Latest update fixes most iMac screen freezes

'Praise the Jobs,' says one happy user, but a few report the graphics update fails to stop lockups

An update issued by Apple yesterday appears to have solved most of the screen freezing problems iMac users have been reporting since August, according to messages posted on support forums.

Targeting the newest 20- and 24-in. iMacs that sport the brushed aluminum casing, the Graphics Firmware Update 1.0 "updates the graphics firmware on the ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO card to address issues that may have caused the computer to freeze," Apple said in a note accompanying the fix.

Apple first officially acknowledged the screen-freeze issue a month ago, but users began reporting the problem within a few weeks of the new iMac line's debut in early August. The lockups had common characteristics -- including an inactive mouse and keyboard, and continued background processing -- and the only solution was to reboot. Some users said their iMacs were freezing up several times each day.

The topic has been one of the most active of all those on Apple's support forums, with numerous threads, including one that as of today had more than 460 messages that had been viewed more than 27,000 times. Two weeks ago, Apple offered updated graphics drivers that it said would eliminate the lockups, but the problems persisted.

Yesterday, most users posting to support forums gave the new firmware update a thumbs up. "So far, so good here. Keeping my fingers crossed," said someone identified as bazmatting on the Apple site.

"Praise the Jobs, it's finally so far freeze-free (knock on wood)," said kkat69 on a MacRumors thread dedicated to the update.

A few who have lived with lockups, however, said that the update did them no good.

"When switching screen savers on the Desktop & Screen Saver menu, mouse stopped responding, just like it used to happen before updating the firmware. Seems that this firmware is a placebo or at least did not solve all issues," reported Ricky Avila in a pair of messages on an Apple forum.

Not all iMac users will need to install the update, Apple cautioned. "If you are not automatically presented with this update, your computer does not need it," the company said.

The update can be downloaded manually from Apple's support site, or by using the Software Update feature built into Mac OS X.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Gregg Keizer

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?