iMac frequently freezes after full reformat

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Narpstar, May 7, 2015.

  1. Narpstar macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2011
    Hey guys,

    I just bought a second hand iMac. Specs:

    2011 21.5"
    4gb ram
    2.5gb Core i5
    500gb HDD

    First thing I did was wipe the HDD and install a fresh copy of Yosemite. Also installed windows 8.

    The thing is hell to use.

    Pretty much every thing I click give me a spinning beach ball for anywhere from 10 seconds to a minute.

    I've used macs for years, and I've never seen one running like this. Something is wrong, and I'm pretty sure it's defective hardware. The same thing happens in windows too. Both fresh installs. With 4gb of ram. Granted, that's not heaps, but it should be performing a hell of a lot better than this.

    What I'm not sure about is the best way to narrow it down to the culprit. I've tested it running with each stock of 2gb ram individually, but the issue occurs either way, so it doesn't seem to be the ram (unless both sticks are dodgy, but that seems unlikely).

    Any other ideas? CPU? Logic board? HDD?

    I don't know if it helps, but the internet seems to drop when it hangs sometimes. Also, I can still move windows around when its happening, although this seems to be the only thing I can do.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Hard drives don't last forever, and yours is four years old. I've had hard drives die on me, and before the end there were frequent stalls where nothing happened but the spinning beach ball.

    If you can, make an appointment at an Apple Store and let them check the hardware. Should be free. If the hard drive is the problem, they should be able to replace it with a new one for a reasonable price, and any 2015 1TB drive should be lots faster than yours from 2011. Alternatively, a 128 or 256 GB SSD drive shouldn't be too expensive, if that is enough space for you. (Replacing a hard drive in an iMac yourself is slightly tricky and I couldn't advise you how to do it, but it is possible).

    That or not enough RAM should be the problem; most other problems just stop your Mac from working altogether.
  3. Bomb Bloke macrumors regular

    Bomb Bloke

    Feb 12, 2015
    Tasmania (AU)
    That does indeed sound like a HDD issue.

    One simple way to test would be to boot the unit into internet recovery mode (Command + Option + R on boot, it should show a spinning globe); it'll then be running off a RAM disk instead. If you want to test eg web browsing from there the "get help online" option gives you access to Safari.
  4. roadkill401 macrumors 6502


    Jan 11, 2015
    I would say it is more than likely Yosemite. I had the exact same thing happen with my 2012 mac mini. I just gave up trying to figure it out with Apple and just went back to Mavericks. Has worked fine without a hickup since.

    As you have just done a re-format then there will be no data on your machine. I would do an internet factory restore. it will bring you back to either Mountain Lion or Mavericks. See if going backwards to a previous OS fixes the issue before ripping your mac apart.
  5. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    OP wrote above:
    [[ First thing I did was wipe the HDD and install a fresh copy of Yosemite. ]]

    Go back, re-wipe the drive, and install a fresh copy of Mountain Lion OS 10.8.5.

    Then report back with your observations regarding speed...?
  6. Narpstar thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2011
    Thanks for all the help guys!

    I only just saw your replies now. All good advice, but I actually recklessly just went ahead with ripping my iMac apart and chucking in a spare HDD I had, as per gnasher729's suggestion.

    THANKFULLY this has entirely fixed the issue! Dud HDD it was. I'm back up and running Yosemite without a hitch now.

    Thanks for all the help, friendly people!
  7. MrNomNoms macrumors 65816

    Jan 25, 2011
    Wellington, New Zealand
    Depending on how long you're going to keep the machine you might want to check out the possibility of putting a SSD in there which would give it a new lease on life - 256GB and then use an external hard disk for long term storage.
  8. Narpstar thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2011
    Yeah totally, I'm keen on that. I've even got a spare ssd to use, just didn't have a bracket to make it fit. Other than that, Is the installation process exactly the same as for a hdd? And are all ssd's compatible?

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