VERY Frustrated with my late 2007 iMac SLOOOW

Mikebike125

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 25, 2007
381
10
I have a late 2007 iMac 2.4 Intel Core 2 Duo with 4GB ram in it. I have a 500GB HD with 130GB free and I am running Mavericks on it. I have gone through several of the "how to speed up your mac" threads and have barely anything that starts up when the iMac is booted up. I have run the ONYX program and repaired all the permissions and all of the other things that it does. Rebooted the iMac to clear the RAM.. I don't know what else to do. This thing beachballs and takes FOREVER to open up almost any program. I run "Freememory" to make sure I am not running the RAM into the ground and even when I have 1.5GB of free RAM it still runs slow.

This thing ran WAAAY faster with Snow Leopard on it. I just don't think Apple should have even allowed my machine to be upgraded to Mavericks if they knew it was going to run this slow. It is really an embarrassment. I am not able to purchase a new iMac at this time so I am stuck with what I have. I almost wish I never upgraded to Mavericks.
 

ssls6

macrumors 6502a
Feb 7, 2013
535
144
I have a late 2007 iMac 2.4 Intel Core 2 Duo with 4GB ram in it. I have a 500GB HD with 130GB free and I am running Mavericks on it. I have gone through several of the "how to speed up your mac" threads and have barely anything that starts up when the iMac is booted up. I have run the ONYX program and repaired all the permissions and all of the other things that it does. Rebooted the iMac to clear the RAM.. I don't know what else to do. This thing beachballs and takes FOREVER to open up almost any program. I run "Freememory" to make sure I am not running the RAM into the ground and even when I have 1.5GB of free RAM it still runs slow.

This thing ran WAAAY faster with Snow Leopard on it. I just don't think Apple should have even allowed my machine to be upgraded to Mavericks if they knew it was going to run this slow. It is really an embarrassment. I am not able to purchase a new iMac at this time so I am stuck with what I have. I almost wish I never upgraded to Mavericks.
Here is something to consider....

If you boot snow leopard and then check for how many files are open by the OS, you get a few hundred. If you boot Mavericks/Yosemite, you get 10-20X more. These newer operating systems have open files all over the place and older HDDs have a real hard time keeping up with this.

This is one of the biggest reasons that SSDs make such a huge impact on the older macs (my opinion). They have an IOPS (file operations per second) that is 50-100X better than HDDs even if their sustained large write/read is only 2X better.

My 2009 iMac showed me this first hand. It was so fast with Snow Leopard but crawled along until I added an SSD. Now it feels just has fast as it did when I bought it.
 

Arran

macrumors 601
Mar 7, 2008
4,353
2,725
Atlanta, USA
I have a 2007 iMac just like that (Core 2 duo, 4GB) and I'm on my 3rd replacement hard drive.

The current drive is a Seagate 2TB Hybrid SSD+HD. Cost $130 in MicroCenter back in Nov 2104.

I replaced it because of slow performance after the Mavericks to Yosemite upgrade in October 2014. It made a big difference after the previous WD 2TB "Green" drive (that drive had low power consumption and ran cool, but it's slowness became very noticeable under Yosemite)

The hard drive takes about an hour to replace. iFixit has a great illustrated guide on how to open the iMac up, etc.
 

Bomb Bloke

macrumors regular
Feb 12, 2015
222
6
Tasmania (AU)
If you've got the space, why not split your drive's partition in two - making a new partition at around 50gb, say - then install Mavericks into the empty space? Don't migrate anything onto that new drive, just put a fresh install there and see how fast it is. You could try the same thing with a USB hard drive.

Playing around in this way should give you some idea as to whether the issue is in some software that's still lurking within your main installation, Mavericks itself, or the internal HDD.
 

SD-B

macrumors 6502
Apr 1, 2009
399
12
To me this sounds like a failing HDD. Try to verify the disk using disk utility.



I have a late 2009 MBP that had something earlier than Maverick on it but 3 weeks ago I decided to be "smart"(or not so smart) and put Maverick on.

As soon as I did so the hard drive more or less died....LOL

It went from turning in in about ...I don know, 2 minutes in full to I think 45?
LOL

Anyhow, I checked the drive and it says it is failing....actually I think they are wrong and it already has but suffice to say, it won't let me format and reinstall Snow Leopard.

But in my case i was fortunate in that i already had another newer MBP and a new 27" retina.


