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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Wanting to fix what I have

Wanting to fix what I have
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Mar 19, 2013, 10:50 AM
 
My 25-inch iMac if five years old now, and has slowed down considerably. I can try to get it up to speed or buy a new one. However, the 21.5-inch is too small, I will not downgrade, and the 27-inch is too big, would have to buy new furniture and can't afford it. So I really need to try to make do with what I have for a while, and hope that Apple comes to its senses and decides to produce the 25-inch once again, and maybe even give us back the optical disk drive and a keyboard that is not a dinky one. I can hardly afford another computer, and sure can't afford all the extras I'd have to buy in order to "upgrade" to what I have now and improve over what they are offering now.

I see the spinning ball constantly, no matter what I am doing--word processing, e-mail, Internet, apps, opening something, printing.... everything. It spins from 10 seconds to well over 60 seconds sometimes.

I've used AppCleaner, CCleaner, CleanMyMac2, MacTuneUP. After using these, lost the MS Word database, not sure which one caused it. This happened twice after using these apps. I've used Disk Utility and it found no disk errors.

I'm using Lion, have not upgraded to Mountain Lion. Would this solve the problem? When it first came out, I read a lot of negative things about it, so have been reluctant to do it.

It's hard to come to dislike a Mac, but I'm getting there.

What can I do to get rid of the spinning ball? Something is definitely wrong with this computer, and I need to figure out what it is and how to fix it. Buying a new one is just not what I can do right now.

Thanks much for any help.

Sandra
     
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Mar 19, 2013, 11:31 AM
 
How full is your hard drive?

Is Spotlight constantly indexing?

Do you have a working Time machine backup?

(Just had similar experience, the hard drive was going bad and not helped by being too full.)
     
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Mar 19, 2013, 12:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post

How full is your hard drive?

Thanks for the reply. I have 171.43 GB free out of 639.28 GB

Is Spotlight constantly indexing?

No, it's about the only thing that's fast on this computer.

Do you have a working Time machine backup?

Yes. I have two external hard drives and every once in a while, I will switch from one to the other.

(Just had similar experience, the hard drive was going bad and not helped by being too full.)
The original hard drive went bad and it was replaced under warranty. I've checked this one, which is 2 or 3 years old, can't remember..... using Disk Utility and it did not find any errors.

I have 4 GB memory, using 2 GB for Parallels/Windows XP, and 2 GB for the iMac. I don't use Windows very often. I have the problem on the Mac side when not having Windows open, so I doubt that Parallels/Windows is the problem..

I said it was a 25-inch, but when I checked About this Mac is says it's a 24-inch mid 2007.

Do you need more info in order to help me? Thank you so much.

     
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Mar 19, 2013, 01:07 PM
 
First up: Don't expect Apple to switch to a 24" model again - they just released a new design, and such redesigns don't come around often. If a 24" screen is an absolute must, consider a Mac mini and a non-Apple display with a DisplayPort in. In the same way, don't expect the optical drive to return. The market is full of external opticals and keyboards of all designs, however.

Second: Those tuneup programs don't do much good. It's much better to try to find the root cause. Andi's suggestion is good: Check your HDD. A full HDD will slow things down. Also check how much RAM you have. A RAM upgrade (if that is possible, depends on how much you have and what model you have) is a cheap way to extend the lifetime of your Mac. You can find out how much RAM you have and what model iMac you have by selecting the About this computer option from the apple menu.

Upgrading to Mountain Lion can help slightly, but it's going to make a big difference. I would recommend it anyway if you intend to keep the Mac for a few years more, but it's not going to help speed much. Going back to Snow Leopard might though, especially if you are low on memory.

A beach ball means that the frontmost application is not responding. Does that happen with any particular application especially?

Try opening the Activity Monitor (it's in Applications/Utilities) and checking the status of your processes. How many pageouts do you have (you find it in the memory tab)? Is any process using up a lot of CPU power?

EDIT: Your answer came in while I was typing. It is possible to upgrade your RAM by buying a single 4GB RAM module and installing next to one of the 2GB modules already there. That is probably the most cost effective upgrade you can make at this point.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Mar 19, 2013, 03:29 PM
 
I loved my 24" iMac but it had an issue and the Apple store replaced it with a brand new 27". If you are really dissatisfied I would try bringing it in to the Apple store.
If you would like to do something on your own try replacing the HD with a SSD drive. I did this on a old MacBook white and the performance issues went away. It is spendy for the amount of data you can store, but you can still find a external FW 400 drive if you need more room.

