Buy the retail Snow Leopard DVD at your local Apple retailer or from the Online Store - $29.00. I suggest that you also put more RAM in your machine. You can install up to two - 200-pin PC2-5300 (667MHz) DDR2 SO-DIMMs each 2 GBs. This would provide 4 GBs of installed RAM. However, your model is only able to use 3 GBs. But this is an improvement over the 1 GB you now have.
thanks, a correction is needed, my iMac is a late 2006. I installed only one 2 GB Ramm SO-Dimm and the Snow Leopard. I read that 2.5 GB would be more than enough RAMM. It is working but when I watch video the screen will freeze. Also, the dock icons have moved off my screen to a 'screen' to the right of my monitor. I have my tv connected by a cable that allows me to watch videos by sliding the Safari screen over onto the tv. The dock is there when I turn on the tv! Also, the bottom right corner of my desktop screen has an Apple background superimposed over the bottom 1/8th of my desktop extending onto the tv. Convoluted explanation but I had to move my dock to the left of my screen. I have read that maybe freezing is from dust buildup in the machine, causing the it to heat up. Does the machine work extra hard on streaming movies? I also read that perhaps equalizing the RAMM memory slots may be optimal. Any help would be appreciated. IS it true that Macs prove their worth by lasting much longer than PCs? I'm surprised I'm still able to use this after 5 1/2 years.
Do as Kappy says and look into purchasing and installing the extra RAM to get you to 4 GBs
That is really the working minimum RAM needed for OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard to do it stuff.
iMac memory really needs to be installed in balanced pairs.
Plus OS X like this configuration of RAM much better.
So (2) 2 GBs sticks would be needed.
Video streaming or video playing from the iMac is, definitely, more CPU and GPU intensive.
To keep the dust out of your iMac, you need to power it down, unplug everything including the main power cable, rest your iMac on something soft and orient to be able to get to all of the venting areas.
Using either a small special electronic/computer vaccuum or a vaccuum with a seperate hose and small brush or crevice attachment, vacuum all of the intake and exhaust venting on your iMac.
Do this slow and carefully to get as much of the dust/lint buildup as much as possible.
And do it slow so you don't scratch or damage your iMac's case.
Should be doing this every three to six months. At the very least, once a year!
Every Mac I ever had always had dust and lint in them.
Getting this stuff out of your iMac will allow it to run cooler and more eficiently and, hopefully, eliminate any types of overheating or freezing of your iMac.
If your the type that spends the money on a computer with hopes of getting, at least 4-6 years of service out of it, then yes, Macs do have a longer longevity cycle. If your iMac does everything you want it to or expect it to do, you may want to keep it up and running longer.
Prior to purchasing my "newer" 2009, 27 inch screen iMac, I worked for almost 10 years with a 2003 PowerMac G4 tower that served me and my needs very well.
So, depending on what you use and need your iMac to do, you could have this longer than 5 years.