Smoke pours out of the back of an iMac

It seems that every month new reports of computers going up in smoke surface. A video has been posted online from a Chinese reporter who was using his iMac when smoke started pouring out the back of his machine.

The computer appears to have adequate airflow around its vents and doesn't appear to be placed in an area where temperatures would exceed normal operating conditions. Hopefully this iMac will be shipped back to Apple so that they have a chance to examine what caused the smoke and will be able to take precautionary steps to avoid this again in the future.

Apple is not the only one who has had problems with computers bursting into flames. All of the major manufactures have had some issues but each incident is isolated and has yet to become a wide spread problem.

The only way for the vendors to know the true cause behind situations like these is if the consumer contacts the manufacturer immediately. By alerting the appropriate vendors they may be able to determine the cause and avert further issues in the future.


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36 Comments

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This video doesn't exactly show a supposed cause to this. It could have been anything that could have randomly failed, any computer could have this happen. Someone could have spilled something, some electrical circuitry may have failed, it may have obtained a power surge somehow, so many reasons, and they apply to all machines, PC or mac. Hell it could be an upset employee who just got fired and thinks it's funny to destroy machinery? =) I fail to see why the fact that it's a mac seems to make it more newsworthy than anything else.

Pretty biased journalism on this site I must say. And, no I don't like macs any more than I like PCs. Post some articles about other things going wrong with other machines maybe? I'm sure with minimal digging it's possible, consider that a challenge...

unkdirkpitt said,
This video doesn't exactly show a supposed cause to this. It could have been anything that could have randomly failed, any computer could have this happen. Someone could have spilled something, some electrical circuitry may have failed, it may have obtained a power surge somehow, so many reasons, and they apply to all machines, PC or mac. Hell it could be an upset employee who just got fired and thinks it's funny to destroy machinery? =) I fail to see why the fact that it's a mac seems to make it more newsworthy than anything else.

Pretty biased journalism on this site I must say. And, no I don't like macs any more than I like PCs. Post some articles about other things going wrong with other machines maybe? I'm sure with minimal digging it's possible, consider that a challenge...


How is this biased? Have you taken into consideration apples latests ads bashing pc quality? IF apple is going to start attacking pc quality the nexpect an apple imac with smoke comming out of it on the front page.

It's a regular thing for smoke to come out of a generic pc due to cables going in the wrong way, things not being installed but that never warrants any information. Think about the smell and the smoke that comes off a cpu when the coolers not on there properly etc.

I love the fact that out of the millions of units made there is bound to be a small % rate of failure that happens with each and every product thats made and uses electricity, just that with macs, its another thing to jump upon.

Forget the fact its a mac, if this was a branded PC would it get the same reaction? Anyone remember the Dell and sony battery recalls etc?

*edit*
When I say a regular thing, Ive had it happen many a time that a molex somehow got plugged in the wrong way by a customer or a cathode shorts etc

One of my old PC's smoked like that. The speaker cable to the in case speaker was burnt right. At the time I had a person looking at buying the case! Lol... Still did

ok if something is smoking you would suspect a fire next. Instead of pulling out your cell phone to video this moment why don't that guy just unplug the mac. I would like to see how he react when his clothes catches on fire. lol any 1st grader would know what to do.

aboi said,
ok if something is smoking you would suspect a fire next. Instead of pulling out your cell phone to video this moment why don't that guy just unplug the mac. I would like to see how he react when his clothes catches on fire. lol any 1st grader would know what to do.

he wasn't in any danger. He was smart to record it happening.

Apple is not the only one who has had problems with computers bursting into flames.

If you watch the video this is clearly not what happened. Every time there is a product failure people use this sensational language like "burst into flames" and "exploded" when all they really saw was some smoke and usually at most some fire. I guess if you take lessons from cable news (such as Fox News) lying sensationalism is the norm.

Fox News is only good for Traffic and Weather updates before I leave the house in the morning. Everything else is over hyped crap.

I'll never forget one of the idiots on the morning news referring to a typical MN winter storm as "Operation Winter". He used his fancy "I wish I was Stone Phillips" sounding voice to say it to.

I wanted to detour to their studio and punch him in the face.

I thought that Macs didn't come with these headaches. They're supposed to be quality products.

Apple wouldn't lie to us.......right?

lordcanti86 said,
I thought that Macs didn't come with these headaches. They're supposed to be quality products.

Apple wouldn't lie to us.......right?


wow, how original .........

lordcanti86 said,
I thought that Macs didn't come with these headaches. They're supposed to be quality products.

Apple wouldn't lie to us.......right?

Hmmm, would I see this message for the 1st time? No...
10th time? Not really...
100th time? Most likely.

The world is not magical dude, everybody can have these problems, but when it's Apple, the spotlight is on them. Anything can happen. Hell it can even be a misuse and they won't state it in the article. So get real and/or grow up.