Mike
     
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Mar 19, 2013, 04:06 PM
 
I was having a problem with my mac and when talking to applecare, they told me to hold down a combination of keys while restarting. I know about the p-ram reset but this was different (I think, but maybe not, it involved "T"?). Does anyone have an idea what that was? I was just worried about fixing the problem at the time and didn't think of writing it down.
     
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Mar 19, 2013, 04:59 PM
 
Holding down T is for target disk mode, when a machine won't boot and you hook it via FW to another mac in the hopes of data rescue. OP has luckily not reached that stage yet.
     
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Mar 19, 2013, 05:37 PM
 
If you are using a pre-Lion version of Parallels, you MUST upgrade to a later version. I have seen older versions of Parallels cause exactly those hangs on Lion/Mountain Lion machines.

The issue, I believe, is a file system plug-in used to mount the Windows partition on the Mac. This plug-in bogs down the system's file system access, causing tedious hangs and affecting all hard drives, including the internal system drive.
     
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Mar 19, 2013, 06:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
First up: Don't expect Apple to switch to a 24" model again - they just released a new design, and such redesigns don't come around often. If a 24" screen is an absolute must, consider a Mac mini and a non-Apple display with a DisplayPort in. In the same way, don't expect the optical drive to return. The market is full of external opticals and keyboards of all designs, however.

I really don't want to do that, I don't like any displays that are not Mac displays. At least from what I have seen, maybe I need to look around.

Second: Those tuneup programs don't do much good. It's much better to try to find the root cause. Andi's suggestion is good: Check your HDD. A full HDD will slow things down. Also check how much RAM you have. A RAM upgrade (if that is possible, depends on how much you have and what model you have) is a cheap way to extend the lifetime of your Mac. You can find out how much RAM you have and what model iMac you have by selecting the About this computer option from the apple menu.

Upgrading to Mountain Lion can help slightly, but it's going to make a big difference. I would recommend it anyway if you intend to keep the Mac for a few years more, but it's not going to help speed much. Going back to Snow Leopard might though, especially if you are low on memory.

I'm not looking to speed it up except to just not have all the long waits for the ball to quit spinning.

A beach ball means that the frontmost application is not responding. Does that happen with any particular application especially?

No, it happens with almost anything I do.

Try opening the Activity Monitor (it's in Applications/Utilities) and checking the status of your processes. How many pageouts do you have (you find it in the memory tab)? Is any process using up a lot of CPU power?

Right now, Page outs: 6.81 GB, Page ins: 22.64, Wired 487.9 MB (whatever that means). I went to Parallels and stopped the virtual machine and reallocated the memory to give Windows 1024 and the rest to the Mac. Then I left and went out for a few hours, came home, and things are working pretty good right now. I don't have any confidence that it will last, and I've only been using it a short while.

EDIT: Your answer came in while I was typing. It is possible to upgrade your RAM by buying a single 4GB RAM module and installing next to one of the 2GB modules already there. That is probably the most cost effective upgrade you can make at this point.
That would be a possibility, if I find that nothing is really wrong with the computer itself and it's worth putting money into.

Thanks for the reply.
     
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Mar 19, 2013, 06:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by fritzair View Post
I loved my 24" iMac but it had an issue and the Apple store replaced it with a brand new 27". If you are really dissatisfied I would try bringing it in to the Apple store.
If you would like to do something on your own try replacing the HD with a SSD drive. I did this on a old MacBook white and the performance issues went away. It is spendy for the amount of data you can store, but you can still find a external FW 400 drive if you need more room.

Mike
It's five years old, so I feel sure that Apple wouldn't do anything at this point. I don't think I need any more space. I have plenty left, and there are also things I can delete or move off to an external drive.

Thanks for the reply.
     
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Mar 19, 2013, 06:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
If you are using a pre-Lion version of Parallels, you MUST upgrade to a later version. I have seen older versions of Parallels cause exactly those hangs on Lion/Mountain Lion machines.

The issue, I believe, is a file system plug-in used to mount the Windows partition on the Mac. This plug-in bogs down the system's file system access, causing tedious hangs and affecting all hard drives, including the internal system drive.
I do have the latest version of Parallels. I don't have the latest OS, though, thinking I need to do that.

I forgot to mention in my original post that twice over the last couple of weeks, I had to power it off because the system just totally quit responding to anything.

