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B33-J4Y Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I purchased a new iMac around July/ August. This Mac worked fine for all my needs but within no time at all Apple brought out a new version. Due to this, they allowed me to send mine back and get the new one as it had been so close to release.

Therefore, i was able to get the newer version using the i3 processor with 4x2gb of RAM and 1TB hard drive. My problem is, it is very slow to start-up compared to the previous 'new' one (From a matter of seconds to a matter of minutes), and also, this Mac consistently freezes randomly when it is left on for a while.

My old iMac and Macbook before that practically never crashed and were very fast to start up yet this one which is supposedly better is experiencing constant crashing and slow start-up. I admit i leave it on most of the day (although it sleeps quite a lot) but this happened with my previous 2 Mac's and they never had any issues - Also, it doesn't seem to get too hot where it is so i really have no idea - Why is my better Mac worse?

Any help would be great.



iMac 21.5" - 3.20GHz Intel Core i3 - 8 GB DDR3, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • B33-J4Y Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Anyone? This is a really annoying issue and i'm not really sure where the problem lies...?

  • WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (12,775 points)
    For the slow start up: In System Preferences>Accounts>Login Items. How many Log In items? Also check in the HD Library for Startup Items, Launch Daemons and Launch Agents. Did you install any new software when you got the new Mac?

    When do the freezes occur? Can you relate them to anything you are doing around the same time? Next time you experience a freeze, open up Console in Applications>Utilities. Go to Files>system.log and see what is logged around that time.

    You might want to throw Applejack which is a very useful and safe troubleshooting and repair program at this problem. First run it in Auto mode. Type in "applejack AUTO" then, when that has finished running, go back and run it in "applejack" steps 3 & 4 only for the system and your user. Note that for the first several start ups after, the computer will take longer to boot as caches are being rebuilt and it may take several restarts to notice the full benefits, if any.


    article on using it

    Freezes may sometimes be caused by USB devices. Disconnect all USB devices except the keyboard and mouse (if wired) and see if the freezes stop. Are you running a non-powered USB hub?

    Also, boot in Safe Mode by holding the shift key down at startup. Give it time; it will take much longer to boot this way. This will load a stripped down system and disable some third party software. If the freezes stop in Safe Mode, then it may be some incompatible third party application or program which is responsible.

    Also create a new admin user account to test to see if the freezes stop in that account. If they do, then you know it is something local to your regular account and not system wide.

    Message was edited by: WZZZ
  • B33-J4Y Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Only 3 applications open on start-up, not sure where the HD library would be for me to look in? I can't think of anything major that would be affecting it - no new programs i can think of... I have a Mac-Windows 70:30 partition with Bootcamp but the previous one had this so i can't see that being an issue.

    Freezes tend to occur mostly when i'm not actually using the computer - i'll just go to use it and the mouse/ keyboard are unresponsive all of a sudden and that's that. I only use the USB ports on the Mac which are usually just an Ipod cable and a gaming device.

    I'll give all your suggestions a try but it's so inconsistent when it freezes so i'll need to wait for another, but thanks for the help, i'll look at the links etc.

  • WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (12,775 points)
    Which applications open at start up? Besides Applications there may be other things opening. Check Login Items in SysPrefs Accounts.

    HD Library: open the Macintosh HD folder from the sidebar of a finder window or from the Desktop. It's right there below Applications.

    Disconnect those USB devices and see if the freezes stop. I had an SD card reader that was causing freezes, even if it wasn't being used.

    Have you checked in the Console log where I told you to look? Note the time of the next freeze and have a look in there.

    Also, if you are doing hard shutdowns when these freezes occur, you should open up Disk Utility in Applications>Utilities and verify the drive. Not allowing the system to shut down gracefully can cause problems there.
  • B33-J4Y Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Mail, iAntivirus and ItunesHelper - Not sure what that one is as i've never seen it, maybe it runs in the background.

    Ha, obviously there. I was thinking HD as in 'high definition' for some reason. Nothing that i can see there.

    I'll try disconnecting the USB's and i haven't had a freeze yet since reading your post so i'll get on with the console log when it happens.

    In regards to verifying the drive - Do you mean do it after each time i have a crash and have to force the shutdown? Just went to verify and got these messages:

    - Invalid volume file count
    - Invalid volume directory count
    - Invalid volume free block count
    - The volume Macintosh HD was found corrupt and needs to be repaired.
    Error: This disk needs to be repaired... then use Disk Utility to repair this disk.

    Only, the option to repair is not clickable...?

  • roam Level 6 Level 6 (13,565 points)

    the option to repair is not clickable

    To repair your hard drive, you cannot be booted into it when the repair is being done.
    Instead boot into your Mac 10.6 OS DVD and then use its disk utility to repair your internal hard drive.

