Should I Revert to Snow Leopard?

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Hey Folks,

My computer is running very slow. It struggles to perform basic tasks such as starting up, loading applications and saving documents, among other things. I spoke with a certified Mac tech who said downgrading to Snow Leopard would speed it up significantly. Is this true? What are the potential drawbacks of reverting? Will there be compatibility issues? If I were to do this, how would I do it? I don't have the original install disk for Snow Leopard. If reverting to Snow Leopard is not such a good idea, how else could I speed it up? I've already run First Aid and freed up about 200 GB on my disk.

I'm running a mid-2007 iMac with a 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4 GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM memory on OS X 10.9.5
 
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Well, were you running Snow Leopard on that machine before? I'm pretty sure that would have shipped with Snow Leopard. I got mine in late 2007 and it had it. There could be compatibility issues if you installed some new software, But, to revert, you need that disc. They used to be available from Apple for $20US, but I'm not sure if they sell them anymore.
 
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I believe my iMac came with Leopard 10.5. I'm currently running Mavericks. So there's no way to download Snow Leopard from the web and install it from that?
 
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You can purchase a Snow Leopard disk from Apple for $20. I don't think there is a way to legally download Snow Leopard. You can find an online downloads, but this forum frowns upon illegal and unethical stuff and people will not get help doing this. I am not inferring you would do this or are that type of person...not at all. I'm just putting that info out there. Do you have the app Onyx? It may help speed things up.
 
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Well, I did purchase the Snow leopard install disc back when it was released, but I haven't been able to find it, so I'm a little reluctant to buy it again. But more importantly, I want to know if reverting to SL is even a good idea.
 

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But more importantly, I want to know if reverting to SL is even a good idea.

It certainly wouldn't be a very good idea to downgrade to Snow Leopard…if you've installed apps that require an OS version newer than 10.6.

For example if you downgraded to 10.6 (Snow Leopard)…but have installed apps that require 10.7, 10.8, or 10.9…you can imagine what will happen. Those apps won't run.

- Nick
 
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Thank you everyone. I was trying to find an inexpensive way to deal with this issue, but I'm having reservations about reverting to Snow Leopard. Installing a new SSD sounds like it might be the best option.

I guess the next question I will need to answer is whether my iMac will support more memory. Currently, I have 2 X 2 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM. I was told at the time that it didn't support any more than that, but more recently I've heard this model does support more (2 X 4 GB sticks).

Another thought: If I install an SSD, would it be okay to upgrade from Mavericks to Yosemite with or without more memory?
 
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Your iMac can support 6GB of memory and not 8GB.

I think your best solution would be an SSD, the largest capacity you could afford. Both Mavericks and Yosemite are bits of memory hogs so I would stay put and see if the SSD satisfies your needs. At the end of the day your computer is approaching eight years of age which puts it back in the 19th century speed wise.
 
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harryb2448, What's the memory configuration then? 2gb + 4gb? The Apple website says my model can only go up to 4gb total (2 + 2). Is there an option of running my iMac on a external SSD? I was hoping to avoid the arduous task of installing an internal one myself
 

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You could boot the Mac from an SSD installed in an external drive case. It will not be as fast as attaching the same SSD in the internal drive bay.
 

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My computer is running very slow. It struggles to perform basic tasks such as starting up, loading applications and saving documents, among other things.

If reverting to Snow Leopard is not such a good idea, how else could I speed it up? I've already run First Aid and freed up about 200 GB on my disk.

I'm running a mid-2007 iMac with a 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4 GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM memory on OS X 10.9.5

Two things regarding the slowness:

1. Maybe the hard drive is starting to fail. It is an older computer.
2. Being an older computer (2007) with a slower CPU (2.0ghz) running a fairly recent OS version (10.9)…it could be a simple matter of…older computer trying to do more than it was designed for.

If the hard drive is beginning to fail. Installing a new drive would fix this. Whether the new drive was an SSD or an HD.

- Nick
 
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I'd suggest that just 4GB RAM even with SL is pushing things and anything later is going to suffer even more.

As an interim, I'd suggest a fix that has worked for many, even without adding more memory, but I'd suggest that anyway, but can be done later.

The "fix" is to: clone the existing drive with CCC (Carbon Copy Cloner); boot from the backup clone and make sure it works; use Disk Utility to Erase the normal boot drive, and use the option to zero-out or one pass secure erase — DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP, and partition/format it as GUID; then use CCC and clone the backup clone back to the original boot drive.

Shutdown and boot from the normal boot drive, and I'll bet - be surprised with the speed increase.

And you'll end up with a bootable backup as well which everyone should have IMHO. I haven't seen this fix not work to speed thing up. ;)
 
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I'm going to swim against the current here and say - go for Snow Leopard, which your model of iMac will handle well - but on a partition of your existing hard drive. First however you should:
1. Back up the content of that HD to an external device
2. Run OnyX (as recommended), and check the condition of that HD.

You ask about memory - yes, 6 Gb maximum, in a 4+2 configuration.
 
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Well, I did purchase the Snow leopard install disc back when it was released, but I haven't been able to find it, so I'm a little reluctant to buy it again.

That's called a sunk cost. The question is what is your best course of action today. What happened years, months, weeks, or even days ago is irrelevant to the question. If cost is an issue, the least expensive option is to purchase another Snow Leopard disc.
 
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You ask about memory - yes, 6 Gb maximum, in a 4+2 configuration.


The apple website says the iMac7 only supports a total of 4gb (2+2). A buddy of mine said the configuration should be symmetrical (i.e. 1+1 or 2+2). Where did you get the info about a 6gb max?
 
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I see what you mean. I don't think it's lack of honesty on Apple's part though.

Usually the discrepancy is caused by higher density chips becoming available after a machine was released. Because the newer chips were not available at the time the machine was developed Apple has not tested these configurations. They're not likely to certify that they will work without testing them. I suspect they view that that was a waste of resources
 
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I think you're correct with that statement: "...I suspect they view that that was a waste of resources".

Like… Unless of course it could generate some extra income……like a newer model that can use more memory...???? And they had the resources to test that it could… ??? :D
 
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