iMac has been really slow. Any ideas to speed it up?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by iPowers, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. iPowers macrumors 6502

    Dec 23, 2006
    Hey guys so reciently it got hit not too badly right where the apple logo is. Now ever since then it's barely been functioning. No data was lost just somehow it acts slower and I get the pinwheel a lot, and then other times it goes really fast. It doesn't seem to be extremely damaged to the point whre it needs repair or anything inside got put off or anything.

    So I'm trying to figure this out because a while ago this happened once before and it acted fine and it's been like 3 years since then. Should I just try deleting more stuff? I have about 25 GB and then I did do Onyx which helped clean a lot out and doing permissions made it work better though it still happens a bit. I'm thinking of trying out Tech Tool Pro and Virus Barrier but does anyone else have any advice?

    I've noticed in Onyx and in Activity Monitor there's a lot going at once and many of it is stuff I do not know what it is. I could just cancel some off but I dont' want to choose the wrong thing and mess it up you know? Maybe if I rebuild or make sure to get rid of useless things that are running maybe that'll help?

    If anyone has any idea let me know. Thanks a ton in advance.

    EDIT: Now that i've restarted it again i've noticed sometimes it can work super fast like normal as if nothing is wrong then other times it can be really bad. If this helps at all.
  2. BKNY macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2010
    maybe deleting the caches folder might help

    i do delete mined every month.. and no problems at all

    to get there u go to LIBRARY-CACHES- don't delete the caches folder but the other folders inside the caches folder select them all and hit command delete.
  3. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    Don't go randomly deleting caches. They don't slow performance at all. How big is your HD? It is advisable to leave about 15-20% of the total capacity of your HD. You might want to reinstall the OS, get a bigger HD, or upgrade the memory.
  4. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    if the slow downs happened after the bump then it is likely that the hard drive has been damaged, i would backup straight away and purchase a new one - or at least test it!

    backup backup backup
  5. bolen macrumors 6502


    Jul 22, 2008
    I vote for the hard drive as well. My fathers iMac started to act up, was real slow at times then suddenly it didn't start one day. Fortunately, after ~20 retries, it booted into OS X and I was able to do backups.

    A disk swap and an external time machine drive later it's back to vanilla performance, but with backup! :)

    So.. backup and replace!
  6. glasspsyche macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2006
    I have basically the same issue, but it started when I got it back from the Apple store that replaced the hard drive. So my problem comes just after I got a new hard drive. What could be causing it?
  7. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    its worth running a bunch of tests, RAM, HDD, etc just to see the results you get. xBench is probably the best bet - as we can compare it to some other common results.

    how full is your drive? how much RAM are you using? how much CPU is being used?
  8. glasspsyche macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2006
    Space Utilized: 73.11 GB
    Space Free: 566.68 GB

    From Activities Monitor:

    CPU averages 6.0-6.8% for User
    2.70-3.0 for System
    And around 89-92% for Idle.

    I got 2 GB in RAM but 860 MB free.

    I downloaded xBench, but I'm not sure how to read it. And it compares me to a PowerMac G5 when I submit.

    If these answers suck, it's because I am basically just a consumer. I don't know much.
  9. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    most of those numbers seem normal - could you post the xBench results?
  10. TMRaven macrumors 68020


    Nov 5, 2009
    Did you try a fresh install of osx? Other than that, the other faults I could think of would be overheating or a failing hard drive-- pinwheels are usually hard drive related.
  11. glasspsyche macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2006

    Results 175.24
    System Info
    Xbench Version 1.3
    System Version 10.6.4 (10F569)
    Physical RAM 2048 MB
    Model iMac7,1
    Drive Type Hitachi HDT721064SLA360
    CPU Test 194.09
    GCD Loop 328.09 17.29 Mops/sec
    Floating Point Basic 159.58 3.79 Gflop/sec
    vecLib FFT 125.43 4.14 Gflop/sec
    Floating Point Library 301.02 52.42 Mops/sec
    Thread Test 251.54
    Computation 220.18 4.46 Mops/sec, 4 threads
    Lock Contention 293.32 12.62 Mlocks/sec, 4 threads
    Memory Test 164.99
    System 194.25
    Allocate 354.65 1.30 Malloc/sec
    Fill 156.96 7631.96 MB/sec
    Copy 159.91 3302.82 MB/sec
    Stream 143.39
    Copy 136.92 2828.08 MB/sec
    Scale 136.76 2825.40 MB/sec
    Add 148.72 3168.10 MB/sec
    Triad 152.53 3263.10 MB/sec
    Quartz Graphics Test 214.33
    Line 183.89 12.24 Klines/sec [50% alpha]
    Rectangle 249.85 74.59 Krects/sec [50% alpha]
    Circle 210.49 17.16 Kcircles/sec [50% alpha]
    Bezier 215.77 5.44 Kbeziers/sec [50% alpha]
    Text 222.07 13.89 Kchars/sec
    OpenGL Graphics Test 245.86
    Spinning Squares 245.86 311.89 frames/sec
    User Interface Test 338.96
    Elements 338.96 1.56 Krefresh/sec
    Disk Test 76.50
    Sequential 138.57
    Uncached Write 176.13 108.14 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 173.18 97.99 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 80.89 23.67 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 197.94 99.48 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 52.83
    Uncached Write 19.61 2.08 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 160.44 51.36 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 81.04 0.57 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 162.52 30.16 MB/sec [256K blocks]
  12. glasspsyche macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2006
    well 1, these problems came after I got a new hard drive installed by an apple store.

    other than that.. I don't have any where to back my data up to... so no fresh install yet.
  13. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2008
    If your computer is acting up right after physical damage or trauma then it's likely the hardware is damaged. You cannot damage software, at least not physically.