Thanks for the reply.
     
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Mar 19, 2013, 06:31 PM
 
Do you have MacFUSE installed for NTFS access? It came with older versions of VirtualBox or Fusion, IIRC.

It will cause similar issues and hasn't been updated in years.
     
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Mar 19, 2013, 08:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Do you have MacFUSE installed for NTFS access? It came with older versions of VirtualBox or Fusion, IIRC.

It will cause similar issues and hasn't been updated in years.
Never heard of MacFUSE, so I guess I don't have it installed.
     
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Mar 19, 2013, 10:53 PM
 
Sandra-

I am almost certain that you have inadequate RAM. You should evaluate whether or not you have adequate RAM:
 
Look at the Page Outs number under System Memory on the Activity Monitor app before starting a typical work session and write the number down. Recheck the Page Outs count after working for a few hours and write the number down again. If the page outs change (manual calculation of ending page outs number minus starting page outs number) is not zero your workflow is RAM-starved.
 
Ignore the pie charts and other info in Activity Monitor because they are often misleading regarding RAM usage. For RAM analysis manually count page outs during a work session.
 
If your test of before/after page outs shows that page outs increase at all during operation you should add RAM; go for the maximum that your box will take from Crucial or from OWC:
Apple Mac Memory Upgrade Options: Easy Buying Guide, Free Install Videos. Memory backed by Lifetime Advance Replacement Warranty.
RAM is dirt cheap and use of additional RAM a very desirable characteristic for apps and the OS.

Hard drives slow as they fill so make sure none of your hard drives are overfilled. I suggest 70% full as an arbitrary maximum but even less full is preferable for speed. Some apps like browsers are notorious for "leaking" memory so when doing serious work keep non-essential applications closed.

An SSD drive for boot often helps because when apps open in just 3 seconds there is no reason to keep extraneous apps open, plus if your box is paging out the SSD is hella faster than a HD. However SSDs are expensive luxuries, probably cost-ineffective for any old box. Adequate RAM however is not a luxury it is a mandatory prerequisite for good operation.

Note that you have an old box that was lowish end performance when new, so do not expect miracles or blame the Mac.

Also note that Mountain Lion may use more RAM than your earlier OS version so do not switch to ML until after you have added RAM.

After you have a civilized amount of RAM and current OS you also may want to optimize Parallels.

HTH

-Allen
( Last edited by SierraDragon; Mar 19, 2013 at 11:17 PM. )
     
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Mar 20, 2013, 05:43 AM
 
I agree that your problem is most likely lack of RAM. If you're giving 2 gigs to the VM, you basically have 2 gigs for the entire OS and all your applications. That's not enough, and your pageouts count indicates that you are running out of RAM (even though we can't say how bad it is without knowing your uptime, so it's best to follow Allen's advice and check the number before and after a work session). Buying more RAM is a cheap and effective upgrade.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Mar 20, 2013, 09:04 AM
 
     
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Mar 20, 2013, 10:01 AM
 
maxing out the RAM and adding an SSD will give you a very noticeable increase in performance. I have the same model as you (mid 2007 iMac) except I have the 20" version. Maxing the RAM and adding a SSD made a WORLD of difference. the Max is 6GB and I still page out, but it is much, much less noticeable. I also have Mountain Lion, which I prefer over Lion.
     
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Mar 21, 2013, 11:17 AM
 
abbaZaba, thanks, good to hear from someone with the same iMac that I have... I will take your advice, and that of others, and add 2 more GB of RAM, maxing it out. I'll check into the price of an SSD, but not sure I will make that investment. I will also get Mountain Lion, but as SierraDragon suggested, I will wait till after I get the RAM installed (my husband can do that).
     
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Mar 21, 2013, 11:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
Sandra-

I am almost certain that you have inadequate RAM. You should evaluate whether or not you have adequate RAM:
 
Look at the Page Outs number under System Memory on the Activity Monitor app before starting a typical work session and write the number down. Recheck the Page Outs count after working for a few hours and write the number down again. If the page outs change (manual calculation of ending page outs number minus starting page outs number) is not zero your workflow is RAM-starved.
 

I agree with you and the others, it is a RAM problem. I will, though, do as you suggest above.


Ignore the pie charts and other info in Activity Monitor because they are often misleading regarding RAM usage. For RAM analysis manually count page outs during a work session.
 
