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EMac troubles

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by slickman9696, Jun 11, 2004.

  1. macrumors newbie

    I was just wondering if anyone else out there has had a problem similar to mine with the eMac. My eMac, after being on for probably around an hour and a half or so, or after being in screensaver mode for no more than 5 minutes, it starts to slow down. My eMac specs are:

    1 GHz PowerPC G4
    512 MB of RAM
    160 GB Ultra ATA drive
    Mac OS X Version 10.3.4

    That should be all that's important. Either way, it acts normally when first started up; meaning, it acts as fast as I believe it's supposed to act. Things you should know that I know (b/c yes I'm new to the Mac world and I asked all my friends) are things like yea I have to shut down all programs that have the little arrows underneath them. So, if anyone else is experiencing this problem or if anyone has any ideas as to how this can be fixed, your help with be greatly appreciated. Consider this a great challenge tho, because not even those people at apple could help when I called. Thank you all very much.

    Charlie Stevens
  2. macrumors 68030

    Les Kern

    This is most of your problem I'd bet:

    1 GHz PowerPC G4
    512 MB of RAM
    160 GB Ultra ATA drive
    Mac OS X Version 10.3.4

    Panther needs a minimum of 128MB of ram to run. If you have multiple items open, the machine will have trouble because memory is protected, and it has a tough time utilizing the available ram to take care of things. I'm assuming you have no 3rd-party "odd" apps like haxies running, just "normal" apps? And how does it slow down? Does the mouse seem jerky? Do windows draw real slow? Do apps open REAL slow?
    Ram. Buy some. I'd recommend another 512 right away, if not more.
    As a new mac owner I'd cruise Macfixit.com regularly. Lots of good people there willing to help. (Like here too)
    Also, make it a rule that after every application install you fix permissions. And if it's NOT a server, turn off journaling. (Disk Utility in the Utilities folder)
    Good luck.
    By the way, you didn't INSTALL Norton Utilities or Norton Anti-Virus did you? If you did, remove it and toss the disks in the trash. (Or drag just the anti-virus folder to your applications folder)
    Also, I have a rule I rarely break: If I can't figure it out in a day or so, I kill the drive and start over.
  3. macrumors newbie

    Like I said, I don't have many programs running. But yes, programs take a while to load. That little beach ball is spinning for probably a good minute (and that's fast for when it slows down) before the program opens. Also, it takes a while to go from window to window. And, just a small thing, when I press the volume buttons on the keyboard, instead of going up or down one notch, it goes either all the way up or all the way down. And it takes a good minute (once again) for the CD tray to open up.

    I would buy more Ram, but with the eMac, you cannot expand.
  4. macrumors 68020


    And which uneducated moron told you this?

    Flip over your eMac. See the little door with the screw? That's where you access the RAM SLOTS.
  5. macrumors 68030


    I agree that OS X needs lots of RAM. And that 512 is probably the minimum you want for it to run well. But just because it's the minimum doesn't mean that it bogs down the system at all. I have an iMac G4 with 512 RAM and things are quite snappy. Definitely nothing like the waiting a whole minute with the beachball while apps load. So I don't think it's the amount of RAM.

    Now, the question is, where did you get the RAM? Pre-installed by Apple? Pre-installed by someone else? Bad RAM might be the problem. Flip your eMac over and take out one chip (unless that's the only chip) and see if that makes things better.

  6. macrumors 68030

    Les Kern

    I agree of course, I just read the initial post wrong. I thought he DID have lots of apps running.
    Anyway, a clue is that it starts off okay, then gets worse?
    It seems that we can rule out any corrupted files here....
    Try this: Start up the eMac and immediately go to Utilities>Activity monitor.
    You'll probably see mostly 0% CPU usage.
    Do the same after the computer slows down and see if soomething is hogging the machine.
    If it shows no real change, my original suggestion stands: start over. But make sure you fix permissions and turn off journaling.
    Hope we all can help you....
  7. macrumors 6502


    There is something very wrong there, most likely with your OSX installation. Please don't believe what these people are telling you - 512mb RAM is a very healthy amount for OSX. When I purchased my eMac it came with only 128mb of RAM, and it was far faster than waiting over a minute for an app to load.

    If you haven't already, I suggest a complete reformat and reinstallation of OSX. Something might have gotten corrupted along the way. It should NOT be that slow. Hell, even an old iMac 233mhz loads apps faster than that.
  8. macrumors newbie

    Haha, I guess it was some idiot that told me I couldn't expand. Didn't know I could add more Ram. I have tried reinstalling OSX, but not reformatting, so I guess now I'll have to do that. It's going to suck because I have a lot of files on there already (in the short time that I've had it, I'm addicted, what can I say). Hopefully that will work, I'll get back to you all on what happens.

    And to answer that one person's question, yea, all the Ram was preinstalled by the Apple people, I ordered it that way.
  9. macrumors 6502a


    The eMac only has two RAM slots, if the RAM was installed by Apple they probably installed two 256mb DIMMs. So essentially they would be right, you couldn't install more RAM without removing one of the current DIMMs (if it does have two).

    512mb should be plenty of RAM for most people try this program Do I need more memory? to see if RAM is the problem. Do a clean OS X install is a good idea and will probably fix your problem anyway.
  10. macrumors newbie

    Alright, I tried that "Do I need more memory?" thing. Check this out. I waited till it was on for a while, and I checked it, I only had 35 spare RAM. Then, I reset the computer, did the same thing. 335!!!!!!!!!!! spare RAM!!!!!!!! I cannot believe this. And I called the Mac support people twice and they did nothing that helped. AAAAARRRGGGHHHH.
  11. macrumors 68030


    Restart and leave it on for a while. Go to the Terminal (Applications>Utilities>Terminal) and type in

    Copy what comes up and paste it here so we can see what can be the possible culprit sucking all your RAM.

  12. macrumors newbie

    Check for bad firewire cable

    I had same problem on imac and turned out to be a crushed firewire cable - cable did not appear to be damaged till I felt very carefully- Un plug all devices and check out the performance.
  13. macrumors 68000


    For general usage you DO NOT need any more than 512MB of RAM. Don't waste your money. I know lots of people using Mac OS X with no more than 256MB of RAM and it runs fine. They just do general things like check email, browse the net, and maybe do something in Word. I have a 233 MHz iMac (Bondi Blue) with 256 MB of RAM and it runs Mac OS X.3.4 just as well as it did Mac OS 9.2.2.

    You must of installed something thats slowing it down, or you have a corrupt installation of OS X installed. It shouldn't be slow at all. I would reinstall Mac OS X and then see how it goes.

    I don't know where you guys get off thinking everyone needs 1 GB of RAM to make OS X work properly. Yes, I agree Mac OS X likes lots of RAM, just like Windoze XP does, but 512 should be plenty for general usage.
  14. macrumors 6502a


    That do i need more ram thing app is really handy!

    as long as you don't go into the negative.. you don't need more ram. 35MB spare is good considering OSX utilizes as much ram as it can.
  15. macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    512 is plenty for general usage, but 1GB is the sweet spot. the reason many people think this way is experience.

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