Computer freezing up and spinning beachballs

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Since I upgraded to Snow leopard I have had problems with Mail causing the entire computer to freeze up and creating spinning beach balls. I had numerous conversations with Apple support and they were never able to solve the problem. I even uninstalled and reinstalled Snow Leopard .

Now things have gotten much worse. Any program not just mail will cause my computer freezes up. It happens at least 2-3 times an hour. Then I have to shut it down with the on/off button because it will not let me force quit. This is not good for my machine

This is what I have done to try to solve this problem:
I cleared cookies and the cache.
Checked my hard drive in Disk Utilities and it says the HD volume is OK
I ran "repair disk permissions"
I checked to see if I had enough space on my hard drive. It says I have 209.55 GB of available space and I have used 39.91 GB

I checked the Activity Monitor and it showed Pages in 102.0 MB ( on last check) -----Pages outs 0---- Swaps 0. On numerous checks it always shows Pages out and swaps as 0

I switched from Safari to Firefox

I make sure no more that 2 applications are open at one time .
I had some links on my dock and I removed those.


Does any one have any other ideas for me to try?
This problem is very frustrating .
Thank you
Barbara
 
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chas_m

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The hard drive is very likely dying. Back up your stuff and replace it or have a tech test it.
 
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How old is your Mac, or more specially, it's hard drive?

It sounds like it's failing and I'd make sure I had a current backup clone using CCC (Carbon Copy Cloner) or maybe SD (SuperDuper), but at least with Time Machine.
 
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My computer is almost 7 years old and it is the original hard drive. I bought it Jan 9, 2008.

When I checked the HD in Disk Utilities ( using the microscope icon) it said the HD volume was OK. Does it say it is OK even when the HD is actually one step from failure ?

I have an external hard drive and I back things up every day .
I don't know how to transfer the files to a new computer from my external hard drive. Will the Apple store do that for me ?

Does the external hard drive back up my bookmarks too ? I have a gazillion of those and there are split between Safari and Firefox. I could not save bookmarks to the main Safari files when I was on Firefox so I set up bookmark tags for Firefox too .

It looks like i better push up the plan to buy a new computer :(

Thanks . At least I know I checked everything possible
Barbara
 
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Buying a new Mac because the hard drive is probably failing is a bit of overkill, but definitely an option. ;)

Yes, even when DU says the SMART test passed or verified, a drive can fail at any time.

Depending on what and how you're doing your backup, all your data should be available, but make sure all the stuff you want and need is actually included in the backup.
 
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My computer came with 2 GB of memory and I installed another 2 GB for a total of 4GB. That is the max amount of memory allowed for my model.

Mavericks needs 4GB just for the OS so I can't upgrade . There is no point in spending the money for a new HD when the rest of the computer has become obsolete . Apple no longer supports my version of Safari and I keep getting a little pop up say they will not be supporting Snow leopard so I need to upgrade both and I can't

I don't know how to check if everything is being backed up. I can see my documents are there when I go into Time Machine. When I looked for bookmarks there is a list but it is all unrecognizable letters and numbers. They do not show the actual book mark site as they do on my bookmark list .

I only found the bookmarks for Safari not the ones I set when I was on Firefox.
I am hoping this computer holds out until I buy the new one and then I will take the current one to the Apple store and ask them to transfer my stuff to the new computer .

I am going to be sure I buy the maximum amount of memory so I don't run into this issue again of not having enough memory to upgrade .

Thanks again
Barbara
 
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pigoo3

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There is no point in spending the money for a new HD when the rest of the computer has become obsolete .

Hard drives are really not that expensive. And since you've only used 40gig out of a 250gig hard drive…you wouldn't even need to purchase another 250 (you could purchase something smaller to save a few bucks).

Here's a 120gig hard drive for just $19.99!:)

Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 ST3120026AS 120GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 1.5Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive -OEM w/ 1 Year Warranty - Newegg.com

If you wanted something larger…here's a 320gig drive for $24.99:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148879

- Nick
 
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Nick, if I buy a new HD how do I deal with the fact I don't have enough memory to upgrade and the OS X I am using is no longer going to be supported? I checked with Apple when I installed the 2 extra GB of memory and they told me that the most memory I can have on my computer is 4 GB which is what I now have
I would need to have some one install a new HD I have no idea how to do that .