So I would have to agree with those that say the drive is failing



I should mention that I too had looked a week or two before doing that and it didn't say it was dying but it died really quickly once it did
 

Mikebike125

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 25, 2007
381
10
I have a 2007 iMac just like that (Core 2 duo, 4GB) and I'm on my 3rd replacement hard drive.

The current drive is a Seagate 2TB Hybrid SSD+HD. Cost $130 in MicroCenter back in Nov 2104.

I replaced it because of slow performance after the Mavericks to Yosemite upgrade in October 2014. It made a big difference after the previous WD 2TB "Green" drive (that drive had low power consumption and ran cool, but it's slowness became very noticeable under Yosemite)

The hard drive takes about an hour to replace. iFixit has a great illustrated guide on how to open the iMac up, etc.
This sounds like something I think I can do. I have my whole drive backed up using time machine. I don't think I will have any problems doing the physical HD change, I am just very scared about getting all of my information back onto the new drive. Can you tell me what I would need to do to restore the information from Time Machine onto the new drive?

Another question, you said that you got an SSD+HD.. Does that mean that it is like the "Fusion Drive"?? I am kind of a novice when it comes to doing this sort of thing but am very interested in making that sort of upgrade since $130 is not too bad. Please walk me through this and I will order the parts.

Thanks.
 

liphonearth

macrumors newbie
Jan 6, 2010
27
0
I have a late 2007 iMac 2.4 Intel Core 2 Duo with 4GB ram in it. I have a 500GB HD with 130GB free and I am running Mavericks on it. I have gone through several of the "how to speed up your mac" threads and have barely anything that starts up when the iMac is booted up. I have run the ONYX program and repaired all the permissions and all of the other things that it does. Rebooted the iMac to clear the RAM.. I don't know what else to do. This thing beachballs and takes FOREVER to open up almost any program. I run "Freememory" to make sure I am not running the RAM into the ground and even when I have 1.5GB of free RAM it still runs slow.

This thing ran WAAAY faster with Snow Leopard on it. I just don't think Apple should have even allowed my machine to be upgraded to Mavericks if they knew it was going to run this slow. It is really an embarrassment. I am not able to purchase a new iMac at this time so I am stuck with what I have. I almost wish I never upgraded to Mavericks.
I had an early 2008 MacBook Pro with 4GB of RAM and loaded Yosemite on it. Mavericks was getting slow, but Yosemite brought it to a crawl. I upgraded the RAM to 6G and discovered that at a clear boot, there were nearly 4G used just to run the OS.

My MBP spec'd out at 4GB max., but one slot was able to upgraded to bring it to 6GB. If its possible on yours, I'd do this. If not, I'd strongly recommend going back to Snow Leopard.

Of course, if you've got a failing hard drive, that's more crucial than any of the above.
 

tdhurst

macrumors 601
Dec 27, 2003
4,003
101
Phoenix, AZ
Owc

This sounds like something I think I can do. I have my whole drive backed up using time machine. I don't think I will have any problems doing the physical HD change, I am just very scared about getting all of my information back onto the new drive. Can you tell me what I would need to do to restore the information from Time Machine onto the new drive?

Another question, you said that you got an SSD+HD.. Does that mean that it is like the "Fusion Drive"?? I am kind of a novice when it comes to doing this sort of thing but am very interested in making that sort of upgrade since $130 is not too bad. Please walk me through this and I will order the parts.

Thanks.
OWC has videos. It can't get any easier for DIY.

If you're completely replacing the drive, you're going to need to make a USB stick so you can install an OS before using Time Machine to get your data back.

I do not believe, someone please correct me if I'm wrong, network boot will work on a new, third-party drive.

(But honestly, your computer is eight years old. The fact that it runs the latest OS at all is impressive, but maybe it's time to look at something new?)
 
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tdhurst

macrumors 601
Dec 27, 2003
4,003
101
Phoenix, AZ
Yeah but...

You could clone your old drive to your new one before you install it then just install it and reboot.
Yeah, but then he's not getting a nice, clean OS install.

Though in this case, that may not matter.

Carbon Copy Cloner can do this, easily, though you'll need an external enclosure for the new or old drive (you can swap the drives, hold option at startup, boot from the old drive now attached externally, then clone everything to your ne internal).
 

Mikebike125

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 25, 2007
381
10
I have a 2007 iMac just like that (Core 2 duo, 4GB) and I'm on my 3rd replacement hard drive.

