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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

iMac - new imac running really slow

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claydoctor's Avatar
Member Since: Jun 02, 2007
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I just purchased a used imac (isight) g5 dual core 2, 17" screen. System profiler shows 2-512K sticks of memory. But my first attempts to use the mac...every operation is extremely slow, after each click I have to wait a few seconds, the wheel spins, and eventually, sometimes after a very long wait I can click to the next function. Running tiger 10.4.8. It acts like it has no memory and each command is accessing the harddrive, like an old G3 does with newe software and low memory. I want to do a clean wipe and re install with panther (the newest system discs I own) , but it won't let me. Not sure what this could be. Could the memory just be bad, both sticks? How do I diagnose this? anyone have any ideas? Thanks.
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Welcome to Mac-Forums, claydoctor.

First of all you either have an Intel Dual Core 2 iMac or you have a PowerPC G5 iMac. It can't be both.

Second, why can't you use the disks that came with the iMac? In them, you would have Apple's Hardware Test, your iMac's own hardware diagnostic tool. Why would you want to install Panther instead? And if you do have an Intel-based iMac that would explain why you can't use a Panther disk anyway: Panther isn't compatible with the chip architecture.
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Alexis's Avatar
Member Since: Apr 20, 2006
Posts: 2,255
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Mac Specs: Al iMac 20" 2.4Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo

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We need more details.

Which programs, what are you doing that's slow, what do you have open in Activity Monitor, what widgets are open?

Help us here.
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Here's the imac specs: 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 17-inch iMac
(MA590LL). The imac came with 10.4.8 tiger loaded, no discs. I am just trying to isolate why it is running the way it is. Very slow, click to click, with the wheel spinning pretty much all the time. If I could do as you suggest, I would. Guess I just need to upgrade to tiger, but was waiting for leopard before I buy. My hunch is though, that it is a memory problem, and a clean system reload won't matter. Like, although it reads that the memory sticks are there and operating, it isn't using them. ?? Does that info help? Like to know what you think. Thanks for the interest in helping.
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You don't need to upgrade to Tiger, that's the OS that is installed on your iMac. Tiger is OS X 10.4.x.
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Brown Study

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Member Since: Mar 11, 2004
Location: Winnipeg
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Mac Specs: G4 Tiger and OS 9

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Download the free RAM tester Rember.

There oughtta be a law against selling Macs without the system disks. They are an integral part of the machine, and not doing so is like shouting "This is a scam!" It's like selling a car without wheels.
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Just had a look at the Apple website and this is the type of RAM that needs to be installed on your iMac: PC2-5300 (667MHz) DDR2 memory. And I would contact the former owner of this iMac: having the disks that came with your Mac is to me essential. If ever you need to reinstall anything or troubleshoot hardware with a diagnostic tool, you don't have them.

Now you'll have to buy the OS if you need to install and you still don't have the installers for the iLife suite nor do you have the Hardware Test.

To know what type of RAM is installed go to the blue Apple logo in the menubar and select About this Mac.
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SpindleX's Avatar
Member Since: Jan 04, 2007
Location: Asheville, NC
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Mac Specs: iMac Alum 20'' 2.4GHz | iMac G4 | iPod Silver Nano 2GB

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Run Disk Utility and 'verify the hard drive' and 'repair disk permissions.
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