My system: 2011 iMac 3.4Ghz quad-core i7 16GB Ram (I purchased and installed) AMD Radeon HD 6970M Mountain Lion Main uses: iTunes Web surfing Email Photo editing - Aperture, Lightroom 4 and Photoshop Elements 10 Problem: I get the beachball often and lately I have been getting it and my system will totally lock up. The two times when this seemingly locks up is when I have Lightroom open or when it is backing up (I back up to a Time Capsule). When I installed Mountain Lion I did not do a clean install; I re-installed is yesterday and nothing changed. It seems like the next step may be a clean install of Mountain Lion which brings me to the issues I'm most concerned with. Even though the system backs up to a Time Capsule, how should I go about restoring after a clean install? Should I, and can I, restore apps or should I do a clean install on my apps? The fact that I have been going back and forth with Aperture and Lightroom, restoring all of my iTunes and not knowing where my code is for Office 11 has me worried. I have a 2011 Macbook Pro (max Ram) and iMac (I have had it for 6 or 7 years...running strong). The Macbook Pro hasn't experienced any of the same problems. I had to replace the hard drive in the old iMac about three months ago (did it myself) and it is running fine since. In an effort to paint the entire picture of my environment, one other strange thing has happened recently. My network at home slows down sometimes to the point where I can't maintain a good connection on Xbox Live. I am paying for 50Mb and when I was connected directly with my Macbook Pro with the service tech on the line I was getting my normal speed. I changed all my wireless settings on my Time Capsule since. This may have absolutely nothing to do with the overall problem, but I thought I would mention is. Right now I feel like I used to on the rare occasion when something happened to my Honda Accord: when something just works for so long it is disconcerting when it stops working right. I would expect this from a Windows system. Any suggestions before I dive in head first?