Sluggish 2011 iMac query

thomas223

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 29, 2011
51
1
Hi

I purchased my first Mac, a 2011 27" iMac about 9 months ago. One of the first things I noticed was that relatively small apps such as Mail, Calendar, App Store, etc. would take a few seconds (about 2-5) to open. I assumed that this was normal for a Mac until a few weeks ago when I used an entry level Macbook Pro 13" and noticed how snappy it was. Another thing I noticed was that my iMac's hard drive would constantly be making a noise when opening an app, browsing the web, using finder, etc. Then a few days ago my mission control animations started slowing down. I tried everything to fix it including PRAM reset, disk permissions, etc. Nothing worked and it annoyed me immensely so I decided to erase the OSX partition and reinstall Lion from internet recovery. After doing that mission control was fixed but strangely, the entire machine ran A LOT faster. Opening Mail now only takes a split second. Browsing the web doesn't make the hard drive go crazy anymore. And I don't have to wait 10 seconds for an MP3 folder to open.

So my question is, what could have possibly caused the iMac to struggle from the very first day? I would like to find out in case it's something that could happen again so that I may avoid it. The hard drive is a western digital, not one of the seagate hard drives that would have been recalled. I know it's a strange question but any advice would be appreciated. Could Lion have been installed incorrectly at the factory?
 

MacMilligan

macrumors 6502
Aug 2, 2012
255
8
How much ram do you have? OSX preloads frequently used apps, so they pop up instantly. The more ram you have the more programs will be preloaded.
 

TX328F

macrumors newbie
Dec 23, 2009
24
0
Texas
Have you used the Activity Monitor utility to figure out if you need more RAM or perhaps some app is using too many resources?
 

thomas223

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 29, 2011
51
1
Thanks for the response.

I have 4GB RAM. The activity monitor didn't show any unusual RAM or CPU usage. It always shows about 2GB of free ram.

For the first 2 months after I bought the iMac I used only the default apps that came preinstalled such as Safari, Calendar and itunes. I didn't use it for work, I spent a few weeks just getting to grips with the OS. No apps or files were loaded onto the iMac and even then I noticed the significant lag when opening apps, using finder, etc. That's why I believe the problem might have been there from the start. Maybe a corrupt installation of the OS from the factory? I don't know if that's even possible.
 

JordieG8

macrumors newbie
Jun 22, 2009
7
0
Activity monitor should show "Free" and "Used" memory. I found that the 4 Gigs that came with my Mid 2011 i5 was barely adequate, especially when trying to run a VM or when multiple users were logged in. I added an extra 16 Gigs and its like a bran new computer!
 

iMikeT

macrumors 68020
Jul 8, 2006
2,304
1
California
So my question is, what could have possibly caused the iMac to struggle from the very first day?

More than likely your library folder was bogged up with who knows what over the past 9 months.

Next time you see any kind of slow down, create and use a new user account first to see if you experience the same slow downs. It may save you the trouble of nuking OS X and starting over.

Also, add more RAM. It's cheap these days and will keep everything snappy.
 

thomas223

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 29, 2011
51
1
Activity monitor should show "Free" and "Used" memory. I found that the 4 Gigs that came with my Mid 2011 i5 was barely adequate, especially when trying to run a VM or when multiple users were logged in. I added an extra 16 Gigs and its like a bran new computer!
great, I'll make sure to get some more RAM.

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More than likely your library folder was bogged up with who knows what over the past 9 months.

Next time you see any kind of slow down, create and use a new user account first to see if you experience the same slow downs. It may save you the trouble of nuking OS X and starting over.

Also, add more RAM. It's cheap these days and will keep everything snappy.
Didn't check the library folder. Thanks, I'll keep it in mind in case it happens again

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Another possibility is some sort of corruption in your user account. Did you ever try creating another one to test?
Unfortunately I didn't. Will also keep it in mind in case it happens again.