slow running

martinchivers

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 19, 2011
168
2
Bath, Somerset, UK
my 21.5 inch iMac is running slowly, suddenly. Its a 2012. 2.7GHz with 8 gig of ram. Running Majove. Its fitted with the standard 1TB sata disc. that has 733 gig available. I run all the usual stuff. photoshop, word, safari etc. I ran Malwarebytes yesterday. No reported issues. I'm NOT confident enough to swap out the hard drive for an SSD.

Any pointers to clean it up or upgrade would be most appreciated.
 

dcmaccam

macrumors regular
Sep 14, 2017
122
16
West Coast of Scotland
Well on my 2011 iMac I bought an secondhand iTB LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt 1 drive (the one with the captive Thunderbolt cable. Opened the case (4 screws),unplugged the hard drive, plugged in a Samsung EVO 500GB SSD drive, screwed back together. Restored a backup onto this and made this my new external boot drive and finally enable "Trim" So far its like having a new machine.
 

mj_

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2017
808
472
Austin, TX
If you experience a sudden and unexpected decrease in performance it could be that your hard drive is dying. Download DriveDx (https://binaryfruit.com/drivedx) and check your disk's S.M.A.R.T. status to check. If that is indeed the case you really only have two options:

a) replace it with an SSD
b) use an external drive, as recommended by @dcmaccam

If you don't feel comfortable replacing the internal drive yourself you can use a local Apple service provider, which will cost you extra but will give you piece of mind.
 

martinchivers

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 19, 2011
168
2
Bath, Somerset, UK
thank you both. that all looks a little frightening! I'm worried, I will loose my data and/or operating system. I use the Mac a lot, but I dont get into the mechanics of it. I do know, however that apple service centres are extremely expensive. I'll certainly look at getting myself an SSD. I have external boxes (connected via USB) for old backup hard drives.but they are the big old rationed type. I dont have a thunderbolt cable. I've looked on the back of the Mac & have 2 ports that have a logo like a bolt of lightening, so obviously plug in there. Are the SSD's the smaller size? if so I'll need a box to put it into and a cable?
 

dcmaccam

macrumors regular
Sep 14, 2017
122
16
West Coast of Scotland
If you are going to connect using Thunderbolt it more than just a box and cable. The box has to have the circuitry for the interface and a Thunderbolt cable has a small circuit board in each end.
Thats why I suggest trying to get a secondhand 1TB LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt 1 drive. That has the required circuitry built in. It also has a fixed cable Thunderbolt cable. I got 2 of these drives from a secondhand store. You might be able to pick one up on eBay. Just make sure you get a Thunderbolt version 1 type.
 

martinchivers

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 19, 2011
168
2
Bath, Somerset, UK
thank you again. thats extremely helpful. I'll look on eBay now. So the actual hard drive in there will be an old sata or whatever & I swap that out for a SSD, right? much appreciated.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,449
6,742
OP wrote:
"I run all the usual stuff. photoshop, word, safari etc. I ran Malwarebytes yesterday. No reported issues. I'm NOT confident enough to swap out the hard drive for an SSD."

Then fix things the fast 'n' easy way:
Add an EXTERNAL USB3 SSD, and set it up to become the new boot drive.

Booting and running the iMac this way is CHILD'S PLAY, and ANYONE can set it up and do it.

It looks like you've used only about 270gb of your total drive space.
In that case, I think you could go with either a 500gb or 1tb SSD.

I'd suggest something like a Samsung t5.
This should give you read speeds in the 430MBps range, and writes around 350MBps (write speeds vary due to drive size, make and model).
Very usable.

I predict that if you do this, you will be VERY happy with the results.

If you decide to go this way, I'll give you instructions with which I guarantee a 98% chance of success (or better)...
 

dcmaccam

macrumors regular
Sep 14, 2017
122
16
West Coast of Scotland
Hi, Apologies I just realised that the 2012 iMac has USB3 therefore no need to go down the Thunderbolt route. A Samsung T5 would work fine. In my case the problem was that I had only USB2 ports so I had to go down the Thunderbolt route. Sorry for the confusion
 

martinchivers

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 19, 2011
168
2
Bath, Somerset, UK
thank you guys for your responses. I've looked at the Samsung SSD and will order one when I'm able (business it terrible) & once here will ask for instructions as to how to get it up and running.
 

martinchivers

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 19, 2011
168
2
Bath, Somerset, UK
I have found this drive on eBay for £89.95. There are other 500gig SSD external that are cheaper. Do I need the Samsung for a specific reason or would any external drive work? There is an unbranded drive for £29.95 infact. (or 1TB for £45) do I simply copy the contents of the Mac drive (i.e. the data) just leaving the operating system on the Mac itself? I only have 300gig or so used on the Mac drive.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,449
6,742
All you really need is a USB3 SSD.
It doesn't have to be Samsung, just about any one you buy will give the same results and speeds.

Just make sure it's USB3 and that it's an SSD (and NOT a platter-based drive!).

Once you have it, you need to do a few things:
1. Connect it to the Mac
2. Open disk utiity
3. Go to the "view" menu and choose "show all devices" (VERY important step).
4. Now you can see the "physical drive" on the left in disk utility.
5. Click on it ONE time to select it
6. ERASE IT to APFS with GUID partition format
7. Now you can quit disk utility. The SSD will be mounted on the desktop. It's "empty", waiting for you to put something on it.

