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Mike, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 2186
Experience:  Apple trained Technician, A+ Certified, 20+ years of Mac support, repairs, training, and consulting
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My intel iMac (white, a year or two old), has suddenly slowed

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My intel iMac (white, a year or two old), has suddenly slowed to a crawl, especially when Mail and Address Book are open.

If I log out and log in to another account on the same Mac, it's quite speedy.

How can I make my main account speedy again?
HelloCustomerand thanks for using

Try starting your computer using safe boot. This performs some system maintenance.

To perform a safe boot do the following:

• Be sure the computer is shut down.
• Press the power button.
• Immediately after you hear the startup tone, press and hold the Shift key.
• Tip: The Shift key should be held as soon as possible after the startup tone but not before.
• Release the Shift key when you see the gray Apple and progress indicator (looks like a spinning gear).

Restart the computer

Let me know if this helps the speed.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Hi Tom,

Thanks for the info, but no, that didn't do the trick. Still as slow as ever, (even just clicking on file icons with no apps open, it takes forever for the icon to become highlighted). Force quit works eventually, but only after several minutes.

Yet, other accounts on same computer work just fine.

One more thing I've tried... I tried zapping the PRAM. No help.

One more clue... not sure if it had anything to do with it, but an old app I installed a long time ago that handled caller ID display on the Mac showed up in the Activity Monitor as hogging all the processor power, (this was one of the first things I checked into when the iMac became sluggish). I removed the app from the startup items list, and I think I removed it entirely from my iMac. The Activity monitor now shows minimal activity as opposed to the "meters" being pegged. But no improvement in performance.

Anyway, any other ideas?
Click on the Apple in the top left and choose system preferences

Can you tell me what is in the Other row ?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Not much... Microsoft Keyboard, Microsoft Mouse, Stuffit AVR, Version Cue CS2
Turn stuffit AVR off. That should do it.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
How do I turn off or remove Stuffit AVR? When I click on it in the System Preferences Panel, it comes up with a dialog box that says "Preferences Error -- You cannot open Stuffit AVR preferences because it doesn't work on an Intel-based Mac.

I searched in finder for Stuffit AVR but could not find it.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Ok, got it. By Control-Clicking the Stuffit AVR system preference panel icon I was able to remove it from the preference panel. I also removed the CS2 Version Cue, (which also said it didn't work on an Intel Mac).

But that didn't work. Still running like sludge. (Takes a minute or two for it to even highlight an icon on the desktop I've clicked).

Any other suggestions?
Click on the Apple in the top left.
Go to System Preferences -> Accounts-->Login Items Tab

If you have Stuffit AVR in the list click on it to highlight it and then click the - 'minus' symbol to delete it.

Restart your computer
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Nope, already did that. Still sluggish.

A few questions for you:
Can you look again in Activity Monitor and then sort by CPU (click on the title of the column) and tell me if anything else is using a lot of processor space?

What is the free space on your Hard Drive? Do a Get Info (click on hard drive icon, choose Get Info from file menu) and tell me what it says for the details of the hard drive.

Go to your Hard Drive and open it, open the Library folder there and then look for StartupItems folder. Anything in there?
Also while in the Liobrary folder, check the LaunchAgents and LaunchDaemons folder for items.

Do the same with your Home Folder (little house) and open THAT Library folder and then the LaunchAgents folder. Anything in there?

Let me know,
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Hi Mike,

Thanks for helping me with this.

Activity Monitor: No, nothing unusual there, low actiivity. (However, when this problem first cropped up, I checked this and there was an seldom-used ap that was pegging the meters, eating up a ton of resources. I deleted the ap and now it's no longer showing up in Activ. Mon. Just in case that means anything).

Hard Drive Space: 53Gigs out of 132 is available, 79GB used. Format: Mac OS Extended (Journaled)

Startup Items: Nothing in that folder. There is a Now Up To Date file in the Disabled Startup Items folder though.

LaunchAgents folder only has one file in it:com.hp.launchURLagent.plist
LaunchDaemons:    Nothing.

No LaunchAgents folder found in the home Library.

Thanks Mike!

Let's run a utility and see if this helps.

To run disk checking utility without booting from a CD/DVD do this:

Shut down your Computer.

Turn it back on and hold down the 'Command' and 'S' keys at the same time

Release the keys when you see a lot of text scrolling up the screen.

When the text stops and the Mac appears to be waiting for something, type in the following command EXACTLY:

/sbin/fsck -fy (note the space between fsck and -fy)

Hit return and the disk utility should run.

Let it finish. If it returns any errors, make a note of them and then run the command again.

When it finishes and there is no error, then type in reboot and hit return

Let the Mac boot up and see if it is still giving you problems.

Let me know,
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Hi MIke,

Ran the test. No errors found. It summarized saying everything looked fine.
Mini still slow?
I am wondering if we have a bad User then. It may make sense to migrate to the other user and move your files into that one and eventually delete this one.

Only other thing would be a re-install of OS X, but that is knid of silly, since the other user seems fine.

There must be something somewhere that is loading. Can you get a screen shot of Activity monitor showing all processes running (as many as possible) and send it to me?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Hi mike,
yeah, that's how I've been getting by the lAst few days, using a new user account and grabbing the files I need as necessary.

I guess there's not much point in hanging on to this old slogger, eh?
I think it is best. Since it could take quite some time to remove and replace items trying to find the culprit, it makse the most sense to just migrate what you need to the new user and eventually delete the old one.

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
One last thing... any tips on deleting the old user? I tried deleting it and after it chewed on it for quite a while, it finally came up with an error message saying something to the effect of "Can't delete this user, there was an error"
Oh, that's good.

You should be able to if you boot up the Mac with the Shift key down... Safe Mode.

See if that works, if not, we'll have to run a terminal command to remove it.

Mike, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 2186
Experience: Apple trained Technician, A+ Certified, 20+ years of Mac support, repairs, training, and consulting
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