Mid-2010 iMac Slow

Discussion in 'macOS' started by tobey, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. tobey macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    #1
    Hi guys,

    I bought an iMac in mid 2010 and it was excellent, but it's getting so slow and sluggish now I've gotta do something about it.

    I keep my apps pretty clean, I've used CleanMyMac to clear the junk out, upgraded to 16GB RAM, and it still feels sluggish. Even compared to my little 13" 2010 MBP.

    The hard drive is constantly making the "thinking" sound as well, which gets pretty annoying, although I don't know if it always did that, or I'm just looking for things to notice now.

    Since I've tried everything else, I guess I'll go down the old Windows-esque route and format/reinstall. I seem to have lost the recovery disc from my iMac, but I've still got the one that came with the MBP - is it fine to use this? I ask because the disc does specifically say it's an MBP disc on it. Both Snow Leopard btw. I am intending on upgrading to Lion, but I want to upgrade from a clean Snow Leopard install, putting Lion on top of the mess I've currently got sounds like a headache waiting to happen.

    Before I go through the headache of a backup/format/reinstall, does anybody have any other suggestions as to what makes OSX get slower over time? People always say "You don't need to ever reinstall OSX, it's not Windows..." - please prove that right!

    Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    You can't use system restore discs from another model. They won't work. You need a retail disc.
     
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #3
    One app that I would not recommend, based on the number of complaints that have been posted in this forum and elsewhere, is CleanMyMac. As an example: CleanMyMac cleaned too much.

    You really don't need "cleaner" or "maintenance" apps to keep your Mac running well, and some of these apps can do more harm than good. Most only remove files/folders or unused languages or architectures, which does nothing more than free up some drive space. It will not make your Mac run faster or more efficiently, since having stuff stored on a drive does not impact performance, unless you're running out of drive space.

    Mac OS X does a good job of taking care of itself, without the need for 3rd party software.

    For performance issues, there are a few things you can check:
    • Check your Login Items under System Preferences > Accounts to see what you have automatically launching.
    • Also check /Library/LaunchAgents/ and /Users/yourusername/Library/LaunchAgents/ for items launching at startup
    • Look at what widgets you may have running.
    • Launch Activity Monitor and change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes". Then look to see what may be consuming system resources.
    • Take a look at the System Memory tab at the bottom of Activity Monitor to see if you have excessive "page outs", a sign that you may benefit from more RAM.
    • Make sure you're not running any 3rd party antivirus app, as many of those will drain resources, reducing performance. They're not needed to protect your Mac.
     
  4. tobey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    #4
    Thanks for your reply. I didn't realise CleanMyMac had a bad rep, I'll stop using it. I've got 16GB of RAM which is believe is the maximum this iMac can handle, so hopefully that's not the issue. I do check Activity Monitor for rogue processes using excessive CPU and RAM, but it all seems okay.

    I guess it feels like a HDD issue... but Apple's stance seems to be "Oh no, defragging - yea that's only for Windows."

    Also no antivirus running at all.
     
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #5
    Defrag is not necessary. Be sure to check your Login Items and launch agents.

    As far as uninstalling apps, the most effective method for complete app removal is manual deletion:
     
  6. tobey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    #6
    Thanks.

    Login items: Air Video, Dropbox, BetterSnapTool, iiUsage - so really nothing too intense on that front...

    It really feels like a cumulative issue, there's nothing else like any caches or anything that build up and degrade performance over time?
     
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #7
    No, they take up space, but don't degrade performance. This isn't Windows. Try removing all apps from Login Items and launch agents, then restart and see how performance is. If it's better, add items back one at a time until you find which might be the resource hog.
     
  8. tobey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    #8
    Okay, thanks. Will do.

    Any ideas on the constant hard drive "thinking" noise? I can actually hear two very distinct noises. They both sound similar, and they both sound like a HDD seeking type sound. Is this normal?
     
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #9
    If a drive is constantly active or your CPU utilization is high (possibly with increased temps and fan speed) when you're not running any apps, check to see if Spotlight is indexing by looking at the Menu Bar icon: [​IMG] (not indexing) [​IMG] (indexing)
     
  10. tobey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    #10
    Okay. Since you mentioned it, Spotlight searches tend to take a while to return the correct result (think 3-5 seconds) where my little MBP is *instant* - does the indexing for this have any settings that I can tinker with?

    Also, forgot to mention, I have time machine backup running, hourly I believe. Could this be a contributing factor?

    Thanks so much for your help.

    ----------

    Quick update - Something called "Quick Update Helper" is using 199% CPU...

    ----------

    Sorry! - Quick Look Helper*
     
  11. GGJstudios, Nov 25, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2011

    GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #11
    You could re-index the drive.
    Yes, it could. If you want, you can adjust the frequency of TM backups.
    Do you happen to have VMware Fusion installed? If so, this thread may be informative:

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2315503?start=0&tstart=0
     
  12. tobey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    #12
    I had it, uninstalled about 12 months ago. I don't seem to have the offending .qlgenerator file mentioned in that thread though...
     
  13. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #13
    Use the link in post #5 of this thread to search for that file.
     
  14. tobey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    #14
    Wow. Okay. Found and deleted. Took it one further and deleted everything containing "vmware" - problem is, I can't empty the Trash as apparently many of the items are "in use"

    Workaround?

    Again, thanks so much.
     
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #15
    Hold the Option key while emptying the Trash. Or kill the processes running in Activity Monitor before emptying the Trash. Or restart before emptying the Trash.
     
  16. tobey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    #16
    Will do. Thanks for your help!
     
  17. deafgoose macrumors regular

    deafgoose

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    #17
    A fresh format and re-installation of the OS would do you some good.
     
  18. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #18
    Did you notice in the first post that the OP doesn't have the install disk, so is looking for alternatives to reinstalling?
     
  19. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #19
    Don't use cleanmymac. Run a copy of Onyx and Disk warrior. That should take care of everything, assuming cleanmymac didn't remove something important.
     

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