7 Replies Latest reply: Feb 12, 2013 2:42 PM by David L Phelps
David L Phelps Level 3 Level 3 (660 points)

I unwittingly scanned a 1.5 gb tiff file to my desktop. I edited it in photoshop, closed it, reopened it, then things slowed way down. I tried to move it to a folder but the computer is so unresponsive it's hard to do anything. It runs fine on an external boot drive. I've reset the PRAM, repaired disk permissions, repaired the disk (it showed no problems) to no avail. It's a 2 TB seagate drive with 1.3 TB free space, I've got 4GB of memory installed.  At times I get this message: "Your Mac OS X Start up disc has no more space available for application memory."

Any ideas how to proceed?





  • 1. Re: intel imac slowed to a crawl.
    rkaufmann87 Level 8 Level 8 (42,145 points)



    Your post is a little confusing. Which drive is giving your problems ....your internal HD or the external and what is the capacity and amount filled on each drive.

  • 2. Re: intel imac slowed to a crawl.
    MichelPM Level 6 Level 6 (8,080 points)

    You need to install a lot more RAM memory.

    4 GBs of RAM is just enough RAM to run OS X alone, by itself, to insure efficient operation.

    Start running other apps alongside OS X and your iMac is going to experience various degrees of slow downs.

    Photoshop, and all Adobe apps, in general, needs a fast CPU and scads of RAM and hard drive space ( scratch disk space and a decent amount of video RAM.

    What are the specs of your iMac so I better advise how much additonal RAM your iMac can take.

    Year, screen size, CPU speed of your iMac

  • 3. Re: intel imac slowed to a crawl.
    David L Phelps Level 3 Level 3 (660 points)

    The internal is running slow. It seems to be indexing itself. This is a 24", early 2008 3.06 Ghz Intel Core 2 duo running lion 10.7.5. The internal is a 2TB seagate with 1.3 TB available. The external is a 160 GB USB that I have set up as an emergency boot drive. All it has on it is the system ( Lion 10.7.5 on both)


    Everything was normal until I saved this 1.5 GB tiff file to the desktop. When I realized what I had done and tried to move it to a folder on the hard drive everything went bad.


    I believe that 4 GB is the most this machine will take and I've never had any trouble running photoshop.


    I suppose it could be a coincidence that this all happened right as I put this large file on the desktop, but it sure doesn't seem like it.


    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated,  David

  • 4. Re: intel imac slowed to a crawl.
    MichelPM Level 6 Level 6 (8,080 points)

    Your iMac can take up to 6 GBs of RAM.


    Maximum Memory6.0 GB (Actual) 4.0 GB (Apple)
    Memory Slots2 - 200-pin PC2-6400 (800MHz) DDR2 SO-DIMM


    If you just recently upgraded to OS X 10.7 Lion, newer versions of OS X use a lot more CPU, GPU, RAM and hard drive resources.

    4 GBs of RAM simply isn't enough.

    The Application Memory error you were getting is telling you that your iMac does not have enough Internal RAM resources to run additonal Appications.

    What version of Phoroshop is this?

    Having this file of your desktop probably did slow down things.

    And if you were working on this in Photoshop, a 1.5 GB PS  file really turns into about 3 times that size when you open it and start working on it from within PS.

    How much space is left on the external drive?

    In PS Preferences you can setup scratch disks for PS to use for storing temp data when working with PS files.

    You could set your primary scratch disk for the external drive and set a secondary scratch disk as your internal drive.

    This can help to speed up both PS and iMac somewhat when working with PS files.


    You can purchase reliable Mac RAM from online Mac RAM vendors Crucial memory or OWC(macsales).

  • 5. Re: intel imac slowed to a crawl.
    MichelPM Level 6 Level 6 (8,080 points)

    If the drive seems to be indexing, itself, this maybe OS X Spotlight function indexing your iMac's internal drive.

    You can go into OS X Preferences Pane and under the Spotlight Logo, click the Icon and you can disable Spotlight indexing of your hard drive.

  • 6. Re: intel imac slowed to a crawl.
    Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (118,440 points)

    Reboot and try again.

  • 7. Re: intel imac slowed to a crawl.
    David L Phelps Level 3 Level 3 (660 points)

    Thanks all for the suggestions.


    The best I could do to solve this was move all my files off the internal boot drive while running from the external emergency boot drive. Then, I reformatted the internal and reinstalled lion from the apple servers. ( I let it run overnight) Now I'm reinstalling programs and files, and it's working fine, just an unfortunate waste of time.

    Lesson learned: Pay close attention to where files are being saved to. Don't let any big file save to the desktop.