iMac sloooow on old admin account - how best to migrate to new?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by annk, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. annk Administrator

    annk

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    #1
    Last week my iMac (20", 2.4 ghz running 10.6.2) got incredibly slow. I've checked all the usual stuff - recently installed programs, Activity Monitor, reset the PRAM, restarted many times, software update, verified disk, repaired permissions etc etc.

    The only thing I know is that the problem exists on my regular admin account, but not on an extra account I have, and not on a new admin account I just set up. At this point I don't think I can figure out what exactly is causing the problem on the old admin account.

    1) Is it possible to let my new admin account access all the docs, mails, movies, music, prefs etc in my old admin account? How? I initially thought I could move the important things over to my new account manually. I tried to copy my mail folders in my Library over to my external harddisk, and then moved them to the correct place in my new admin account. I changed the permissions to read and write. But Mail won't open in the new account, and tells me it's because of the permissions on the mail folder.

    2) Is it possible to use my Time Machine back-up to let my new admin account behave as if it's my old account?

    3) Should I just reinstalled SL and create a new account and then restore from Time Machine when logged into that account?

    I have to do something, because the old account is waaaay too slow to use for any length of time. But I don't know the best way to go about this. I realise I might just reimport the problem as well...

    Thanks in advance for any help!
     
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #2
    1. It should work like that, so long as you get the permissions right. Try repairing permissions after you copy.

    2. No, and you would in all likelihood bring any problems with you.

    3. Yes, but see #2.
     
  3. annk thread starter Administrator

    annk

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    #3
    If I reinstall SL and create only one account (which would then be the admin account), why would permissions be an issue? If there's only one account, wouldn't that one have to be allowed to access what I restore to it from time machine?

    I haven't used time machine to restore before. Will it let me choose specific things to restore, or does it do a blanket restore (in which case I suppose the old admin account would be restored and my problem would still exist...)?
     
  4. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #4
    I was referring to the idea of creating a new account and transferring your files over. Sorry if I wasn't clear; I was posting from my iPod, so quoting is rather labour-intensive.

    It restores everything.
     
  5. Techhie macrumors 65816

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    #5
    I would take a hard look at the condition the boot drive is in, most sudden cases of the "slows" are a sign it could be on its last legs.
     
  6. annk thread starter Administrator

    annk

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    #6
    That's what I thought, too, even though the iMac is only 1.5 years old. But when I checked the HD with disk utility I got the "appears to be okay" message (or something to that effect).

    And since other accounts on the same machine don't have the problem, isn't it reasonable to assume that it's not the HD? :confused:

    Is there a better way to check the HD? I'm doing regular TM backups, just in case it suddenly dies on me.
     
  7. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #7
    No error doesn't always mean that there is no problem.

    Not necessarily. If your hard drive has bad sectors where important files in your user profile happen to be, the problem would affect only the account using those files, but would be a symptom of a generally failing drive. Just keep an eye on it.

    Drive Genius and TechTool Pro are handy, but they each sell for $100. Probably not worth the price tag if you don't already have them.
     
  8. annk thread starter Administrator

    annk

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    #8
    This is what I originally tried to do. I created a new account, gave it admin privileges, and tried to transfer my mail. I navigated to the mail and mail download folders in users/ann/library in my original account, and copied them to my external HD. I then logged back into the new admin account and copied them over to the library/annk/library.

    When I went to open mail, it told me it couldn't open because I didn't have the right permissions, and that I should change the prefs on the folders to read and write. I did so, restarted, but got the same message.

    In order to let my new account access my docs, mail, pics, movies, music etc (= everything I copy over to it), I must have to do something with the permissions I'm not doing right. Can you see what I'm doing wrong from this post? :eek:

    Thanks for taking the time to help, by the way. :)
     
  9. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #9
    But did you repair permissions with Disk Utility?
     
