Imac freezes every few minutes


Joined
Jan 31, 2018
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Hi, I have an imac I purchased two years ago. Recently it started getting pretty slow and sometimes frezzes for a few seconds. Then I tried to update to High Sierra but the update got stuck, and when I tried to reboot the mac' it wouldn't start. I had to erase the whole computer and install a fresh OS. Idid it and the mac worked fine for a few weeks. But two days ago its started freezing over for a few seconds every 10 or so minutes. Everything becomes unresponsive except for the mouse and audio. So if I'm watching a video the image freezes but the audio goes on. It's super annoying!
I tried closing every app except one so there won't be anything running in the background taking up CPU, but it didn't help. So I don't think it's a RAM issue but I'm not sure. And as I mentioned, I just reinstalled the OS. Any idea what could be the problem?? Maybe it's a software causing this? Or is something just wrong with the hardware?
Please Help!
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Sep 17, 2014
Messages
4,855
Reaction score
237
A couple of questions:

1. What exact iMac model do you have?

2. What Mac OS were you using before trying to upgrade to High Sierra, and what exact Mac OS are you now using?

3. Have you ever done any disk cleanup/maintenance/repairs, from a software perspective? You actually can do a good amount of disk cleanup on your own, and there are some excellent programs available (both free and commercial) that can assist you in those efforts. Along with that, how much free space is on your internal drive?

4. This is critical: are you making backups to an external device? If so, what software are you using for this?

5. When you stated "I had to erase the whole computer", how exactly did you do that?

From what you are describing, it would appear that there could be an issue with your internal drive. To better determine that, you'll need to run some software to examine its "health". Disk Utility is OK for that, but a more robust tool like either Tech Tool Pro or Disk Warrior is better. To use Disk Utility, you'll need to boot to the (hidden) Recovery HD partition. This link describes how to do that, and what is on that partition:

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201314

You would select Disk Utility from the screen that appears, and let it Verify and Repair the disk, at all "levels". However, be aware that without a backup, that is risky.

By the way, are you using any third party (ie, non-Apple) software? If you are, you need to insure that each one is compatible with whatever Mac OS you are running and/or what you want to upgrade to. This site can help you with that:

https://roaringapps.com/apps
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 31, 2018
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
A couple of questions:
Thanks for the response!

1. What exact iMac model do you have?
I have an imac 21.5 inch, 1.6 ghz processor, memory is 8gb 1867 MHz DDR3

2. What Mac OS were you using before trying to upgrade to High Sierra, and what exact Mac OS are you now using?
I was using OS X El capita, and now I'm using OS High Sierra version 10.13.3

3. Have you ever done any disk cleanup/maintenance/repairs, from a software perspective? You actually can do a good amount of disk cleanup on your own, and there are some excellent programs available (both free and commercial) that can assist you in those efforts. Along with that, how much free space is on your internal drive?
I did a cleanup via CleanMyMac in the past , however the last time I tried (couple of days ago) it failed. What other softwares would you recommend? I have about 287 GB free space available.

4. This is critical: are you making backups to an external device? If so, what software are you using for this?
I am making backups to an external drive but not using any software, just drag the files I want to backup.

5. When you stated "I had to erase the whole computer", how exactly did you do that?
I took it to a lab (not an apple lab). The tech guy did it. What I meant was that he reinstalled the OS from scratch.

From what you are describing, it would appear that there could be an issue with your internal drive. To better determine that, you'll need to run some software to examine its "health". Disk Utility is OK for that, but a more robust tool like either Tech Tool Pro or Disk Warrior is better. To use Disk Utility, you'll need to boot to the (hidden) Recovery HD partition. This link describes how to do that, and what is on that partition:

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201314

You would select Disk Utility from the screen that appears, and let it Verify and Repair the disk, at all "levels". However, be aware that without a backup, that is risky.



