Speeding up an old iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Sebastiano, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. Sebastiano macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #1
    I realise this is a common question, but I think given the new operating system it is slightly renewed.

    I am still running OS X Leopard, which has been fantastic for the last four years but is become quite slow of late. I am currently cleaning it up in terms of desktop icons, apps, and big files, but would upgrading to Lion ultimately fix this?
     
  2. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #2
    The answer is almost certainly "no". Gradual slowing down over time is almost always a result of filling up the hard drive. Clean up your existing system by deleting or archiving unused files and applications. Consider adding more RAM if you aren't at maximum, and add an external FW800 drive if you really need the storage.
     
  3. Sebastiano thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #3
    I have just come across the private/ folder, which contains var/log/, which currently has come to 100GB. It looks like this is a system log - is it safe to delete asl/ inside log/?
     
  4. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #4
    This should be self cleaning if the maintenance tasks have been running. Download ONYX and have it run maintenance and clean caches.
     
  5. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #5
    Try using a program like Onyx (as talmy mentioned), to help clean out old log files, and always do permissions repairs on the regular. And of course, a clean install of the OS (not Lion!) will essentially make an old, tired machine feel pretty darn speedy again.

    Also, make sure you're not trying to run programs that require more current machine specs; I've always been a big fan of using older versions of software on older machines.
     
  6. nightfly13 macrumors 6502a

    nightfly13

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Ranchi, India
    #6
    If all else fails, consider an SSD

    I know this advice comes so frequently it's almost a cliche´ but nothing speeds up an old Mac (or any Mac, really) like putting the apps and OS on a Solid State Drive. Opening an iMac isn't for the faint of heart (took me 5-6 hours to install an SSD in my new iMac, by the time it was all said and done and working perfectly again) but the performance gain is terrific. It's about quickness and responsiveness. You can even benefit from a slower SSD and a FW800 enclosure. Would still be a lot quicker-feeling than an old HDD.

    I use a 3-4 year old non-unibody MacBook Pro at work and despite having the RAM maxed out (3GB) it's still sluggish - I'll put and SSD in there asap.
     
  7. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #7
    Woah, how'd you spend 5-6 hours putting in a hard drive?
     
  8. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    ladner cdn
    #8
    Sebastiano:

    i have a older imac 2.0 isight (late 2006) that was also running leopard.

    i just did a clean install of snow leopard (zero data,and custom install) and she is running great! no beachballs ect and i stayed with stock 1 gig ram 160 gig hd.

    i didn't go with lion because id heard some people had fan issues with older imac,and also i didn't want to upgrade ram to 2 gig's

    ps: you can still order retail snowleopard dvd from apple for $29...i phoned in my order and received my dvd within 5 days... the person i ordered from was unreal...and the follow up emails for tracking ect were top notch....
     
  9. Spike88, Sep 24, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2011

    Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    #9
    Based on what I've read (not confirmed for myself), Lion does more. Since it does more, it needs more Memory and it needs more CPU. With this in mind, Lion will run "slower" on an already sluggish iMac.

    To help us recommend proper ways to "speed up" your old iMac, may I suggest you load up your usual apps / data files. When its gets sluggish, simply minimumize these items and load up Applications - Utilities - Activity Monitor. Then, provide us screen shots of your HD, System, Memory & CPU status screens. We need to see current details of its memory, current details of its CPU usage and its Disk Usage. Details point to the root cause.

    If your computer is 2 GB of RAM, I'd suggest immediate upgrade to 4 GBs. IMO, SL runs best with 4 GBs of memory. Yes, it runs on 2 GBs. But when too many items are open at the same time, disk thrashing happens. Or, perhaps there's a stuck application that is "lugging down" your entire system? One cannot make proper corrective action recommendations until we're shown the Actvity Monitor print screens.

    Note: If CPU, DSK, Memory are all good (re: NO Bottlenecks), I'd then focus on other reasons. For example, Disk Utility / Repair fixes @ http://support.apple.com/kb/ts1417 Or, perhaps re-setting permissions.

    thanks.
     
  10. nightfly13 macrumors 6502a

    nightfly13

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Ranchi, India
    #10
    Yeah it's really, really complicated. And I basically did it 3 times, since the first time I hadn't plugged in some random cable and the second time... yeah I forget the second issue but had to take it apart 3 times to get everything right. Also upgraded the RAM, which added at least another 3 minutes :)
     
  11. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #11
    Damn... Luckily when I replaced my MBP's HDD I had someone that knew their stuff present to make sure I didn't screw up :)
     
  12. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #12
    Suction cups?
     
  13. 88 King macrumors 6502

    88 King

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Location:
    London, UK
    #13
    I think he is talking about add another hard drive in the imac, not just swap out the stock hard drive.

    To take out most of imac's guts and put them back together again in 5-6hrs is quite fast.

    Replacing hard drive in MBP is like child play compare to the above process.
     
  14. Quad5Ny macrumors 6502a

    Quad5Ny

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    Location:
    New York, USA
    #14
    Trash the contents of /private/var/log/, Restart, Empty Trash, Repair Permissions

    It's also safe to Trash the contents of /Library/Logs/, ~/Library/Logs/, /Library/Application Support/CrashReporter/ and ~/Library/Application Support/CrashReporter/

    ----------

    If it won't let you Trash the files do this:
    1. Open Terminal
    2. Type: cd /private/var/log/
    3. Type: sudo rm -R * (MAKE SURE YOUR IN THE LOG FOLDER, Because this will delete everything in the current folder)
    4. Enter your password
    5. Restart
    6. Open Disk Utility and Repair Permissions
     

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