If your test of before/after page outs shows that page outs increase at all during operation you should add RAM; go for the maximum that your box will take from Crucial or from OWC:
Apple Mac Memory Upgrade Options: Easy Buying Guide, Free Install Videos. Memory backed by Lifetime Advance Replacement Warranty.
RAM is dirt cheap and use of additional RAM a very desirable characteristic for apps and the OS.

My husband always orders from Crucial (he's a Windows machine user). I'll tell him to order what I need.

Hard drives slow as they fill so make sure none of your hard drives are overfilled. I suggest 70% full as an arbitrary maximum but even less full is preferable for speed. Some apps like browsers are notorious for "leaking" memory so when doing serious work keep non-essential applications closed.

I think I have plenty of space, as left in a previous message, but I still need to do some cleaning up.

An SSD drive for boot often helps because when apps open in just 3 seconds there is no reason to keep extraneous apps open, plus if your box is paging out the SSD is hella faster than a HD. However SSDs are expensive luxuries, probably cost-ineffective for any old box. Adequate RAM however is not a luxury it is a mandatory prerequisite for good operation.

I don't know the cost of SSDs but I doubt that I can really afford it (we are living on retirement income).

Note that you have an old box that was lowish end performance when new, so do not expect miracles or blame the Mac.

Okay

Also note that Mountain Lion may use more RAM than your earlier OS version so do not switch to ML until after you have added RAM.

Okay again.


After you have a civilized amount of RAM and current OS you also may want to optimize Parallels.

Will do. I'd like to do away with using Windows entirely on the Mac, but alas, there are a few things that I still need...... but they are getting fewer.
Note: I think I'm not using this right, I got a message that my reply was too short, it needed to be 3 characters. Perhaps I should not be replying in the quoted text. Sorry, I'm not all that "forum savvy."
     
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Mar 21, 2013, 11:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
I agree that your problem is most likely lack of RAM. If you're giving 2 gigs to the VM, you basically have 2 gigs for the entire OS and all your applications. That's not enough, and your pageouts count indicates that you are running out of RAM (even though we can't say how bad it is without knowing your uptime, so it's best to follow Allen's advice and check the number before and after a work session). Buying more RAM is a cheap and effective upgrade.
Tuesday night, I reallocated it to give the VM 1024 and the remaining 3 to the Mac. That improved things greatly, confirming it's a RAM problem. All day yesterday, I never saw the spinning ball. However, this morning, I saw it again, when replying to a couple of e-mail messages. Word has been fine today, so far. I bought Pages and will be switching to using it for some things.

Experimenting..... I "Suspended" Windows to see if that helps this morning. It did not, took about 15 seconds of the spinning ball to reply to a couple of e-mails. Then I "Stopped" the virtual machine, and hit Reply to one of the same e-mails, and no spinning ball and the window came up in a couple of seconds.

I do have a tendency to have too many apps open at once. I might, for example, have two browsers open, Thunderbird, Word, DiskLabel, calendar, etc. My "Force Quit" menu can list anywhere from 10 to 15 items.

Solution:
I'll get the other 2 GB of RAM, upgrade the OS, do some cleaning up, improve my habits, and I think my problems will be solved. I don't expect it to be a "screamer" by any means, but I don't require that. It should last a couple more years anyhow, before I have to buy a new one. When I do, I'm going to give this one to my husband to play around with. That's almost enough motive for me to get a new one! smile......

I'm happy to know that there is really nothing wrong with my computer.

You folks are great about responding and offering advice. Maybe others reading this thread will find it useful and look to RAM if they are having the same problems.

I think I need to check in here often.
     
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Mar 21, 2013, 12:13 PM
 
good luck!
     
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Apr 1, 2013, 11:44 AM
 
You can confirm how much RAM you have left by opening the Activity Monitor under Applications > Utilities and see what it says under System Memory > Free. Also check the Page Outs and Swap Used. This gives you a general idea of how much RAM you're using overall, and if you're having memory leaks. Ideally, these numbers should both read 0 (zero). Realistically, it should be under a gig. Make sure Parallels isn't running when not in use, it's a RAM hog, as you discovered. Even when Windows is shut down, Parallels can still be running - check the Mac's menu bar (upper right, by the clock). Lastly, Disk Utility only does a basic quick scan of your hard drive. If the issues continue, I'd recommend running a surface scan of the drive, using something like TechTool Pro.