The best comment from the forum thread came from RAID 0

(RAID 0 @ Aug 25 2009, 12:52) [snapback]591490994[/snapback]
I think that was the smug that caught fire, not the hardware.[/quote]

seen loads of monitors / computers / psu's blow out and burn up over the years, im surprised this is actually front page news. iMac's are usually very reliable, they use them as POS in the apple stores and none of them have burst into flames.

The only thing ive never seen first hand is an exploding battery from a laptop / portable device.

This doesn't surprise me. My computer burst into smoke a couple of years ago. My old Pentium 4 Dual Core with Hyper Threading.

I used to leave my PC on all day/night... while I'm at home or at school. The weird thing was, the one day I was home sick.. I walked into my bedroom, to discover the room filled with smoke, with a considerable amount pouring out the back of the case.

I switched my computer off from the powerpoint, left it half an hour. Tested it later on... nothing.
After opening the case, I discovered the motherboard charred in the middle, in a section between the RAM and CPU.

mattnotley2004 said,
This doesn't surprise me. My computer burst into smoke a couple of years ago. My old Pentium 4 Dual Core with Hyper Threading.

I used to leave my PC on all day/night... while I'm at home or at school. The weird thing was, the one day I was home sick.. I walked into my bedroom, to discover the room filled with smoke, with a considerable amount pouring out the back of the case.

I switched my computer off from the powerpoint, left it half an hour. Tested it later on... nothing.
After opening the case, I discovered the motherboard charred in the middle, in a section between the RAM and CPU.

Press-hot!

mattnotley2004 said,
This doesn't surprise me. My computer burst into smoke a couple of years ago. My old Pentium 4 Dual Core with Hyper Threading.

I used to leave my PC on all day/night... while I'm at home or at school. The weird thing was, the one day I was home sick.. I walked into my bedroom, to discover the room filled with smoke, with a considerable amount pouring out the back of the case.

I switched my computer off from the powerpoint, left it half an hour. Tested it later on... nothing.
After opening the case, I discovered the motherboard charred in the middle, in a section between the RAM and CPU.

Pentium 4 dual core. lol

What I don't get is when his computer is smoking the first thing he thinks about is grabbing his phone to record it. Shouldn't he be going something like, "OMG! Noooooo...why me, lord, why me!?"

grantsteele said,
What I don't get is when his computer is smoking the first thing he thinks about is grabbing his phone to record it. Shouldn't he be going something like, "OMG! Noooooo...why me, lord, why me!?"

I definitively would scream and swear a lot, lol.
Just can't imagine one of my computers melting or catching fire out of a sudden.

People nowadays are less and less unsensitive, and the first thing many thinks when something serious/dangerous/scary, etc. happens is to grab something to record it.

i'll say what i said on the original video
thats an expensive piece of kindling

most PCs (Macs included) burst into flames because of faulty batteries in laptops etc (and maybe that one time a MacBook blew up because of a faulty circut?), this Mac PC just decides to catch fire
i don't hear alot of stories of actual desktops blowing up, but point me in the direction, i'd like to read some of them

You don't read about them a lot because it's not good link bait.

If an Acer breaks, bursts to flames or something, people assume it's more or less "normal" given the quality standards that company has or used to have. My friend's Acer had all the conceivable problems I could think of except burst into flames but you never saw that here or anywhere else, no one would have cared.

But hey, if it's an Apple, that belongs on the front page.

Griffith.pt said,
You don't read about them a lot because it's not good link bait.

If an Acer breaks, bursts to flames or something, people assume it's more or less "normal" given the quality standards that company has or used to have. My friend's Acer had all the conceivable problems I could think of except burst into flames but you never saw that here or anywhere else, no one would have cared.

But hey, if it's an Apple, that belongs on the front page.

Yeah, because they market their products like they are way better than everyone elses, when in actuality, this prooves the opposite. Hence, newsworthy.

i've heard of laptops exploding, Macs included... lots of them
just not many desktops
and Acer, i'll never buy from them again ;P LCD Fail, hdd Fail, thankfully they fixed all my issues for free and i still have the system, it works... but i wouldn't rec anyone get one, instead Dell and don't be to cheap

yeah, anything that explodes is considered normal in the PC world, right....

pasty2k2 said,


Yeah, because they market their products like they are way better than everyone elses, when in actuality, this prooves the opposite. Hence, newsworthy.


yes, this one video proves the opposite. /sarcasm.

bob_c_b said,


yes, this one video proves the opposite. /sarcasm.


Sure does, if one takes into consideration all the other videos of exploding Apple portables and iPods.

Mega Goatlord said,

Sure does, if one takes into consideration all the other videos of exploding Apple portables and iPods.

That is some fancy logic you are peddling there. I have had computers do this to me before, mainly due to a cheap power supply. Never a mac though, but I am not stupid enough to think that it won't happen.

Macs are computer just like other PCs, the only people who don't seem to get this are people here at neowin. They spend half there time saying that they aren't special, and the other half running accusing people of saying that they are.