I recently sold my 24" first generation polycarbonate iMac to a friend. It worked for me for nearly 5 years and after he had it for 3 months it has started to give the beachball of death. It might happen after 5 minutes of use or 1 hour. I thought it might be a heat issue but SMC fan control has been installed and speeding up the fans does not help. It has a fresh install of 10.5.8. I was thinking RAM, but it won't boot with just one stick (has 2 1gb sticks in it now, factory installed) so it is hard to test the RAM. When it becomes unresponsive, you can still move the beachball around but no programs respond. I would suspect hard drive or RAM, but is there a way I can test to find out which? Any suggestions?