Well first off it's a 2008 machine and it's almost 2013 now, the average life of a iMac in nearly daily use is about 6 years.
So your time is about up with that machine, and likely the dust bunnies haven't seen the light of day clogging up your rear vent exhaust ports, so the heat damage as already set in.
The SuperDrive is broken, the HD has failed, it's like a old car your pouring money into it and it doesn't have the CPU or graphics ability to handle much anymore.
Your even running that RAM hog of Mountain Lion on those older processors.
Your wasting your money on the SSD, it has only SATA II which is 3Gb/s, when newer machines with SSD's have SATA III with twice as much speed, so perhaps a 7,200 RPM hard drive would be best, but you have one already.
You can't "make" a Fusion drive, that's more flash placed on the logicboard in newer Mac's to load the more used items into RAM faster, sure you can put OS X, apps and bare bones users on the SSD, files on the 2GB but still it's only SATA II.
If the clone is done with Carbon Copy Cloner, you do have Recovery HD on the clone to reverse clone back on with, not so if you used the other one, Superdupes.
Recovery HD is what allows the fresh download of OSX from Apple's servers, with your AppleID and password that is.
I don't like TimeMachine, it takes too long and it's glitchy as all heck, if you hold the option key down on a wired or built in keyboard, you can boot from that clone you know, and format and reverse clone too. Would go a lot faster and defrag the drive too.
So once the Recovery HD is back on there (hold option/alt or command r at boot) you could wipe the Macintosh HD parititon then, reinstall OS X like, then install all your progams fresh and clean, then either use Migration Assistant against the clone or manually drag and drop stuff into same named user account files on the fresh install.
If you used Superdupes, then your stucky with the backwards timemachine gizmo, then have to erase and install from Recovery HD.
I'd go for the clean, drag and drop only know files, god knows what TimeMachine or Migration Assistant will copy over.
Thanks - it's funny you make the analogy with an old car as my Subaru 1997 Outback is also getting a bit long in the tooth. However it starts every morning and I don't have a car payment .
I did look long and hard at the new Mac lineup but couldn't find anything quite right. Given the propensity of hard drives to fail, the glued together iMac seems less than ideal, and the Mac Mini sans dedicated graphics card doesn't appeal as a long term prospect either. Maybe next year. Many thanks for your help.
Linc Davis wrote:
.........Any Mac that has those components and is running 10.8.2 should be able to be configured with a Fusion Drive.
And that is correct. I'm running a Mac Mini mid-2011 with a Fusion drive. Using the coreStorage commands I configured my drives (SSD and HDD) to be within a Logical Volume Group. I'm running 10.8.2 on the Mac Mini AND enjoying every bit of the Fusion drive. It is working as designed.