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

iMac - suddenly running slow


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BBMike

 
Member Since: Dec 27, 2007
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Hey people I'm new here

A few weeks ago I purchased one of the new iMacs (the 20" version). I immediately updated it from Tiger to Leopard and it's been running great, i was very impressed by the quality of the computer, the speed and the smoothness of the OS.

(sorry if this is long I am just trying to describe the problem the best way I can)

Lately (two days ago) the iMac is acting up on me, it became considerably slower. For example: when I listen to songs in itunes the music skips once every few seconds, when I watch a video on YouTube the movie also skips, when I'm tying my message right at this moment sometimes it freezes and only after a few seconds i see what i wrote.

I didn't install anything and didn't change anything. Although, the day it became slower was also the day I switched printers. I have one printer hooked up to the mac, I just took out the usb cable from the printer and put in the other printer. So basically the cable was shared between two printers.
I know that in Windows sometimes when you disconnect devices the computer becomes really really slow, maybe it is the same problem here.
Also, one of my widgets is a processor gage, it's low most of the time but once every few seconds it spikes up all the way to the end and then back down.

About the printers thing, I deleted both printers from list and plugged the cable in to the original printer I always use, problem did not stop. When I restart the computer the problem is solved but after an hour or so it comes back.

That's all I can say (again sorry if it's too long), hope someone can help me
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mac57

 
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Hi BBMike, welcome to Mac Forums!

Sorry that you are having a slowdown. First of all, could you tell us a little more about your machine: how much RAM, how much hard drive, etc.

Is it possible for you to capture the name of the application that causes CPU activity to spike periodically? You should be able to do this with Activity Monitor (available in your Utilities folder) vs. the widget you are looking at now.

I am wondering what happens if you leave it run for a few hours. I am speculating that maybe this is just Spotlight indexing files on your hard drive. It could be lots of other things, but this thought comes to mind immediately.

If you can get the name of the offending application from Activity Monitor, that might help point you in the right direction.

My Macs: iMac 27" 3.4 GHz, Mac Pro 3.2 GHz, PowerMac G5 Quad 2.5 GHz, G4 Cube with 1.2 GHz Upgrade
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My OS': Mac OS X Lion, Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Mac OS X Tiger, Mac OS 9.2.2, openSUSE 10.3
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BBMike

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac57 View Post
Hi BBMike, welcome to Mac Forums!

Sorry that you are having a slowdown. First of all, could you tell us a little more about your machine: how much RAM, how much hard drive, etc.

Is it possible for you to capture the name of the application that causes CPU activity to spike periodically? You should be able to do this with Activity Monitor (available in your Utilities folder) vs. the widget you are looking at now.

I am wondering what happens if you leave it run for a few hours. I am speculating that maybe this is just Spotlight indexing files on your hard drive. It could be lots of other things, but this thought comes to mind immediately.

If you can get the name of the offending application from Activity Monitor, that might help point you in the right direction.
It has 1 GB of RAM, 300 GB hard drive (only 30 are used) 2.4 Intel DC

Here's a screenshot of the activity monitor, I don't see anything suspicious and yet something is taking up all the processing power.
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mac57

 
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Click on the CPU header to sort the list by percentage of CPU. That should bring the culprit to the top.

Thanks for posting the screen shot. This shows that something that Activity Monitor is aware of is hogging the CPU - your "% System" number shows the whole story (as does the little graph to the side): 64.14 % System usage, 33.84% Idle. My PowerMac idles at between 95% and 99% consistently, with Safari, Thunderbird and Photoshop open and quiescent. SOMETHING is gobbling up your machine.

Sort the list by CPU occupancy and see if that helps. Hopefully it provides you with the "smoking gun".

My Macs: iMac 27" 3.4 GHz, Mac Pro 3.2 GHz, PowerMac G5 Quad 2.5 GHz, G4 Cube with 1.2 GHz Upgrade
My iStuff: 64GB iPhone 5, 64GB iPad4, 30GB iPod Video, 16GB iPod Touch
My OS': Mac OS X Lion, Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Mac OS X Tiger, Mac OS 9.2.2, openSUSE 10.3
I was on the Mac-Forums honor roll for September 2007
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BBMike

 
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clicked on the CPU header.. the process that's taking the most % is called pmTool. The second highest is Lexmark X73 Monitor. The lexmark is sometimes at 9% and then suddenly jumps to 40%. When I switched those printers I did have to install a Lexmark driver, that's when it got slow... I suspect that is the problem. I suspect that the pmTool process and the Lexmark Monitor are connected.

Every time I try to force quit the pmTool application it keeps on coming back. It goes away for a second, then idle becomes 95 ish .. then it comes back and idle is back down to 40-50. I will try to remove everything that has to do with that Lexmark driver and see if it works
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Chilbear

 
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Another thing would be to get more RAM. 1GB allows the machine to run, and 2 GB will make it run way better. If you can afford 2GB you will be set.

Last would be to repair permissions after every install.
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BBMike

 
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well buying more RAM wouldn't solve the problem... there was clearly something wrong

I uninstalled the Lexmark driver and everything is okay now... It's an old printer I only had to use it once because it has a scanner.. it's all good now. Thanks everyone for replying, you people are awesome!

Also, could you please elaborate on that repairing permission part? I never heard of that before
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MacHeadCase
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I saw from your screenshot that your Lexmark driver was PowerPC-only code meaning it ran under Rosetta, the translation app for Intel-based Macs, on your iMac.

Rosetta will translate most (but not all) PowerPC code only so the Intel Macs can use the programs. The downside is a big slowdown in most cases. When you see the Universal logo next to an app, it means it can run on both Intel and PowerPC Macs.

Try to go to Lexmark support and see if there isn't an update to the driver you need.

If not check out the supported drivers in Gutenprint, maybe your printer is on the list and will work better with Gutenprint than the one from Lexmark.
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I use a Lexmark X75 all in one PrintCentre and have found you have to run an uninstall program prior to doing a clean driver install.

The best driver I have found from the Lexmark web site is CJMX75L1.hqx.
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