  10. annk thread starter Administrator

    annk

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    #10
    I did that initially, before I tried anything else. I didn't try it after I'd moved folders from the old admin account to the new and changed the permissions to read and write (so the new admin account could access them), because I thought all that would happen would be that the permissions would be changed back (= that only the old admin account would be able to read them).

    Should I have moved the folders, logged out of the old admin account completely them repaired permissions while logged into the new account?
     
  11. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #11
    Bingo.
     
  12. annk thread starter Administrator

    annk

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    #12
    Ok, thanks!! I'll try that tonight. :)

    Update:

    I moved my music, documents, and desktop rubbish to the appropriate folders on the new account (my mail was already there). I logged out of my old account, back into the new one, and repaired permissions. This is what I got:

    I tried to open mail, and got this:

    Screen shot 2010-01-21 at 5.36.51 PM.png

    My music isn't there, I can't open my docs...

    Either everything is messed up now, or I'm doing something fundamentally wrong. It's driving me crazy. Everything takes absolutely forever on my old account, and I can't access anything I move over to my new account. :(
     
  13. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

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    #13
    I guess you'll have to do it by hand. Open a new Terminal window and type:

    sudo chown -R yourshortname:yourshortname ~

    substituting the short name (home folder name) of your new account for "yourshortname".
     
  14. annk thread starter Administrator

    annk

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    #14
    Thanks - you read my mind. I was just about to ask if there's a command I can use that changes all permissions in one fell swoop. :cool:

    Two stupid questions, before I try it:

    Do I use my NEW account short name in BOTH places in the command where you've written yourshortname?

    Will this command make it impossible for my old account to access my stuff? This probably isn't important, I just want to understand what the command really does. :eek:

    Thanks again for your patient answers!

    Edit: Just talked to a Linux-savvy friend here, who thought I should take this business seriously:

    He suggested I move this out of its place (to the desktop etc) and see what happens. I'll try the permissions command first this evening; if that doesn't work, I'll try to move the above file. If nothing else, I'll reinstall the OS and then restore from my backup. And last but not least - I may end up having to replace the HD anyway, if all this is happening due to a HD failure.
     
  15. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #15
    Yes.

    It only affects the file in your new home folder. If you've copied them over, it won't affect the originals. If you moved them, then yes, your old account will no longer have access.

    If you want to learn more about what it does, you can always run:

    man chown
     
  16. annk thread starter Administrator

    annk

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    #16
    Great, thank you - it really helps understanding the "why" of what I'm going to do.

    Edit: Ah, I googled the SUID thing and discovered it's no big deal after all.

    http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/os...165952-ardagent-app-problem-snow-leopard.html

    Edit II: Here, though, there are suggestions for how to deal with this. I suppose a trojan could've caused my slow-down, based on what I read here, but on the other hand maybe I'm getting ahead of myself and should just try the permissions command first...:eek:

    http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20080620052233168

    Update:

    Ok, the command worked - thank you! :) - but I had to use:

    Code:
    sudo chown -R myshortname: ~
    ... instead, because the other command gave me an error message. Something to do with groups, I've been told.

    After I did this, Mail magically opened and everything was as it should be. I still had to change permissions on a few documents and folders via Get info - click on lock - password - change permissions - click on lock again, but at this point I have an admin account that's snappy, access to my mails and docs, and my movies, pics, and music are still safe on my back-up (in the interest of saving space for now).

    I'll use this new account for a while and see what happens. If all goes well for a while, I'll move my movies, pics, and music over to this new account, then delete the old admin account.

    *whew*
     
  17. Sydde macrumors 68020

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    #17
    Can chown -R be done from Finder's info window?
     
  18. annk thread starter Administrator

    annk

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    #18
    Thought I'd update this to say that I found out what was going on. It was IPA Palette, an incredibly useful tool for me in my thesis writing. Apparently it doesn't play nice on SL. :(

    When the problem started up on my new account the other day, it was right after I tried to activate the palette. Went back to the old account to disable it, and voila, the problem disappeared.
     

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