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Why does my 2006 20" Core Duo iMac keep on freezing?

366 Views 12 Replies Latest reply: Sep 29, 2012 5:57 AM by boovish RSS
boovish Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
May 4, 2012 7:16 PM

I can't do anything longer than 5 minutes before it freezes and I have to restart it. Its really annoying. Also yes it is in a well ventilated area and I downloaded a system prefs add on to control the fan.

iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.8), its a white iMac
  • Allan Jones Level 7 Level 7 (29,585 points)

    Its really annoying.




    How much physical RAM is installed?


    How much free space is on the hard drive?


    Does the fan control program verify that the fans are actually turning?

  • Allan Jones Level 7 Level 7 (29,585 points)

    Thank you,


    Well the symptons sounded like a shortage of RAM or hard drive free space. I guess not!


    Do you get a message in multiple languages saying you need to restart your computer?


    Do you have your original gray system hardware install/restore disks? One will have Apple Hardware Test that you run by inserting that DVD in the computer and starting with the "d" key held down.

  • Allan Jones Level 7 Level 7 (29,585 points)

    Then let's run AHT. Only Apple knows the exact meaning of any error codes that appear, but those with "MOT" included mean a fan motor and "SNS" indicates a temp (usually) sensor problem.


    If AHT returns no errors, create a  second user account for the sake of testing. If the computer runs fine from the second acct, that indicates a software more than a hardware issue. If the problem persists across two user accts., could be hardware.


    Dinner's on--will check back later.



  • RRFS Level 5 Level 5 (4,425 points)

    From other posts on this forum it could be your harddrive is nearing the end of its life. Make sure you are backing up regularly.

  • Allan Jones Level 7 Level 7 (29,585 points)

    Sorry, dinner ran late and then we decided to catch a late movie.


    Any gray screen with the "you must restart..." message indicates a kernel panic. They can be caused by hardware or software. On the hardware side, they most commonly point to defective or incompatible RAM. Did the problems show up about the time you added/changed RAM?


    If it's a software problem, the testing from a new user acct should run fine because the things that trigger a panic are usually attached to the system files for a single account.


    There is a panic log you can view. It won't tell you much as it's rather cryptic, but some of us have managed to find the occasional clue within a log. Find Console in Applications > Utilities and look in the left-hand pane for "panic.log". You may have to click a lot of disclosure arrows to find it. I was going to post a screenshot of were it is nbu, on looking, it seems my iMac has not panicked since going into service last November.


    Once you find it, copy/paste it here.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,825 points)

    If you're able to boot, launch the Console application in any of the following ways:


    ☞ Enter the first few letters of its name into a Spotlight search. Select it in the results (it should be at the top.)


    ☞ In the Finder, select Go ▹ Utilities from the menu bar, or press the key combination shift-command-U. The application is in the folder that opens.


    ☞ If you’re running Mac OS X 10.7 or later, open LaunchPad. Click Utilities, then Console in the page that opens.


    Select the most recent panic log under System Diagnostic Reports. Post the contents — the text, please, not a screenshot. For privacy’s sake, I suggest you edit out the “Anonymous UUID,” a long string of letters, numbers, and dashes in the header and body of the report, if it’s present (it may not be.) Please don't post "shutdownStall" or "hang" reports.


    If you can't boot in the usual way, try a safe boot. The instructions provided by Apple are as follows:


    • Be sure your Mac is shut down.
    • Press the power button.
    • Immediately after you hear the startup tone, hold the Shift key. The Shift key should be held as soon as possible after the startup tone, but not before the tone.
    • Release the Shift key when you see the gray Apple icon and the progress indicator (looks like a spinning gear).


    During startup, you’ll see a progress bar, and then the login screen, which appears even if you normally log in automatically. You must know your login password in order to log in. If you’ve forgotten the password, you will need to reset it before you begin.


    Safe mode is slower than normal, and some things won’t work at all.


    Note: If FileVault is enabled under Mac OS X 10.7 or later, you can’t boot in safe mode.

  • RRFS Level 5 Level 5 (4,425 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 5, 2012 10:39 AM (in response to boovish)

    How long since you blew or vacuumed the dust buildup out? My method is to disconnect all cables. Open the memory access panel and remove memory.  If you have access to compressed air,  blow air into the slot at the top of the iMac and into all plugs and ports. Use the vacuum to suck across the memory access area and then repeat the whole process several times. It will surprise you how much dust can accumulate over the years. Put it all back together and smile because you just did your iMac a big favor. The temps should be closer to normal if you got a substantial amount of dust out.


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