Good luck!
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Apr 8, 2013, 07:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by osiris24x View Post
You can confirm how much RAM you have left by opening the Activity Monitor under Applications > Utilities and see what it says under System Memory > Free. Also check the Page Outs and Swap Used. This gives you a general idea of how much RAM you're using overall, and if you're having memory leaks. Ideally, these numbers should both read 0 (zero). Realistically, it should be under a gig. Make sure Parallels isn't running when not in use, it's a RAM hog, as you discovered. Even when Windows is shut down, Parallels can still be running - check the Mac's menu bar (upper right, by the clock). Lastly, Disk Utility only does a basic quick scan of your hard drive. If the issues continue, I'd recommend running a surface scan of the drive, using something like TechTool Pro.

Good luck!
Thank you, and to all the others who wrote.

Found out that I cannot put any more RAM in the machine, it's maxed out at 4GB.

I did some experimenting today. Started out this morning with these open:
Microsoft Word with 7 documents open
Safari with two Web pages open
Thunderbird
Sunbird calendar
Windows/Parallels (was minimized to the dock)
Preview (nothing open)
Real Player (nothing playing)
Stickies
Console
Pages
Mail

Wow..... okay, that's way too much going at one time, I know. I just forget to close things. At this point, decided to see what was using all the RAM. So I started Activity Monitor and it fluctuated between 76 and 78 MB free RAM.

Then Time Machine started, and for some reason, the free RAM increased, ranging from 147 MB to 160 MB.

I quit Pages and the free RAM was in the 120s, as you know, it fluctuates constantly.
Quit console and it ranged from 137-140.
Quit Mail 138-140.
Quit Preview 178-194
Quit Real Player 165-166

I thought I quit Windows, and the free RAM was from 135-148 range. Went to Parallels to try to quit, but it was not responding, so had to Force Quit Parallels. After that, free RAM ranged from 188-197

Closed the 7 documents that were open in Word and the free RAM varied between 258-263.

Quit Word, and it went up to 401-411 free.

I opened Preview to see a picture of a painting my brother did and the range was 221-222.

Quit Preview and the range was 266-272 free.

Watched a You Tube video and while watching, it ranged from 374-406.
After the video and closing the You Tube page, free RAM was 480507.

Quit MS Word and the free RAM ranged from 620-625.

At this point, open apps were:
Activity Monitor, Safari (with only this page open), Stickies, Sunbird, Thunderbird, finder. Forwarded one message and after that it was ranging 564-565.

I quit Thunderbird, and that increased to greatly, it went to 967-978 range.

So after I submit this message, I'll quit Safari and see what that does.

You asked about the Page Outs and Swap Used.
Page-ins: 85.50, Outs 20.74 (0 bytes/sec for both at the moment)
Earlier today swap used was 2.89 GB and VM size was 219.71 GB.
Right now, it's swap used: 1.83 GB and VM size is 193.30 GB.
And the free RAM is running 1,004-1,006 MB, now shows 1.00 GB free.

So, I see that I cannot do a lot of multi-tasking.

Dashboard has quit several times, but I don't use it. The mouse is very sensitive and it sometimes goes there on its own, or rather when I accidentally touch the mouse the wrong way.

Good news is, I haven't seen the spinning ball for maybe a couple of weeks. Things are still way too slow sometimes, but the ball doesn't appear. I supposed something I did fixed that...... hopefully for good.

Sandra
     
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Apr 8, 2013, 08:57 PM
 
Essentially, you need even more RAM (your machine supports up to 6 GB, not 4, so you have short-changed yourself a little when upgrading memory), so when you eventually upgrade to a new machine down the road, make sure to get at least 16 GB.
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Apr 8, 2013, 09:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Essentially, you need even more RAM (your machine supports up to 6 GB, not 4, so you have short-changed yourself a little when upgrading memory), so when you eventually upgrade to a new machine down the road, make sure to get at least 16 GB.
Both the genius at the Apple Store and Crucial confirmed that this iMac will only take 4 GB RAM.
     
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Apr 8, 2013, 10:13 PM
 
The 4 GB limit is the official Apple statement. Which means Apple tested it with up to 4 GB before releasing the model.

3rd parties have tested and confirmed it works up to 6 GB (a 2 GB stick paired with a 4 GB stick)

Everymac spec page
*Apple officially supports 4 GB of RAM, but third-parties have been able to upgrade the system to 6 GB of RAM using one 2 GB and one 4 GB memory module.
OWC memory upgrade page for your iMac, listing upgrade kits up to 6 GB.

