El Capitan destroyed my Mac!

britabroad

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 16, 2007
101
74
Just checking on here to see if anyone has any ideas, as Apple support can't seem to help. Have installed El Capitan on my mid-2010 21" iMac (as well as my mid-2010 Air, which is working fine and has pretty much the same installations), and it's totally destroyed - literally unusable. Constant spinning beach ball, 5 - 10 minutes to load an app... basically now too slow to do anything. Have re-installed the OS, cleared out loads of old bits and pieces from various files, zapped the PRAM, run Disk First Aid, disconnected all USB peripherals.... nothing. I often hear the sound of the hard drive working, though not constantly... any ideas/thoughts/suggestions? Many thanks....
 

fisherking

macrumors 604
Jul 16, 2010
7,182
2,133
ny somewhere
what did apple say? possible your hard drive has issues...and installing the new OS wrote, for example, on bad sectors on the drive. the fact that you hear the drive working is not a good sign. you might want to try running your mac off of an external drive, see if anything changes.
 

britabroad

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 16, 2007
101
74
thanks for the reply. apple don't know... it was them that suggested the various things i did do. waiting for another call from them today, but wanted to check on here for ideas first.
 

wonderspark

macrumors 68040
Feb 4, 2010
3,047
100
Oregon
You can try creating a new user account and seeing if you notice the new user is running normally. If so, you know the OS is okay, and the user account is being slowed by a background process of some kind, which the below steps should remove.

- Open Finder, go to Go tab
- Hold Option key and select Library
- Delete everything from Caches folder (this is really just a cleanup step that often makes a big difference)
- Stop processes from starting up at login as follows:
- Temporarily move everything from LaunchAgents folder to another location, or delete if you like
- Back to Finder > Go > Computer > Mac HD (boot disk) > Library
- Delete / move everything from LaunchAgents folder, Launch Daemons folder, StartupItems folder
- System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login items, remove all items by selecting minus (-) button when item is highlighted
- System Preferences > Security & Privacy > FileVault > see if this is on, and turn off if you didn't know / mean to turn it on. I've seen FileVault encryption slow down some older Macs, and some people turn it on by accident.
- Restart Mac, empty trash
- Enjoy
 

theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
4,664
3,501
I often hear the sound of the hard drive working, though not constantly... any ideas/thoughts/suggestions? Many thanks....
Have you tried just leaving it running overnight?

After an OS upgrade, Spotlight tends to to re-index the entire hard drive - and on an old-fangled spinning rust hard drive that can take a while & slow down the machine.
 

MJWMac1988

macrumors member
Aug 25, 2015
72
15
Western South Dakota
Have installed El Capitan on my mid-2010 21" iMac ..., and it's totally destroyed - literally unusable.
As fisherking suggested, do you have an external hard drive with OS X installed on it? It probably doesn't matter what version of OS X is on it. That would be the best way to run tests.

If you don't have an external hard drive with OS X on it, then did you create a bootable Mac OS X Install flash drive? If not, you can still do so. Start up from the flash-drive installer, open Disk Utility and check your internal hard drive. Disk Utility is very lightweight, but it is better than nothing.

P.S. Yes, I know there is a recovery partition on the main hard drive, but on the off chance that the internal hard drive really is defective, then starting up from an external hard drive or flash drive could be the best way to go.
 

britabroad

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 16, 2007
101
74
Have you tried just leaving it running overnight?

After an OS upgrade, Spotlight tends to to re-index the entire hard drive - and on an old-fangled spinning rust hard drive that can take a while & slow down the machine.
Yes, it went through that lengthy optimisation process, re-configured Photo library etc... all that stuff, but when that was done it was still running slow.
 

britabroad

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 16, 2007
101
74
As fisherking suggested, do you have an external hard drive with OS X installed on it? It probably doesn't matter what version of OS X is on it. That would be the best way to run tests.

If you don't have an external hard drive with OS X on it, then did you create a bootable Mac OS X Install flash drive? If not, you can still do so. Start up from the flash-drive installer, open Disk Utility and check your internal hard drive. Disk Utility is very lightweight, but it is better than nothing.

P.S. Yes, I know there is a recovery partition on the main hard drive, but on the off chance that the internal hard drive really is defective, then starting up from an external hard drive or flash drive could be the best way to go.
Thanks for the tip. I'll google how to create an install drive....
 

britabroad

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 16, 2007
101
74
You can try creating a new user account and seeing if you notice the new user is running normally. If so, you know the OS is okay, and the user account is being slowed by a background process of some kind, which the below steps should remove.

