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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

Mac booting up/saving data REAL slow - please help!


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williamhaviland

 
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Please can someone help me with a question concerning my Mac? I'm feeling really frustrated because I can't work out how to fix it. Unfortunately I'm extremely thick with technology, so that doesn't help matters.

Here is a summary of the problem. But first, my technical specs:

iMac [2008] 24" 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB RAM [DDR2]
Currently running 10.8.2, upgraded two days ago

--

I've had my iMac for nearly four years now, and I love it. I use it to record music on garageband, and it's indispensable for me. Up until recently, I've never had any problems.

About two months ago I finally upgraded from Leopard to Snow Leopard. This week I upgraded to the latest OS version [10.8.2]. Not suggesting this has anything to do with my ills, as I haven't a clue. Just trying to add information.

Recently, let's say the past few months, my iMac has seemed to slow down. Generally sluggish. I cleared out lots of data space. So now it has 250 GB free of its 499 GB available space. In addition I have a 1TB external drive. So, all okay there.

I've taken online advice and cleared caches, ran clean up scans, checked for viruses etc.

I noticed very recently [last couple of weeks] that backing up data is taking a PHENOMENALLY long time, and also, booting up the computer is taking an obscene amount of time too. The latter I can handle. The former I can't.

I [perhaps stupidly] thought that if I cleared out space, and then upgraded to 10.8, I might skip the ills. It seems I was wrong. Booting up now takes about 3 minutes, and I see lots of script I never saw before. Haven't a clue what any of it means, because as I said I'm a bit 'fick' with tech.

More worryingly, I currently don't have a data back-up, having erased my time machine back-ups [don't ask me why, I don't know]. So I want to back-up my data to my external drive. What used to take me about 1 hour to do is now advising me it will take 2 days!!! Yes, 2 days. To back-up about 240 GB of data. That's too long, no?

I'm trying to do it piece by piece.

Anyway, I'm waffling. Hope someone is still reading this : ) here is my central question:

Are there any things I can do to fix either the boot-up delay, and/or the ridiculously slow time machine back-up/general backing up/file copy speed? I can't add RAM, because this model can only take 4 GB, which is already has. Have checked that.

Can't clear any more data/logs/cache etc. Can't clear out any more apps etc. all that has been done.

Here were my thoughts: I wondered if it might be possible for me to save copies of all the data files/applications I need on my external drive, and then do a full system restore, as if I were selling my iMac to someone else and needed to clean it. What do you think? Might this work? If so, I'd be happy to try it, but would I be able to do a system restore, that cleaned everything and then let me go straight in to 10.8.2 that I bought in the App Store? If so, can someone tell me how that would be done?

Or would I have to go from initial OS disk, then upgrades, then the final App Store one?

Please can someone advise me [in very simple - yes I REALLY mean it, simple language!] on this? Or does anyone have any other suggestions, or things I might try? I'm really worried my machine is dying. So would appreciate any suggestions guys.

Thanks so much for reading this far : )

Will
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chscag

 
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There could be a number of things that are causing the slow downs. Taking 3 minutes to boot is definitely unacceptable. See if you can follow along here:

1. Remove - completely uninstall any and all anti virus software. There are no viruses in the wild that can infect a Mac. Some trojans and malware yes. But you can avoid those by safe and smart computing.

2. Remove any Mac "cleanup" utilities you may have installed. Again, uninstall them completely. The only Mac cleanup and maintenance tool we recommend is the free OnyX utility which you can download from here.

3. Run a check on your hard drive: Boot to your Recovery partition by holding down the command and R keys as soon as you hear the boot sound. Enter Disk Utility and do a verify and repair for the hard drive. Also repair permissions while you're at it.

4. Open System Preferences and click on "Users & Groups". Now click on the "Login Items" tab to see what programs are starting when you boot your iMac. If there are some that you don't need, click on the small lock, enter your password, then highlight which startup item you don't want and press the small minus button at the bottom of the box.

Report back the results of all the above. Also keep in mind that Mountain Lion requires more resources to run than did Snow Leopard. Your machine is beginning to show its age although it should certainly perform better than what you state.
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harryb2448

 
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Further how much free space is there on the drive? Needs at least 15% to operate anywhere near its peak. Also uninstall MacKeeper and such if you have it. Download Onyx, ML version, and run it.


http://www.onyxmac.com/how-to-use-onyx-for-mac.html

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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For being extremely thick with technology, kudos goes out to the OP for a clear and concise post, albeit a little long.
Follow what the 2 gents above have posted and get back to us, and welcome to the forum.

