iMac Maintenance - Speeding Up

Discussion in 'iMac' started by iLikeMySelf, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. iLikeMySelf macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2010
    #1
    Hello,

    I bought my iMac about one year ago. The specs are: 2.8 GHz i5 Processor, 4 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 of RAM and 1TB HD with Mac OS X 10.6.8 installed.

    When I bought this iMac it used to work really fast, Safari opened up in a second, so did iTunes (with almost the same songs as now), now it takes about 10 seconds plus beach ball. Photoshop took no more than 3-5 seconds, now it takes about a minute and I have not installed anything more than some brushes.

    When my iMac was new, I never saw the beach ball, now it is normal to see it when I am browsing with safari or using photoshop. One weird thing that is happening lately is that safari reloads the webpages like in the old iPad when it ran out of memory, so I am browsing with a few tabs opened and suddenly they all refresh.

    My iMac does not have many things installed, I still have 639 GBs available and I have a 200GB partition for BootCamp.

    I was wondering how can I improve the performance of my iMac. Should I make a backup of everything and make a clean install? What maintenance apps should I download? Please tell me how can I speed up my iMac which should be running a lot faster.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. product26 macrumors 6502a

    product26

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    #2
    There are programs like "Onyx" that will run maintenance scripts. but unfortunately I cannot recommend much because chances are you have a very large hard drive with only one partition and lots of files on it. because of this, the system files are intermingling with other 'data' files. The best way to ensure long term performance with a platter based hard drive is to create multiple partitions and isolate the different kinds of data.

    for example. With a 1tb hard drive I would probably partition it with 2 partitions. One partition for the system somewhere around 100gb for ONLY the operating system and its applications. I would then use this guide (or one similar) to relocate and link my user folder to the second larger partition. This method is standard practice for servers and should really be applied to general computing.
     
  3. 32gb3gwifi macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2011
  4. colourfastt macrumors 6502a

    colourfastt

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    #4
    OS X is NOT WinDOZE ... no defragmenter needed.
     
  5. accessoriesguy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    #5
    I'mpicky with my computers (more than anyone has to be). I like my computer running as fast as possible 24/7. So once a year I do a clean OS install. as well as re-install all relevant programs. I also clean out the inside of the mac with an air compressor. (since I have a MBP, laptops love dirt). This really helps things run along.

    Rest of the time I run Onyx to keep everything running clean the rest of the year.
     
  6. jsolares macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Location:
    Land of eternal Spring
    #6
    This is false, it needs to be defragmented, specially if you download files to the main partition, because when updates run they'll be after the files you downloaded so you end up with a newer part of the OS on a slower part of the HD.
     
  7. ian.maffett macrumors 6502

    ian.maffett

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Florida
    #7
    No, it's actually true- fragmentation doesn't occur like it does in windows. However, the permissions fix and maintenance is relatively the same thing. From the keyboard side of the machine, it's all the same...
    I do agree with Onyx, however - I have used it for several versions and it does a nice job, easily. X does its own maintenance but the window can be easily missed with regular use, etc.
     
  8. BulletToothTony macrumors 6502

    BulletToothTony

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    #8
    iDefrag is pretty amazing but you will need in order to do a full defrag do so from another os-x volume..

    Since i have an ext hdd for time machine i did a partition where i installed Snow Leopard and i defrag about once every 2 months.

    A lot of people may not install and delete as many apps as some others do including me, i've visit friends who after a year have installed as little as skype and that's about it.

    I have dozens of apps and have deleted and upgraded hundreds and all this takes a toll on the hdd reading abilities.

    But IF you're getting the beach ball way too much it may be a good sign that your HDD may be about nearing its end.

    I had an iMac with a WD Caviar Black that ran almost twice as fast as my latest i7 iMac cause now i have a Seagate which i hate.

    Try iDefrag it may make a big difference, if not go to the apple store.
     
  9. John T macrumors 68020

    John T

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Location:
    UK.
    #9
    Of course this is patently untrue and misleading. If Mac OS needed defragging, an App would have been provided for this very purpose! :rolleyes:
     
  10. Smacky macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    #10
    Did you even read the post above yours? iDefrag:
    http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/16819/idefrag
    :rolleyes:
     
  11. Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    #11
    Sometimes, the consistant beach ball state is from a stuck (dirty) application. Very easy fix without doing defrags and other complex repairs...

    To help us recommend proper ways to "speed up" your old iMac, may I suggest you load up your usual apps / data files. When its gets sluggish (with beach balls), simply minimumize these items and load up Applications - Utilities - Activity Monitor. Then, provide us screen shots of your iMac's HD, System, Memory & CPU status screens. We need to see current details of its memory, current details of its CPU usage and its Disk Usage. Details point to the root cause.

    .
     