- Open Finder, go to Go tab
- Hold Option key and select Library
- Delete everything from Caches folder (this is really just a cleanup step that often makes a big difference)
- Stop processes from starting up at login as follows:
- Temporarily move everything from LaunchAgents folder to another location, or delete if you like
- Back to Finder > Go > Computer > Mac HD (boot disk) > Library
- Delete / move everything from LaunchAgents folder, Launch Daemons folder, StartupItems folder
- System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login items, remove all items by selecting minus (-) button when item is highlighted
- System Preferences > Security & Privacy > FileVault > see if this is on, and turn off if you didn't know / mean to turn it on. I've seen FileVault encryption slow down some older Macs, and some people turn it on by accident.
- Restart Mac, empty trash
- Enjoy

Thanks for this. I'll run this idea past tech support, who are supposed to be calling back this morning....
 

simon lefisch

macrumors 6502a
Sep 29, 2014
986
233
Did you do a clean install? After I updated from 10.10.4 my MBP was a little sluggish. After a clean install, runs like a champ. This is on. Late 2011 15" MBP.
 

dmnc

macrumors 6502
Sep 26, 2015
294
188
You should try a program to see if your HDD is failing, like DriveDx.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,413
10,213
California
It does kind of sound like a failing drive.

But one other thing to try. Hold the shift key to boot to safe mode. That bypasses and login or startup items that might be causing a conflict with El Capitan. If that fixes it, then you know to start removing login to startup items to narrow it down.

Besides the normal login items in system prefs, there can also be startup/launch items in these folders.

Code:
~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons
/Library/StartupItems
Triple click each line then right click then in service select reveal in Finder to go to the folder.
 

Tygrz

macrumors member
Dec 28, 2014
32
0
Hawaii
What I have read here is all fine and dandy with the exception that I now have TWO hard drives 'down' - both external and both were running El Cap Beta with the one updated to the release just prior to the 'finished' product. (That seems to have disappeared from my app store 'purchases). Since installing the 'finished' OS, I can't do ANYthing with them. They were my 2 most recently purchased drives.
 

VanNess

macrumors 6502a
Mar 31, 2005
904
163
California
Just checking on here to see if anyone has any ideas, as Apple support can't seem to help. Have installed El Capitan on my mid-2010 21" iMac (as well as my mid-2010 Air, which is working fine and has pretty much the same installations), and it's totally destroyed - literally unusable. Constant spinning beach ball, 5 - 10 minutes to load an app... basically now too slow to do anything. Have re-installed the OS, cleared out loads of old bits and pieces from various files, zapped the PRAM, run Disk First Aid, disconnected all USB peripherals.... nothing. I often hear the sound of the hard drive working, though not constantly... any ideas/thoughts/suggestions? Many thanks....
Or...you could just run activity monitor while this issue is occurring and see what's up. Click on the cpu column to see what process is eating up the cpu and post back here. Maybe someone can help. If it's a process called mds that's spotlight indexing
 
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fisherking

macrumors 604
Jul 16, 2010
7,182
2,133
ny somewhere
What I have read here is all fine and dandy with the exception that I now have TWO hard drives 'down' - both external and both were running El Cap Beta with the one updated to the release just prior to the 'finished' product. (That seems to have disappeared from my app store 'purchases). Since installing the 'finished' OS, I can't do ANYthing with them. They were my 2 most recently purchased drives.
logic board issue with your mac? something's up...and hard to sort it out on this forum. you really need to get apple on this... the OS is working for most people, something very specific is happening for you. good luck sorting it out!
 

Tygrz

macrumors member
Dec 28, 2014
32
0
Hawaii
logic board issue with your mac? something's up...and hard to sort it out on this forum. you really need to get apple on this... the OS is working for most people, something very specific is happening for you. good luck sorting it out!
Not a Mac novice, here... but not quite a total dummy, either...

The iMac works fine... when there's a good, working hard drive hooked up to it. I have six Macs total, all various models and operating systems. I had just replaced the hard drive in the iMac in question no more than six months ago. That hard drive was the first to go when I started running El Cap stuff. I literally saw it disappear off the desktop as if i had ejected it, but it sort of flashed a few times before it went.
I also have a later model 27" iMac that seems to be running just swimmingly with the full-release El Cap.
The first drive to bite the dust - the internal... is a Western Digital. The 2 externals are Seagates. The Seagates are the newest of the bunch.
 

simonsi

macrumors 601
Jan 3, 2014
4,850
734
Auckland
What I have read here is all fine and dandy with the exception that I now have TWO hard drives 'down' - both external and both were running El Cap Beta with the one updated to the release just prior to the 'finished' product. (That seems to have disappeared from my app store 'purchases). Since installing the 'finished' OS, I can't do ANYthing with them. They were my 2 most recently purchased drives.
Best start your own thread, you've just confused the heck out of this one.
 

psik

macrumors 6502
Aug 21, 2007
415
31
Just checking on here to see if anyone has any ideas, as Apple support can't seem to help. Have installed El Capitan on my mid-2010 21" iMac (as well as my mid-2010 Air, which is working fine and has pretty much the same installations), and it's totally destroyed - literally unusable. Constant spinning beach ball, 5 - 10 minutes to load an app... basically now too slow to do anything. Have re-installed the OS, cleared out loads of old bits and pieces from various files, zapped the PRAM, run Disk First Aid, disconnected all USB peripherals.... nothing. I often hear the sound of the hard drive working, though not constantly... any ideas/thoughts/suggestions? Many thanks....
As far as I know some MAC OS installations were infected by "destroy my mac" virus. You may have been one of the unfortuante ones to get the wrong installation.
 
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