iMAC next steps

Discussion in 'iMac' started by TayHarley, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. TayHarley macrumors member

    TayHarley

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #1
    Hiya

    I have an Early 2008 ... 24" 3.06 ... running 4GB RAM and ML ... but now getting a lot of pinwheel. For some time now the hard drive has been making a grinding noise, complemented by the external hard drive booting whenever I try and find/save a file (driving me slightly insane). Anyway ...

    Q: where to next? Upgrade the RAM (can I go any further?); replace the hard drive (is this easy?); replace the iMAC entirely or what other steps do I have??

    Could I (don't laugh) somehow use the 24" screen as a screen with it hooked into my Mac Pro ? :eek:

    At a bit of a loss - the iMac was my first Mac and it is like new to look at but getting a bit tired oot.

    Stu
     
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #2
    Sounds like the HD is dying. Its a long process (like 1 hour) if you have not done it before. You can add up to 6gb of RAM but that is no guarantee it will help. You can use ScreenRecycler to use your iMac as a screen for the Mac Pro but it will be slow as it uses VNC.
     
  3. Deedolito macrumors regular

    Deedolito

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    #3
    Hi there,

    Upgrading RAM could have a slight impact, but I'm afraid that this will not solve the before mentioned issues.

    Checking your activity monitor will help to see, if you really need more RAM.

    Exchanging the HDD is doable. But maybe first have a look at www.ifixit.com to see if you really are comfortable with the procedure (I'd have concerns putting the front glass back on without any dust between screen & glass).

    Cheers!
     
  4. davidgnomo macrumors 6502a

    davidgnomo

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2012
    Location:
    My place !
    #4
    First of all I'd suggest to BACK ALL UP so you don't lose your data ... then think about upgrading your machine to an iMac 27' 2012 (if it ever will be shown by :apple: !)

    EDIT : UPS, just didn't read the part concerning the external drive ... the advice for a new machine is still valid though
     
  5. TayHarley thread starter macrumors member

    TayHarley

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #5
     
  6. Deedolito macrumors regular

    Deedolito

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    #6
    Yes, usually I'd say 4GB is enough, but of course it depends which apps are running. :)
     
  7. Mike in Kansas, Sep 21, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2012

    Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Metro Kansas City
    #7
    Replacing the HDD isn't too hard - I've done it twice to my 2008 iMac. The first time I upgraded it to a 1TB HDD, then in February of this year I took that out and put in a 240GB SSD. I also put maxed out the RAM to 6GB. The performance increase has been nothing short of amazing (for its age). Yes, it's still a machine built on specs from 2007, but it does great in Aperture, iMovie, Adobe Premier, etc. My new 2012 MBA can run circles around it, but my goal is to milk to to 2013 if possible. I figure I gave it at least another 1-1/2 years of useful life with those 2 upgrades.

    It definitely sounds like your internal drive is going bad. I'd get it backed up/cloned ASAP. Replacing that would be the first thing to do - and a great time to put in an SSD.

    Once you put in an SSD, you'll probably want to move most of your stuff to an external FW HDD. I have all of my user folders on my 2TB external FW800 drive; the only thing on my internal drive is the OS (Applications, Library, System) and my Aperture library. Everything else - iTunes Library, iPhoto libraries, all my documents, video footage, finished projects, and my Aperture photo masters (400GB worth on another 1TB drive) are on external FW800 drives. All of that is cloned weekly and also backed up via Time Machine to a Time Capsule.

    Good luck with what you decide!
     
  8. TayHarley thread starter macrumors member

    TayHarley

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #8
    Watched the video online and think I could manage the replacement but the SSD drive seems a more complex process. Moving everything to an external drive then raised my secondary issue of the External Drive firing up constantly. I think it may be something to do with Finder settings - need to exclude backup External Drives (?) :confused: again !!
     
  9. davidgnomo macrumors 6502a

    davidgnomo

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2012
    Location:
    My place !
    #9
    Yeps ... sorry :eek:
     
  10. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Metro Kansas City
    #10
    I had a similar problem, as my external drive would go to sleep (even though I had it set in Power settings to not go to sleep) and I'd get beach balling when it did. A simple solution is to install an applet called Keep Drive Spinning. This applet puts a small file on any hard drive you want to keep spinning; the file is then "touched" at a frequency that you specify. I have mine set to touch the drive every minute, which keeps the drive from ever spinning down. It has worked perfectly.

    Check it out here:

    http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/31158/keep-drive-spinning
     
  11. TayHarley thread starter macrumors member

    TayHarley

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #11
    Thanks for the spinning advice - but won't that kill the hard drive sooner rather than later !?

    :)
     
  12. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Metro Kansas City
    #12
    Does your internal drive ever spin down?
     
  13. mrjose macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #13
    If you're satisfied with the computer, replacing the hard drive seems like a valid option.

    My wife's 2009 MacBook Pro had a very similar program, with the beach ball coming up all the time. The Mountain Lion upgrade was the last straw. It never successfully restarted after that. We had the hard drive replaced and she says it works great now!
     

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