Next:
a. Download CarbonCopyCloner from here:
Carbon Copy Cloner - Download
CCC is FREE to use for 30 days -- this will cost you nothing.
b. Open CCC and get to the main screen
c. Accept all the CCC default settings for now
d. Put your source drive (internal drive) on the left.
e. Put your target drive (the SSD) in the middle
f. Ignore the box on the right (scheduling) -- you don't need it
g. Click the "clone" button and follow through.
h. The cloning will take a while. CCC will put an exact copy of the contents of your internal drive onto the SSD
i. When done, quit CCC

Finally:
1. Open the startup disk preference pane
2. Click the lock and enter your password
3. Click the icon for the SSD to set it as the "new boot drive"
4. Close system preferences and reboot.

That's it.
You should now boot from the SSD -- should be faster.
When you get to the finder, go to "about this Mac" and be sure that you ARE booted from the SSD...
 

martinchivers

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 19, 2011
168
2
Bath, Somerset, UK
Wow. Thank you very much. I’ll definitely order a hard drive over the next few day & give that a try. I’ll print out those instructions and follow them carefully. It sounds fairly complicated but i’ll post any additional questions here, if I do get stuck. I’ll run a time machine first to. Martin
- - Post merged: - -

A6EE150F-5F7D-4312-9E4F-84313BCD1E1C.png

- - Post merged: - -

Does this one look ok? It’s USB3. I don’t know what HDD is. But below it says it’s SSD. SSD (500gig) is £70. Not much cheaper than the Samsung version.
 
Last edited:

mj_

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2017
808
472
Austin, TX
And regarding the Samsung vs. non-Samsung drive: obviously it doesn't need to be Samsung specifically but since you will be connecting the drive via USB you are going to lose TRIM functionality. You should thus make sure to get an SSD with a decent built-in garbage collection. Such as for example Samsung's T5, which was designed for cases like this. Otherwise you might end up with an iMac that is just as slow was before after a few months.
 

martinchivers

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 19, 2011
168
2
Bath, Somerset, UK
ok guys.......Harddrive arrived 10 minutes ago. Will print out the instructions above. Wish me luck! Any final advice? Will run a time machine before anyway.
 

martinchivers

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 19, 2011
168
2
Bath, Somerset, UK
I followed the instructions to the letter. (Thank you for those). And got as far as doing the clone, last night. So that will be done now, this morning. Assuming it has and I continue and get everything up and running from the ssd what do I then do with the Mac hard drive? The Mac drive is 1TB. the Samsung is 500gb. Delete everything from the Mac drive, then use for storage only? If doing that would it be slower than data on the ssd? I’ve only got 300 gig of stuff currently and could probably thin that out a bit to.
 

martinchivers

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 19, 2011
168
2
Bath, Somerset, UK
DONE!! thank you again guys.

So, still some questions (above). Plus now I'm booted into the ssd.

1....any word docs, folders or pictures that are on my DESKTOP, are they the original ones from the Mac drive, if so, would it be better to delete them and put the same ones back from the SSD.

2...should I now format the Mac drive, starting again from fresh? as everything appears to work as it should?

3.....I assume that should the ssd not be plugged in & I reboot (which I very rarely do anyway) the computer would simply not boot?

4.....in finder Samsung SSD does not appear on the left hand pain (as my other drives do) but have to highlight "Martins Mac" and the its on the right. Have I done something wrong?

5....when deleting a folder, Mac now asks for my password, which is annoying to say the least. Can I remove that?

6....If and when erasing the Mac HD, (to save confusion) what formatting type is it (done before, but cannot remember).

7....Will time machine not automatically backup the SSD by default?

8...Finder now asking for the password, every time I rename, delete or move a file (on the SSD). Thats a ball ache.
 
Last edited:

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,449
6,742
I'm not going to answer your questions, because you are making things WAY too difficult on yourself.

The external SSD is now the boot drive.
Everything you see "on the desktop" is on the SSD.
It's as if you had taken the internal drive OUT OF the computer, and put it into the SSD enclosure.

The Mac DOES NOT CARE whether it boots from an internal or external drive.
All it wants is a "good startup drive" and then it will run happily.
It will run FASTER from an SSD -- that's why you did what you did.

I recommend that you use the internal drive as your "new backup" for the SSD.
Just use CCC or SD to clone from the SSD to the internal drive.
Like "doing things in reverse" from what you did to create the SSD boot drive.

Just about "all of your stuff" is already on the internal drive, so an incremental clone will go quickly.

This way, if something ever happens to the SSD and you can't boot from it, YOU STILL HAVE THE INTERNAL DRIVE to fall back on.
 
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martinchivers

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 19, 2011
168
2
Bath, Somerset, UK
thank you. Much appreciated, the swap was all very painless and Your instructions incredibly well written. Since posting, I've formatted the Mac HD, to save confusion. Its now sitting there empty. I deleted all the files from the desktop and copied into the desktop from the SSD. I can see a definite improvement on speed, to. cheers.
 

Wayne Beamer

macrumors newbie
Mar 1, 2020
8
1
Hi Fishrrman:

It's been a bit since we talked...

I ditched the SanDisk drive as Mike Bombich suggested, bought a 2TB Crucial SSD internal drive, slapped it into a cheap enclosure, followed your directions to a T, and presto-zingo, everything is working AOK. Even Time Machine is firing back up to do a backup as I write this.

Two final questions:

1. For backups, do I stick with Time Machine or go with CCC?

2. If it's CCC, is it as easy to back up bootable volumes to multiple HDs as I have before, even the internal HD? (You never know when one might fail...)

Thanks again for your help. Much appreciated...

Wayne
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,449
6,742
I recommend ONLY CCC (or SuperDuper).
I have never used time machine, not once, and would not recommend it to anybody.

CCC (and SD) are DESIGNED to back up bootable drives to external drives (which will also be bootable drives).

You can also use it to back up non bootable (data) drives as well.
 
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