In practice, you already have 2x 2 GB, so you only need a single 4 GB stick. Replace one of your existing sticks to reach 6 GB.
     
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Apr 9, 2013, 12:34 AM
 
I posted and confirmed that 6GB works on this model. has been working for months now with no issues.

it could also be argued that an SSD would be a better upgrade as the page outs would not be nearly as noticeable. obviously, both 6GB and an SSD would be best. this is what I have and I never beachball.
( Last edited by abbaZaba; Apr 9, 2013 at 06:27 AM. )
     
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Apr 9, 2013, 02:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by MizMacFrog View Post
Both the genius at the Apple Store and Crucial confirmed that this iMac will only take 4 GB RAM.
No, it will take 2 GB + 4 GB = 6 GB of memory even though officially, only 4 GB are supported (hence, the Apple Geniuses recommendation to upgrade to 4 GB).
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Apr 11, 2013, 01:28 PM
 
I posted a message and for some reason, once again, I got logged out and when I logged back in my message was gone. This happens all the time. What can I do to stay logged in long enough to post a message here?

Once when I logged back in, my message I was composing was still there. This time, it's lost. I'll try to get back on later on in the day (have to go out this afternoon) and see if I can reconstruct the message and hope I don't get logged off before I can send it.
     
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Some browsers remember text field contents that failed to post, others don't. It's inconsistent in my experience. One way you can beat it is to copy a long post to your clipboard before posting, if you think you may have been inactive for too long.
     
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Apr 11, 2013, 04:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
When you log in, be sure to check the box to remember you. This sets a login cookie, so you don't have to log in again from that browser.

If you take a long time to post (15-20 minutes) without a login cookie, the board thinks you moved on and ends your session.

Some browsers remember text field contents that failed to post, others don't. It's inconsistent in my experience. One way you can beat it is to copy a long post to your clipboard before posting, if you think you may have been inactive for too long.
Okay, did what you said..... weird, though..... I logged out, and it said I was logged in...... logged out again and got a different log-in window which did have the option to check to remember me. I'll remember to copy as I go along, though, just in case I lose what I'm writing again.
     
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May 3, 2013, 12:23 PM
 
Replying to my original post to update on my situation. After days of experimenting, I leaned that a lot of my problems were RAM related but not all of them. Bottom line, I bought a new 27-inch iMac. Time Machine restore went great, no glitches. This is day five with the new iMac, and already I got the spinning ball with MS Word. Disappointing, after spending $2,000. Hope this does not continue and doesn't happen with anything else.

I'm using Word for Mac 2011. I haven't installed Windows under Parallels yet. I have to buy an optical drive, which Apple thinks I don't need as part of a new computer. More money. I'm using my old keyboard because I don't like the little one that came with the machine. Hope hubby can get along with it. If not, I have older Apple tactile (is that right?) keyboard he can use.

I bought Pages, but am not too happy with it. However, I will try to start using it more, at least for some things, some new documents. But my Word documents don't always appear right if opened in Pages.

My husband will inherit my old iMac. I cleaned of up for him, taking almost everything off of it, so hoping that he won't have any problems with it. I know he won't use it as his main computer, but he want it to play around with and explore to see what a Mac is all about. I hope it doesn't give him any problems, since it's almost bare bones now.

The only thing I don't like about my new one is the native resolution. I changed it, and it's better, but doesn't seem quite as sharp as the native, or perhaps it is just my eyes, which are not all that good right now.

Thanks to all who have helped and made suggestions. You have been super helpful.

Sandra
     
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May 3, 2013, 01:16 PM
 
You can make a disk image of Windows on the old machine and copy that over to the new machine, or you can install using CD/DVD sharing from the optical drive in the old machine, over the network.

Parallels has no problem with either.

If that's the only thing you need an optical drive for, Apple is quite obviously right in leaving it out of the new machines.
     
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May 3, 2013, 03:55 PM
 
Do not buy an external superdrive, use CD/DVD sharing with the old iMac. It is located in System Preferences under Sharing.
     
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May 3, 2013, 11:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
You can make a disk image of Windows on the old machine and copy that over to the new machine, or you can install using CD/DVD sharing from the optical drive in the old machine, over the network.

Parallels has no problem with either.

If that's the only thing you need an optical drive for, Apple is quite obviously right in leaving it out of the new machines.
I already deleted Windows XP from the old machine because I want to put Windows 7 on the new one.

