iMac running really slow all of a sudden

Discussion in 'iMac' started by DAMAC3, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. DAMAC3 macrumors regular

    Feb 6, 2009
    Noblesville, IN
    I just bought a refurb 2.8Ghz iMac about 3 weeks ago. I upgraded to 4GB RAM purchased from Crucial. I used the Time Machine backup from the Macbook Air that I sold to transfer my entire system over to this computer the day I bought it (OS X had been installed fresh on that computer less than 2 months before). Everything had been running great. I have been using Plex a lot to watch some of my Blu-ray rips. VMWare with XP & Windows 7 was also running great (as well as everything else I run).

    Yesterday I was using Mac The Ripper to rip my DVD collection to my unRAID server, downloading some TV shows I missed last week with uTorrent, and browsing the web with Firefox. Everything started running terribly slow. All the programs were still working but were basically unresponsive. I had the little spinning beachball going. I finally got everything closed and restarted. Once booted back up I started running Mac The Ripper again and couldn't even really get Firefox to run at a useable level. I shut down the system this morning when I left for work and thought I would take another crack at it when I get home.

    I've been a Windows user for 10 years until the last 6 months when I switched to Mac. When this kind of crap happened on my PC, I would wipe the system and reinstall. I was wondering if a system file got messed up or if my hard drive is failing already. My hard drive is only half filled up, and I saw nothing out of the ordinary on Activity Monitor. In fact, Activity Monitor showed that my system wasn't being taxed at all, but it was still really really sluggish. The only thing I did differently was delete the system DVD player because it was starting automatically as I put in each movie for MTR even though I set it not to in preferences. I just dropped it into the trash since I will never use it anyway.

    So should I reinstall OS X? I'm using Time Machine I just reformatted the Time Machine drive to make a partition for my Mac Mini, so it only goes back a day or so. I'm up for recommendations. Thanks!

    BTW - the system takes forever to restart since this problem started last night. It hangs forever at the white screen.
  2. BlackMax macrumors 6502a


    Jan 14, 2007
    North Carolina
    Have you checked the CPU utilization and memory utilization to see what application(s) might be running with a high CPU and/or memory utilization?

    Have you checked your system log for error messages?

    Have you checked the SMART status of your drive to see if you are having drive issues?

    Do you have AppleCare? If so, run the TechTool Deluxe utility that came with your AppleCare and see if it turns up anything unusual.

    It is possible you simply have one or more misbehaving applications. Reinstalling OS X and all your applications is a lot of work. Do a little troubleshooting first and see if you can find a root cause. Plus, if you have a hard drive issue, reinstalling OS X is not going to help.

    As always, be sure you have a recent backup of your system.
  3. DAMAC3 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 6, 2009
    Noblesville, IN

    Thanks for the reply!

    The CPU and memory utilization you are referring to. Is that located in Activity Monitor? If so, then the answer is yes. The strange thing is that it shows 2.5 of my 4GB RAM inactive (I assume that means unused). And the system idle had 90% of the CPU.

    I didn't check the system log. Don't know how. Will search.

    I ran the "Verify Disc" option in Disk Utility and everything was fine. Otherwise, I don't know how to check the SMART status.

    I don't have AppleCare other than the year that came with it.

    I went back a few days with Time Machine, but that didn't do anything for my system. It still wouldn't even hardly run ANY applications without freezing for several minutes. So I reinstalled OS X from scratch. For some reason it took about twice as long as it should if not longer (like a couple of hours). But it did install. This morning I played around with it, and the system was running fast again. But I didn't run anything labor-intensive. When I get home from work I will reinstall some of my heavier duty apps to see how it handles.

    If I still have troubles after this reinstall, then I will take it in. The HDD isn't making any strange sounds, but I expect it to be the problem if there is a problem. We'll see.
  4. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    I am just guessing here, but I think the problem was limited free disk space. Beachball is quite common if your Mac doesn't have much free disk space. In addition, where were you saving torrent downloads to?
  5. DAMAC3 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 6, 2009
    Noblesville, IN
    I don't think it was limited space as the hard drive was only half-full. My torrents go to a folder on the hard drive, but I then copy them over to my unRAID server and delete them from the hard drive. MTR was sending DVDs straight to the server.

    I took my iMac to the Apple Store today after calling Tech Support last night. My hard drive was failing. It was getting progressively worse since I started this thread. They replaced my 320GB drive with a 500GB drive for no charge. I was pretty happy with that even though I really don't need the storage space. Boy, Apple has good customer service (not saying that just because of the larger drive).

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