update a 2006 iMac?!?

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Hi All, I am visiting a relative who has a 2 GHz Intel Core Duo iMac from 2006, 2 GB of RAM, not possible to add more RAM according to Crucial.com.

It is "slow"-whatever that means. I haven't used this machine much as I just visit occasionally, but it is maybe slow opening applications, and sometimes web page loading can stall.

It's possible to change to an SSD or hybrid drive, but I don't have time to do that while I'm here.

I'm wondering if an OS update is worthwhile as this is still at 10.6.8. Snow Leopard. Yosemite will not run on this hardware, so my questions come to:
- Which later versions will actually run on this hardware?
- Can any of those still be downloaded? Or not really?
- IIRC, update from Snow Leopard is not easy. I would want to backup and reformat the hard drive, and do a fresh install from scratch (i.e. I would need a complete installer, not an update install).
- IF the above two are possible, will they offer better memory management?

The advantage of this iMac is no glass on the screen, a big deal since there are windows all behind the computer (and no, the owner is not going to relocate it).
 
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MacInWin

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I would recommend not bothering with an update. Others may disagree, listen to them.

However, I do recommend downloading and running ONYX, from Titanium.free.fr. It's free and it is the one utility we recommend for cleaning out the chuff from OS X machines that can slow them down. Get the version for that operating system and just let it rip with the default cleaning settings.
 

dtravis7


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A Core Duo will at most run 10.6.8 Snow Leopard. Lion 10.7 required a 64-Bit CPU. The Core Duo is a 32-Bit CPU.
 
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Not personal HU bit of course it is slow. It is going on nine years old and uses an operating system no longer suported by Apple with Software or Security updates, and the maximum memory is that 2GB.
 
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That iMac can actually use 4GB RAM and can run up to OS X 10.7.5, but I'd stay with 10.6.8. Snow Leopard.
iMac "Core 2 Duo" 2.0 17-Inch Specs (Late 2006, MA590LL, iMac5,1, A1208, 2114) @ EveryMac.com

The suggestion to use and run ONYX will probably help, but the HDD may have some bad sectors and may be more fragmented than the OS can deal with. And especially if the iMac has been turned off or put to sleep at night. Some stuff gets fixed with a cold boot using 10.6.8.

To fix both those, use CCC (Carbon Copy Cloner) to clone the hard drive and then boot from the clone. Then use Disk Utility to erase the normal boot drive but do not bypass using the option to zero out or a single pass Security erase, then run CCC to clone the clone back to the original. Doing so will map out any bad sectors and defrag the data when cloned back.

Two bits says you'll see a drastic speed improvement and then add more memory if needed.

But also be aware that that hard drive may also be failing as it's getting very long in the tooth for useful age. Adding an SSD would be overkill IMHO.

EDIT:

Opps, my mistake!! 2GB MAX is correct for that 20" Core Duo iMac, I was thinking it was the C2D model.

But the rest of the suggestion would still help.
 
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C

chas_m

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Would not waste any time or money on such an old machine. I would analyze their needs then get them either an iPad with a keyboard case or a Mac mini and a matte monitor.
 
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Opps, my mistake!! 2GB MAX is correct for that 20" Core Duo iMac, I was thinking it was the C2D model...

Yes, though what you discussed would be a possible "upgrade" path and still glassless.

Seems like a LOT of work to get a 2006 Core 2 Duo from eBay and try to update to 10.7 (very hard to get a fresh-install .dmg I am thinking). I believe you can actually only update to 3GB, still better than 2 GB at least. But a lot of work to still end up with a very old machine, huh?
 
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Yes, though what you discussed would be a possible "upgrade" path and still glassless.

Seems like a LOT of work to get a 2006 Core 2 Duo from eBay and try to update to 10.7 (very hard to get a fresh-install .dmg I am thinking). I believe you can actually only update to 3GB, still better than 2 GB at least. But a lot of work to still end up with a very old machine, huh?


I wouldn't bother "upgrading" that iMac to more than 10.6.8 and it should still be useful for most stuff, and you can sure speed it up using the clone method I suggested above.

Just to be clear, I sure wasn't suggesting to get any "2006 Core 2 Duo from eBay" or any other upgrade. ;)

But a newer iMac might be considered at some point as those Core Duo iMacs weren't exactly one of the better iMacs Apple has released but sure much better than the G5s they replaced!! ;)
 
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sorry to say the core duo's where basically cheap junk macintoshes they where designed for low budget households and only ran 32 bit o.s the last o.s that that machine can use is snow leopard which is no longer supported by apple the max ram you can actually use on that machine is 3 gig's of ram crucial is incorrect on this and it has been proven at several other mac sites as well i wouldn't bother the machine is only worth about 100.00 now online this is why people moved from the iMac core duo processors to the core 2 duo so fast
 

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sorry to say the core duo's where basically cheap junk macintoshes they where designed for low budget households and only ran 32 bit o.s the last o.s that that machine can use is snow leopard which is no longer supported by apple the max ram you can actually use on that machine is 3 gig's of ram crucial is incorrect on this and it has been proven at several other mac sites as well i wouldn't bother the machine is only worth about 100.00 now online this is why people moved from the iMac core duo processors to the core 2 duo so fast

You should get your facts straight.

When Apple moved to the Intel platform beginning in Jan '06, the "Core Duo" was in fact not "cheap junk". The "Core Duo" was Intels latest and greatest chip at that time.

The "Core 2 Duo" did not even exist at the time of those 1st generation Intel based Apple computers. The "Core 2 Duo" was not released by Intel until the end of July '06, and Apple updated the whole lineup of Macs with that new chip by the end of that year.

There are also "no" reports of being able to use 3 GB in any "Core Duo" Mac. The max RAM in that 1st gen Intel Macintosh is indeed 2 GB.

It was not until the 2nd gen Intel Macs, equipped with the "Core 2 Duo" that it became possible to have 3 GB usable RAM.

edit: Do you know what a period is?
 
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bobtomay

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For the op, the best method for speeding up that iMac is as "pm-r" suggests.

With a 8+ yr old machine, even if you have 75-85% free space on the drive, the free space is going to be heavily fragmented and the data is going to be spread from one end of the drive to the other. The least expensive way to take care of it, is by making a clone either with CCC or SuperDuper!, boot to the clone and then cloning back to the internal drive. This will put all the data back at the beginning of the drive.

Wouldn't even do the above until the drive has a minimum 20-30% free space if it doesn't have that much now.

And, we're hoping the drive itself is not on it's last legs.

I'm also with "pm-r" on an SSD being too much money to sink into that machine. I'd probably just upgrade that one to a WD Black drive if you're considering a new drive and still want to get a couple more years out of it.
 
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Thanks bobtomay, but just some additional comments on the cloning speedup method I mentioned, but in all the times I've done it, for myself and others, for some reason it seems to work better when using CCC (Carbon Copy Cloner) rather than SD (SuperDuper!), and additionally, the zero-out or one pass security erase option must not be bypassed. At least to get the best speed improvements.

As I said, I have no idea why the difference but I do know that CCC works the best.

And I also agree about the advice of using a WD Black 7200RPM drive as a replacement. Well worth the small extra cost - if any, especially when they're on sale!! ;) :D

PS: The zero-out/one pass security erase will often give a warning if the drive is on it's last legs as you wisely say.

Sometimes something a bit odd like not being enough spare sectors if a lot of mapping-out had to be done. And old drives do just plain give up a quit sometimes as we all know - often without any warning!!! ;) :D
 
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