Alright, let me try to describe confusion as best I can.
I've had a late `06 iMac since early 2007. Upgraded to Leopard when it was new, but since then really couldn't afford the rampant newness every few months.
While I applaud the digital evolution, I've also had enough of relearning every blessed thing over n' over instead of learning & using what I already have,
but let's cut that rant off and get to the current bug-a-boos.
For a few months recently my 27" desktop suffered escalating freeze-ups and hard restarts while it became clearer it was prob'ly the graphics card.
3 weeks ago we reached the point where it wouldn't get past a blue-screen unless I booted in safe-mode . . and with all those limitations, and the green-grids over everything of a darker color, that's no replacement for a functioning Mac !
Since then I've been running off an external clone of the HD.
A 3 TB Seagate, which oddly had no Firewire, but was the only model that I could find fitting my needs at the time.
USB has certainly been sufficient in the past, but now ? . . it's most likely not the core cause of my aneurism inducing situations anyway.
What I've got running off the external is a refurbished laptop I bought at an Apple store in late 2006 when the super-drive was gonna' have the Mac sitting with the geniuses for a week or more ( I had some money then . . sigh ).
Refurbished in `06 would prob'ly make it, what ? . . a 2003 maybe ?
I'm not gonna' reboot to it just to confirm that.
Anywhy . . . times in the past I ran the laptop from a clone did not produce what I'm dealing with now : Netflix thinks I've migrated settings to a new computer and there's a DRM problem, and other such stuff . . .
But Safari going into beachball constantly is what's tearing out my hair !
I often have to open and force-quit it 5 or 6 times till it works . . briefly !!
And kernel_task / root user is usually at the top of Activity Monitor's CPU usage nowadays as well.
I doubt emptying Safari's cache when it finally opens helps much, but it seemed to for awhile.
What can I try, or where should I look in my rather unique configuration, just so I can function for more then a few minutes, till I fix or replace the iMac ?