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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jan 04, 2010
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    Rebuilding an iMac disk
    I'm not quite sure if this is the right Forum but I'm sure you'll guide me.

    My 24in iMac with 4GB of Intel Core 2 is now 6 years old. It has a 750 GB internal hard drive which I have partitioned to give 100GB for Windows. Of the remaining 650 GB, 130 GB is free. I have all the latest updates - Mavericks etc.
    The challenge I face is a dramatic slowing down of processing, a lack of response to mouse clicks and sometimes a freeze. Programs like Photoshop also fall over.
    I feel that I should wipe everything and clean up my machine completely.
    But is there a way that I can do that myself without losing the partition and all the Apps I have installed? Or should go to an authorised dealer? Or should I just buy a new iMac?
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBPhotos View Post
    I'm not quite sure if this is the right Forum but I'm sure you'll guide me.

    My 24in iMac with 4GB of Intel Core 2 is now 6 years old. It has a 750 GB internal hard drive which I have partitioned to give 100GB for Windows. Of the remaining 650 GB, 130 GB is free. I have all the latest updates - Mavericks etc.
    The challenge I face is a dramatic slowing down of processing, a lack of response to mouse clicks and sometimes a freeze. Programs like Photoshop also fall over.
    I feel that I should wipe everything and clean up my machine completely.
    But is there a way that I can do that myself without losing the partition and all the Apps I have installed? Or should go to an authorised dealer? Or should I just buy a new iMac?
    Those are all potential signs that your drive may be failing. Given the age of your iMac, if that's the original drive, then that's a very high probability. See my guide on how to check. In any event, start making backups, just to be sure!

  3. #3


    Member Since
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    Oh dear!

    Many thanks. I'll check out your guide.

    Fortunately I'm pretty good on backing up but I'll be shifting everything off my hard drive now!

  4. #4


    Member Since
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    I've followed the link you give but leads to a thread about NTFS. Have I got something wrong or is it my hard drive being difficult!!

  5. #5

    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBPhotos View Post
    I've followed the link you give but leads to a thread about NTFS. Have I got something wrong or is it my hard drive being difficult!!
    If you follow the link, it goes directly to a reply of mine with instructions on how to test for HDD failure.

  6. #6

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    The forum is acting a little sluggish currently - wait for it to load - you're in the correct thread - you're looking for post # 10 there.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
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  7. #7


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    Ah, Yes. Thank you.

    My first attempt took me to the top of the post but, as explained below, I've now found it and will pursue.

    In the meantime I had searched other threads and found guidance on using the Recovery mode (restart with Cmnd and R pressed down) and then Verify Disk. This showed up errors and an offer to repair the disk, which I clicked on, Success followed and things seem to be running much more smoothly now.

    Whether that means that my hard drive will behave properly now or I should be replacing it I know not. Fingers crossed.

  8. #8

    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBPhotos View Post
    Ah, Yes. Thank you.

    My first attempt took me to the top of the post but, as explained below, I've now found it and will pursue.

    In the meantime I had searched other threads and found guidance on using the Recovery mode (restart with Cmnd and R pressed down) and then Verify Disk. This showed up errors and an offer to repair the disk, which I clicked on, Success followed and things seem to be running much more smoothly now.

    Whether that means that my hard drive will behave properly now or I should be replacing it I know not. Fingers crossed.
    Funnily enough, another member had this exact same problem the other day. The SMART testing by DriveDx showed a warning that his drive was reaching end of life.
    http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/app...imac-disk.html

  9. #9


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by lifeisabeach View Post
    Funnily enough, another member had this exact same problem the other day. The SMART testing by DriveDx showed a warning that his drive was reaching end of life.
    http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/app...imac-disk.html
    I bought DriveDx and ran the tests. No problems except that the Spin up Rate was noted as average. Everything else seemed to be 100%. Very puzzling.

    So, I think I'm back to my original question: Is there any recommended approach for giving the hard drive a good spring clean without losing the Apps and destroying my Windows partition? (I keep the Windows XP partition solely for Flight Simulator FX; sadly, Windows still has the best overall flight simulator.)

  10. #10

    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBPhotos View Post
    I bought DriveDx and ran the tests. No problems except that the Spin up Rate was noted as average. Everything else seemed to be 100%. Very puzzling.

    So, I think I'm back to my original question: Is there any recommended approach for giving the hard drive a good spring clean without losing the Apps and destroying my Windows partition?
    Since the drive checked out, we recommend getting Onyx and run its full suite of maintenance and cache cleaning tools. This may help a lot. There's not much else to "spring cleaning" to be done. I see you mentioned you use Photoshop. You may benefit by defragging your hard drive. People who work with a lot of media files tend to benefit the most from this.

    EDIT: And you may still want to consider replacing the drive anyway, especially if it's more than a few years old. At the minimum, have a backup plan in place just in case it fails with little to no notice. The SMART monitoring tools like DriveDx are very good at what they do, but not infallible and can only rely on the drive's self-reporting mechanism.
    (I keep the Windows XP partition solely for Flight Simulator FX; sadly, Windows still has the best overall flight simulator.)
    Better than X-Plane?
    X-Plane 10 for Mac | X-Plane.com

  11. #11

    chscag's Avatar
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    (I keep the Windows XP partition solely for Flight Simulator FX; sadly, Windows still has the best overall flight simulator.)

    Better than X-Plane?

    X-Plane 10 for Mac | X-Plane.com
    I think so also. While X-Plane is a great app and simulator the drawback is that it requires the DVD to be in the disk drive at all times while the program is running. I'm not sure what they're doing about that now since most new Macs no longer have a disk drive.

  12. #12


    Member Since
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    Many thanks for all the helpful advice. Looks like I need to be very cautious and think about a new drive, or better still a new iMac!

    Probably not the place to discuss X-Plane but I think The dreaded Microsoft scores on the much superior scenery availability. I have both and to avoid keeping the DVD in the drive, you can buy a USB plug which does the same job from X-Plane.

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