Advice needed: failing iMac internal HDD or not?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by page3, Oct 7, 2008.

  1. page3 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2003
    Vicar of Dibley-land, UK
    Or: "The case of the mysteriously misbehaving hard drive"

    Hi all, advice really most appreciated :) Hope this isn't too waffley for you all...

    I have a 24" intel iMac (Core 2 Dual, white version, stock 320Gb HDD). It is out of warranty.

    Over the last week it has been getting VERY slow before becoming unusable. This appears to be when any hard drive access is required. Finder windows were taking literally minutes to appear (with spinning beach ball).

    I did all the usual stuff such as repairing permissions, verified drive and ran a full Onyx cleanup. This all made no difference.

    I ran a Leopard archive-and-install. This took 10 hours (!). I remember the original Leopard install taking 30 minutes so somethings not right here. No improvement.

    I formatted the drive using 'write zeros' - which estimated 3 days to complete, but I stopped it after 12hrs.

    I did a time machine restore to an external firewire drive, which I am now running my Leopard install from fine. All is back to normal speed. (I'm surprised at just how fast it runs from an external firewire 800 drive, as I expected to notice a difference - I don't)

    So, I now have a blank internal drive to test:

    I ran Disk Warrior. All OK.

    I ran Techtool Pro 4 full hardware tests including disk surface scan. All reported OK.

    So, do I have a failing hard drive or not???? I suppose my next step is to restore to the internal drive and see if it runs as well as from the external?

    I have read about similar symptoms for a failing iMac drive but usually one of the hardware tests reports bad sectors. I have no such results, or any other symptoms.

    Advice most welcome :confused:
  2. hughvane macrumors 6502


    Aug 25, 2008
    Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
    Is a swap of your internal and external drives a consideration? That would give you all your applications, utilities, valuable backed-up files etc available even faster. Then you could tinker with the now blank drive in the external enclosure. If it's no good after trying to load an OS on to it, it's a lot easier to work on and replace if necessary.

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