For my out dated Safari I can transfer everything to Firefox

If it was lack of HD space I could save some files to an external HD .
Is there a work around to deal with the memory needed for Mavericks which says it is 4GB and that is the max I can have on my computer ?
Thanks
Barbara
 
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pigoo3

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Nick, if I buy a new HD how do I deal with the fact I don't have enough memory to upgrade and the OS X I am using is no longer going to be supported?

You don't have to upgrade all the way to Mavericks (10.9)…you could upgrade to Lion (10.7) or Mountain Lion (10.8).

I checked with Apple when I installed the 2 extra GB of memory and they told me that the most memory I can have on my computer is 4 GB which is what I now have.

Technically speaking…your iMac can be upgraded to 6gig of ram. Since you have 2 x 2gig currently installed…you would only need to purchase a 4gig stick of ram (2gig + 4gig = 6gig).

For my out dated Safari I can transfer everything to Firefox

Or you could use Chrome. Which is what I did recently.:)

Is there a work around to deal with the memory needed for Mavericks which says it is 4GB and that is the max I can have on my computer ?

Technically according to Apple…you only need a minimum of 2gig of ram to run Mavericks. So with the 4gig of ram currently installed…it's really not the worst case (4gig is better than 2gig).:) And as I mentioned above…you can upgrade to 6gig of ram.

OS X Mavericks: System Requirements

- Nick
 
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JFYI, all 2008 iMacs can use and support 6GB of memory using SL 10.6.8 and later, using one 2 GB and one 4 GB SO-DIMM module, just like our mid-late 2007 24" iMac can that's still being used successfully with SL 10.6.8.

And they can all use any OS X up to Mavericks which also handles memory differently and more efficiently.

And as mentioned, most HDDs are cheap these days. ;)
 
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Nick here are the spec from Apple on the max memory my computer is allowed
iMac (Mid 2007): Memory Specifications

Do you think I can still go to 6GB even though it says 4GB is my limit?

It looks like I may need to pay for a diagnostic and then pay to have them put in a hard drive if that is the problem.

When my PC HD crashed they told me they could put in a new HD for around $125 plus the $100 for the diagnostic , but they could not guarantee the Mother board or other components would last a long time on my older computer.


That would be the risk here too .
 
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JFYI, all 2008 iMacs can use and support 6GB of memory using SL 10.6.8 and later, using one 2 GB and one 4 GB SO-DIMM module, just like our mid-late 2007 24" iMac can that's still being used successfully with SL 10.6.8.

And they can all use any OS X up to Mavericks which also handles memory differently and more efficiently.

And as mentioned, most HDDs are cheap these days. ;)

I bought mine in January and according to Apple using my Part, Model and serial number it is a Mid 2007 model .

I am running Snow Leopard 10.6.8 . Maybe I should chance it and try to upgrade to Mavericks and see what happens
 
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You'll find the REAL specs, not Apple's specs for your specific iMac model here:
Apple iMac Specs (All iMac Tech Specs) @ EveryMac.com

And yes, forget what Apple says, your iMac can use a total of 6GB RAM installed - if you need it. ;)

For light work, 4GB works OK.
 

pigoo3

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I bought mine in January and according to Apple using my Part, Model and serial number it is a Mid 2007 model .

For some reason I thought you had a 2008 model...but as you can see from the Everymac.com link member "pm-r" linked...mid-2007 iMac's can also be upgraded to 6gig of ram.

I am running Snow Leopard 10.6.8 . Maybe I should chance it and try to upgrade to Mavericks and see what happens

A mid-2007 iMac is the oldest iMac that meets the specs to run Mavericks. This also means that it may also be one of the computer models to run Mavericks the slowest. So sure...you can give it a shot and see what happens. But be aware...it is much much much easier to upgrade a Mac computers OS than it is to downgrade later if things aren't going well.

I guess some input from other folks with a mid-2007 iMac running Mavericks would help (good, bad, or acceptable performance). But this would depend on how many folks out there are doing this.

- Nick
 
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chas_m

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Contrary to Nick, I'd strongly recommend getting a new(er) computer. As you've correctly pointed out, fixing the hard drive will still leave you with a computer that is unsupported and will struggle to run the newer OS versions. You got seven years out of it (well above average), it's time to retire that model generally, if for no other reason than security.

