Can I fix this?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by devoD, Mar 2, 2016.

  1. devoD macrumors newbie

    devoD

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2016
    #1
    I have a late 2007 that someone gave me. It takes 5, 10, 15+ min (or sometimes longer) to boot. It wiped it and installed el Capitan. It's so slow to boot and to use any apps that I mostly use my 2006.

    Checked permissions
    Ran Applejack

    Nothing has helped.

    Is there anything I should try without wasting money?

    I'm buying a new macbook pro for school soon, but want to have a working desktop for my wife since I'll be using the MacBook on long days.

    Thanks!
    Devo
     
  2. ElCani macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #2
    Sounds like it could well be a failing hard drive. If it is, then replacing it with a solid state drive (SSD) will dramatically improve performance. There's lots of info on the web about how to do this or if you aren't confident taking the iMac apart a local computer shop can do it for you.

    How much RAM do you have installed? 4GB is a minimum really these days.
     
  3. varian55zx macrumors 6502a

    varian55zx

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #3
    Honestly no in my opinion. It's a computer from 2007. Why use that?

    People will probably say put an SSD in which, don't get me wrong, is the absolute BEST and first upgrade you should do to it, but why invest in a computer from 2007 when you can invest in one from '16?

    Just my $.02.
     
  4. ElCani macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #4
    Because the amount you need to invest is vastly smaller? Say, $65 vs $1,100+. If the user's needs are light (email, web, word etc) then a 2007 iMac with 4GB RAM and an SSD can be fine. If money is not a factor then obviously a new machine will be better - but for most people, money is a factor.
     
  5. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #5
    Why not, if he can fix it for short money, then he has a fully functioning computer.
     
  6. devoD, Mar 3, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2016

    devoD thread starter macrumors newbie

    devoD

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2016
    #6
    The question is....will an ssd and one more gig of ram fix it. Every time I try to perform an action...ie...close Google browser it has to turn the rainbow pinwheel for 30ish sec. Plus we won't use the computer a ton since I'll be getting a macbook soon

    My 2006 is still going strong, but failing in other ways...
     
  7. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #7
    If money is a factor then investing in old computers is a bad choice, laptops over 5 years old have terrible failure rates and the specs just don't cut it any more, the money to fix an old one is far better spent towards new tech, the same for desktops over 7 years old. A a second hand Mac mini from 2014 with the iMac used in target display mode would be a better use of the money.

    I couldn't care less what people do with their computers if the OP wants to spend money on an old computer that's cool an SSD will make it a usable computer for another year or two if it doesn't fail. However that wouldn't be my advice.
     
  8. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    #8
    Reminder -- New MacBooks released in the next month or so. Back to school bonuses start in July. I think your wife deserves better than a failing computer. Even a more recent windows machine is better than a 9+ year old failing iMac.
     
  9. devoD, Mar 3, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2016

    devoD thread starter macrumors newbie

    devoD

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2016
    #9
    Yeah, in getting one if they're here before July, but it's for school. My wife didn't use the computer much. Mostly she just uses her I phone.

    Thanks for the advice. Trying to avoid stacking money into school loans. I'll consider all your advice closely!
     
  10. ElCani macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #10
    That depends on what's wrong. If it is a failing HDD than an SSD and a fresh install of OS X 10.11 will solve it. If it's something else then the cost of repair could easily be more than it's worth spending on such an old machine. If you have the cash to buy something more modern then do it, but if money is tight then $65 on a 250GB SSD is worth the risk. If it doesn't solve the problem you still have the SSD to use as an external drive or to upgrade a different used Mac, if it does work you've got yourself a working computer for very little money.

    If you do go down this route then I would wait to buy any extra RAM until you've tried the SSD.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 3, 2016 ---
    A 2007 iMac can't be used in target display mode.
     
  11. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #11
    You want at least 4gb of RAM to run the current Mac OS's.

    Also, any recent version of the OS is going to run S-L-U-G-G-I-S-H-L-Y on an older Mac with a platter-based hard drive.

    You could put an SSD into it, but it's a considerable job to open it up and do the installation.

    You could put an SSD into a firewire800 enclosure, and hook it up to the firewire port. It won't boot as quickly as it would internally, but once up-and-running it should offer a modest performance improvement.

    Once you get the new MacBook Pro (try to hold out for the new ones which will be released pretty soon), you could get a nice external display (and perhaps an external keyboard, etc.), and use it with the display when at home...
     
  12. cincygolfgrrl macrumors 6502

    cincygolfgrrl

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2012
    Location:
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    #12
    I realize we're on a "Rumors" site, but there is no evidence Apple will release new Macs into the wild before the end of (northern hemisphere) Summer. Like everyone, I fully expect an announcement later this month, or at WWDC, but the actual equipment won't be available for several months.

    Relax. Have a martini. Enjoy the ride.
     