The current drive is a Seagate 2TB Hybrid SSD+HD. Cost $130 in MicroCenter back in Nov 2104.

I replaced it because of slow performance after the Mavericks to Yosemite upgrade in October 2014. It made a big difference after the previous WD 2TB "Green" drive (that drive had low power consumption and ran cool, but it's slowness became very noticeable under Yosemite)

The hard drive takes about an hour to replace. iFixit has a great illustrated guide on how to open the iMac up, etc.
Is this the driveI would need?
http://www.microcenter.com/product/424145/Desktop_2TB_7,200_RPM_SATA_III_6Gb-s_35_Internal_Solid_State_Hybrid_Drive_STCL2000400

Do I need a 3.5" for my 20-inch, Mid 2007?
 

Arran

macrumors 601
Mar 7, 2008
4,353
2,725
Atlanta, USA
That's funny, I was just checking for you.

Yes, that's the drive. I dug out the old box and it's a STCL2000400. It's 7200 rpm (fastest). I think they make 5400 as well (slower). Can't comment on how that one would perform.

I'd skip the Time Machine restore and just use SuperDuper. The basic version is free and is all you need. I've used it several times. It will make a clone of your current drive onto your new one before you even open up your iMac. Of course, you'll need a way to connect your new hard drive to your mac externally for the cloning process. Any USB or firewire enclosure will do.

The neat thing is that once the clone is made, as a test you can set your Mac to boot and run OS X off the clone sitting in it's external enclosure. It should look and behave exactly like your old drive (might be a little slow since its running the OS over USB). All your files/apps/desktop should be EXACTLY like the old drive. If it's not then you can figure out what went wrong and try again - All without opening your Mac. (It's always worked perfectly, first time for me)

Once the clone looks okay, you open up your Mac, swap the drives, close it up and you are completely done.

One thing to note. I turn off time machine before I clone the drive. I don't want it kicking in while SuperDuper is copying the drive as that process - in itself - can take quite a while (overnight or even a day)

Edit: Just to set the right expectation, I really only use this iMac lightly. It's powered on 24x7x365 and does all of the following quite well...
  • iTunes server for the house (several AppleTV's and AirPlay speakers)
  • iPhoto repository for all of my family's photographs and home videos
  • Light surfing
  • Light photo and video editing (video only occassionally)
  • TurboTax, and other not terribly demanding apps :)

...so if you're planning on doing something heavier (like all-day HD video rendering plus gaming and streaming downloads concurrently) then you may see different results.

The biggest slowdown I saw when going to Yosemite was beachballing in iPhoto, iTunes and sometimes Safari. That's what prodded me into swapping the hard drive for the new hybrid one. That was back in November. Works great now and no complaints.
 
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Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,180
8,833
California
Can you tell me what I would need to do to restore the information from Time Machine onto the new drive?
I assume here your Time Machine backup is on a locally attached USB disk?

If it is, you do not need anything else. Just install the new drive then option key boot to the TM disk. That will get you the recovery screen.

Now start Disk Util and go to the erase tab and format the new disk to Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Then quit Disk Util and click restore. That will put the OS and your account and all data back on the new drive.

Lastly, shutdown and unplug the TM disk then startup. Once it starts go to System Prefs and in the Startup Disk pane set the new drive as the boot drive. Done.
 

Macsonic

macrumors 65816
Sep 6, 2009
1,473
17
Earth
Ran the disk Utility and it didn't show that anything is wrong with the HD so my HD is still in good shape.
You may also consider using DiskWarrior to rebuild your HD's directory and help optimize your HD aside from Disk Utillity. You may also consider adding a bit more ram even though your activity monitor shows some free ram.
 

Bomb Bloke

macrumors regular
Feb 12, 2015
222
6
Tasmania (AU)
Trust me, that won't always be the case with replacement drives. Making sure they're using the correct scheme is a quick step and can save you from having to go through the entire restore process multiple times.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,180
8,833
California
Trust me, that won't always be the case with replacement drives. Making sure they're using the correct scheme is a quick step and can save you from having to go through the entire restore process multiple times.
I understand what you are saying, and there is sure no harm in double checking. But is has nothing to do with the drive. If you pop in a new drive and go to the erase tab and select Mac OS Extended, it will already be set to GUID in my experience.

Your experience sounds different than mine. I have used dozens and dozens of hard drives, SSD drives, USB keys etc over the years on many different Intel Macs and every one I ever formatted to Mac OS Extended in the erase tab was automatically set to GUID.