Reinstall question


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 23, 2012
Hi there,

Trying to help a friend who has a iMac OS X v10.5 "Leopard". Started to have really slow load up times, now takes 13 mintues to load up and when in it takes minutes after each mouse click to do anything.

I have tried all the troubleshooting I have read about. The hd passes hardware test but I get errors after doing fsck. Not able to fix disk errors. He has never done a backup. If I am lucky enough to be able to use time machine to back up his stuff would I be able to use the original install disk to do a fresh install and then get his files back?

If there is a problem with the files and time machine saves everything then is it possible that the problem will be transfered back to the new install?

Thank you in advance for any help you might be able to offer me.


macrumors 65816
Jun 26, 2010
Take a back up. NOW!
It's easier to backup your data than it is to recover it.

How much free space is on the hard drive?

Personally, I don't trust the disk utility's 'smart status' to mean much.
There's really no way to know how much life is left in a hard drive.

Plus a dying hard drive can cause the symptoms you've described.

Yes, you can use the original install discs to re-install Leopard onto any hard drive.

After you back up the data, you can try some things:
Re-install OSX on the current hard drive. If performance goes back to normal, then it sounds like there was a software issue. Recover from the backup and see if things get worse. If it gets worse, then you know it's something that was installed.

I'm assuming that since your friend is running 10.5 that the Mac is from 2009 or older. I'd also guess it's the original hard drive. I'd replace it.


macrumors 6502
Jun 15, 2007
If you think it's a problem with the hard disk inside the Mac and not the operating system and other data on the disk then you would be far better off in my opinion making a clone of the drive to an external hard disk, using Super Duper, though I guess if the Mac is playing up that badly then you might not be able to download and install Super Duper. Otherwise, yes, run Time Machine. At least you will have a copy of the hard drive as it stands and can access this disk later to retrieve data. Then, yes, do a clean install using the Leopard software disc. If things don't run smoothly after this, or you cannot install the OS afresh then the disks also contain diagnostic tools you can run.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 23, 2012
Thank you for your helpful replies.

This is the error I am getting via the os disk utility. I also got the same error when I logged on in single person mode (that might not be the right term lol)

invalid leaf record count
it should be 429 and not 426
checking catalog file
invalid record count
volume check failed
error: filesystem verify or repair failed

All this started after the user installed then deleted mackeeper.

I have tried lots of troubleshooting steps found online already but think I need to do a fresh install of the os.

If I am able to get time machine to work can I use a regular dvd to burn too? I am presuming it will format it for time machine use. Will I be able to just copy document and jpegs etc without copying all the system files? I wondered if copying those files might corrupt the machine again if I restore them.

Please excuse me if I sound stupid here but I have never even used a mac before so I am leaning as I go.