Advice on iMac usage please

Discussion in 'iMac' started by bigrw, Jun 8, 2018.

  1. bigrw macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    #1
    Hi All,

    I have an early 2008 iMac which still works perfectly fine but obviously has an old hard drive and not much RAM etc.

    I have seen that people repurpose them and it seems such a shame to throw it away. But what actually is it useful for other than the obvious (as a computer!).

    I have an extensive Sonos system. I also use HUE lights. I have a time capsule although this doesn't always work that well.

    Is there a reason to stick an SSD in it and use it for something...?

    even some hints I'd be really grateful for.
     
  2. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #2
    Media server, NAS, web server, mail server; Essentially server.

    External display

    Bunk Xubuntu on there and keep rocking it as a computer. It'll be back on the latest OS, though not the latest macOS. And it'll be fast. Very fast.

    Sell it back to Apple for recycling
     
  3. bigrw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    #3
    whats xubutnu sorry?

    and should I go to the expense of sticking an ssd in it?
     
  4. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #4
    A Linux-based operating system, :). It's based on the operating system Ubuntu, but with the lightweight graphical environment called XFCE, thus the name Ubuntu :)


    Depends how you'll use it. For any of my recommendations I'll say no. Not really worth it. Unless you use Xubuntu and really love it.
     
  5. bigrw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    #5
    ok thank you. and is using an iMac like this better than just buying an NAS because all the other uses seem to basically be a server?
     
  6. TonyK macrumors 6502a

    TonyK

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    #6
    Upgraded to an SSD will give it a year or more of extra life. Did that a few years back with MP 3,1 and 4,1 and have not regretted the decision.

    I gather the Sonos system is where your music is stored. So the iMac would then serve up TV, movies you rip from disc, etc.

    The iMac could also be used for web surfing and light work. It really depends on what you are using your computer(s) for now and how it can fit in for the remaining life it has.
     
  7. bigrw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    #7
    I have several other Macs including very recent MacBook pros. So I really don't need the computing power.

    I was considering an NAS for backup and potentially sonos (although I stream everything in reality!!)

    just seeing if there's the point really.
     
  8. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #8

    Well, it would be better in the sense that you don't have to spend money on new hardware. With the right setup, an iMac can be just as good a NAS as a dedicated NAS. Aside from the form factor I suppose
    --- Post Merged, Jun 8, 2018 ---

    You say you don't need the computing power, but that made me think of something else. If you use Xcode or Final Cut, you can set up the iMac to assist with those tasks too, so when you compile in Xcode or render in Final Cut, both the machine you are currently using and this iMac, will process the data together. Just another theoretical use case :)
     
  9. bigrw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    #9
    Thank you so much.

    How do I set it up as a NAS? presumably I can then add external hard drives and do a RAID type thing?
     
  10. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #10

    Yes. You can. If you just want it to be for Macs, you can just use the File Sharing menu in the Share section of System Preferences. I recommend also enabling screen sharing so you can remotely change configuration. After that, you can easily access all the computers files and all connected data via the Finder of any Mac.
     
  11. bigrw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    #11
    Thank you that's awesome. and will it do RAID for me?
     
  12. wardie macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    #12
    I have a similar setup to above with an old 2009 Mac Mini Server (the one without the DVD slot) which I use as a file / print / email / iTunes server etc. For my house of macs. Plus it works fine with sonos and other stuff in the house for sharing music (SMB protocol). Doesn’t need much power. Don’t expect it to run latest macOS though. Main limitation is the lack of USB3/Thunderbolt for fast external hard drive expansion. But it has FireWire 800 which is OK ish. Internally I have a SSD and HDD on 2.5 inch SATA drives.

    OSX will support software-based RAID - you can configure using Disk Utility. But I would first ask yourself what the point is before doing that... It is NOT a backup strategy but gives you greater performance / more resilience for failures across multiple disks, depending on what you need. I don’t bother. I have an old slow NAS dedicated box I use as a backup server now.
     
  13. bigrw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    #13
    So... thanks for all the help. I'm slightly concerned I've bricked the iMac though. I wiped it clean and then went to restart it... it tries to get me to download Mavericks which isn't available.

    And I can't download El Capitan on my newer machines because they aren't compatible with it.... I'm totally stuck.

    Please help!!!!
     
  14. bigrw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    #14
    Is there any way to unofficially download mavericks so I can get started or will that be virus!?
     
  15. bigrw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
  16. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #16
    You will need another mac or a copy of snow leopard on disk because your mac was made before internet recovery and does not default to an internet recovery option. You can use another mac to make a copy of any OS you want to use using diskmaker X and an 8gb usb drive or bigger.

    https://www.techrepublic.com/blog/a...how-to-create-a-bootable-usb-to-install-os-x/

    It is also possible using transmac to do it on a windows machine but I have no experience of this.
     
  17. bigrw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    #17
    Thank you but how do I get the relevant operating system? My newer machines won't let me download older systems that aren't compatible with them!?
     
  18. padams35 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2016
    #18
    Mavericks should still be available if it was previously downloaded with the associated Apple ID.

    If that doesn't work then you should be able to restore from an old backup.

    For restoring via reinstalling Snow Leopard I would assume you would use the original disks. If you never used SL or lost the disks then I think they can still be ordered from Apple. https://www.apple.com/shop/product/MC573Z/A/mac-os-x-106-snow-leopard

    If recovery truly doesn't work, you don't have any backups, you lost or never had Snow Leopard / Lion install media, and don't want to spend money acquiring a new install disk then I'd suggest burning a linux live CD/DVD just to give the old iMac a working OS.
     
  19. bigrw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    #19
    I can download old osx from App Store (as in they are available) but on more modern computers you can't download because they won't work with that system.
     
  20. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #20

    There are many options for software RAID. Apple RAID (built-in) and SoftRaid being two good options. You can also buy external hardware RAID setups
     
  21. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Location:
    Between the coasts
    #21
    I think you'll only run into download issues with 2016 and 2017 Macs, so if you or someone you know has a Mac that's a bit older, you should be fine (for example, I have no problems downloading El Capitan to my late 2013 iMac running High Sierra). Also, if you have a Time Machine backup of that old Mac, you should be able to boot from that (and then Restore from Time Machine backup from Recovery).

    Another alternative is to buy the Snow Leopard DVD from the Apple web site. $20 USD.

    If you were to try to sell it, you'd probably still get a reasonable amount of money. Anyone in a position to reinstall OS X would have it up and running in about an hour.

    FWIW, I also have an early 2008 iMac (and a bootable thumb drive of El Capitan, and a Time Machine backup). It's still working with the original HDD, but I've decided that I will not upgrade to an SSD at this point. If I had done it several years ago I feel like I'd have gotten my money's worth, but how much money do I want to invest in a 10-year-old machine? All it would take is the failure of one of the circuit boards to render the investment null and void.

    I think it's kind of silly to run something so large, as a server, but obviously, it can be done (and my idea of silly and yours may be different).
     
  22. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2013
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #22
    Assuming it’s a 24, you’ve got a great little TV for video files, either on board or YouTube etc.

    example: play scenery video when working out
     
  23. drewsof07 macrumors 68000

    drewsof07

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Ohio
    #23
    They make a great photo frame. Create screensavers of cherished family memories, that last vacation, or all the classic cars you'll never own.
     

Share This Page