, I'm waiting for the 2nd-generation MacBook Pro - I have no desire of buying a first-generation Mac anything.

    • matthew says:

      Agreed, go in and point out that this is the 4th repair and ask for a new system. Apple repair policy allows for system replacement after 3 major repair incidents. Be nice to the genius and see if you can get them on your side because it's also very much at their discretion.

      • zebe says:

        Triple agreed, and maybe demand a Core Duo iMac. Mine has been flawless.

        • pdx6 says:

          I don't know if they'd give a iMac duo upgrade, but it is worth a shot. If you have the cash, you may as well just say screw it and get a iMac duo and toss the G5 to the craigslist wolves after they repair/replace it.If you are doing development, you may as well get the latest. Also, it *is* faster than the G5 after you put at least 1GB into it.

        • erg says:

          My roommate is an apple tech who just left the company and Core Duo is not on his shopping list. Steer clear for awhile.

  3. gimpyprophet says:

    Aren't there lemon laws that deal with stuff like this?

    • If there arten't, there certainly should be. But then again, if someone decides to put all their eggs in one basket and buy a Mac, it's really their own fault if something goes screwy and the entire system needs to be sent for repairs or replacement.

      It's really more of a "buyer beware" thing, I think.

      • jwz says:

        Go peddle your OS wars elsewhere, troll. You're >< this close to bannination.

        • Um.

          I didn't say anything about OS, actually, but for the record: OSX good, XP bad. (The OS trolls are further down the thread, and they seem very pro-Linux...)

          We're talking hardware here, and Mac hardware, being generally all-inclusive and all-expensive, is a humongous pain if something goes wrong. Which is what your original post was implying, isn't it? Maybe I misread?

  4. violentbloom says:

    seems like backing it up is a good plan

    so *again*?? are you dropping acid in there or something?

  5. allartburns says:

    Sell it on eBay for parts and buy something else?

  6. insomnia says:

    Hey... nice dark basement you've got there.

    You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

  7. warwulf says:

    Apple is supposed to be switching to an intel-based chipset. It already has in newer comps.

    And, they just announced that they'll be offering Microsoft Windows as an alternative OS on their machines.

    Resistance is futile. ~_^

  8. cfs_calif says:

    Where is your G5 sitting exactly? Is the back and top getting enough air. The problem might be a component overheating or one that is just hot and is melting another. Just a thought. I currently now own 4 macs including a mini for few years now and they seem solid even with the abuse I give them (I believe in the tough love).

    cfs
    • jwz says:

      No, it's in the middle of my desk, 3' from the wall, space on all sides. The room isn't hot, and the machine itself barely feels warm. The first time this problem started happening, I wasn't on a UPS (since my appt only loses power about once a year) but I bought a UPS just to make sure it wasn't dirty power. Nothing changed.

      • cfs_calif says:

        If the problem is hardware, then the only thing I can think of to try is to eliminate any possibility that it is software by running off a virgin Mac OS install and let it run until it crashes again.

        If it is software, then see above and reload the applications you were using one at a time and repeat process until it is reproducible.

        Of course that is a pain in the ass. I would probably be more bitchy at the Apple Store and insist a complete replacement (might even be cheaper for Apple at this point to do so).

        cfs
      • vsync says:

        Does your UPS have AVR though? What's the clamping time?

        A cheap UPS could still let dirty power through in a situation short of a noticeable brownout or a complete blackout.

        I'd be curious to know whether it's just a buggy PMU, damage from an initial surge or something, or being finicky about its power.

        And on this topic, why has the industry gone cheaper and cheaper on the power supplies, as clock speeds have gone up? You'd think it'd be the opposite. (I'm looking at you, Sun. I remember having a mix of Ultra 1s and Ultra 10s, and any time there was a brownout every single Ultra 10 in the building would reboot and the Ultra 1s would be fine.)

        • wfaulk says:

          The Ultra5/Ultra10 architecture was just shit all around. My favorite thing about it was how in the early revisions, the OS would just completely pause when you opened or closed the (newly ATA) CD tray.

          • cfs_calif says:

            Old thread, I know, but to note in Sun's defense: There are several revisions of the U5/U10 (also known as Sea Otter/Sea Lion). The first rev. was absolute crap, by the 3rd rev., they got most of the kinks out. When I was at Sun alpha testing Sea Lion, it was complete exercise in how to make cheap, er, cheap. Thirty of my fellow engineers were brought in a focus group and everyone of us said, put in an extra 2MB of VRAM so we can get 24 bit graphics. The hardware eng.'s on the team were like, a-dooooy. Quickly rev. 2 had the damn extra two chips that cost them even back in 1998, $10. But this was such a long time ago, and as we know Sun never has made a mistake since. ;)

            cfs
  9. hermeticseal says:

    in another one of your iMac posts i mentioned that i had written a letter to the VP of service explaining how i was POd and wanted a new computer when they had my powerbook in for service for about a month.

    in the end it had to fail 3 times, but on the 3rd time, they sent me a new computer fedex, no questions asked. and i got a bump to the latest model. this might be a problem for you since you want a G5 machine, but the (not applecare) guy i was working with was very accomodating.

    i think the "3 strikes" thing might be california law, so they arent doing anything special.

  10. mbacarella says:

    When will jwz finally accept that Apple sucks just as much as everyone else and switch back to the Linux monster he knows?

    • edge_walker says:

      "It's a hardware problem," anyone?

      • legolas says:

        I don't think he's suggesting that jwz run Linux on apple hardware however...

        • edge_walker says:

          No, that would be the worst of both worlds. I'm saying that Jamie had software problems with PC+Linux, whereas there've mostly been hardware issues with Mac+OS [tm]. The types suck in different ways, but at least it's someone else's job to do the actual hardware fixing and you don't get told to just recompile your kernel.

  11. fantasygoat says:

    Demand a completely new computer. 4 times is insane.

  12. raemus says:

    This wouldn't happen to be a first-gen iMac, would it?

    Two of them at my uni have a problem that they'll randomly shut down, and it seems it's caused by a bad capacitor on the motherboard that gets fried fairly easily. Fixed in second-gen onward, only affects a limited range of computers, costs something in the range of $700-800US to fix, IIRC.

  13. ordminute says:

    I had similar woes. After a looong period as a Machead I recently bit the bullet and bought a lappie with Linux on it ("Ubuntu" - a super OS with a weird name) after checking it out on a friends G5.

    Apple tech is all made in Taiwan by Asus (Asustek) now and there has been a noticeable reduction in hardware quality. My G4 only went to the shop 3 times in a lifespan of as many years - a good track record by my friends standards. I'd perhaps consider OSX if it came out for standard x86 hardware but Apple hardware, as you say "is so fucking unreliable").

    Keen to poke around with these Core-Duos but I've heard too much too wrong already.. I guess when you playing for the mass-market you can't afford to produce quality goods.

  14. mangee says:

    You too?

    My third power supply and second logic board. hoping this creaps in under Applecare again, it's been about 1 year between each failure.