iMac unresponsive 3 days: please help if possible

Discussion in 'iMac' started by corinthianharbour, Sep 26, 2018.

  1. corinthianharbour macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2018
    #1
    Hello all,



    Many thanks for reading as I am lost without use of my Mac, and please bear with me as I am not very technical. Also if this is inappropriate for this forum or location please let me know and/or delete and I apologise. if you require any further details or clarification please ask. This is what I'm dealing with:



    I have an iMac - OS X El Capitan Version 10.11.6, late 2015

    Processor is 3.2 GHz Intel Core i5

    Memory is 8 GB 1867 MHz DER3



    It has worked perfectly or just under three years. I was working on a OneDrive document on Monday night when it froze, so I turned off the computer and turned it on again.



    Since that time it has been essentially unusable. it is intolerably slow, to the extent at I'm not sure if you'd describe it as slow or generally not responding. To open up my OneDrive document to continue working, from moment of pushing the on button to getting a responsive key to text process, takes about an hour. So far I've had no success at opening any other programmes other than google chrome, but I haven't tried many.



    In terms of what have I tried, I have deleted various apps and cleaned my desktop so it's only one folder. I checked my storage which states I have 887 GB free of 998 GB

    I also ejected two very full USBs.



    It is very difficult to do anything eg move files or folders, check specifications etc as the smallest click leads to minutes of delay so simply moving a few items off the desktop took about half an hour.



    as I said, this was an overnight shift from working perfectly.



    the only thing I can note is that google chrome seemed to have updated, ie it looks slightly different.



    PLEASE any assistance or advice will be very much appreciated. I just have no idea what's going on. Willing to try basically anything. Apologies for poor typing as I am reduced to my phone at the moment.

    very many thanks

    CH
     
  2. mj_ macrumors 6502

    mj_

    Joined:
    May 18, 2017
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #2
    Sounds like a dead (or dying) hard drive to me. Nothing you can do other than replacing it, or having someone replace it for you. And if you do make sure to put in an SSD instead.

    I hope you have a backup of your files.
     
  3. corinthianharbour thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2018
    #3
    Well thank you very much!

    Sorry if it's obvious, but this means it's not an issue with the memory ie me deleting things won't help?

    Is there any reason the hardrive would fail or can it "just happen"?

    Fortunately most documents are saved/duplicated to USBs or online means. Do I lose everything on the computer if I replace the hardrive?

    I'm going to do some research now that you've given me a direction. Again, thank you so much.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 26, 2018 ---
    I've just restarted the computer for the diagnostic test and it came back with "no issues found". Would this have mentioned the hard drive problem?
    --- Post Merged, Sep 26, 2018 ---
    Just an update, I'm on safe mode and safari is working fine - I am able to access my emails and OneDrive documents with no real lag or delay. Brilliant - but a short term fix?
     
  4. mj_ macrumors 6502

    mj_

    Joined:
    May 18, 2017
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #4
    Yes, hard drives can die from one moment to another. In fact, that is the most common way for a hard drive to pass.

    However, if your Mac is working perfectly fine in safe mode and all applications start normally and the system does not freeze and stall then it's unlikely to be a hardware issue. If that were the case I'm out since this would be nigh impossible to remote diagnose.
     
  5. Donka macrumors 68030

    Donka

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    #5
    If you can run the Mac as normal but open the activity monitor tool, it may point to something hammering all the resources on the Mac. It initially sounded like a drive issue but if it works absolutely fine in safe mode, drive failure is much less likely but not impossible.
     
  6. rpmurray macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2017
    Location:
    Back End of Beyond
    #6
    One of the things that starting in safe mode does is it clears the caches and temporary files. Have you tried restarting normally again to see if that may have fixed the problem?
     
  7. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #7
    Try this:
    1. Disconnect ALL connected devices
    2. We will assume the power is off, if it's not, power it off
    3. Press the power-on key and immediately hold down the shift key and keep holding it down.

    This should boot into "safe mode".
    Does that happen, or does it still "hang"...?
     
  8. mj_ macrumors 6502

    mj_

    Joined:
    May 18, 2017
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #8
    @Fishrrman been there, done that:

     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    mj_
    re your post above(from the OP):
    "I'm on safe mode and safari is working fine"

    If safe mode "works fine", then the problem is SOFTWARE-related, within the OP's account.
    There's nothing wrong with the OS itself.
    Re-installing the OS almost certainly won't help.

    The OP has to take stock of "what he has added" to his account, and then start removing stuff, to see what's eating up his speed.
    He should download EtreCheck and run it.
    Also monitor CPU usage in Activity Monitor.

    Perhaps it's time to create a NEW user account, and gradually begin migrating stuff INTO it.
    And KEEP NOTES of what has been moved.
    If things work well for a while, and then there is a "slowdown" -- refer to the notes and check the last thing (or couple of things) that were "moved in"...
     

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8 September 26, 2018