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RIP 2006 iMac
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andi*pandi
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Sep 30, 2022, 07:07 PM
 
So my father's 2006 imac is slow, riddled with suspicious malware (safari icon in dock goes to safari.com for all your adventure needs), is too old to update, and needs replacing. The Gainesville mac repair center didn't even want to try wipe and reinstall.

He shot down my offer of a new imac. He doesn't need much that is fast or fancy, as long as he can edit documents to write music, surf, play angry birds, and play music, he's happy. I was wondering if a mac mini could use the imac as a monitor? This thread is not encouraging.

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7490404

I've sent him to best buy for an external drive to rescue his important files (and hopefully none of the malware). Anything other ideas?
     
reader50
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Sep 30, 2022, 08:21 PM
 
Unsupported installs extend the lives of Macs, but a 2006 iMac is tricky.

Early- or Mid-2006 = core duo CPU. Stuck at Snow Leopard.
Late 2006 = core 2 duo, may be able to update all the way to El Capitan (10.11).

It might be possible to upgrade the CPU to a C2D to enable the upgrade. But you're still limited to 2 GB RAM (3GB for the last two models).

The hard drives are small today, and 16 years old. So budget in a solid state drive.

I handled one once, and gave up on it. Upgrades were getting too hard, with no way around the RAM limit. It was necessary to start with a later iMac.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Sep 30, 2022, 09:29 PM
 
The Aluminium iMacs were the first that could run Target Display Mode. I want to say it was the 2011 27" model without looking it up, but it might be the 2010 or even 2009. It was definitely a 27" only feature first though.

I have a few 2009-2011 iMacs in service, one is already runnings as a pure Windows 10 machine and the others are poised to follow suit. This way their software is up to date and secure, unlike with High Sierra that they are stuck with on the Mac side. These were great machines and still perfectly serviceable in terms of power and ability. A pity Apple didn't support them a little longer. Catalina killed a lot of good Macs with its bonkers GPU requirements.
You could probably get yours running Windows 7 with some effort but I can't imagine Windows 10 would be a pleasure on it.

There are certainly plenty of upgrades that can be done with the 2006 iMac but if you took it to a repair centre just to wipe it, I can't imagine you'll want to do a CPU upgrade yourself and paying someone else to do that and maybe get an SSD (I'd be careful with that, newer Macs than this were very fussy about which SSDs they could handle - Samsung 9XX series would be your best bet if you do go for it) is going to cost many times the value of a Mac that age.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
andi*pandi  (op)
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Oct 1, 2022, 02:53 PM
 
Oh, I don't think we want to fiddle with new hard drives etc. Sounds like it should be recycled. Just hoping to keep something he's familiar with and that monitor would fit his desk easily. I think he'd love a new imac (or even 3YO imac) but doesn't want me to shell out cash for him.

He got the external hard drive plugged in and it shows up on the desktop, but he says he can't drag files onto it, and it wants to install software (that of course won't run on ancient imac.)

Sigh.

Thanks guys.
     
reader50
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Oct 1, 2022, 04:09 PM
 
Don't drag files to it. Turn on Time Machine, let it claim the external.

note: use Disk Utility to reformat it first to GUID / MacOS Extended.
     
subego
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Oct 1, 2022, 04:14 PM
 
What’s wrong with dragging (non system) files?

Won’t Time Machine try to copy over a ton of cruft?
     
reader50
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Oct 1, 2022, 05:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
What’s wrong with dragging (non system) files?

Won’t Time Machine try to copy over a ton of cruft?
You're protecting his data from a 16-year old HD. Sure, he can copy a few files over. He'll forget important ones, and will forget to dynamically update them.

Automated processes get everything, and keep them up to date. Few Mac owners had backups before TM came out. Today everyone should have, and I hope it's at least a majority.
     
subego
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Oct 1, 2022, 05:29 PM
 
All that’s correct.

I guess I was thinking more in terms of a “final step”.

At that point, if Time Machine isn’t already going there’s no point in starting right as the iMac’s getting scuttled. Especially if it’s got some malware on it. Likewise, copying over user folders will get everything unless he’s got some weird outliers that save critical information in the system… he probably doesn’t.

Lastly, I figured Andi would take care of things like fixing his photos and music.

And then setting up screen sharing.
     