And that's definitely not the only thing I need an optical drive for. Just this week, I received a DVD in the mail that I wanted to watch tonight. I order DVDs fairly regularly and sometimes buy locally. So I need an optical drive for the computer for installing software and for watching DVDs that I buy or that someone gives to me. I do not have a stand-alone DVD player.

I still think that Apple should be putting them in the new machines, and from what I have read, most other people think so too.

As for sharing the drive on the old computer, I've never done that and not sure how. But it would be inconvenient, I really don't want to be running from one end of the house to the other just to do that.

My view still is that Apple made a mistake and we loyal fans have to pay for it.

I do realize, of course, that not everyone shares my opinions or needs.

I appreciate your writing and the suggestions, though. Thanks.
     
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May 3, 2013, 11:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by abbaZaba View Post
Do not buy an external superdrive, use CD/DVD sharing with the old iMac. It is located in System Preferences under Sharing.
I'd rather not do that and don't know how anyway. The old computer will be using the new computer's network or my husband's network. It will not have a direct connection. I don't know much about all this stuff. But it is much more convenient to have the drive by my computer. And my dear hubby just happened to have a new one on hand that he gave me. It's still in the box, I'll connect it in a day or two. It's not an Apple Superdrive, but it will work just fine.

Thanks for the reply.
     
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May 4, 2013, 06:26 AM
 
Did you wipe and do fresh installs on the old imac, or just delete some things? It might be better to have a fresh system for the hubby.
     
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May 4, 2013, 09:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by MizMacFrog View Post
I still think that Apple should be putting them in the new machines, and from what I have read, most other people think so too.
Actually, "most" people realize that they haven't used their optical drive more than twice in the past year — at least, that was my experience from having worked in sales for a long time.

"Most" people who get on the Internet to complain about something are people who are affected by it. That can be a tiny minority, but the Internet amplifies those voices, because people generally don't go online to celebrate everything that they're happy about.

Obviously, your needs may differ.

I would suggest going for a $40 DVD burner, rather than the Apple one, unless the aesthetics are important to you (it sure is pretty).
     
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May 4, 2013, 10:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
Did you wipe and do fresh installs on the old imac, or just delete some things? It might be better to have a fresh system for the hubby.
I just did a lot of app uninstalls (almost everything) and deleted all of my personal stuff--documents, pictures, images, etc.

By "wipe" do you mean a reformat and OS reinstall? With a newly formatted hard drive, I would need a disk with the OS on it.
     
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May 4, 2013, 10:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Actually, "most" people realize that they haven't used their optical drive more than twice in the past year — at least, that was my experience from having worked in sales for a long time.

"Most" people who get on the Internet to complain about something are people who are affected by it. That can be a tiny minority, but the Internet amplifies those voices, because people generally don't go online to celebrate everything that they're happy about.

Obviously, your needs may differ.

I would suggest going for a $40 DVD burner, rather than the Apple one, unless the aesthetics are important to you (it sure is pretty).
My husband gave me one that will do just fine. Can't afford to buy the pretty one. And anyhow, I prefer the tray type because they work better..... disks can get stuck in the others, the slot kind, or refuse to eject.

As for what most people prefer, I can only go by what I read in Macworld and other magazines by editors and reviewers, and on the Internet as well.
     
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May 19, 2013, 11:08 AM
 
Have had it up and running for four weeks now. Problems are occurring with it that I had with the old one. Getting the spinning ball sometimes, too often for sure, for a brand new computer. Things don't load or open fast enough. Last night, free RAM got all the way down to 42 MB ranging to 82, then 120. This morning, it's hovering around 650 MB free. I have double the RAM on this one as on the old one (4 GB/8GB). But the performance does not seem to be improved much, if any at all. I'm rather disappointed. I expected more. I'm puzzled.
     
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May 19, 2013, 12:14 PM
 
Are you running norton antivirus or Mcafee? Those can cause slowdowns by constantly checking the virus databases.
     
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May 19, 2013, 07:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by MizMacFrog View Post
Things don't load or open fast enough. Last night, free RAM got all the way down to 42 MB ranging to 82, then 120. This morning, it's hovering around 650 MB free. I have double the RAM on this one as on the old one (4 GB/8GB). But the performance does not seem to be improved much, if any at all.
First of all, the important number is not free RAM (OS X will try to use all RAM), but the number of page-outs. Page-outs is memory data that has to be written on disk -- which causes the slow-down. Free RAM really says very little. What is your amount of page-outs? (You can see that in the memory tab of Activity Monitor.)
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
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May 19, 2013, 07:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by MizMacFrog View Post
Both the genius at the Apple Store and Crucial confirmed that this iMac will only take 4 GB RAM.
I have a 2007 24" iMac. Although Apple officially only recommends 4GB, I successfully installed 6 GB of RAM. I think I got it from OWC.

