iMac takes forever to respond

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Dogtide, Oct 2, 2017.

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  1. Dogtide macrumors newbie

    Dogtide

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    Oct 2, 2017
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #1
    Hi and thanks in advance for any help.
    I have noticed my iMac seems to be slowing down as of late but today it has virtually ground to a halt. Every single thing I ask it to do seems to take minutes rather than seconds. It is so slow that I am unable to get anything done at all.
    I have cleared virtually everything off the desktop and rebooted it a few times, but this has not helped at all.
    (Something else strange it has done recently is that occasionally it will reset the desktop picture back to a default apple photo on its own.)
    I am at a loss what to do.
    If anyone can help me out here it would be appreciated more than you could ever imagine.
    I am no kind of computer expert so any help will be greatly welcome. I am running Sierra 10.12.5 and even opening "About this Mac" to get that info took 6 clicks and about 40 secs :-(
    Thanks in advance,
    George
     
  2. azentropy macrumors 68000

    azentropy

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    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
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    #2
    You don’t mention which iMac and what type of storage you have, however your symptoms point to a failing drive. You can disk utility but that won’t necessarily fix anything if the drive itself is going.
     
  3. Dogtide thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dogtide

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    #3
    I have a late 2013 21.5 inch iMac with a 2.7 Ghz Intel Core i5. It has a 1TB SATA disk.
     
  4. Hater macrumors 6502

    Hater

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    Sep 20, 2017
    Location:
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    #4
    I had a MacBook Pro do this.

    It was a faulty hard drive, slowly on the way to its death.

    Backup all of your data right now.
     
  5. Dogtide thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dogtide

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    #5
    Thanx, Im onto it right now...
     
  6. azentropy macrumors 68000

    azentropy

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    #6
    Yep, that would be my bet then. Hopefully you have a backup. I highly recommend replacing it with an ssd. That 1tb drive was a dog to begin with. Replacing the internal drive isn’t very user friendly so depending on your tech expertise you might need a professional to do it. Even if you go with an external usb3 ssd you will see noticeable improvement.
     
  7. Dogtide thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dogtide

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    #7
    Thanks for that. I am not tech savvy at all when it comes to this so I guess its straight to the Apple Genius Bar asap to see what they can sort me out with.
     
  8. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #8
    OP wrote:
    "It has a 1TB SATA disk."

    This is "the problem".
    It's a platter-based hard drive, and it can't really handle the requirements of the OS.

    "How can that be?" you're wondering. After all, Apple put it in there, right?

    Look at it this way:
    Since the release of Mavericks (10.9), it seems like Apple's software engineers have designed the OS to run best on Macs with either SSD's or "fusion drives".
    The OS will still run on a Mac with a platter-based hard drive. But from the user's standpoint, it will seem that the OS is "walking", instead of "running".

    You aren't going to fix this "through software".
    The only thing that will really fix it is to boot and run from an SSD.

    The fastest, easiest, cheapest way to do this is to buy a USB3 SSD, plug it in, and then set it up to be an "external booter".

    The iMac will boot and run MUCH faster, because SSDs have much faster read speeds. You can expect to see 430mbps reads and 250-350mbps writes with a USB3 SSD. What kind of read speeds are you getting now?

    I'd suggest something like a "Sandisk Extreme" or perhaps a Samsung "T3".
    You don't need anything larger than 250gb (or perhaps 500gb if you feel like splurging).

    If you have "large libraries" of things like music, movies, and photos, they can be left on the internal HDD. You want to keep the SSD "lean, clean and mean" for the best performance.

    Again, this is easy to do, and it will TRANSFORM the iMac, speed-wise.
     
  9. Dogtide thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dogtide

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    Melbourne, Australia
    #9
    --- Post Merged, Oct 2, 2017 ---
    Thanks for the suggestion. I am not an expert with computers by any means but this sounds like a great idea and I would like to give it a go.
    Do I only install the operating system onto the external drive and leave everything else on the computer ? ie Am i just booting off the external drive and then running all programs etc from the SATA drive inside the comp or do I basically just set up the external drive as a clone of the internal one (using time machine) and then run everything from that ?
    Sorry if its a stupid question but I have never really heard of doing this before but would like to give it a go.
    Thanks in advance for your help.
    George
     
  10. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #10
    Put the OS, apps, and your "basic accounts" on the SSD.
    By "basic accounts", I mean that you should leave the "large libraries" on the internal HDD.

    These are such things as "iTunes" folder, "iPhoto library", "Photos library", and any movies you may have saved.

    Then, you can "point" iTunes, Photos, etc, "at" the libraries on the other drive, and those apps will run just as before.

    A Mac doesn't particularly care -where- it's booted from. Internal, external, so long as the drive has a good copy of the OS, it will run.
     
  11. Dogtide thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dogtide

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    #11

    Thanks mate for the help :)
     
  12. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    #12
    I'll agree with the rest that this sounds like a hard drive dying, but one other thing to check ... download Malwarebytes and run a scan. It's possible that you've picked up some sort of malware that is hogging the system. If that scan runs clean then I'll suggest it's hardware.
     
  13. Dogtide thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dogtide

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    Oct 2, 2017
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    Melbourne, Australia
    #13
    Thanks mate. I did actually download and run MALWAREBYTES after chatting to someone from Applecare online but the scan came back clean so all things point to a failing drive sadly.
    I'm now studying up online frantically about exactly how to get this external drive all set BEFORE my internal finally kicks the bucket.
     
  14. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    #14
    Carbon Copy Cleaner or SuperDuper! are two of the usual suspects in this situation.
     
  15. Dogtide thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dogtide

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    #15
    Awesome thanks, I hadn't heard of SUPERDUPER. Is it as easy as just installing the operating system (SIERRA) on the new external SSD and then using the SUPERDUPER clone by copying that over the top and then I'm set ?
     
  16. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    #16
    It's been a year or so, but I think I recall just using superduper to clone the existing HDD onto the SSD. No need to install the OS onto the SSD first. There might have been a checkbox asking to make the target (SSD) bootable. I am reasonably sure that the same is true for the CCC product.
     
  17. marioman38 macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

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    Elk Grove, CA
    #17
    You don't happen to have a Time Machine backup? And if No... I would suggest using this excellent built-in backup software in the future!

     
  18. Dogtide thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dogtide

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    #18
    Luckily I do have a very recent time machine backup thankfully :)
     
  19. AL2TEACH macrumors 6502

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    #19

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