Vague Request for Help with Slowing iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ta09, Sep 25, 2016.

  1. ta09 macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2009
    Good morning all (or whatever time of day it is in your neck of the woods),

    I'm hoping that I might be able to get a little help with some issues I'm having. I have a Late-2009 model iMac. It's been a really great machine and has served me well since I got it in 2010. i7, 4 gigs of ram, 1tb hard drive, upgraded to Sierra this week.

    Over the past few months I've noticed that it's just slowing to a drag. I mean, turn-it-on-and-make-a-sandwich-while-it-boots kind of slow. And then login-and-eat-the-sandwich-while-it-finishes-start-up slow. Safari will regularly freeze hard, loading Messages is painful, etc. It still runs the few programs I use very well (photoshop, photo mechanic, some games like Team Fortress or Civ 5) but normal system functions and web browsing are painful.

    I'd just chalk this up to the hard drive aging except for one thing: I have Win10 installed on a bootcamp partition and that runs substantially faster. Same drive, just different partitions. Win10 has maybe 80 gigs dedicated to it, with probably 60 free, and Sierra has the remainder of the 1TB drive, with right around 300 free.

    I know it's about time to replace the whole machine, but I'd like to prolong the life of it while I can. Does anyone have any ideas on why the MacOS side would run so much worse than the Win10 side of things? I know it's a vague question but I'm just looking for ideas here.
  2. danielwsmithee macrumors 65816

    Mar 12, 2005
    Both Mac OS X, and your user accounts can get cluttered with lots of junk over time. I had the same problem with my 2009 iMac a clean install and new user account solved it for me. When was the last time you totally wiped it and started from scratch?

    Does it do the same thing if you create a brand new account on the machine?
  3. tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2016
    Upgrade to an SSD

    macOS runs worse on hard drive than Windows
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Try a clean install of OS X. Its possible that like any OS, its gotten its fair share of cruft and debris.
  5. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Oct 25, 2015
    Open Disk Utility and run First Aid.

    Also, how much free space do you have on the Mac partition. If you run out of free space, that will slow things to a crawl.
  6. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Defrag the Mac partition.
    You'll have to "boot externally" to do this.

    Alternative solution:
    Use either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to clone the contents of the Mac partition to another (external) drive.
    Then, boot from the external clone.
    Re-initialize the Mac partition.
    Then, RE-clone the contents BACK TO the Mac partition.
    This will eliminate the thousands upon thousands of "fragments" on the Mac side (both files AND free space), and put your files "at the head end" of the drive, and leave a large contiguous area of "free space" behind them.
  7. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Oct 25, 2015
  8. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    You probably just need a new hard drive, if all the sectors with issues are on your OS X side this could well be the symptoms you see, HDD's often die within 5-6 years so you are doing well. As others said an SSD replacement will transform your computer.

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7 September 25, 2016