Doc HM
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Oct 6, 2022, 02:47 PM
 
With Apple's list of Macs that each new OS supports getting shorter and shorter it's where do you draw the line.
Anything pre 2013 will be stuck at High Sierra which by itself is still going to be a big move up from Snow Leopard however its already not a front line system. I would say a 2015 (Kate) 4K iMac would hit the sweet spot as you can run Monterey so for a while it will be current. It's not going to support the next OS but will remain supported for a good few years and even after that will have some useful life before obscurity beckons.
Just make sure the iMac has a proper SSD, not the standard shitty HDD or only slightly better fusion set uo which can be only a 32GB Ssd partition on these iMacs (why?????)
Time machine backup is a good idea, you can drag copy files from that to the new Mac to avoid migrating all the cruft and keep the TM backup as a fall back at least until you are 100% sure all the files you need are over.
This space for Hire! Reasonable rates. Reach an audience of literally dozens!
     
andi*pandi  (op)
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Oct 6, 2022, 03:45 PM
 
He's familiar with time machine. It seems he had an external seaquest drive that no longer mounts, and must have had time machine set up in 2017.

We risked plugging it back in and did a zoom. Slightly reassured that worked. I didn't see any obvious trouble.

So next step is erasing that new 1TB drive and either doing a time machine on certain folders or just drag n drop? We watched a video on that which explained partitioning it, but not sure we need to bother with that...

Any software I can use to just control his imac from here? zoom doesn't seem to do that.
     
subego
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Oct 6, 2022, 04:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
And then setting up screen sharing.


This is built in, and fairly easy, but he needs a current OS.

The strategy I was thinking of was:

1) Finder copy all relevant home folders to external drive.
2) Set up new computer fresh.
3) Plug in external drive and copy stuff back.
4) Do remaining tweaks, like reconnecting photos and music, remotely with Screen Sharing.

I think it’s possible to do on his computer in its current state with Apple Remote Desktop. Does he have an Airport for Wi-Fi?
     
reader50
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Oct 6, 2022, 06:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
1) Finder copy all relevant home folders to external drive.
2) Set up new computer fresh.
3) Plug in external drive and copy stuff back.
Better tell Finder to ignore ownership on the external before trying this. Or you can run into a lot of permissions issues. Lots of admin passwords before making changes in copied folders, or perhaps even before opening files.

I use Time Machine, then either Migration Assistant, or restore selected files. So as not to lose related files in the ~Library folder, or app permissions issues. Just copying selected items across may end with a lot of apps needing to be reinstalled.
     
andi*pandi  (op)
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Oct 6, 2022, 07:00 PM
 
There's no hope of reinstall on this machine, and any current machine will have vastly different versions of apps.

The hard drive on the imac is a newer 1tb. (lightning fried the original) Pity to lose that.

In the boondocks of mid-florida, his wifi is a travesty. He has ATT and they don't seem to want to be in the internet or email business. He is looking into ViaSat.
     
subego
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Oct 6, 2022, 07:11 PM
 
Ignoring ownership happens automatically if you do a nuke and pave of the external drive from Disk Utility. I admit, this is so rote for me I neglected to put it in as a step.

I’m imagining there’s nothing worthwhile in his ~Library except maybe his Safari bookmarks, which I’d try to iCloud over. Still, it should all copy if the copy is initiated from his own account.

As far as apps go, they’re all useless relics at this point. A fresh installation is exactly what we want. [Edit: Andi beat me to it]
     
Waragainstsleep
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Oct 7, 2022, 05:55 PM
 
If you run into permissions issues copying lots of stuff thats in one folder, Terminal is the easy way to go.

sudo cp -R foldername destination

I think if you add a -v sage you'll be able to see when it stops more easily.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
ghporter
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Oct 10, 2022, 12:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
The hard drive on the imac is a newer 1tb. (lightning fried the original) Pity to lose that.
It’s not super challenging to get at the hard drive on a 2006 iMac. In fact, it’s quite a bit simpler than with the 2007 model I have. And if you’re going to recycle the machine anyway, that “certain amount of care and delicacy” in opening the machine up is not a big issue.

The iFixIt guide for replacing the hard drive in that generation of iMacs looks daunting, but most of the steps are simply unplugging things (some of which are held in with Torx screws) or getting the display out of the way.

So salvaging the drive may be worth your time and effort in the long run, assuming you have the tools and the free time.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
reader50
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Oct 10, 2022, 01:52 PM
 
Glen, the HD hasn't failed - retrieving it has no value. The iMac has aged out - they need a newer one for later OS compatibility. But the dad sounds emotionally attached to the old iMac.

Perhaps handle it like a lost loved one. Frame a picture of the beloved old iMac - hang it on the wall nearby. While getting him a later one. A vase with ashes would be optional.

note: iMacs through mid-2011 are still able to boot into Snow Leopard. In case he has any PPC software still around, like a favorite game.
     
subego
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Oct 10, 2022, 07:17 PM
 
If I understand correctly the drive in the iMac is a replacement (and an SSD), so it’s theoretically worth salvaging.
     
   
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