Slow iMac - best way to re-install/restore

Discussion in 'iMac' started by gdc, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. gdc macrumors member

    Aug 11, 2009
    My parents have a 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo iMac with 1 Gb 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM running 10.5.8.
    It runs so slowly it is almost unusable: spinning beach ball is a regular occurrence, but mostly it just lags and takes multiple seconds to respond to simple inputs such as opening mail, Safari etc.

    They have very modest use requirements - essentially Mail, Safari and a bit of MS Word.

    I cannot see anything of concern from Disk Utility, Activity Monitor etc.

    Given that they have no need for anything other than 10.5, I would just like to do a clean install of Leopard to see if this speeds things up. This has the advantage of nothing 'changing' that would confuse them.

    I have a full Time Machine backup which I would subsequently like to use to restore from, assuming that the clean install resolves things, but I don't want to end up replicating whatever the issue is that is causing the problem.

    Is it possible post-installation of 10.5 to incrementally retrieve documents, photos, email, apps etc.?
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    With the age of the machine it's very likely that the hard-drive is corrupted in some way. Plus the 1GB RAM certainly isn't helping, get that upgraded. And you'd be much better off running Snow Leopard rather than Leopard.

    You can use Migration Assistant to drop all the apps/documents to the fresh install. But honestly there isn't a quick fix for this one. A fresh install may make a positive impact but you'll just be back in the same position 3 months down the line.
  3. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    Older machines were slower, now that we are used to SSD speeds for most operations. Consider adding a used SSD to it, to give it new life. And likely also add another GB RAM, and for sure upgrade to Snow Leopard, both for speed and security.

    Given the low number of RAM, frequent restarts would likely help. Especially considering how Safari loves RAM.
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    I have a 24" white Intel iMac -- going on 9 years old -- that still runs fine for what I use it for (music production).

    What I would suggest you do:

    1. Get ahold of OS 10.6 "Snow Leopard" (assuming it will run on that one).
    2. Use CarbonCopyCloner (free to download and use for 30 days) to clone the contents of the iMac to an external drive.
    3. BOOT UP from either the cloned backup or the 10.6 DVD.
    4. Re-initialize the internal drive
    5. Install a clean copy of 10.6 onto the drive
    6. At the close of the install process, you will be asked to migrate your apps, accounts, and data -- do this.
    7. Once the migration is over, power down and disconnect backup
    8. Boot up iMac with fresh OS
    9. Do you get a good boot? If so, invoke Software Update and get the OS updated to 10.6.8.

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3 October 23, 2015