    If the computer got hit while it was on and it was in the middle of a read or write cycle that could have damaged the hard drive.

    My advice is to backup and run a full diagnostic (in that order), then (if the diagnostic did not find the problem) reformat fully (just to eliminate the remote possibility of this being a software issue). If problem persists on a fresh install, replace the HD.

    This is my opinion based on 3 1/2 years of professional computer repair experience, IT certifications, and a lifetime of tinkering.
  14. mlts22 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2008
    Regardless, if you don't have it already, get a terabyte external drive and enable Time Machine. This way, if that hard disk does give up the ghost, you won't be sans your files and OS.

    If I were to guess what the problem is, I'd almost certainly point at the hard disk. When a sector is about to die, a hard drive grabs the data from it and moves it to a sector on a reserved part of the disk that is not part of the drive's capacity.

    Subsequently, every time a disk is fetching data, when it encounters where the bad sector is, it has to move the heads to the relocated sector area, pick up the data, then move back to the other data, instead of just reading a cylinder all in one piece. When there are a lot of bad sectors, this can add up, causing performance issues. Even worse, as soon as the space for relocated sectors fills up, you will start getting bad sectors and losing work.

    So, buy an external hard disk at least so if the curtain goes down on your iMac's disk, you will still be able to restore. Second, I'd look at getting the HDD replaced, like what was stated above.
  15. Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    For a "sluggish" slower CPU computer, I'd probably:

    A - Purchase external 1 TB external HD, perform mirror backup, format its internal HD, install fresh OS, install fresh applications and restore only the data (from its external HD). Ensure OS and Apps have recent patches as well. I hear many folks like USB attached HDs. Simple and great for backups.

    Note: If you purchase a `USB` connection external HD (650 GB to 1TB range), you can also connect to your future computer as well. Once bought, it's good for a long, long time. And external HDs are great for using with Time Machine - for selected file backups as well. Or, external HDs are great for using as manual archive data transfers as well.

    B - I noticed your system currently has 2 GB of memory. To me, the slower CPUs need 4 GB of memory. Especially when one's computer is loaded down with lots of Apps. More "physical" memory means less memory swapping / memory pagging to its internal HD. Less pagging, the faster the computer. IMO, I'd install more memory as well. re: Create mimum 4 GBs of RAM - which is the new iMac "minimum" standard.

    To me, both task A and Task B are worth performing. Especially if you plan to keep your computer for another year (or so).

    Good luck!!!
  16. iPowers thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 23, 2006
    Wow i never thought i'd get this many replies i'm so sorry for not responding. Now my Mac is working really fast again like this slow issue didn't even happen. Still though it would be great to know ideas.

    Doesn't Onyx get that done though?

    I have around 180 GB. I have about 15%-20% left and I plan to get more soon. I would reinstall the OS but my computer is running perfectly now. I'd rather avoid paying for something as much as possible and right now it's being ok.

    It can't be. Now it's working fine and nothing got hurt and it loads up normally. So that can't be it.

    Well Tech Tool Pro said i'm fine in all catergories like it isn't damaged. So i'm good in that. LIke I said before 180 GB and i have 1 GB of RAM and use most of it probably. 15 or so percent is left. Around 21 GB to be exact.

    Nope. Not overheating or failing. It works fine. Sometimes the pinwheels happen often but most of the time almost never. Usually it's when a program is being weird or takes a lot of RAM and once in a while all programs but most of the time it behaves really well.

    But now it works fine and it doesn't seem damaged at all. Plus i'm gonna get a new computer in a year (laptop so I can use it when I go to College) so i can live with this for a while.

    There's a problem. I did get a backup drive however doing that it eatted it up within a day cause there's about 180 GB per session and it was gone. Also when I did a surface scan it said there weren't any bad sectors and I had the latest version.

    Seriously about a day after I made this it suddenly became really fast and I barely have had problems since. But from what i've noticed. I think it is RAM and I would get more but I don't find it necessary.

    Anyways like I said before with Activity Monitor I see stuff running that idk I feel like aren't needed ya know? Check the attachments. Do all these are necessary besides the programs at the top?

    Attached Files:

  17. glasspsyche macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2006
    Okay. I have no money. Been unemployed for well over 2 years. I do have a job prospect but the time I expected a call was yesterday. I cannot afford A or B.

    Is there any way I can do a fresh install without having to buy anything? It sucks having no money. Oh and my mom just declared bankruptcy.

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