By the way, are you using any third party (ie, non-Apple) software? If you are, you need to insure that each one is compatible with whatever Mac OS you are running and/or what you want to upgrade to. This site can help you with that:

https://roaringapps.com/apps

I am using third party softwares, mostly Adobe graphic softwares.


Also, would you recommend uninstalling all or some of the third party softwares to see if the problem persist?
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2014
Messages
4,855
Reaction score
237
A couple of things:

1. No backups is not a good thing. Just "dragging" is definitely not enough, and you are asking for trouble.

2. Why did you "upgrade" from El Capitan to High Sierra? In actuality, High Sierra is not much of an improvement over Sierra. It would have been better for you to upgrade to Sierra first.

3. Also, whenever you upgrade to a new Mac OS, it is important that you take the necessary steps:

A. Insure that all your third party software is compatible with the new Mac OS you are upgrading to.

B. Do disk cleanup/maintenance/repairs, from a software perspective.

C. Make a final backup of your "old" system.

Did you do any/all of that (I already know the answer to C is no)?

4. CleanMyMac is bad, and can cause issues. There are at least 3 other free and excellent programs you can use instead: Onyx, AppCleaner, and Grand Perspective. Also, Malwarebytes is a good, free program to check whether you have any adware on your machine.

5. For your Adobe "stuff", is each product compatible with High Sierra? Also, what exact other third party software are you using?

6. What exact year is your iMac model?

7. Regarding the tech shop, it would be good to know if before they installed High Sierra, that they first Erased and Formatted the internal drive. I suspect they did, but it would be good to know what tool/tools they used. Also, if they got all of your other "stuff" back on your machine, how did they do that? Without a backup, that is almost impossible.

8. Are there any files/information on your machine that are absolutely critical?

Going forward, I see 2 ways you can proceed (but you need to answer all my questions first, and especially #8). In both cases, it is just about necessary for you to have a backup to your external drive:

A. As I already mentioned, boot to the (hidden) Recovery HD partition and let Disk Utility "check out" the internal drive.

B. Again, boot to the (hidden) Recovery HD partition, again let Disk Utility "check out" your drive, and as long as things are OK, then let Disk Utility Erase and Format the drive. Then, select "Reinstall macOS" That process will do a fresh, clean installation of High Sierra, OS 10.13.3, but it will be slow. After that completes, you can either leave it "as is", and let the machine run for a while with just the Mac OS, or you can, via Migration Assistant, "migrate"/copy all your needed stuff from the backup.

If you really want to try and "attack" this issue, there is a better way to do backups, along with taking some other steps. And it will not cost anything to do it. But the first thing is that you need to answer the questions I posed above.
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2018
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
A couple of things:

1. No backups is not a good thing. Just "dragging" is definitely not enough, and you are asking for trouble.
You're right I should've. What I meant by "dragging" is that I only did a backup for specific files and folders that are super important to me, instead of an automatic backup of the entire system. Just to be clear, you mean I should do the latter, right? Using time machine to an external drive? Also, should I backup to the icloud drive as well/instead?

2. Why did you "upgrade" from El Capitan to High Sierra? In actuality, High Sierra is not much of an improvement over Sierra. It would have been better for you to upgrade to Sierra first.
A few weeks ago my mac started working very slow, and freeze occasionally with no apparent reason. I tried a bunch of things including erasing unnecessary files and programs, cleaning junk (using CleanMyMac) and nothing worked. Searching the web for a solution, I saw a suggestion in an apple forum to upgrade to sierra. I tried, but the process got stuck. I restarted the computer but it kept shutting down immediately after restart. At that point I took it to the lab. The tech guy checked it out and said that it's not a hardware problem but the os cannot be accessed (his words) and needs to be formatted and reinstalled. He installed High Sierra I guess because its the latest version.

