2009 iMac Dying- What is wrong?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Neotribe, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. Neotribe macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2011
    #1
    It is a late 2009 iMac 27 inch
    Processor 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    Memory 6 GB 1067 MHz DDR3
    Graphics ATI Radeon HD 4670 256 MB
    Software Mac OS X Lion 10.7.4 (11E53
    I have 274 gigs of the the terabyte SATA Disk free.


    My iMac has been running incredibly slow lately. To open up anything, seems like it is overworking it. It takes about 30 seconds to open up an app. Photoshop and iMovie have become basically unusable because the computer is lagging so much.
    The internet runs 75% slower than it did three months ago. Youtube videos often pause or won't stream at all. I need to restart the computer about five times a day, just to surf the net.
    It has even frozen up a few times, which I didn't know Macs would even do.
    (That was the whole reason I switched to Mac in the first place.)

    What should I do?
    Should I just take it in to get fixed?
     
  2. chevalier433 macrumors 6502a

    chevalier433

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    #2
    Do a fresh OS install and later i recommend you to add a SSD
     
  3. Neotribe thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 12, 2011
    #3
    Can most Mac stores install an ssd for you? I didn't even know that was an option on a 2009 iMac.
     
  4. Matek macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    #4
    Is it still under warranty? If not, you can install it yourself. A SSD looks and acts just like any mechanical hard drive, it doesn't need any special support - the SATA port is standard, so it doesn't matter whether it was an option on the 2009 model or not.

    But anyway - if there isn't some strange hardware failure, your Mac couldn't have gotten any slower. Computers aren't like cars, they don't wear out, it's just the software that starts to be bloated.

    Like chevalier433 said, format your drive and do a fresh OS install, this should bring the machine back to its old performance.
     
  5. Neotribe thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 12, 2011
  6. Iamthinking macrumors regular

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    Jul 31, 2010
    #6
    Most like.y the hard drive is starting to fail. Backup and get a new ssd or 3.5" hardrive.
     
  7. Muzz112 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #7
    If you install an SSD, go for a previous generation. Although a SATA 3 drive will work, you won't benefit from the speed boosts over a SATA 2 as the 2009 iMac is SATA 2.
     
  8. Lankyman macrumors 68000

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    May 14, 2011
    Location:
    U.K.
    #8
    Why would you recommend the poster install an SSD? I use Mac sleep on my 2011 iMac and the startups are almost instant, certainly quick enough for what I will ever want. I have tried an SSD and found the results to be almost the same. I certainly would not be seduced into spending all that extra cash for a few milliseconds improvement. Patience is a virtue :D
     
  9. Haugiz macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    #9

    I had som similar problems with my late 2009 iMac, but I was also hearing some strange sounds coming from the HDD from time to time. But the general feel of the computer was that it had been subject to wear and tear - much like a car, and therefor was slower in every aspect.

    Turned out my HDD had tons of bad blocks, and was on the verge of failing. I used this little tool confirm that the hdd was dying: http://www.volitans-software.com/smart_utility.php

    Took a backup, and got my HDD replaced at a verfied apple reseller, and they actually changed the display too after they saw the black spot/smudges phenomenon.
     
  10. fastlanephil macrumors 6502a

    fastlanephil

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    #10
    I second that!

    You have to ask yourself if you really need to load apps and files a little faster or are you just spending a lot more money for very little additional benefit.
     
  11. Mike in Kansas, Sep 1, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2012

    Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Metro Kansas City
    #11
    You get much more than a millisecond improvement. I swapped out the 7200RPM 1TB HDD in my 2008 iMac with a 250GB SSD and the results have been nothing short of amazing. Yes, you can boot in 18 seconds versus 75 or so, and yes, you can load programs in one full bounce or less of the icon, but the real improvements are gained in running applications. I see major improvements in apps like Aperture where you are using brushes and filters, and in iMovie when you are applying effects to clips or adding transitions to the timeline.

    If all you do is web browsing, then you are right, you probably won't see any real improvement. But if you do creative work, the results are stunning.

    You also have a newer machine with faster bus speed, faster memory, and larger cache. Also, if you have more RAM, you won't page out as often as the OP may be. Paging out onto an SSD is also lots faster than paging out onto a spinning platter drive. You need to look at the system holistically before you go saying that an SSD won't help the OP.