    To do this: Insert the Install DVD into the drive and then select Restart; when you hear the chime hold down C key until the apple logo appears.
    This will take you to the installation software, but you do not want to install.
    Select your language, then go up to the top menu bar and navigate to the Disk Utility application.
    Select the hard drive on the left, then go to the First Aid pane where you can click on Repair Disk.
    If it finds errors, repeat the process until it reports no errors.
    After these repairs, quit the Installer, and restart normally.
  • B33-J4Y Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Ok thanks, i'll get on it when i get back from work tonight.
  • WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (12,775 points)
    I don't know iAntiVirus, and searching around I didn't see any awful reviews, but it may be causing some of the issues you're experiencing. There are no viruses for Macs, basically just some Trojans. I would try uninstalling or disabling it, and see if things improve. If you want to keep an AV program, your best bet would be to use ClamXav. It's known for its safety and compatibility with Macs.

    And, yes, verify the drive every time you do a hard shutdown.
  • B33-J4Y Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Had a freeze at some point - I didn't notice when but the very last logs before my restart this morning when i noticed said this:

    26/01/2011 18:08:48 SoftwareUpdateCheck[317] Checking for updates
    26/01/2011 18:08:48 storeagent[320] port created
    26/01/2011 18:09:13 SoftwareUpdateCheck[317] PackageKit: * Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Flip4Mac QuickTime Components.pkg
    26/01/2011 18:09:13 SoftwareUpdateCheck[317] PackageKit: * Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Flip4Mac Web Plugins.pkg
    26/01/2011 18:09:58[1] ([319]) Exited with exit code: 2
    26/01/2011 18:09:58[115] ([0x0-0x2c02c].SoftwareUpdateCheck[317]) Exited with exit code: 102

    Seems to just be updates...

  • WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (12,775 points)
    Have you tried removing iAntiVirus? Also, have you tried creating a new user admin account from which to test this behavior. If it isn't happening there, you know it's something local to your regular account.

    Message was edited by: WZZZ
  • B33-J4Y Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I have deleted iAntivirus as i was just waiting for another crash to suggest the problem hadn't been fixed. I will create another user account tonight when i get home from work and see how that turns out.

    On another note - although i haven't restarted yet to check, it looks like i may have found a solution to the slow start up. I hadn't realised that in newer Macs you have to select the start-up disk manually otherwise this can be a cause of very slow start-up times. So, hopefully when i turn on again it will be back to how it should be.
  • B33-J4Y Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I haven't had a crash since deleting iAntivirus so it's looking good, as i have purposely left the Mac on for the last day and a bit, in order to give it every opportunity to. I'll give it another day or two and it there's no crashes it would appear to be solved.

  • B33-J4Y Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Dammit. Finally had a crash as i was just using the internet.

    Logs from around that time:

    Jan 30 19:11:41 Martyns-iMac named[122]: running
    Jan 30 19:11:43 Martyns-iMac loginwindow[31]: Login Window Started Security Agent
    Jan 30 19:11:43 Martyns-iMac loginwindow[31]: Login Window - Returned from Security Agent
    Jan 30 19:11:43 Martyns-iMac loginwindow[31]: USER_PROCESS: 31 console
    Jan 30 19:11:44 Martyns-iMac[110]: ALF error: cannot find useragent 1102
    Jan 30 19:11:44 Martyns-iMac[110]: plugin.UserEventAgentFactory: called with typeID=FC86416D-6164-2070-726F-70735C216EC0
    Jan 30 19:11:44 Martyns-iMac[126] ( Falling back to default Mach exception handler. Could not find:
    Jan 30 19:11:52 Martyns-iMac[126] ([153]): Exited with exit code: 1
    Jan 30 19:11:52 Martyns-iMac WindowServer[96]: kCGErrorFailure: Set a breakpoint @ CGErrorBreakpoint() to catch errors as they are logged.
    Jan 30 19:11:52 Martyns-iMac[96]: Sun Jan 30 19:11:52 Martyns-iMac.local WindowServer[96] <Error>: kCGErrorFailure: Set a breakpoint @ CGErrorBreakpoint() to catch errors as they are logged.
    Jan 30 19:12:41 Martyns-iMac mdworker[177]: (Error) SyncInfo: Catalog changed during searchfs too many times -- falling back to fsw search /

    Not sure what to make of it...

  • WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (12,775 points)
    Did you ever get around to testing your RAM? Why don't you try Rember? It's a fairly rigorous test and doesn't take as long to run as the memory testing in the Apple Hardware Test (which you might also try running later to see if anything else might come up.) And, have you been verifying the disk after those hard shutdowns?

    Also, have you added any after-market RAM?
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