3. Also, whenever you upgrade to a new Mac OS, it is important that you take the necessary steps:

A. Insure that all your third party software is compatible with the new Mac OS you are upgrading to.
Hadn't done that. I guess I assumed that if any software won't be compatible I simply wouldn't be able to install it.
B. Do disk cleanup/maintenance/repairs, from a software perspective.
Can you explain what you mean by "from a software perspective"? I did do a cleanup occasionally using CleanMyMac but I guess it was not comprehensive enough. Is this also important before formatting the mac and installing a new OS?
C. Make a final backup of your "old" system.
I had some things backed up but not the entire old system.
Did you do any/all of that (I already know the answer to C is no)?
4. CleanMyMac is bad, and can cause issues. There are at least 3 other free and excellent programs you can use instead: Onyx, AppCleaner, and Grand Perspective. Also, Malwarebytes is a good, free program to check whether you have any adware on your machine.
Thanks! I'll get rid of CleanMyMac and check these out.

5. For your Adobe "stuff", is each product compatible with High Sierra? Also, what exact other third party software are you using?
I checked the RoaringApps link you gave me. I have three adobe cc softwares installed, Photoshop is compatible, Illustrator has no date for Indesign the date is conflicting.
The other third party I use are Chrome, Wacom tablet utility and uTorrent. All compatible according to RoaringApps.


6. What exact year is your iMac model?
Late 2015.

7. Regarding the tech shop, it would be good to know if before they installed High Sierra, that they first Erased and Formatted the internal drive. I suspect they did, but it would be good to know what tool/tools they used. Also, if they got all of your other "stuff" back on your machine, how did they do that? Without a backup, that is almost impossible.
I believe they did erase and formatted the drive, I can try and find out the tools. They didn't got my stuff back on the machine, they gave me a clean machine only with the new OS installed, I installed the softwares (the adobe ones from external drive, the other ones from the web) and copied to it some of the files I had backed up on external drives.

8. Are there any files/information on your machine that are absolutely critical?
Yes, but I have backup. Although I do want to make sure that I have another backup on an additional external device, just in case.

Going forward, I see 2 ways you can proceed (but you need to answer all my questions first, and especially #8). In both cases, it is just about necessary for you to have a backup to your external drive:
A. As I already mentioned, boot to the (hidden) Recovery HD partition and let Disk Utility "check out" the internal drive.
B. Again, boot to the (hidden) Recovery HD partition, again let Disk Utility "check out" your drive, and as long as things are OK, then let Disk Utility Erase and Format the drive. Then, select "Reinstall macOS" That process will do a fresh, clean installation of High Sierra, OS 10.13.3, but it will be slow. After that completes, you can either leave it "as is", and let the machine run for a while with just the Mac OS, or you can, via Migration Assistant, "migrate"/copy all your needed stuff from the backup.
I'm not sure I completely understand- why boot to recovery and let disk utility check the drive twice? I mean, what is step A. for? Also, clearly I need the stuff from the backup, but you're saying it's better to let the machine run for a while with only the Mac OS ?

Thanks again for all your help and patience.


If you really want to try and "attack" this issue, there is a better way to do backups, along with taking some other steps. And it will not cost anything to do it. But the first thing is that you need to answer the questions I posed above.
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2014
Messages
4,855
Reaction score
237
OK, thanks for the detailed reply. My reply is going to be somewhat long, as there is a lot to cover. I just hope I do not forget anything. So please bear with me.

First, yes, when I say a complete backup, I mean a complete backup using software like Time Machine, or a couple of other choices (will get to that soon).

Secondly, what is the capacity of your external drive? And also what brand is it, and how long have you had it?

Third, unless you don't mind your important information (both personal and other) being in the cloud, I would not recommend backing up to the cloud. For me, that is too risky, no matter how many "safeguards" there supposedly are. Backing up to an external drive is good enough, but you need to keep at it (along with doing other things). Also, you might consider getting another external drive, and then you can make 2 backups. Myself I have two external drives (actually SSDs inside nice, slim enclosures), and I back up both of my Macs to both drives (I have each drive partitioned into 3 partitions. Two of the partitions are for the backups of each of my Macs, and the third contains miscellaneous "stuff").