Cheers

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williamhaviland

 
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Thank you all for the replies, I'm really grateful! I am just busy with a few things now. I will do all of this later today, and send replies.

Thank you again : )
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williamhaviland

 
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Okay, so to everybody, in reply:

[to chscag]

1. All antivirus software removed/uninstalled.

2. All Mac 'cleanup' utilities removed.

3. I booted to the Recovery partition, and did the verify and repair procedures. Plus the repair permissions.

4. I'd already cleared all login items from system preferences.

RESULTS: I have restarted a few times now, just to check the outcome. It now takes the same time, if not even longer, to boot up. Basically there is a considerable amount of script that it goes through at the beginning. That it never used to. I am not sure if it would help, but I could always jot down some of the lines of text that are appearing, and post them here. Any use?

Once in, I attempted to start a time machine back-up, just to compare the estimated timings for a 240 GB back-up. You may remember I said it was telling me it would take 2 days to back this up. It is now stating 1 day. So, some progress there it would seem : )

What would you recommend I try now? Should I go back to the Disk Utility and repeat the process? Or, is there anything else I might try? What about my suggestions for restoring the Mac completely?

Thanks : )

--

[to harryb2448]

Harry, available space as follows:

a) On iMac internal hard drive: 278 GB available, out of total of 499 GB
b) On external 1TB drive: 775 GB available, out of total of 999 GB

Thanks

--

[to TattooedMac]

Done, and thank you for the welcome!
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TattooedMac

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williamhaviland View Post
What about my suggestions for restoring the Mac completely?

Thanks : )
That would be a good bet, but make sure you make a recent backup, noting you have TM set up.

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ChrisMan287

 
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Mac Performance Tips – Remove Login Items You Don’t Need

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chscag

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisMan287 View Post
Did you read his post above? He's already done that.
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@williamhaviland

I'm beginning to suspect your hard drive may be failing. However, I would go ahead and do a reinstall anyway. But as member Tattoo recommended, make sure you back everything up first even if it takes a complete day to do it.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chscag View Post
Did you read his post above? He's already done that.
I must've skipped over that one

Maybe it is a failing HD.

15" PowerBook G4, 1.67GHz, 2GB RAM, 250GB HD ; 16GB iPad2.
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williamhaviland

 
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Thank you all. I'm genuinely thrilled at the number of replies I've received, and how helpful they've been. Thank you again.

I'm going to do a full back-up this weekend, and then I will try a reinstall. Here's where I do need a few pointers sadly: can I reinstall the new latest operating system [10.8] that I bought from the app store just a few days ago? If so, how do I go about that, because I don't have a physical copy of it. Please could someone tell me a) if I can, and b) if I can, how exactly?

If this is not possible, and if I need to go through each OX upgrade, well, I'll have to go to some friends first to re-aquire Snow Leopard. Because this one I never bought, rather I just borrowed a friend's disc, as he said there is more than 1 legal use available on each of them.

Oh, and then that leaves me I suppose with my final question: if I manage to do a full reinstall [either proposed routes] and still the problem exists, does that mean my iMac is on its way to the grave? Or is there like a surgery I could take it to to get it fixed?

Thank you all again for your kind assistance!
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First - disregard the time it initially says it's going to take to create a backup. That info, when attempting a 240 GB backup is useless in determining anything related to whether your hard drive is going kaput. There is no way to determine whether the time is related to the type of files being moved, the speed of your connection, the read speed of your internal, the write speed of your external and/or any combination of all the above.

You will be able to reinstall ML - either by booting to the recovery partition or by re-downloading ML and creating a USB install disk. In your situation, because it seems that you "may" have a failing hard drive, it would be best to create a ML install disk on USB - how to.

If your issue is a software one, the clean install will take care of it. If it is a hard drive on the way out, then a replacement hard drive will solve it.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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williamhaviland

 
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I attempted doing the USB install disk today with my small USB stick drive thing. But alas it does not have enough memory. And so I thought about using my main [1TB] hard disk to do it, but the process seems to want to erase the entire hard disk. Which I don't fancy doing.

So what I will do is buy another hard disk in the near future, and then attempt this. I will come back with my findings when that's done!

Thanks again for all the help you've given up to this point. Appreciate it.

Will
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I will bet you a dollar you had one of those ripoff Mac "cleanup" programs installed (and anti-virus as well by the sound of it) and didn't uninstall them fully/properly. I see a lot of this, mostly involving MacKeeper.
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