I can't see a reason to throw good money after bad in this particular case. If you have been using Time Machine regularly and have not altered its default functionality, then you should be good to jump to another machine. The Apple Store can do the transfer from your backup drive, or you can (it's incredibly straightforward: turn on machine, connect backup drive when asked, voila). You can have them check the validity of your Time Machine backup ahead of getting the new machine if you want.
 

pigoo3

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Contrary to Nick, I'd strongly recommend getting a new(er) computer.

Hey...I agree. A newer computer would provide a better Mavericks experience.:) But...maybe it's not in the OP's budget at the moment (a newer computer many times never is)...sometimes just got to do it!:)

I just wanted to point out that the OP's current computer could do it (upgrade to Mavericks)...it just may not be a great experience. This is why I also mentioned that the OS could be upgraded to 10.7 or 10.8 as an alternative.

And of course things could stay the way they are...and just replace the HD...if the HD is the source of the "beachballs" (which I think was the primary/initial topic of the thread).;)

- Nick
 
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We (my wife) still have and use a mid-late 2007 24" iMac running SL 10.6.8 and 6GB RAM and have no troubles or concerns.

Its hard drive decided to just quit and die when I was using it a few years ago, right in the middle of an afternoon for no reason at all. No question on replacing the HDD, which I did using a WD Black 7200RPM 1TB drive. No regrets at all and it runs quite well for what it's used for.

But I really wonder why so many post that OS X SL 10.6.8 is no longer "supported" and could be a security risk. May be for some, but we're not included.

There is absolutely no personal info or data on that iMac that someone couldn't find in a phonebook etc. Nada!!

Besides which, it's behind two password protected routers, Firewall is On and enabled and even Little Snitch is installed and enabled, and even Firewall Stealth mode could be enabled if we were really paranoid.

Apple even provided a security update in January 2014 and it's malware list still is being kept up to date.

So other than any operator idiocity, which is highly unlikely, I'd say we are still quite safe I'd say. ;)
 

pigoo3

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But I really wonder why so many post that OS X SL 10.6.8 is no longer "supported" and could be a security risk. May be for some, but we're not included.

There is absolutely no personal info or data on that iMac that someone couldn't find in a phonebook etc. Nada!!

Besides which, it's behind two password protected routers, Firewall is On and enabled and even Little Snitch is installed and enabled, and even Firewall Stealth mode could be enabled if we were really paranoid.

Apple even provided a security update in January 2014 and it's malware list still is being kept up to date.

So other than any operator idiocity, which is highly unlikely, I'd say we are still quite safe I'd say. ;)

The type or aspect of security you're thinking about is…some neferious individual trying to break into your network or computer to gain access to personal info.

Other types of security (which come with Security Updates from Apple)…are protection against potential viruses, malware (trojan horses, worms, spyware, bots, bugs, etc. etc.).

Having two password protected routers, a firewall, etc. does not protect you against these things. These things get onto/into someone's computer because of the user. Yes we "preach" practicing "safe-computing". But sometimes even the best of us make an accidental mistake…and click on something (that looks ok)…or visit a website (that looks ok).

The "bad guys" are always a couple steps ahead of the "good guys"…and all it takes is a new method to deceive folks (to fool them) into doing something that looks safe…and really isn't.

Finally. The reason why you received a 10.6.x Security Update in January, 2014 is (if you really did, since the article below says the last one was September, 2013). The end of support from Apple didn't start until February, 2014.

Apple retires Snow Leopard from support, leaves 1 in 5 Macs vulnerable to attacks | Computerworld

- Nick
 
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The Jan 2014 security thing seems to have been something for Safari and maybe iTunes. And yes, "safe-computing" is definitely used.
 
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I would go with a newer model Apple, even a used newer model. There are good reasons for this. Here are two.

There are only two kinds of computer users: 1) those who have experienced a hard drive failure, and 2) those who have yet to do so. Murphy's Law and corollaries state that this will happen at the worst possible time, and that you probably did not back up sufficiently. The older the HDD, the more likely the failure.

Moore's Law anticipates that any machine 8 years old is very outdated, and will be unsupported. Such a machine will have outdated memory schema, data paths, and storage.

Let's face it. Our machines do not last.
 

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