I had the exact same issues as you. 6GB made things much better, but running Parallls (which I do as well) will always slow the iMac down, because you will start getting page outs.

Mountain Lion is not a problem IMO.

One thing you'd wanna o more often than in the past is rebooting.

-t
     
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May 19, 2013, 08:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
Are you running norton antivirus or Mcafee? Those can cause slowdowns by constantly checking the virus databases.
No, not running either of those. Only security that I run is ClamV or something like that. Nothing else.
     
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May 19, 2013, 08:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
I have a 2007 24" iMac. Although Apple officially only recommends 4GB, I successfully installed 6 GB of RAM. I think I got it from OWC.

I had the exact same issues as you. 6GB made things much better, but running Parallls (which I do as well) will always slow the iMac down, because you will start getting page outs.

Mountain Lion is not a problem IMO.

One thing you'd wanna o more often than in the past is rebooting.

-t
You're right, I should reboot more often. Probably should just shut down every night. Don't know if that will actually help the problems, though. But it can't hurt.

Thanks.
     
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May 19, 2013, 08:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
First of all, the important number is not free RAM (OS X will try to use all RAM), but the number of page-outs. Page-outs is memory data that has to be written on disk -- which causes the slow-down. Free RAM really says very little. What is your amount of page-outs? (You can see that in the memory tab of Activity Monitor.)
Okay, thanks. But when the RAM gets down very low, it does seem like it would be a problem. I'm looking at Page outs now, and it's 22.03 GB at the moment. Page ins are 51.37 GB and swap used is 7.24 GB.

Is this good or bad? I have no idea. If it's bad, what do I do about it?
     
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May 19, 2013, 09:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by MizMacFrog View Post
You're right, I should reboot more often. Probably should just shut down every night. Don't know if that will actually help the problems, though. But it can't hurt.

Thanks.
Every night might be excessive, but I find myself in need of a reboot about once a week.
In the past, I could go for weeks w/o it.

-t
     
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May 20, 2013, 03:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by MizMacFrog View Post
Okay, thanks. But when the RAM gets down very low, it does seem like it would be a problem. I'm looking at Page outs now, and it's 22.03 GB at the moment. Page ins are 51.37 GB and swap used is 7.24 GB.

Is this good or bad? I have no idea. If it's bad, what do I do about it?

~2:1 page in/page out ratio is not too great. your workflow is RAM starved. This is a new 27" iMac with 8GB and an SSD? Maxing out the RAM is about all you can try. VMs are pretty resource-hungry.
     
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May 20, 2013, 06:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by abbaZaba View Post
~2:1 page in/page out ratio is not too great. your workflow is RAM starved. This is a new 27" iMac with 8GB and an SSD? Maxing out the RAM is about all you can try. VMs are pretty resource-hungry.
Yes, it's a late 2012 model. Doesn't have an SSD. Says it's a 1 TB SATA drive in the stats. I suppose I could add more RAM, but I've invested enough already. I'll just have to watch how much I'm doing, and not have as much open as I would like to, for convenience. I guess I'm too much of a "power user" and will have to learn to close and open more often instead of leaving as much open as I do. I had thought that getting this new one would solve my problems, but it has not. I haven't seen any noticeable difference in speed, but I'll try to pay more attention to that, maybe it's faster and I just don't realize it. And I still get the spinning ball sometimes. I'm going to jot down what program is doing that and maybe can do something about it, don't know. But I'm not getting the very long waits that I did with the old one, thank goodness.

Already had to get a DVD drive, and using my old keyboard because I hate that little thing that came with it. And the mouse is so sensitive it takes me places I don't want to go, like to the Dashboard, and that always quits. I removed the items and it's been okay since then. I think I'll buy a wired mouse.

My husband is enjoying getting to know my old iMac and seeing what it's all about. He doesn't like the dinky little keyboard either, but luckily I have an old Mac keyboard that works. After moving it to another room, I'm seeing a lot of wide streaks underneath the glass and don't know what that could be.

This new one doesn't have as much glare on the screen as the old one.

Okay, that's my experience during the first month.

Sandra
     
 
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