Fourth, regarding disk cleanup/maintenance/repairs from a software perspective, I mean using software to do those tasks (and for disk cleanup, you can also do some).

Fifth, you should download the following free software (I have provided links):

Onyx - https://www.titanium-software.fr/en/onyx.html (Make sure you get V3.4.2, as you are running OS 10.13.3)

AppCleaner - https://freemacsoft.net/appcleaner/

GrandPerspective - http://grandperspectiv.sourceforge.net/

Malwarebytes - https://www.malwarebytes.com/mac/

Onyx is very similar to CleanMyMac, only better. It has been around for quite some time, has had numerous excellent reviews, and is rock solid. I have been using it form so long that I depend upon it (along with the excellent commercial program Tech Tool Pro).

You actually can use AppCleaner right away, given that you want to remove CleanMyMac. Besides removing the app itself, AppCleaner will also find most other files "connected" with CleanMyMac that are not needed. After you remove it with AppCleaner, it might be good to do a search of CleanMyMac on your internal drive. I don't use Spotlight, preferring to use the excellent freeware program EasyFind. But if you use Spotlight, that's fine.

Sixth, your other third party software seems fine. Nothing nefarious there! (By the way, I use Transmission, which is similar to uTorrent).

Now, before talking about backing up, you had another question as to why disk cleanup/maintenance/repairs, from a software perspective, needs to be done, given that the internal drive will be Erased and Formatted. In actuality, and in preparation for that Erase and Format, you will need to do the following:

A. Run through disk cleanup/maintenance/repairs. The initial tool you'll use for that is Onyx. Depending on how you want to proceed with backing up, Disk Utility will come in handy also.

B. Do a final backup of your "stuff", using backup software.

OK, now about backups. It would be best if you read this thread I started back in November about backups:

https://www.mac-help.com/threads/backups-backups-backups.223959/

It si rather comprehensive, and other folks made some excellent contributions to it. As I mentioned in that thread, I use SuperDuper!, and it works like a charm!

After you read that thread, let us know which backup software you want to use. Then, the final steps of the plan can be completed.
 
Last edited:
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Jan 31, 2018
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
OK, thanks for the detailed reply. My reply is going to be somewhat long, as there is a lot to cover. I just hope I do not forget anything. So please bear with me.
Hi Honestone, sorry for the delay

First, yes, when I say a complete backup, I mean a complete backup using software like Time Machine, or a couple of other choices (will get to that soon).

Secondly, what is the capacity of your external drive? And also what brand is it, and how long have you had it?
It's a 1TB WD Elements Basic Storage Stockage Simplement, and I'd just bought it.

Third, unless you don't mind your important information (both personal and other) being in the cloud, I would not recommend backing up to the cloud. For me, that is too risky, no matter how many "safeguards" there supposedly are. Backing up to an external drive is good enough, but you need to keep at it (along with doing other things). Also, you might consider getting another external drive, and then you can make 2 backups. Myself I have two external drives (actually SSDs inside nice, slim enclosures), and I back up both of my Macs to both drives (I have each drive partitioned into 3 partitions. Two of the partitions are for the backups of each of my Macs, and the third contains miscellaneous "stuff").
I got an additional a much older Seagate (that doesn't seems to have any issues despite his age) and the new WD.

Fourth, regarding disk cleanup/maintenance/repairs from a software perspective, I mean using software to do those tasks (and for disk cleanup, you can also do some).

Fifth, you should download the following free software (I have provided links):

Onyx - https://www.titanium-software.fr/en/onyx.html (Make sure you get V3.4.2, as you are running OS 10.13.3)

AppCleaner - https://freemacsoft.net/appcleaner/

GrandPerspective - http://grandperspectiv.sourceforge.net/

Malwarebytes - https://www.malwarebytes.com/mac/
https://www.malwarebytes.com/mac/
I downloaded all 3. Regarding GrandPerspective, I gather it only scans specific folders rather the whole system, right?
I ran Onyx and Malwarebytes.


