Specs: Late 2009 24" iMac. 3.06 GHz. 2GB ram. Disk is 435GB capacity. (500 by apple "buyer specs") Currently occupied at 156GB full. S.M.A.R.T = Verified. Hard drive is NOT making any noises. Here's whats going on. iMac has been working fine up until April 2013.....but as of late March/Early April it started slowing down (Early April). We're talking about hang ups, freezes, beach ballin' out of control. During simple "opening" of folders. Firefox (my main browser) starts to refuse to open, instead it bounces when I click the "dock" icon. Safari as well. Other icons present in dock = same outcome. This isn't happening 100% of the time, but more randomly whenever it chooses too. With each day its getting worse...so, I've run "verify disk" in disk utility.. it comes back with "missing thread" notifications. I end up repairing the disk, it finds quite a few missing threads, patches them up and responds with a green notice saying "... appears to be fine a-ok" So, I restart and.... Problems do not go away, they only get worse now. Major hang ups, computer refuses to boot to desktop now, instead stays at grey screen with "prohibited sign" showing. Such as: https://discussions.apple.com/servlet/JiveServlet/showImage/2-18906395-133973/prohibited2.jpg So I wait... yet it refuses to come out of prohibited sign. Forceful shutdowns are the only way to turn it off. Nothing else works. Next, I try "target disk mode". It connects, and I end up seeing my iMac folders and files on another computer. Only one major problem.....I can't back up some files I'd like to back up. The reason being: Finder keeps freezing on "Copying files" or "preparing files". Manually selecting each one always doesn't work most of the time. Always prompting a error message that has the "error code -36" showing. This copying failure is random, yet frequent. I can copy a 200mb file, yet i can't copy 5 tiny jpegs onto the external.. and then vice versa. The jpegs go through, yet the 200mb file won't and causes a major freeze up. Ram at this point is wide open, never had an issue like this. I try several work arounds: #1 Using an external usb stick = to no avail. (same outcome as with "target disk mode" #2 I try an external drive = to no avail. #3) I try the target disk mode..which comes back with nothing. I simply cannot manually copy and paste files onto my externals. It'll get half way past and then "LOCK UP", "Beachball", etc. Finally, as a last resort I did a archive and install.... hasn't helped one bit. Any idea of whats going on and is there "ANY" way to back up these files? I can click them, access them, yet copying results in "locking up", "freezing" etc... Never had this happen before Thanks Edit: In addition, I've booted up in "safe mode" and tried to access files like that. Same problem, cannot transfer them onto the external drive. I've only managed to get lucky with a few. I have another 60gigs to transfer... Ran another disk utility work up and it reported with a green notice saying "its ok"... I'm having doubts about that.