    To the OP, it does sound like something is wonky with your HDD. Have you tried repairing your permissions on your HDD? If not, open up Disk Utility, select your internal drive, and repair permissions. If you can boot off of your install disks, you can also use Disk Utility to Verify and Repair your boot disk.
     
  12. Orange Furball macrumors 65816

    Orange Furball

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    May 18, 2012
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    Scranton, PA, USA
    #12
    I use and SSD for gaming on windows. It helps loss times then. Also good for laptops because the drive is shock resistant

    In an iMac? Um... 7,200 RPM mechanical is enough.
     
  13. Lankyman macrumors 68000

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    May 14, 2011
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    U.K.
    #13
    Last movie I shot was on a Canon Super 8 so that will give you some idea how long ago that was. It's something I have zero interest in tbh and as for games - well I tried to play one once found the whole concept mind numbingly boring and haven't bothered since. So to answer your question - no an SSD for me would be a total waste of money. P.S. I've never even taken a Laptop into the garden never mind into town. :eek:
     
  14. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

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    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Metro Kansas City
    #14
    I really don't care if an SSD would be a total waste of money for you - this wasn't targeted towards you. You jumped on Neotribe and Muzz112 and asked them why would you recommended an SSD when all you'd get would be "a few milliseconds improvement". I explained why you'd benefit from the speed of an SSD if you worked on iPhoto and iMovie (like the OP said he does). I can't help it if YOU don't use your computer that way and wouldn't benefit from the speed - the OP certainly would and he'd see more than "a few milliseconds improvement".
     
  15. Lankyman macrumors 68000

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    U.K.
    #15
    I don't consider I jumped on anyone as per your assertion. I merely asked why the recommendation of an SSD then related my experiences of using one. I don't get why some people are so obsessed with shaving a second here or a second there. Last time I checked using a computer wasn't an Olympic event. I might change my view when an SSD has the capacity and price point of a conventional HD.

    What concerns me however is your response implies that no one else is entitled to a view if it doesn't happen to concur with your own?
     
  16. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #16
    I agree with you. There's far too much pushing of solid state hard drives on this site. Most people don't need solid state hard drives.

    I use Photoshop, Lightroom, Final Cut Pro, and various professional audio applications on a nearly daily basis, and I have never needed a solid state hard drive.
     
  17. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

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    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Metro Kansas City
    #17
    My response was based on real world experience where I detailed the improvements made in the user experience when going from a HDD to an SSD, complete with examples of the apps I run and the better performance I observed. Your "view" has no supporting evidence or anything of substance backing it up, save a sideways comment that you "tried an SSD and found the results to be almost the same" and that "patience is a virtue". Really?? No improvements at all? What results were the same? The amount of time it took to render a movie? The previewing of a movie on a timeline? They fluidity of brushes and sliders in Aperture or iPhoto? The boot speed, app launching speed, or the effects of paging out when all your RAM was consumed? What were you doing on your machine prior to installing your SSD that you did not see an improvement in after you installed the SSD?

    Of course everyone is entitled to a view; however that "view" is only as good as the information and data backing it up. Otherwise it is just conjecture.

    As far as pushing SSDs on this site, putting a boot SSD in an older machine is one of the most cost effective and noticeable upgrades you can do. The speed of the SSD compensates for the bottlenecks of processor speed, bus speed, RAM capacity, page outs, etc. It breathes new life into an older machine (like both the OP and I have) and extends its useful life a couple more years. Why do you think the Macbook Air seems so fast when it's only a dual core 1.8GHz machine? After the I/O, those spinning magnetic platters are the slowest thing in your machine, and their latency of such is the bottleneck for most operations.
     
  18. jji7skyline macrumors 6502

    jji7skyline

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    #18
    List of things to do, if not fixed, proceed to next one:

    1. Reboot
    2. Clean reinstall after backup of important files
    3. Replace HDD (get a technician to do this for you if you're not comfortable with taking out the innards of an iMac.) SSD is always an option, but they are very expensive, and even 256GB ones are usually more expensive than 1TB HDDs.
    4. Get new Mac! :D

    Step 4 is very unlikely ;)
     
  19. Lankyman macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Location:
    U.K.
    #19
    I would suggest you undertake a time and motion exercise on your average entire day then measure how much time that expensive SSD has actually saved you.

    I rest my case. Chill a little and stop racing through life, it's over soon enough.
     

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