Previous 1 2 Next 25 Replies Latest reply: Jan 7, 2010 1:26 PM by Kort
Kort Level 3 Level 3 (810 points)
I have a 24" 2.4GHz Intel Aluminum iMac. It came with 10.5.x installed. All was peaches and cream until earlier this year when it would freeze during startup. A forced reboot fixes the problem 99% of the time and it behaves normally after that. But most of the time, I have to start my Mac and then re-start it if I want to use it. The lock-up occurs either on the blue screen, the gray Apple screen, or as soon as it makes it to the main desktop stage. I used to just let my iMac sleep but started having trouble waking it around the turn of '09. This problem started sometime during the last 2 updates of Leopard, I am not sure which iteration though. I thought it might be the wireless keyboard I was using but after hooking up the wired OEM one it still happens. Will happen with no other external devices plugged in as well.

I am not running SL on it yet, though I have SL on an external HD. Has anyone else experienced this problem? I know of only one or two others. I run regular system maintenance and that has not cleared up the issue. It was suggested it might be a HD problem but all tests show my HD to be okay and my system stable. I've not had any other issues and am otherwise happy with my iMac. I run Onyx's automated functions about once a week so permissions and other whatnots should be okay. Any ideas? It seems like something off with the OS, not the iMac, or perhaps a combo of the iMac and the OS. I just ordered DiskWarrior 4 so we'll see if running that helps things (will upgrade to 4.2 when I get it).

Thoughts?

24" 2.4 GHz iMac (10.5.8), MacMini(10.4.x), 2GHz G5(10.3.9) Airport Ext. (n), Mac OS X (10.5.8), 23" Cinema Display, Epson 836XL scanner, Epson R1800 Printer
  • den.thed Level 7 Level 7 (24,595 points)
    Hi Kort

    Sounds like you have done and tried just about everything.

    A few other things you might try are:

    1. Check your RAM by either reinstalling the modules incase one has a bad connection or is partially dislodged.

    2. Reinstall the original RAM modules that came in your iMac if you have upgraded.

    3. Go to: System Preferences > Accounts > Login Items and remove any third party, non-encential or perhaps even all the items from the list.

    Dennis
  • Kort Level 3 Level 3 (810 points)
    Thanks Carolyn, I did try that and it had no effect.

    den, why do you think it may be a RAM issue if things work fine all of the rest of the time? When I got my iMac the first thing I did was upgrade to 4GB of RAM. It worked just fine for a year before this issue cropped up.
  • nouveller Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I've had the exact same problem, the issue being an external Firewire HDD being plugged in.

    My machine now starts up fine (since the Firewire HDD has removed) but once the Mac has loaded and I plug any Firewire/USB device in it becomes unsuably slow.
  • Kort Level 3 Level 3 (810 points)
    nouveller wrote:
    I've had the exact same problem, the issue being an external Firewire HDD being plugged in.

    My machine now starts up fine (since the Firewire HDD has removed) but once the Mac has loaded and I plug any Firewire/USB device in it becomes unsuably slow.


    So, you had the same startup issues that I have had AND system slowdown when plugging in an external FW drive?

    I have external FW drives and they don't slow down my system. They aren't as fast as my internal drives but I've had no unusual slowdowns with them plugged in. Is your drive FW400 or 800?
  • nouveller Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    It's an iOmega MiniMax Desktop Hard Drive 400.

    But I get the same problem when plugging any USB storage device too. iPhone, digi' camera and memory sticks.
  • Kort Level 3 Level 3 (810 points)
    nouveller wrote:
    It's an iOmega MiniMax Desktop Hard Drive 400.

    But I get the same problem when plugging any USB storage device too. iPhone, digi' camera and memory sticks.


    Hrmmm. I have 2 HDs, a scanner and printer plugged into mine and have no noticeable performance issues (once my system gets going!). I would say you might be having a different issue. I'm not familiar with that problem but my suggestion to you is to go through all the usual fixes if you haven't already.
  • Reuben Feffer Level 2 Level 2 (205 points)
    I have a brand new 21.5-inch iMac, with nothing currently plugged into it, except for a Wired keyboard.

    When I turn my iMac on, I hear the Apple chime straight away but just see a white/grey screen. It takes about 33 seconds for the Apple logo to appear, and then for the rest of the startup procedure to continue.

    Is this the same problem? Is this normal?

    I have installed any additional RAM. All of the RAM is what Apple the iMac with. And I've just run Verify Disk in Disk Utility and it says "The volume appears to be OK."

    Message was edited by: Reuben Feffer
  • Kort Level 3 Level 3 (810 points)
    You have one of the newer iMacs and no, it doesn't sound like the same problem. Mine will lock completely, forcing a re-boot, which after it works just fine.

    I would hazard a guess though and say that 33 seconds seems excessive for a the Apple logo to appear, especially if you've used it recently. If you do a restart, does it take as long before the logo appears?

    Repair your permissions and do a disc repair with Disk Utility from the DVD that ca me with your system. You could try the old standby of Zapping the PRAM as well. If you have Disk Warrior 4.2, run that. If the issue persists, contact Apple.
  • Reuben Feffer Level 2 Level 2 (205 points)
    Ok. Well mine doesn't lock up. It just takes ages to startup, whether I'm starting from being Shut Down, or doing a Restart. Same thing. The Apple chime sounds immediately, but the iMac waits on a white/grey screen for 35 seconds, before the Apple logo appears.

    I've repaired permissions using Disk Utility within Snow Leopard. I've also Verified Disk and found no problems. Is running Disk Utility from the DVD different to running it within Snow Leopard?

    How do you zap the PRAM again? I haven't tried that, yet.
  • Reuben Feffer Level 2 Level 2 (205 points)
    Hey, I reset the PRAM and the problem has gone away. How about that? I followed Apple's instructions:

    Resetting your Mac's PRAM and NVRAM
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1379

    So the delay between the Apple chime and the Apple logo appearing is now a more reasonable 5 seconds, which is what I'd expect.

    Thanks.

    Message was edited by: Reuben Feffer
  • Kort Level 3 Level 3 (810 points)
    Reuben Feffer wrote:
    Hey, I reset the PRAM and the problem has gone away. How about that? I followed Apple's instructions:


    Hahah, I was just coming back to answer you.
    I'm glad that took care of your issue. Probably some old settings from the previous memory were slowing things down. Glad you're run back at normal speed!
  • Leafmaker Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    @Kort

    I am experiencing precisely the same issue, the first occurrence being today November 5th, 2009.

    I too regularly run Onyx's automated functions, and my permissions are as they should be.

    This is the first instance of a freeze at start up that I have experienced on this machine. My freeze occurs on the gray screen, the loading dial stalls and then sits inactive. I let it sit for ten minutes and then rebooted. The machine ran as usual after reboot.

    After the reboot, I ran maintenance on the machine via Onyx and successfully shutdown and started-up twice in three hours. After leaving the machine (off) during lunch, I returned and started up and the freeze occurred in the same manner as before.

    I never sleep my machine. I always shut it down if I am going to be away for more than 15 minutes.

    I am going to run disk utility now rather than Onyx, and hopefully the issue will resolve.
  • Kort Level 3 Level 3 (810 points)
    Welcome to the Apple Discussion Leafmaker.
    It is 'good' to find another person experiencing this, though I wouldn't wish this situation on anyone.

    Yes, your description matches what is happening with me as well. I have run Disk Utility and it has had no effect. I've tried a number of options including zapping NVRAM and PRAM but the problem alway returns. I purchased Disk Warrior 4 yesterday and am hoping that when it arrives it will fix whatever is causing this. Let me know if you have better luck.
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