Onyx is very similar to CleanMyMac, only better. It has been around for quite some time, has had numerous excellent reviews, and is rock solid. I have been using it form so long that I depend upon it (along with the excellent commercial program Tech Tool Pro).

You actually can use AppCleaner right away, given that you want to remove CleanMyMac. Besides removing the app itself, AppCleaner will also find most other files "connected" with CleanMyMac that are not needed. After you remove it with AppCleaner, it might be good to do a search of CleanMyMac on your internal drive. I don't use Spotlight, preferring to use the excellent freeware program EasyFind. But if you use Spotlight, that's fine.

Sixth, your other third party software seems fine. Nothing nefarious there! (By the way, I use Transmission, which is similar to uTorrent).

Now, before talking about backing up, you had another question as to why disk cleanup/maintenance/repairs, from a software perspective, needs to be done, given that the internal drive will be Erased and Formatted. In actuality, and in preparation for that Erase and Format, you will need to do the following:

A. Run through disk cleanup/maintenance/repairs. The initial tool you'll use for that is Onyx. Depending on how you want to proceed with backing up, Disk Utility will come in handy also.
Didn't quite understand what should be done with Disk Utility at this point

B. Do a final backup of your "stuff", using backup software.

OK, now about backups. It would be best if you read this thread I started back in November about backups:

https://www.mac-help.com/threads/backups-backups-backups.223959/

It si rather comprehensive, and other folks made some excellent contributions to it. As I mentioned in that thread, I use SuperDuper!, and it works like a charm!

After you read that thread, let us know which backup software you want to use. Then, the final steps of the plan can be completed.
Since it's free, I'll use Time Machine
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2014
Messages
4,855
Reaction score
237
OK, thanks for the information.

First, you need to partition the Western Digital drive. Assuming you already have some files/folders there already, make at least 2 partitions. One of them will be for the backup, and the other is for the "stuff" you have there already. As I mentioned, I don't use Time Machine, and I do not do any incremental backups, and thus the amount of space I have devoted for each of my backups on each of my external SSDs is "basically" fixed. If you are going to use Time Machine, and especially if you plan on doing incremental backups, then you need to make its partition on the drive "about" 50% larger than the portion of your internal drive on your iMac that you have devoted for High Sierra, your apps, etc. So for example if that "piece/partition" on the iMac is 300 gig, then you should make the "Time Machine" partition on the WD drive 450 gig.

Secondly, yes, GrandPerspective works at the "folder level", which is good, as you want to be to find out where the large files are that are taking up a lot of space.

Third, regarding what happens next after running Onyx before the final backup, the use of Disk Utility will be to Verify and Repair your internal drive. The, you would make the Time Machine backup.

Last, before laying out a detailed plan, as I mentioned, you can use either SuperDuper! (SD) or Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) in demo mode. I actually used SuperDuper! in demo mode for almost a year before I purchased. While yes, Time Machine is free, did you fully understand the advantages of using either SD or CCC over Time Machine? I can tell for a fact that using Time Machine as part of this project is going to be slow, time consuming, and you'll have no control over it. So, please let me know about that before going any further.
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2018
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
I think I understood that the basic difference between SD and TM is that the former is faster and easier to use. But
will SD do periodic automatic backups?
If I can really use it in demo for a year and you highly recommend it over time machine, then I'll use it.

However, since my last reply I've encountered a new, pretty strange problem with my WD driver.
It's a new driver I bought yesterday specifically for the backup, so it's completely empty.

So here what happened:

1. I connected the WD drive to my mac, and Time Machine popped up asking me if I want to use it as a backup driver. I chose decide later.

2. Then, I went to disk utility in order to format the drive to exFAT so it could work with the mac. The process failed.
(I previously did it for my older Seagate drive and it worked fine) I tried to run first aid and it also failed.

