Why is my G4 iMac 17" so slowwwww?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by resUweN, May 14, 2010.

  1. resUweN macrumors newbie

    May 14, 2010
    I freed up 25% of HD space, repaired permissions, running Macaroni, no external drives attached, 750MB RAM. Everything is slow from file opening to browsing to running any apps, even when only running 1 app at a time.

    (Seems like it started slowing down a couple years ago after extensively using iMovie. I've deleted all movie files.)
    Anything I can do to get it back to it's speedy self?
  2. quantum003 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 27, 2009
    Try backing up important files and clean re-installing Mac OS X. 10.4 would be fastest on your machine.
  3. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    You must remember that the G4 iMacs are old machines. They can't be called "fast" when compared to modern computers. Tiger would run the fastest on it. They are good at light single tasking, like static web pages or playing music in iTunes.
  4. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    What's the processor speed? Which version of OS X are you running? Does the hard drive check out okay if you Verify Disk with Disk Utility? Is all the RAM showing up if you go to the Apple menu and select About This Mac?
  5. resUweN thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 14, 2010
    800MHz, 768MB SDRAM, OS 10.4.11, Passed verification.

    Any other suggestions besides wiping the drive. The thing is so slow, backing up the files estimates taking a whole day. Is there some diagnostic program to see what's causing the slow down?
  6. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    That could be the hard drive starting to fail.

    Also, make sure you run the daily scripts that OS X uses to clean up house. this is especially important after you've deleted a whole lot of stuff. Sometimes it also helps to leave the PC on overnight so that it can optimize the hard drive in whatever way it does.
  7. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    Okay, 800MHz is going to be a bit slower than my 1GHz, I imagine. One thing I've notice with mine is that with it running some of the newer versions of software, that they can be a bit slower at some things than previous older versions were. I only have my iMac and older Macs as a point of reference for speed, (don't have any modern Intel Macs) but my iMac does not seem terribly slow to me.

    As far as the backup is concerned, is that estimated using USB, if so it's because USB on our iMacs is only USB 1.1, slow for things like hard drives. If you've got an external firewire drive you could make a bootable clone to it using Carbon Copy Cloner and after checking to see if it's bootable, if so, then boot from the external, erase the iMac's internal hard drive and clone back to it from the external to the internal, this effectively defrags the hard drive and may offer an improvement in speed if the internal was severely fragmented.

    Do you have any (many) startup items running that could be hogging the processor?

    In Activity Monitor you can view All Processes and sort by %CPU to see what running and if anything seems to be using an abnormal amount of the processor.

    One last thing you could try that's quick and dirty is to try a Safe Boot to see if that clears up anything. Here's how:

    :apple: Mac OS X: What is Safe Boot, Safe Mode?
  8. Terminal.app macrumors 6502


    Sep 29, 2009
    In my experience, an OS reinstall always helps with sluggishness. In OP's case I would also try and upgrade to at least 1 GB of RAM.
  9. resUweN thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 14, 2010
    OK, I'll try one of the suggestions this weekend. Thanks much.

    Btw: it's been real slow for several months, would an HD fail over this time or more abruptly?
    The computer is almost always on (sleep) and I run macaroni, I thought it performs the update/scripts thing, no?

    I'm not sure which backup route the time was as we have both USB and Firewire Western Digital external drives. So, I'll see what the FW estimates.
  10. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    I believe that Macaroni does run the daily/weekly/monthly maintenance scripts, so you should be okay as far as those go.

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