  12. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #12
    Don't believe what others say about "no defragmenter being needed" for OS X, presumably because "the OS does that automatically".

    In truth, it does not.

    OS X _will_ defragment a very few select files "on the fly", but over time and through usage your drive _will_ become heavily fragmented with data and free space scattered all around it.

    OS X _will NOT_ automatically relocate files to reduce or eliminate the "patches" of empty space that pop up on the drive's surface. The result is that the large block of "free space" that is originally "behind" the used areas gets smaller and smaller, to the point where there are almost no large, contiguous areas of free space present on the drive.

    If you don't believe me, choose to "view" a drive using iDefrag or the defragmentation tool of DriveGenius, and see for yourself.

    Also, if you've put a lot of "media files" (movies, videos, etc.) onto the drive, it can start to get filled up. As this occurs, there is less "free space" and what is left gets "broken up", again, because the Mac OS _does not_ properly defrag and optimize the drive so that large, contiguous areas of free space remain available for the writing of large files, most often the "swap files" used for virtual memory.

    The solution is easy:
    Use a defragmentation/optimization app to clean up the drive.

    As others have mentioned, also run an app (Oynx is a good one) that runs the "cron jobs", cleans out logs, etc.
     
  13. Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    #13
    Defrag won't fix a stuck application. And it won't fix lack of enough physical memory. Do the obvious diagnosis with Activity Monitor first. Don't look past the obvious reasons for "sluggish" system.
     
  14. John T macrumors 68020

    John T

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Location:
    UK.
    #14
  15. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #15
    Show us a screenshot of your activity monitor at a time when your iMac is playing up. That'd help a lot.
     
  16. jsolares macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Location:
    Land of eternal Spring
    #16
    Just because Apple doesn't provide the app doesn't mean it's not needed.

    So you're telling me it's impossible for the executable of an application to be scattered all over the drive due to fragmentation? we'll i'm telling you it does happen, specially as i said if you download stuff in the same volume.
     
  17. John T macrumors 68020

    John T

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Location:
    UK.
    #17
    Wow! I bow before you obvious expansive and misguided knowledge of the intricacies of OSX! ;)

    For your further education, I suggest you read some of the many articles on the subject. For example this and this.
     
  18. jsolares macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Location:
    Land of eternal Spring
    #18
    Not misguided thank you :p

    I know what apple says, but sometimes out there it doesn't always work that way, they even say you probably don't need to defragment, it doesn't say you will never need to defragment.

    I started getting slowdowns from several apps, most of them had the binary all over the disk and not defragmented, so i defragmented my HD and it was back to usual speed instead of resorting to a clean install, which i ended up doing a week or so after when Lion came out anyways :cool:

    This was 10 months after getting the iMac, so obviously you don't need to defragment as often as windows (sometimes daily :eek:)
     
  19. BulletToothTony macrumors 6502

    BulletToothTony

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    #19
    i'm truly not trying to offend anyone, nor start a war, I am truly just trying to help someone that with the certain experiences i have had it may help the OP.

    To those who say that OS-X doesn't need defrag, have you ever used iDefrag and see NO results whatsoever? or are you just assuming that that it doesn't do anything. It Optimizes which people say is not the same thing as defragging and to be honest i don't know the difference, but it has helped me to run os-x faster.

    Why are some people so closed minded if you have never tried something.

    Isn't that the very reason why windows people hate OS-X so much? or most apple products for that very reason?

    They hate macs even they have never used one for longer than 10 mins.
     
  20. basher macrumors 6502

    basher

    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
    Location:
    Glendale, AZ USA
  21. BulletToothTony macrumors 6502

    BulletToothTony

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    #21
    lol what was i thinking!!!! he's right case closed!!! :rolleyes:
     
  22. toolbox macrumors 68020

    toolbox

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Location:
    Australia (WA)
    #22
    I use Clean My Mac http://macpaw.com/ . Great App. Also Onyx also to do all the maintenance scripts

    if the Mac is taking a long time to log in, before you get to the desktop have a look in the Login items in the Account's preference pane and see how many items are in there. They can cause slow login depending on what is there.
     
  23. BulletToothTony macrumors 6502

    BulletToothTony

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    #23
    holy crap is this the same site as the cleanmypc commercials? if it is stay well away from that crap
     
  24. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #24
    Clean All PC Errors, Boost Speed Performance Increasing PC Booster!
     
  25. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #25
    Best OS X defrag is to backup to a .dmg and re-apply that .dmg to HDD after fresh re-format. All sequential, all perfectly in line. All Free. All done with included tools. Other than that use DiskWarrior every so often to cleanup directory and you are all set. The others truly suck or are placebo. Especially with modern HDD's. Partitions are useless for performance benefits, I've tested. No faster on seeks or transfer rates. Why bother?
     

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