3. I disconnected the drive from the USB port and connected it back again, but got the a message that it's "not readable" by the mac. I went to Disk Utility and the drive was listed but greyed out, and I couldn't perform any task.

4. Tried restarting the mac, didn't help.

5. To see if the problem is with the drive or the Mac, I connected the drive to my old Toshiba laptop. It read the drive fine, and I formatted it to exFAT.

6. I connected the drive back to my mac, and now it was fine, the computer read it. At that point I thought the problem was behind me.

7. I opened Time Machine to set up the drive as my backup. but then TM said the drive cannot be used for backup since it doesn't have enough space (which is weird).

8. And then the problem came back: The drive cannot be read by the mac and is greyed out in Disk Utility.


I don't know if something got corrupted or damaged in the drive itself, or if it's a Mac problem. Perhaps I should've bought a different brand of drive that's compatible with macs?

Hope you can help me with this if it's not a bother, I know it's not necessarily related to the original issue.
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2014
Messages
4,855
Reaction score
237
I was going to say this earlier, but WD drives have a reputation of not playing "nicely" with Macs. That's not always the case, but from what I have read (and a number of times on these forums here), it happens rather often. If I were you, I'd return it, and get a drive with a Seagate mechanism (like you have already).

Also, you would need to format any new drive as Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Formatting it as ExFat is for use by PCs. However, I have needed to format flash drives as ExFat, so that I can watch movies/TV series on our Samsung Smart TV. Either of my Macs read ExFat-formatted flash drives fine.

I do not know if Shirt Pocket software (they make SuperDuper!) has tightened things up regarding demo mode, so I cannot really say how long you can use it. But it only costs $27.95. As far as I know, it can be configured to make periodic, automatic backups. But I do not use that feature, as once a week is enough for my needs.
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2018
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Ok Thanks, I'll try returning it and get a Seagate one instead, then continue the process.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Jan 31, 2018
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Hi
So before I got the chance to buy a new drive to back up the system, the problem came back- the mac won't start. I'm turning it on, the system begins to load and then shuts down. It's just like it happened last time- a short period of the mac slowing down,freezes and eventually this.
So I have the most important files backed up but not the entire system. I'd like to format the mac and reinstall the OS. What is the next step I should take?
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2014
Messages
4,855
Reaction score
237
OK, here is what you need to do:

1. Start up your machine via the (hidden) Recovery HD partition. This link explains how to do that, along with other useful information:

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201314

2. Select the 4th option on the menu, "Disk Utility" When it appears, select Erase and Format. This will Erase and Format your internal drive (make sure the format says "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)". (Hopefully Disk Utility will not show any issues with the drive).

3. Select the first option, Reinstall macOS. That process will involve the installation of the latest version of High Sierra, OS 10.13.3, from Apple's servers. It will be somewhat slow and long.

Once that's done, of course, you'll need to go through all the "manual" setup steps, including the installation of High Sierra versions of your third party software.

There is another possible solution, and i should have asked you this before. How are you making posts here? If you are using another Mac, what exact model is it, and what OS is it running?
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2018
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
I'm not using another mac, I'm posting this from my old PC laptop.
Since the tech guy at the lab already formatted the drive and reinstalled the OS the last time, and the problem came back after a while, should I do something different this time? Maybe not install any third party softwares for a while? Or is it definitely some kind of a hardware problem with the disk?
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Sep 17, 2014
Messages
4,855
Reaction score
237
You make some good points. Disk Utility should tell you if there is a hardware issue with the internal drive. If you had a more robust disk cleanup/maintenance/repair program like Tech Tool Pro or Disk Warrior, that could be better. But form now, see what Disk Utility tells you. If all is well, and after the Mac OS installed, run your machine for a while before installing any additional software. Then, maybe add such software one by one.

It's unfortunate that you cannot find out exactly what the Tech Shop did, in terms of checking out the internal drive. That would certainly help.
 
Last edited:

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top