  13. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #13
    I have an iMac 8,1 - one version newer, still stock, and it boots in a minute or two. Significantly slower than our SSD equipped devices but does ok for email and web browsing. It sounds like there may be other problems causing poor performance. You didn't mention the specs on the iMac - how much memory is installed? What hard drive and how full is it?

    You mention the time it takes to close the Google browser - are you running Chrome? It can use a lot of memory and if you only have 2gb in the iMac that would be a problem.

    Is it worth fixing? Hard to say until you can determine the problems. If it just needs a new drive and a little memory then it can be worth it. If it gets more involved then probably not.
     
  14. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2015
    #14
    If a new drive and 1GB of RAM makes it usable, I think that small investment will be worthwhile.

    Buy the SSD first. See what improvement that makes. If the machine is tolerable, buy the extra memory. You should be able to use the iMac for basic tasks on 4GB of memory. If the problem is more involved or the system crashes in six months, you still have an SSD you can put in an enclosure are use externally. There is very little downside if you buy the drive first.
     
  15. devoD thread starter macrumors newbie

    devoD

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2016
    #15
    More detail:
    Correction, it's a 2008 (8,1).
    Hard drive is nearly empty of 250
    3gb of memory
    No power intensive processing needed.
    I'm gong to try to install el Capitan onto an external and boot from that to see if it runs better.
    I also like the quick fix of running a ssd through FireWire port, but I'll try the side boot first.

    I'm waiting for the new MacBooks, but it all depends on if they're out before my next class starts.
    Thanks all for your comments!
     
  16. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #16
    The boot time for the external will be very slow due to the USB 2 interface. Once started, it should run just a little slower. If it is noticeably faster than the internal drive then that drive is probably failing and replacing it with a SSD would be the best option.

    If you can find some memory cheap then upgrading that to 4 or 6 may really help too. Only way to tell is run Activity Monitor while performing normal tasks and see what the memory pressure and CPU utilization looks like.
     
  17. rigormortis, Mar 4, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016

    rigormortis macrumors 68000

    rigormortis

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #17
    you can rule out the hard disk by doing a full pass secure erase ( 3, 7 or 35 passes , your choice ). this will find any weak sectors. hold the drive to your ear and listen for any unusual noises, like a clock, while booting

    if the security erase pass detects a error then the drive has failed and you have to replace it

    back in the MFM and RLL days we could test drives by doing a low level format, this is no longer possible. the best way to find disk errors , which are only visible once the hard disk's built in error correction and recovery routines have failed, is the full pass secure erase.



    if you go to about this mac, and system report, storage, and it says s.m.a.r.t. status verified then the drive is presumed to be fully operational without issues.. disk utility used to report smart status but that feature was removed
     
  18. devoD thread starter macrumors newbie

    devoD

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2016
    #18
    Update!
    I ran ubuntu from a disk and the computer is obviously running normal now. I watched YouTube, downloaded my textbook, etc.
    It seems fine. What do y'all think of that?
    Has anyone been having trouble running Yosemite on old 2008 machines. The memory is still 3gb, but it tops out at 4.
     
  19. varian55zx, Mar 4, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016

    varian55zx macrumors 6502a

    varian55zx

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #19
    That's true, except what I'd do is actually just scrap the old one and put it towards the new one.

    If that's utterly impossible then sure, fix the thing.

    Of course, however you are not considering one of the main arguments...

    One of the main arguments, is he might as well stop putting even One more dollar into this old computer, because no matter what, it is outclassed by newer machines (not even necessarily 'brand' new), to such an extent that doing so would not be worth it, and as such, it would be much more worthwhile to put the funds toward a new machine. Now look. I guess if the financial situation is just so troubled, that buying a new computer will never be possible, then yeah. Ok. You have to upgrade the old one. You'll never get a new one.

    All I'm doing is offering a different point of view to try and help the problem.
     
  20. devoD thread starter macrumors newbie

    devoD

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2016
    #20
    I invested nothing. The machine works great since I booted with ubuntu. I'm assuming the 2008 machine wasn't handing el cap very well. I wish it had.
    Thanks all!
     
  21. tyche macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #21
    I would assume there is a failing HDD and I would make sure all personal files are backed up regularly because one day soon it will die.
     
  22. MBHockey macrumors 68040

    MBHockey

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    #22
    I would also guess a failing HD. They just don't last that long. But also -- how about putting Snow Leopard on it? My parents have a Late 2006 17" iMac that was awful to use. Last year I opened it up (a huge pain) to put in an SSD and add more ram and now it's a usable computer. My dad uses it for email, safari, scanning documents. The upgrade was less than $150.
     
  23. bcave098 macrumors 6502

    bcave098

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    Location:
    Northern British Columbia
    #23
    My mid-2007 iMac doesn't run El Capitan very well, but does run Yosemite pretty well. I've ended up reverting back to Yosemite.
     

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