updated 07:20 pm EDT, Thu October 4, 2007
iMac freezing redux
Apple on Thursday responded indirectly to the iMac freezing report published yesterday by acknowledging the continued problems, which it said a "small number" of users are experiencing with the consumer desktop. Apple has also promised a fix as soon as possible, according to Macworld (the statement, however, was not provided to other outlets). A company spokesperson told the publication that "A small number of iMac users have made us aware that a recent software update issued by Apple can sometimes cause their iMacs to freeze, requiring them to restart their iMac." The company, howeer, provided no concrete timetable for a fix nor offered any workaround to users experiencing the problems.
Confirmed by MacNN, the issue was first noted in multiple discussion threads in Apple's own support forums: many iMacs are occasionally ceasing to accept input, despite programs and Mac OS X itself continuing to run in the background. In some cases, users are reporting that cursors and some keyboard commands may remain functional, but that interaction is extremely limited. In virtually all cases, the only firm solution has been a manual reboot.
Apple technical support has already confirmed the issue with several users, according to the threads, and the problem reportedly has been narrowed to the ATI Radeon HD cards inside the iMac. However, only some owners are reporting more crashes with graphics-intensive programs (e.g. games), while the rest say it is random or connected to extended periods of use.
A recent v1.1 update for iMacs, released in mid-September, contained bug fixes targeted at video drivers, but does not solve the problem.