PC guy needs iMac help

Discussion in 'iMac' started by J:J:P, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. J:J:P macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2012
    I am a PC guy, in IT actually but I have never really used a Mac desktop. My sister has an iMac. It has gotten slow, disconnects from wifi sometimes. She wants me to backup the data, erase it and reinstall the OS. While doing this she wants to go to the latest OS if possible, maybe add some memory. So, I am coming to the experts to ask some questions...

    First, here are the specs of what she has now:
    iMac 7,1
    Intel Core 2 Duo
    1gb RAM
    MAC OS X 10.5.8

    Based on this, what is the best OS this hardware could handle?
    Would it be worth adding more RAM to get to a better OS?
    Any other info or suggestions? (no she does not have money to get rid of this thing or buy a new one..at the very least I will erase it, reinstall the same OS it currently runs and then restore her data).
  2. B.A.T macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2009
  3. J:J:P thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2012
    Thanks for the reply.
    From what I read, Upgrade info says it needs to be at Snow Leopard.

    I want to erase the iMac start fresh. Does I need to buy Snow Leopard, then upgrade to Mountain Lion or can I just buy Mountain Lion and install it as a fresh install?
  4. ihuman:D macrumors 6502a

    Jul 11, 2012
  5. 3soteric macrumors member


    Oct 28, 2010
    in a pineapple, under the sea
    Upgrade the ram first - then reinstall the original os

    Use the Mac App Store to update to the latest version it can handle by buying the relevant os release

    Reinstate data
  6. 12dylan34 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2009
    Yeah, unfortunately that's what you've got to do. Mountain Lion is only distributed through the Mac App Store. Leopard, the version you're on, doesn't have the Mac App Store, so you have to get the earliest version that does, Snow leopard. Luckily, the upgrades are only $30 and $20, respectively.

    I would highly suggest maxing out the RAM as well.
  7. phoenixsan macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2012
    I think....

    you can upgrade the RAM to the maximum supported by Apple in this machine, i.e. 4 GB

    Also check the compatibility of software/hardware your sister uses before upgrading.

    At last, but no least important, maybe this link is useful:


    From this point you can go until ML, because I think Mountain Lion is supported in your sisters machine

  8. LeandrodaFL macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2011
    Friend, you can maximize memory anytime, no matter the OS. Go ahead and do this first, it may solve your problem. Check macsales.com for memory modules.

    Now, I assume you stil want to make a complete reinstall, so:

    1)Use Time Machine to make a full backup of your system.

    2)Boot from CD and reisntall OS X

    3)Restore from Time Machine

    Its insanelly simple and there are complete videos on youtube on Time Machine restoration

    Now, you may upgrade to Mountain Lion, but I sugest not. Your iMac probably doens have the hardware to support some Lion features anyway. I do sugest upgrading to Snow Leopard, wich is the best OS X version, the second best is Mountain Lion.

    If you know how to teak it, you can make Mountain Lion better then Snow Leopard, but out of box is Snow Leopard
  9. J:J:P thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2012
    Wow, thank you ALL for the replies! Looks like I have a plan here to get going, starting with verifying the exact model, upgrading the memory, then working through the OS installs.

    Great community and great forum!
  10. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    Let us know how it goes and if you have any trouble.

    Also, if you have the extra hard drives, I would recommend making a carbon copy cloner backup of the hard drive in addition to the time machine backup.

    It can be helpful in the rare cases when Time Machine is finicky.
  11. Mike Valmike macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2012
    Chandler, Arizona
    Allow me to second this. ^^^ For newer hardware I would certainly want to put the system on ML but for an iMac of that generation the optimal OS is going to be Snow Leopard, patched to at least 10.6.8 and left there (NOT ever brought forward to Lion or later). With some more RAM, this machine should be serviceable for a few more years.

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